Busch chased down Chase Elliott over the race’s final 20 laps and passed Elliott as the two took the white flag. Busch started to make time on Elliott on the high groove in the corners and made up serious time over the last five laps of the race.
Sunday’s race was the final race of the first round of the playoffs. Busch’s two race wins give him 10 extra points to use in the second round which begins next week at Charlotte.
Elliott was searching for the first win of his career two weeks after his team got busted for adding tape to the spoiler on the back of his car at Chicago in the playoff opener. Elliott finished second in that race and NASCAR penalized him 15 points.
Busch and Kahne entered Sunday’s race essentially needing a win — or some serious misfortune from others — to make the second round. They obviously didn’t get the win and didn’t get that misfortune. Dillon and Newman were each within one point of 12th entering the race but weren’t competitive throughout the day.
As Dillon and Newman miss out, Jamie McMurray (nine points ahead of 13th entering the race) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. move on as part of the 12 drivers in the second round. Stenhouse earned stage points in the first stage of the race after Jeffrey Earnhardt crashed into the barrels at the entrance to pit road before Stenhouse made his first pit stop of the race. Earnhardt’s wreck caused a 15-minute red flag for track safety workers to clean up the spilled sand.
Busch started Sunday’s race first and led 30 laps. He started on the pole in Dover in the spring but his race went haywire when his team didn’t properly secure a rear wheel to his car on a pit stop.
Here’s what the playoff standings look like entering round 2. The three races of round 2 will be held at Charlotte, Talladega and Kansas.
1. Martin Truex Jr., 3,059 points
2. Kyle Busch, 3,041
3. Kyle Larson, 3,034
4. Brad Keselowski, 3,020
5. Jimmie Johnson, 3,017
6. Kevin Harvick, 3,015
7. Denny Hamlin, 3,013
8. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 3,010
9. Ryan Blaney, 3.008
10. Chase Elliott, 3,006
11. Matt Kenseth, 3,005
12. Jamie McMurray, 3,003
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