The Frontstretch: Busch Breakdown: Dover 200 by Toni Montgomery -- Saturday June 2, 2007

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Busch Breakdown: Dover 200

Toni Montgomery · Saturday June 2, 2007

 

In A Nutshell: The Busch Series dominator continued to show his championship form. Carl Edwards flips for the third time this year after what looked like an easy victory in the Dover 200. Of course, Edwards is probably the only driver in NASCAR for whom flipping is not a bad thing. Denny Hamlin finished second with Scott Wimmer third. Casey Mears continued his momentum in fourth and Matt Kenseth rounded out the Top 5.

Who Should Have Won: Carl Edwards. Sometimes the dominant car just won't be denied and that was the case today. Even with a bunch of late race cautions, Edwards just kept driving away from his competition. It was pretty clear no one had anything for him today.

Three Questions You Should Be Asking After the Race Weekend

1) Does Richard Childress owe his pit crew any explanation?

With Scott Wimmer in position to win at Dover and Jeff Burton laps down, Childress made a decision to swap pit crews because he felt Burton's crew would get Wimmer back on the track faster. The question is, how does one explain that to those other guys? Imagine how they must feel after being pulled off of their car.

2) To red flag or not to red flag?

NASCAR threw red flags for incidents they normally wouldn't. The reason was the limited number of tires teams had at their disposal. NASCAR didn't want to make tire management even more difficult by having cars run over debris and cut tires, putting the press on an already limited resource. Now this seriously disrupts and delays the flow of the race. Limiting the number of tires teams can have brings strategy into play more and helps out teams with smaller budgets, but is it worth it when the fans have to fidget through multiple red flags?

3) Did ESPN redeem themselves a little bit?

There have been some complaints as to the quality of the coverage ESPN has provided for the Busch Series this year but it's worth acknowledging that they seemed to be pretty on top of things this week. First, the booth coverage with Dale Jarrett on board has been better. In addition, they did a nice job covering the issues raised in the first two questions here and providing viewers with a thorough explanation. Of course they did have all that time under red flag conditions to accomplish that…

Worth Noting/Points Shuffle:

Scott Wimmer made a nice showing for the Busch regulars with his third place finish today. Top rookie finisher Marcos Ambrose also had a nice run and came home sixth.

Do they still give out that headache award? Because if they did, Greg Biffle might be the guy with a case for that. Biffle was trying to race his way back on the lead lap and was in position for the free pass with every reason to believe we'd be seeing another caution when he was spun out. Unfortunately, since he brought out the caution, he didn't accomplish either. To cap it off, he brought out the race ending caution too when he spun into the wall. That last one, in addition to putting him out of his misery, looked like it might hurt later as his car hit hard enough to get briefly airborn.

It's still Carl Edwards leading the points and the win expands his margin to 472 points over second place Kevin Harvick. Third place Dave Blaney just keeps fading further into the distance and now trails the leader by 672 markers. Matt Kenseth and David Reutimann round out the Top 5 in a week that saw no changes in position at the top. Regan Smith continues to hold sixth place. After two good weekends, Casey Mears moves up to seventh while Marcos Ambrose also makes a nice move forward to take over eighth. Bobby Hamilton, Jr. moves up to ninth while Jeff Burton slides back one spot to round out the Top 10.

Buschwhacker Watch:

Buschwhackers in this race: 21
Starting spots taken by Buschwhackers YTD: 298 of 598
Buschwhackers finishing in Top 10: 7
Buschwhackers finishing in Top 10 YTD: 113 of 140
Races won by Buschwhackers YTD: 14 of 14
Buschwhackers ranked in Top 10 in Busch Series points standings: 8

Quotable:

"There were times in the race it was so good, I thought all we could do is screw this up. And then we had that final pit stop and I thought there we did - we screwed it up. Just a small slip up and that's how competitive it is in the Busch series, we just had a real small slip up on pit road and we went back there, then it got really nerve racking. PK (crew chief Pierre Kuettel) and I were both in the same boat thinking you can't lose a race with a car that good; it would really make Jack Roush mad." Carl Edwards

"I don't get the whole tire thing. There must not be much (rubber) on the tires, because mine don't have any on them, they're all cords. All I know is that all my tires' rubber is out there, but I don't know." Matt Kenseth

"It feels like I've arrived. Here I am, running at Dover, one of the toughest tracks, running in the Busch series racing against the best of the best and it's all right. That's all I can ask for. If I had another couple years of experience, we would have been in contention to win. At top-10 was as good as a win for us." Marcos Ambrose

Next Up:

The Busch Series strikes out on its own again next week with a trip to Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday. Coverage of the Federated Auto Parts 300 is scheduled to begin at 6:30 PM EDT on ESPN2.

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