by Garrett Horton
This is just the second time ever both Busch brothers have DNF’d in a race in which they both entered and the first time since the Atlanta fall race back in 2004.
Saturday and Sunday Dover winners Joey Logano and Jimmie Johnson both started the day from the second spot. For Johnson, three of his past four wins have come from starting on the outside pole.
After going 16 races being stuck on 199 wins, Hendrick Motorsports has now won the last three Cup races – four if you include the Sprint All-Star race.
The race winner has started second four times since a pole sitter last went to Victory Lane 30 races ago.
Since Mike Ford started calling the shots atop the pit box at Talladega four races ago, Aric Almirola has climbed six spots in the standings, going from 23rd to 17th. The stretch has included Almirola’s first career pole at Charlotte last week and season high sixth-place finish this past weekend at Dover.
Eight of the 13 races that have been run this year have had at least one stretch of 100 laps or more without a caution flag.
Matt Kenseth’s worst finish in the last eight races was an 11th at Richmond. In typical Kenseth fashion, he has slowly crept up towards the top during this span – he has gone from sixth in the points, 22 markers behind the points lead, to just one point behind teammate and points leader Greg Biffle.
Tony Stewart gained 13 positions, and points, by coming back out and completing the race after being involved in a lap 9 wreck. When he went behind the wall he was listed at 38th position, but ended the day in 25th. In doing so, he actually managed to move up a spot in the points to eighth.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s strong season continues. Not only did he managed to score a top-5 at Dover and continue his streak of completing every lap run this year, his worst finish of the year remains a 17th, and is the only driver to have finished in the top-20 in every race this year.
Ryan Newman has struggled since winning Martinsville, having averaged only a 20.5 place finish in the last seven races.
It was mentioned a couple times during the broadcast how Tony Stewart ran the full race in last weeks Coke 600 and finished 25th and managed the same result this week at Dover despite being almost 70 laps off the pace. Ironically, Smoke finished 25th at Dover last fall as well, but finished only two laps down.
Kyle Busch barely finished half of the race – completing 202 laps before his engine expired – yet still finished 29th.
Dover wasn’t always such a struggle for three time champ Tony Stewart. In his first 11 starts at the Monster Mile, he led a total of 1066 laps with two wins and a finish of no worse than 11th. In 16 starts since, however, he has led just six circuits.
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