After Joey Logano dominated much of the first half of the Dover 200, Kyle Busch would assume control after a pit stop with around 100 laps to go and would never look back leading the final 101 circuits en route to his fifth Nationwide Series win of 2014 and the 68th of his career.
Busch comfortably held off Logano by 2.546 seconds at the checkers. Nationwide Series points leader Chase Elliott finished third, Roush Fenway’s rising star Chris Buescher finished fourth, and Elliott Sadler came home fifth.
Saturday’s race at Dover once again showcased a battle between the two most dominant organizations in recent Nationwide Series history, Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske. Busch and Logano combined to lead 196 of the 200 laps run on the day.
Kyle Larson,Brian Scott,Regan Smith, Trevor Bayne, and Ty Dillon rounded out the top ten. Elliott drives away from Dover with a 26-point lead over his JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith. Ty Dillon sits third,Brian Scott fourth, and Elliott Sadler rounds out the top five in points. Trevor Bayne,Chris Buescher,Brendan Gaughan,Ryan Reed, and James Buescher fill out the top 10 in the championship standings.
Chase Elliott is proving to be unflappable down the stretch as he closes in on his first Nationwide Series championship. Elliott secured his fourteenth top five of the season with his third place showing at Dover. He will take a 26-point cushion to Kansas Speedway next weekend, a track at which he has never raced. Of course, he never raced at Texas,Darlington, and Chicago before either…
Chris Buescher has made himself into a household name in 2014. The Prosper,Texas native continues to be Roush Fenway Racing’s most consistent driver in the Nationwide Series in 2014. Buescher would run in the top five all day long and score a fourth place finish at Dover. It is no longer a question of if he will win another race this season it’s only a matter of when.
Usually no one considers seventh place to be a bad finish, but when you are Regan Smith trying to desperately to gain ground on your rookie teammate for the championship it’s not what you’re looking for. While Smith does have 23 top 10 finishes in 2014, he has only three top 5’s over the last twelve races. Dover was a missed opportunity for Smith to make up ground. Smith will need stellar efforts over the next four races or Homestead may not mean that much to him.
Dylan Kwasniewski‘s lack of progress in 2014 is not necessarily through any fault of his own. Between owner disputes and sub-par cars on race weekend, it is hard to fault a kid with a lot of talent. Only three top 10’s in his rookie season, though, really puts him under a bigger microscope, especially considering the success of fellow rookies Elliott and Buescher.
Oh, how things can change in the matter of a week. From celebrating the spoils of victory at Kentucky to having a suspension issue just nine laps into the race at Dover, Brendan Gaughan experienced the highs and lows of the sport in the matter of waht seems like just moments.
Underdog Performer of the Race:
Justin Boston recorded his second consecutive top-12 finish in as many Nationwide starts on Saturday, scoring a 12th place finish at the Monster Mile.
Double Duty and the Start and Park Effect:
6 drivers who competed on Saturday will also compete on Sunday in the AAA 400.
6 of the 40 cars decided to start and park.
The Final Word:
Dover shaped up, as was expected, as a battle between Kyle Busch and Joey Logano. However, young guns Chase Elliott and Chris Buescher proved their mettle all weekend as they amde themselves into formidable contenders for the win. Some drivers, like Elliott Sadler came through with a strong finish facing an uncertain future for 2015. Dover may never move the excitement needle the way it once did, but it is one of the Nationwide Series’ toughest tests of the year. Look for Kansas next week to present another challenge and perhaps separate championship contenders even further.
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