Kyle Busch took advantage of a late-race mistake by Jimmie Johnson to win the Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Speedway. The win is his second victory in the Sprint Cup Series this season, and the fifth win for Joe Gibbs Racing out of seven races with the new spoiler.
Johnson had one of the only cars capable of challenging Busch for the win. For much of the race, he was the class of the field, leading 255 of 400 laps. But, as Johnson left his pit stall on lap 365, he accelerated too quickly and was hit with a speeding penalty.
He had to serve a pass-through penalty, costing him a lap. He finished 16th.
Afterwards, he said:
It definitely cost us a top-two finish. I’m frustrated. I think we’ve got to be a little bit more aware of our acceleration of the car off pit road, and how we can get busted there. But outside of that, I can’t say we did anything else wrong all day. We led a bunch of laps, had great pit stops. I mean, across the board it was a great day. I just hate, that at the end, one small mistake knocked us back to a 16th-place finish.
Top 5: Busch, Jeff Burton, Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin, and David Reutimann,
Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart, and Joey Logano rounded out the top 10.
Notables: Jeff Gordon (11th), Martin Truex Jr (12th), Ryan Newman (13th), AJ Allmendinger (14th), Mark Martin (15th), Jimmie Johnson (16th), Clint Bowyer (17th), Kurt Busch (19th), Kasey Kahne (20th), Dale Earnhardt Jr (30th), Jamie McMurray (32nd), Juan Montoya (35th), and Marcos Ambrose (36th).
Dale Earnhardt Jr never had a competitive car. He ran near the back, in the high 20s before making an unscheduled pit stop after a restart because he thought the car had a steering problem. He lost seven laps in the pits while the team tried to diagnose and fix the problem.
Later, it was reported that there was nothing wrong with the steering. Earnhardt Jr said he got into the marbles on the inside of the track, which made his car lose traction and he wasn’t able to turn. He finished 30th.
The Earnhardt Ganassi Racing cars had trouble at Dover, too. Both Juan Montoya and Jamie McMurray broke track bars within five laps of each other. Montoya was running three laps down at the time. McMurray, however, was running 11th. They finished 35th and 32nd, respectively.
Kasey Kahne led early, and was running second when he had a shifter problem. He was also hit with a penalty for too many men over the wall on pit road during his first pit stop. He also stalled on pit road later in the race and ended up finishing 20th.