NASCAR Cup Series results and 3 takeaways from Sunday’s race at Dover International – Charlotte Observer

Kyle Busch won the third race of these NASCAR playoffs at Dover on Sunday, his second straight postseason win, but there are other implications from the race as well. Here are the three biggest takeaways from Sunday’s Apache Warrior 400 race:

1. The playoff field shrinks from 16 to 12

Dover was the first playoff cutdown race, and coming into the weekend, it was clear which drivers were in trouble. Kasey Kahne (16th in the standings) and Kurt Busch (15th) both needed remarkable finishes to stay alive. Then there was Ryan Newman (14th), Austin Dillon (13th), and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (12th), essentially competing for one spot. Ultimately the standings held right where they were, meaning Kahne, Busch, Newman, and Dillon are eliminated from the playoffs.

2. Chase Elliott almost won his first Cup Series race

While much of the drama Sunday dealt with which drivers would stave off elimination, there was another contest going on at the front of the race. Chase Elliott, who has never won a Cup Series race, led for 138 laps Sunday and had a chance to visit Victory Lane for the first time (by himself at least – he went plenty of times with his Hall of Fame father Bill Elliott when he was a kid). Unfortunately for him, Kyle Busch was too fast and too aggressive to hold off, and Elliott got passed with two laps to go. He was visibly bummed out after the runner-up finish, but with two of those finishes in three playoff races (although the other at Chicagoland was later encumbered), he figures to turn in a winning performance sooner rather than later.

3. Who survived to drive another day?

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. held the playoff tiebreaker over Austin Dillon coming into the race by virtue of his better playoff finish, but he was very much in jeopardy of being eliminated. Luckily for him, his 19th-place finish (and Dillon not finishing better than 16th) proved to be enough to survive and carry him through to the second round of the playoffs. Stenhouse has won twice this season, but he hasn’t finished in the Top 10 since his win at Daytona in early July. If he wants to make it to the third round, it’s going to require better finishes than he’s had the past few months.

Apache Warrior 400 presented by Lucas Oil

The full race results, from the Associated Press:

NASCAR Monster Energy Cup

Sunday

At Dover International Speedway

Dover, Del.

Lap length: 1.00 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

1. (2) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 400 laps, 0 rating, 56 points.

2. (12) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 400, 0, 47.

3. (17) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 400, 0, 40.

4. (1) Martin Truex Jr, Toyota, 400, 0, 50.

5. (3) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 400, 0, 47.

6. (19) Clint Bowyer, Ford, 400, 0, 32.

7. (7) Dale Earnhardt Jr, Chevrolet, 400, 0, 34.

8. (5) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 400, 0, 29.

9. (26) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 400, 0, 30.

10. (16) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 400, 0, 40.

11. (4) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 400, 0, 26.

12. (10) Erik Jones, Toyota, 400, 0, 25.

13. (8) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 399, 0, 24.

14. (21) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 399, 0, 23.

15. (18) Joey Logano, Ford, 399, 0, 22.

16. (23) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 399, 0, 21.

17. (9) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 399, 0, 23.

18. (24) Danica Patrick, Ford, 399, 0, 25.

19. (15) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Ford, 399, 0, 25.

20. (13) Kurt Busch, Ford, 398, 0, 17.

21. (28) David Ragan, Ford, 397, 0, 18.

22. (29) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 397, 0, 15.

23. (11) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 397, 0, 14.

24. (20) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 396, 0, 13.

25. (14) Aric Almirola, Ford, 396, 0, 12.

26. (25) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 396, 0, 11.

27. (30) Michael McDowell, Chevrolet, 396, 0, 10.

28. (27) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 395, 0, 9.

29. (31) Landon Cassill, Ford, 394, 0, 8.

30. (22) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 394, 0, 7.

31. (40) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 393, 0, 6.

32. (33) Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 392, 0, 5.

33. (34) Brett Moffitt, Toyota, 391, 0, 0.

34. (37) Corey Lajoie, Toyota, 389, 0, 3.

35. (6) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, axle, 374, 0, 8.

36. (36) BJ McLeod, Chevrolet, 372, 0, 0.

37. (38) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 368, 0, 1.

38. (32) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 348, 0, 0.

39. (39) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, engine, 162, 0, 1.

40. (35) Timmy Hill, Chevrolet, electrical, 39, 0, 0.

Race Statistics

Average Speed of Race Winner: 129.175 mph.

Time of Race: 3 hours, 5 minutes, 48 seconds.

Margin of Victory: 0.357 seconds.

Caution Flags: 4 for 24 laps.

Lead Changes: 15 among 6 drivers.

Lap Leaders: M.Truex 1-25; K.Larson 26-60; M.Truex 61-82; C.Elliott 83; Ky.Busch 84-89; B.Keselowski 90-122; Ky.Busch 123-140; K.Larson 141-169; M.Truex 170-173; K.Larson 174-246; C.Elliott 247-324; Ky.Busch 325-328; J.Johnson 329-333; B.Keselowski 334-339; C.Elliott 340-398; Ky.Busch 399-400

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led): C.Elliott, 3 times for 135 laps; K.Larson, 3 times for 134 laps; M.Truex, 3 times for 48 laps; B.Keselowski, 2 times for 37 laps; Ky.Busch, 4 times for 26 laps; J.Johnson, 1 time for 4 laps.

Wins: M.Truex, 5; Ky.Busch, 4; K.Larson, 4; J.Johnson, 3; D.Hamlin, 2; B.Keselowski, 2; R.Stenhouse, 2; R.Blaney, 1; Ku.Busch, 1; A.Dillon, 1; K.Harvick, 1; K.Kahne, 1; J.Logano, 1; R.Newman, 1.

Top 16 in Points: 1. M.Truex, 3059; 2. Ky.Busch, 3041; 3. K.Larson, 3034; 4. B.Keselowski, 3020; 5. J.Johnson, 3017; 6. K.Harvick, 3015; 7. D.Hamlin, 3013; 8. R.Stenhouse, 3010; 9. R.Blaney, 3008; 10. C.Elliott, 3006; 11. M.Kenseth, 3005; 12. J.McMurray, 3003; 13. R.Newman, 2067; 14. A.Dillon, 2065; 15. K.Kahne, 2046; 16. Ku.Busch, 2044.

NASCAR Driver Rating Formula

A maximum of 150 points can be attained in a race.

The formula combines the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish.

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