NASCAR playoffs at Dover results: Kyle Busch keeps Chase Elliott from first career win

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Kyle Busch won his second straight NASCAR Playoffs race on Sunday at Dover International Speedway, passing Chase Elliott, who was gunning for his first career win, on the final lap. Busch adds five more bonus points for the Round of 12 with the victory.

Elliott had led nearly every lap in the Final Stage (138) before surrendering the lead to Busch. It is the No. 18’s second career win at the Monster Mile and 42nd overall.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was able to hold on after a choppy race, meaning Ryan Newman, Austin Dillon, Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch were all eliminated from championship contention.

Here’s how it all went down:

Stage 1: Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski rivalry heats up

Brad Keselowski won a wild Stage 1, holding off rival Kyle Busch for a valuable bonus point that will carry over to the Round of 12. Martin Truex Jr. finished the stage third while Ricky Stenhouse Jr. placed fourth. Playoff drivers Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin also earned points by finishing inside the top 10.

Truex led the first 25 laps before being passed by Kyle Larson. The two continued the battle throughout the stage, with Truex regaining the lead on lap 60. Green flag pit stops began around lap 80 with Kyle Busch, Keselowski and Stenhouse staying out the longest. The gamble paid off for them as Jeffrey Earnhardt went hard into the sand barrels on pit road, much like Matt Kenseth in 2004, bringing out the caution as well as the red flag for track cleanup.

Stenhouse was in danger of going multiple laps down before the yellow flag flew which could have very well eliminated him from the playoffs early in the race. Instead, he emerged from the wreck in third place. While the No. 17 benefitted from the crash, playoff contenders Austin Dillon, Ryan Blaney and Kurt Busch went multiple laps down. Only five drivers, Kyle Busch, Keselowski, Stenhouse, Danica Patrick and David Ragan, remained on the lead lap. Truex in sixth place got the free pass. NASCAR then issued a wave around for drivers one lap down, meaning 21 cars restarted on the lead lap.

Keselowski restarted from the lead after beating rival Kyle Busch in the race off pit road. The No. 2 continued to hold off the No. 18 en route to the stage win. Patrick, who raised awareness for breast cancer by driving a pink No. 10 Ford Fusion on Sunday, finished the stage fifth.

NASCAR: Apache Warrior 400-Practice



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Stage 2: Kyle Larson shows off speed

Larson dominated Stage 2 en route to just his fourth mid-race win this season. Truex finished second followed by Elliott, Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Keselowski, Jamie McMurray and Clint Bowyer. Blaney finished the stage 24th, which was the lowest of the NASCAR Playoffs drivers.

Kyle Busch led the early part of the stage before being passed by Larson with 100 to go. Reed Sorenson brought out the caution on lap 168 after his Toyota went up in smoke. The yellow flew just before green flag pit stops were scheduled to occur. Newman, Kurt Busch and Austin Dillon were towards the back end of the lead lap heading into the caution, but were able to regain position thanks to Sorenson.

Truex won the race off pit road but was immediately passed by Larson on the restart. Kevin Harvick had to come to pit road with 22 laps to go in the stage after reports of vibrations. The No. 4 was running in the sixth position before the tire change and went two laps down following the stop. Harvick finished the stage 23rd.

Final Stage: Rowdy spoils Elliott’s first career win

Elliott got off to a hot start, taking the lead as the green flag flew and Larson dropped to sixth. Kasey Kahne got the final green flag pit stops going on lap 319. Kurt Busch saw his Round of 12 hopes come to a screeching halt after a commitment line violation. Stenhouse and Dillon each gambled, staying out in hopes of a caution but they never got one. The No. 24 was able to cycle back to the lead when all was said and done.

Hamlin suffered a broken axle late in the stage, however he along with Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth had already clinched their spots in the Round of 12 at the end of Stage 2. 

Kyle Busch ran up on Chase Elliott and battled throughout the final laps before eventually making the pass as the white flag flew. All was not lost for the No. 24 team as Elliott advanced to the Round of 12 with a second-place showing.

Apache Warrior 400 Presented by Lucas Oil results

  1. Kyle Busch
  2. Chase Elliott
  3. Jimmie Johnson
  4. Martin Truex Jr.
  5. Kyle Larson
  6. Clint Bowyer
  7. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  8. Daniel Suarez
  9. Jamie McMurray
  10. Brad Keselowski
  11. Matt Kenseth
  12. Erik Jones
  13. Ryan Newman
  14. Kasey Kahne
  15. Joey Logano
  16. Austin Dillon
  17. Kevin Harvick
  18. Danica Patrick
  19. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  20. Kurt Busch
  21. David Ragan
  22. Ty Dillon
  23. Ryan Blaney
  24. Trevor Bayne
  25. Aric Almirola
  26. Paul Menard
  27. Michael McDowell
  28. AJ Allmendinger
  29. Landon Cassill
  30. Chris Buescher
  31. Matt DiBenedetto
  32. Cole Whitt
  33. Brett Moffitt
  34. Corey LaJoie
  35. Denny Hamlin
  36. BJ McLeod
  37. Jeffrey Earnhardt
  38. Ross Chastain
  39. Reed Sorenson
  40. Timmy Hill

BOLD – indicates driver has advanced to Round of 12

2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs standings

POSITION

DRIVER

CAR #

POINTS

BEHIND

WINS

1.

Martin Truex Jr.

78

2199

LEADER

5

2.

Kyle Busch

18

2175

-24

4

3.

Kyle Larson

42

2172

-27

4

4.

Brad Keselowski

2

2146

-53

2

5.

Chase Elliott

24

2117

-82

0

6.

Jimmie Johnson

48

2116

-83

3

7.

Matt Kenseth

20

2113

-86

0

8.

Denny Hamlin

11

2096

-103

2

9.

Kevin Harvick

4

2092

-107

1

10.

Ryan Blaney

21

2084

-115

1

11.

Jamie McMurray

1

2083

-116

0

12.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

17

2069

-130

2

Eliminated: Ryan Newman, Austin Dillon, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch



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