DOVER, Del. (AP) — Kyle Busch munched on some popcorn and sipped on his drink from his familiar seat inside the Dover media center.
He relaxed like he was settling in for a night of TV.
Again, he was the only driver worth watching in what’s become a popular rerun at Dover International Speedway. Busch made it 2 for 2 this season at Dover in the Nationwide Series races and dominated yet again in Saturday’s victory.
Busch turned the second half of the race into a ho-hum affair, leading 101 of the 200 laps on the mile concrete track for the season sweep.
“When you’re out front and your car is good and you’re on the bottom, there’s no way that anybody can beat you like that,” Busch said. “It’s tough to make up ground on guys when they’re better than you and they’re running the groove you want to run.”
Busch’s win wasn’t much of a surprise — Dover has had Nationwide sweeps every season since 2010. Busch started the trend in 2010, Carl Edwards did it in 2011 and Joey Logano swept in consecutive seasons.
Busch had a true repeat performance of his first win here this season, taking the lead off pit road, taking the checkered flag, then taking his trademark bow.
It seemed familiar to everyone but Busch.
“I didn’t watch the film of the Nationwide Series race here in the spring,” Busch said.
Busch won for the fifth time this season and 68th time in his career in NASCAR’s second-tier series. He became Dover’s career leader in Nationwide wins with five.
Logano, who won the pole and led 95 laps, was second. Chase Elliott, Chris Buescher and Elliott Sadler completed the top five.
“You come here expecting to win a lot of times,” Logano said. “They have a very fast car normally here, and I did in the beginning of the race. We just lost the handle a little bit in the second half.”
Asked if Busch’s repeat looked familiar, Logano cracked: “I know I didn’t win, I remember that part. That was pretty similar.”
Elliott has a 26-point lead over Regan Smith with five races left. Elliott had a solid finish after he was caught up in a multi-car wreck early in the race.
Kyle Larson, dazzling as a rookie in the Sprint Cup series, was sixth. Larson left a pit stop with his gas can attached and his gas man tumbled to the ground, and received a pit road penalty.
Logano and Busch had no clear answers why the track lends itself to so many repeat winners.
“It’s one of those race tracks, you go to certain tracks and it’s always the same guys that run good,” Logano said.
Busch also won the Truck Series race in May at Dover, though he failed to complete the weekend sweep in the Sprint Cup series. There was no potential for a tripleheader win this weekend, but Busch still would like to see his Nationwide result mirror his Cup race. He starts second behind Logano on Sunday.
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