Race Recap for Drydene 400
Date: May 16, 2021
Event: Drydene 400 (Round 13 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway (1-mile, concrete oval)
Format: 400 laps, broken into three stages (120 laps/120 laps/160 laps)
Start/Finish: 6th/27th (Running, completed 393 of 400 laps)
Point Standing: 10th (383 points, 191 behind leader)
Race Winner: Alex Bowman of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Larson of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-120):
● Kyle Busch started sixth and finished 31st.
● The driver of the M&M’S MIX Toyota Camry quietly logged laps to start the race.
● On lap 30, Busch reported an issue with the engine. He was able to continue but quickly dropped through the running order. He was in 28th when the competition caution was displayed on lap 35.
● The team assessed the situation during the caution. The initial report was that it was a part failure. Busch was able to continue in the race but at a slower pace. As the race continued he fell multiple laps down to the race leaders.
● Busch was able to stay on track to the end of the first stage. He was scored four laps down in 31st place.
● During the caution the team was able to take a closer look at the problem and determined that it was a plug wire issue. They were able to make a repair, which allowed the car to operate at full power. Busch lost a few more laps while the team dealt with the situation, and he was seven laps down to start the second stage.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 121-240):
● Busch started 37th and finished 29th.
● With the engine issue negated, Busch set about to the task of trying to recover from being seven laps down. Caution was displayed on lap 170 with Busch in 33rd place.
● The team made a round of adjustments, changed four tires and added fuel during the caution. Busch lined up 33rd for the restart, seven laps down.
● Busch noted that the car was fast but that tight-handling issues persisted. He was able to pick up a few positions before the end of the second stage to be scored in 29th.
● The team elected to make chassis and air pressure adjustments, change four tires and add fuel during the caution. Busch lined up 29th to start the final stage.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 241-400):
● Busch started 29th and finished 27th.
● He reported on lap 278 that the M&M’S MIX Toyota Camry was still handling on the tight side.
● Caution was displayed on lap 302 with Busch in 29th place. He made a trip to pit road for adjustments, four tires and fuel.
● Green-flag racing resumed on lap 309 with Busch in 28th place.
● A series of cautions unfolded between laps 300 and 330. Thanks to attrition, Busch was able to pick up another spot to 27th.
● The final 70 laps of the race were run without incident, preventing Busch from picking up more positions. He finished the day in 27th place.
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’S MIX Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:
“It wasn’t the day we wanted for our M&M’S MIX Toyota Camry. We had an engine issue, but it took us awhile to figure out and by the time we did we were seven laps down. On the positive side, the car was fast and we were able to try some things out that may help us later in the season.”
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the EchoPark Texas Grand Prix on Sunday, May 23, at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas. The race begins at 2:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.