Race Recap for the Drydene 311
Date: Aug. 22, 2020
Event: Drydene 311 (Round 24 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Dover (Del.) International Speedway (1-mile, concrete oval)
Format: 311 laps, broken into three stages (70 laps/115 laps/126 laps)
Start/Finish: 22nd/3rd (Running, completed 311 of 311 laps)
Point Standing: 9th (693 points, 288 behind leader)
Race Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-70):
● Kyle Busch started 22nd and finished 12th.
● The Interstate Batteries driver started 22nd, but moved up through the field quickly, as he found himself in 14th on lap 16 and all the way up to 12th when the competition caution waved on lap 25.
● Crew chief Adam Stevens called Busch to pit road on lap 27 to take on four tires, fuel and adjustments. Busch restarted 17th with several cars either staying out or taking just two tires.
● Busch struggled with handling on the second run of the race, as he told Stevens his Interstate Batteries Camry was too tight. However, Busch was able to gain several positions late in the run to finish 12th in Stage 1.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 71-185):
● Busch started 10th and finished 4th, earning seven bonus points.
● Busch came to pit road on lap 72 to take on four tires, fuel, and adjustments, as his Interstate Batteries over-the-wall crew gained him two spots on pit road to restart Stage 2 in the top-10.
● Busch hovered near the back end of the top-10 and came to pit road next on lap 142 for four tires and adjustments, as he found himself in the seventh position when green flag pit stops cycled through.
● The Las Vegas native steadily moved his way up, reporting to Stevens that the car was the best it had been all race long with 15 laps to go in Stage 2, as Busch finished the second stage in the fourth position.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 186-311):
● Busch started third and finished third.
● Busch came to pit road following Stage 2 to take four tires, fuel, and adjustments, as the Interstate Batteries team gained him a spot on pit road yet again, lining him up in the third position for the final stage.
● Busch was able to get by teammate Denny Hamlin on the restart and took the runner-up position behind race leader and JGR teammate Martin Truex Jr.
● The Interstate Batteries driver came to pit road for the final time on lap 253 to take on four tires, fuel and adjustments, as he had dropped to third behind Hamlin just prior to the pit stop, as he reported that his car was too loose.
● Busch told Stevens over the last run that his Interstate Batteries Toyota was too tight, as he brought home a solid third-place finish.
● Busch’s third-place finish was his 11th top-five and 13th top-10 of 2020.
● This marks Busch’s 13th top-five and 20th top-10 in 31 career starts at Dover.
● JGR swept the top three positions in Saturday’s 311-lap race.
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing:
“How was the race for you overall today and are you pleased with the third-place result?
“Top-three – the Interstate Batteries Camry was strong there. I was following (Martin) Truex Jr. there for a little while on that last restart and we kept fading. Kept fading loose and then we came in for our final pit stop and the damn car went four numbers tight. Just crazy. The flip-flop of balance that we had, it was so bad. I don’t think we changed a whole lot. I have to get with Adam (Stevens, crew chief) on that, but overall, we got really good there the previous time we put tires on under green and I was driving through a few people and getting to the front. I was optimistic about putting tires on it and going, but then it just went stupid tight. I don’t know. Thanks to Interstate Batteries, M&M’s – it’s good to get a solid top-three. Hopefully, we can make a few changes tonight. We were close. We had some speed so try to work on it.”
How tough is this race track when your car is as difficult to balance as your car was?
“You don’t know what to adjust. The beginning of the race, we were loose. We tightened it up and we were plowing tight the next run. Then we freed it up a little bit and it was loose the next run. We put tires on it under green and it was fine. Every single run it was back-and-forth, it was crazy. There was just no keeping up with it there. Try to do what you can and the best you can with what you’ve got and that’s all we had.”
Team Interstate Results:
● Denny Hamlin (Finished 1st / Running, completed 311 of 311 laps)
● Martin Truex Jr. (Finished 2nd / Running, completed 311 of 311 laps)
● Kyle Busch (Finished 3rd / Running, completed 311 of 311 laps)
● Erik Jones (Finished 12th / Running, completed 311 of 311 laps)
The second event of the NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader at Dover is a 311-mile race on Sunday. It starts at 4 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBCSN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.