(WOMR file photo)
Kurt Busch emerged victorious Sunday in the AAA 4oo Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway. The victory moved Busch from ninth to a tie for third place with Tony Stewart.
“I feel like we’re right in the mix,” Busch said when asked if he can now be considered a Chase contender.
While Busch celebrated his second victory of the season and the 24th of his career in Victory Lane at the Monster Mile, runner-up Johnson and 3rd place Edwards sat in the nearby media center castigating themselves in the post-race news conference.
Johnson stumbled on the last two restarts of the race, allowing Busch to take and retain a lead he held for the final 42 laps. Edwards trashed his own winning chances by speeding on pit road in a timed section he and crew chief Bob Osborne had discussed specifically before the race.
In a sense, though, all three drivers were winners. Busch, Johnson, and all Edwards took advantage of the struggles of the Chase points leader, Tony Stewart, who led the series after wins in the first two races of the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Fighting the ill-handling of his SHR #14 Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevy throughout the afternoon, Stewart lost his advantage in the standings by finishing 25th, two laps down. That left Edwards, and 10th place finisher Kevin Harvick tied for the series lead with Carl Edwards. Meanwhile, Stewart and Busch are tied each nine points back, and Johnson alone in fifth, 13 points behind the leaders, Harvick and Edwards.
“It was just perfect execution today, with pit stops and with making the car better during the race,” Busch said. “I couldn’t be happier right now. To win a Sprint Cup race in the Chase, this is what it’s all about. This is the playoffs.”
“We had everything go wrong for us last week. We had everything go right for us this week. We just need nice smooth races from here,” added Busch.
For Kurt Busch, this victory was redemption for his 22nd place finish last week at Louden. Quite possibly my editorial about knowing it is fall because the leaves are falling off of the Busch’s, might have been a little bit premature!
Check out the unofficial results from the AAA 400 at Dover.
Here is the Chase standings after the AAA 400 at Dover.
Now seven races, twelve drivers, one championship, who will be the last man standing?
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!