If you’re not a fan of Joe Gibbs Racing, Saturday’s 5-Hour Energy 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway probably wasn’t the race for you. After all, the organization swept not only the top-two, but the top-three spots in the finishing order. And that was after they claimed both front row starting spots for the race during qualifying Saturday morning.
Ryan Truex started the No. 20 car from the pole but was passed by Joey Logano in the No. 18 at the start of the race. Logano went on to lead almost all of the first 150 laps of the event until he opted to come down pit road with 50 laps to go while most of the other lead lap cars stayed out. It just so happened that Logano was a part of the caution, making contact with the lapped No. 24 car of Tim Bainey Jr., trying to get by him. The contact resulted in Bainey spinning and then hitting the wall.
“Lap car just not giving enough room to the leaders,” Logano said.
With Logano back in seventh for the restart, Truex and Brian Scott restarted first and second.
Logano made his way back toward the front, getting by the No. 54 of Kurt Busch — whose car just happens to be owned by JGR Sprint Cup driver Kyle Busch — for third with 22 laps to go, giving Joe Gibbs Racing the top-three spots.
“I was running hard but was being somewhat patient,” Logano said.
Logano got by his first teammate, Scott, with 15 to go and set his sights on Truex and the lead. Truex had a sizeable lead by the time Logano got by Scott for the runner-up spot, but his car got loose, allowing Logano to gain on him.
“It was a pretty intense moment trying to catch Ryan,” Logano said.
Then, just when Truex looked to be en route to his first series win at his home track, he got caught behind two lapped cars with five to go, allowing Logano to get by and take his fourth win of the season.
“I figured they’d go outside,” Truex said. “They were about 20 laps down each.”
Truex had to settle for second, and Scott finished third. Busch was fourth, and Justin Allgaier rounded out the top-five.
Just as the three JGR cars finished together, so did the Richard Childress Racing trio. Austin Dillon was sixth, Elliott Sadler seventh, and Ty Dillon finished eighth in his first series start.
James Buescher was the only other driver who finished on the lead lap, finishing ninth.
While it was a banner day for Joe Gibbs Racing, it was a disaster for Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who headed into the race as the points leader, with a 13-point lead on second-place Sadler. While Sadler posted a top-10 finish, Stenhouse wrecked on lap 27, spent 66 laps in the garage for repairs, and was outside the top-10 at the finish of the second-consecutive race.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR
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