Amanda Vincent, NASCAR Correspondent
Kurt Busch wheeled his No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge to victory in the AAA 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway on Sunday.
“It was just a perfect execution -- pit stops, making the car better,” Busch said.
It was just a perfect execution -- pit stops, making the car better.
Jimmie Johnson was second in the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, and Carl Edwards finished third in the No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford after overcoming a pit road speeding penalty during a cycle of green-flag pit stops that began on lap 240 of the 400-lap race.
“That was really, really dumb,” Edwards said after the race of his mistake. “It was completely my fault that we didn’t have a chance to race up there.”
Kasey Kahne finished fourth in the No. 4 Red Bull Racing Toyota, giving all four manufacturers representation in the top-four finishing order. Matt Kenseth rounded out the top-five in the No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford.
Busch took the lead from pole sitter Martin Truex Jr. in the No. 56 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota on lap three, and Edwards was pursuing Busch from the second position by lap 17. Busch and Edwards ran first and second for several laps, and Edwards took the lead on lap 52 and began to pull away.
Jeff Burton kept his No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet on the race track as almost everyone else headed down pit road with a caution came out on lap 136 to restart in the lead. He dropped back quickly upon the restart, though, and Edwards made his way back up to the top spot.
Edwards and Busch were then shuffled back through the field slightly due to varying pit strategies during a few quick cautions. Johnson then claimed the lead at the halfway point of the race. Johnson and Kenseth took turns leading much of the second half of the event.
But Kenseth found himself running as far back as ninth late in the race when many of the frontrunners took two tires during a caution with 48 laps remaining. Kenseth took four on his No. 17 and restarted highest of those on four fresh tires in the ninth spot.
Johnson was rejoined up front by Busch on that same restart. Busch quickly got by Johnson when the race went back to green, and the two drivers ran first and second the remainder of the race.
“Really, I just got a poor restart when I was the leader,” Johnson said.
Kenseth, meanwhile, worked his way back into the top-five with 16 laps to go.
After finishing 10th Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, unofficially claimed a share of the championship points lead, three races into the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup. Carl Edwards, driver of the No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, is tied with Harvick for the top spot after finishing third in Sunday's race.
Former points leader, Tony Stewart, driver of the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet, dropped to a tie for third in points after finishing the Dover race in the 25th spot. He and Kurt Busch, who won the race on Sunday in the No. 22 Penske Racing Dodge, are both nine points behind Harvick and Edwards.