From his third Dover pole and his second of the year, Martin Truex Jr. led the field to the green flag; Kyle Busch started inside Truex followed by Kyle Larson, Matt Kenseth, and Daniel Suarez rounded out the top five.
Truex leapt to the lead by turn 1 as they battled three wide behind. At the end of the lap, Kenseth had second, Busch was third followed by Larson and Suarez.
The lead for Truex was just over a second by lap 10.
Kyle Busch got passed by Larson on lap 13, Suarez followed. Dale Earnhardt Jr. got by two laps later to grab fifth.
Larson took second on lap 19. He was soon looking for the lead and took it from Truex on lap 25 just as Truex had caught the back of the field. Kenseth was third, Earnhardt fourth, Kevin Harvick fifth.
Earnhardt took third on lap 30. Harvick took third on lap 32. Kyle Busch had fallen to ninth.
Denny Hamlin took fifth on lap 40.
Earnhardt was soon looking for second.
Jimmie Johnson entered the top 10 on lap 47.
Harvick was looking for third from Earnhardt by lap 51.
Truex retook the lead on lap 60. Harvick got past Earnhardt for third.
Harvick took second on lap 70; most teams were prepping for green flag stops.
Harvick was soon looking for the lead.
One of the playoff drivers in danger of getting cut Ricky Stenhouse Jr. got lapped on lap 80.
Kasey Kahne pitted on lap 82 starting a round of green flag stops; Ryan Blaney and Suarez followed.
Ryan Newman pitted on lap 84.
Truex pitted from the lead on the same lap; Harvick followed.
Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and Stenhouse were among those who stayed out waiting for a caution and got it on lap 86 when Jeffrey Earnhardt spun entering the pits and hit the barrels at the end of the wall. Caution 1 came out, followed moments later NASCAR put out a red flag to replace the barrels.
The top five, and the only cars on the lead lap: Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Stenhouse, Danica Patrick and David Ragan.
The repairs were complete and the red flag lifted after 15 minutes 9 seconds.
The top five cars pitted on lap 88 under caution. Keselowski won the race off pit road for the race lead, Busch second, Stenhouse third.
Green came back out to start lap 93 after many took the wave around to get back on the lead lap.
Keselowski had the lead by turn 1, Kyle Busch second, Stenhouse third.
Truex took fourth from Patrick on lap 96. He took third from Stenhouse on lap 100.
With 10 laps to go in Stage 1 the lead was just under a second.
Top 10 Stage 1: Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Truex, Stenhouse, Patrick, Larson, Chase Elliott, Harvick, Ragan and Hamlin; caution 2 came out to end the stage.
The leaders all pitted. Busch was out first, followed by Truex, Larson and Elliott. Stenhouse lost six spots and came out 10th. Kenseth was penalized for speeding on pit road and restarted 29th.
Patrick and Harvick made contact on pit road but both had minimal damage.
Green came out to start lap 128; Busch had the lead by turn 1, Larson took second, Truex fell into third, Keselowski fourth. Harvick took fifth from Elliott.
Larson took the lead from Busch on lap 151.
Truex was reporting possible smoke in his car on lap 145 just after taking second. Keselowski had dropped back to sixth; Harvick was fourth, Elliott fifth.
Harvick took third on lap 155, though Busch remained close behind. The lead was 2.5 seconds and growing for Larson.
Elliott took fourth on lap 158 as Busch was reporting a loose condition.
Reed Sorenson blew an engine and caution 3 came out on lap 167.
The leaders all pitted. Truex was out first followed by Larson, Elliott, Busch and Harvick,
The green came out to start lap 174 Truex held the lead, but Larson had the lead by the exit of turn 2, Elliott was third. Harvick was fourth, Kyle Busch fifth.
Busch took fourth from Harvick on lap 206.
Harvick pitted with a vibration on lap 219. The top five: Larson, Truex, Elliott, Busch and Johnson. Harvick rejoined 27th, two laps down.
Harvick passed the leader on lap 231 to get one of his laps back.
With 10 to go in Stage 2 the lead for Larson was just under a second.
Elliott was looking for second with three to go in Stage 2.
Top 10 Stage 2: Larson, Truex, Elliott, Busch, Johnson, Hamlin, Earnhardt, Jamie McMurray, Clint Bowyer. Caution 4 came out at the end of the stage.
The leaders pitted. Larson came out first followed by Elliott, Truex, Kyle Busch and Johnson.
Larson was unable to maintain speed after shutting his engine off and having it recycling it. He was forced back to fifth and Elliott had the lead on the restart to start lap 249. Elliott had the lead out of turn 2; Truex took second, Johnson rocketed to third. Kyle Busch was fourth, Earnhardt fifth.
By lap 267 the lead was just over a second.
Johnson was looking for second by lap 285. Kyle Busch was close behind Johnson.
The two were dueling for the spot in heavy traffic by lap 294; Busch took the spot on lap 299. The lead for Elliott was just over 2 seconds. Busch was soon catching Truex for second.
The lead was just over 3 seconds by lap 315 with everyone still needing one more stop.
Kahne pitted on lap 319. Elliott put Stenhouse a lap down on lap 321 as Larson pitted. Newman followed.
Truex pitted on lap 325; Elliott followed.
Stenhouse stayed out hoping for a caution as Kyle Busch pitted on lap 330.
Kurt Busch was penalized for a commitment line violation when he pitted on lap 333.
Johnson pitted from the lead on lap 334.
Keselowski and Stenhouse finally pitted on lap 340. The stops cycled through and Elliott was again in the lead by 3.7 seconds. Truex was second followed by Kyle Busch, Larson and Johnson.
The last playoff spot was between Stenhouse and Newman by one point after the stops.
Johnson took fourth on lap 347.
Busch took second on lap 353. The lead for Elliott was 4.1 seconds.
Johnson took third on lap 368.
Harvick passed Stenhouse for 18th on lap 372. The separation in points was 2.
Hamlin hit the wall on lap 373; he slowed but kept going. He was able to get to pit road with a broken axle. The lead was just under 2 seconds for Elliott.
With 20 to go, Busch was cutting into the lead.
The gap was under a second with 13 laps to go as Elliott was being slowed by lapped traffic.
With 10 to go, the gap was under a half a second.
Elliott caught Newman with 7 laps to go; the gap was still just under a half a second.
The gap was just over a half second with five to go; Newman was still in front of Elliott.
Busch caught Elliott in heavy traffic and was looking for the lead with two to go. He got the lead as they took the white flag. He held on and took the win. Stenhouse held onto advance by two points over Newman. Austin Dillon, Kurt Busch and Kasey Kahne also failed to advance.
Behind Elliott, Johnson was third, Truex fourth and Larson fifth. Bowyer was sixth, Earnhardt seventh, Suarez eighth with McMurray and Keselowski rounding out the top 10.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the first race of the Round of 12, the Bank of America 500 next Sunday.
- Matt DiBenedetto’s excellent run comes to abrupt, violent end - February 17, 2019
- Clint Bowyer’s last-ditch effort ends in nine-car wreck - February 17, 2019
- Jimmie Johnson scores miraculous top 10 at Daytona - February 17, 2019