Kyle Busch used a late-race pass to claim his second-straight Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff win in a triumph at Delaware’s Dover International Speedway on Sunday.
With less than 40 laps remaining, Busch closed a more than four-second gap to catch Chase Elliott and make a pass on the penultimate circuit to take the checkered flag.
“I think the biggest thing there at the end was just having a little bit fewer, fresher lap tires than Chase (Elliott) did and I wasn’t sure if it was going to be enough when I got close,” said Busch from victory lane. “I got back to the top and got enough momentum back rolling. Chase was kind of plugged up with the lap cars in front of him, so I think the lap cars actually helped us with that one, but overall just great day for us.”
The victory was the second-consecutive win for Busch in the postseason, while Martin Truex Jr., who finished fourth at Dover, won the opening Playoff race to give Toyota victories in the first three title-deciding events. The victory was also the ninth-in-the-last 12 races for Toyota.
Busch, the 2015 Cup champion, led the field for 30 laps (of 400) – 28 through the first 328 circuits before pacing the last two laps to the win.
Busch now sits second in the championship standings with seven races to go – and trails his Toyota teammate Truex by 18 points.
The MENCS Playoffs continue next weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 8.
Lisa Hughes Kennedy