Dover NASCAR Sprint Cup: Truex dominates as Chase field down to 12

Martin Truex Jr continued his fine form for Furniture Row Racing with victory at Dover in the final race of part one of the 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase

Dover NASCAR Sprint Cup: Truex dominates as Chase field down to 12

Truex, who has now won two of the three races in the Chase this season, lapped every driver outside of the top six as he proved the man to beat.

Having battled successfully against Kyle Busch in the first stint, Truex could not build a gap to Jimmie Johnson amid a run of cautions and was then passed around the outside by the Hendrick driver at a restart.

But Johnson, who has won 10 times at Dover, received a penalty for his crew jumping over the wall too early during a pitstop and this dropped him a lap down, while Truex inherited the lead and then left the field behind.

Kyle Busch's superior speed on the outside line helped at times but as the race progressed he could not keep pace with Truex and had to settle for second ahead of the consistently strong Chase Elliott.

Polesitter Brad Keselowski implemented a safety first approach to finish fourth ahead of Matt Kenseth and Joey Logano, who had trouble free races - all three cruising through to the next stage of the title fight.

Austin Dillon was relieved after his eighth place behind Johnson ensured he was successful in reaching the 'Round of 12' as the last driver above the cut-off point in the standings.

Jamie McMurray was one of the four drivers who didn't make it. Mid-way through a tight battle with fellow Chase contender Dillon, he lost power and eventually had to retire his Ganassi Chevrolet with an engine problem.

His team-mate Kyle Larson also exited the Chase. He was forced to take a penalty immediately after the first caution for having too many men attend his car in the pits and later hit the wall on the way to a distant 25th.

Chase underdog Chris Buescher dropped out with another finish outside the top 20 in 23rd, while Dover proved to be the last race in which Tony Stewart would have a shot at a championship. Thirteenth place kept the three-time champion in the bottom four and therefore out in his final Cup season before retirement.

Veteran Chase competitors Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards and Kurt Busch all advanced with clean drives to ninth, 14th and 15th respectively while Kevin Harvick, who had already made the 'Round of 12' after winning last weekend at New Hampshire, was running third but had to pull his Stewart-Haas Chevrolet in due to a puncture and lost 43 laps receiving repairs.

Jeff Gordon was the highest place non-Chase runner in 10th.

RESULTS - 400 LAPS:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Toyota 3h03m15.s
2 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 7.527s
3 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 12.381s
4 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 12.741s
5 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 17.501s
6 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 24.116s
7 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 1 Lap
8 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 1 Lap
9 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 1 Lap
10 Jeff Gordon Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 1 Lap
11 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 1 Lap
12 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 1 Lap
13 Tony Stewart Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 1 Lap
14 Carl Edwards Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 1 Lap
15 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 2 Laps
16 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 2 Laps
17 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 3 Laps
18 Greg Biffle Roush Fenway Racing Ford 4 Laps
19 A.J. Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 4 Laps
20 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Ford 5 Laps
21 Brian Scott Richard Petty Motorsports Ford 5 Laps
22 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 5 Laps
23 Chris Buescher Front Row Motorsports Ford 6 Laps
24 Clint Bowyer HScott Motorsports Chevrolet 6 Laps
25 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 6 Laps
26 Casey Mears Germain Racing Chevrolet 6 Laps
27 Matt DiBenedetto BK Racing Toyota 7 Laps
28 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 7 Laps
29 Landon Cassill Front Row Motorsports Ford 8 Laps
30 David Ragan BK Racing Toyota 8 Laps
31 Regan Smith Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet 9 Laps
32 Ty Dillon Circle Sport-Leavine Family Racing Chevrolet 10 Laps
33 Michael Annett HScott Motorsports Chevrolet 13 Laps
34 Timmy Hill Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 14 Laps
35 Reed Sorenson Premium Motorsports Toyota 15 Laps
36 Jeffrey Earnhardt Go FAS Racing Ford 16 Laps
37 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet 46 Laps
38 Ryan Blaney Wood Brothers Racing Ford 119 Laps
39 Josh Wise The Motorsports Group Chevrolet Engine
40 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Engine

CHASE STANDINGS:

Pos Driver Points
1 Kyle Busch 3000
2 Brad Keselowski 3000
3 Martin Truex Jr. 3000
4 Kevin Harvick 3000
5 Denny Hamlin 3000
6 Carl Edwards 3000
7 Matt Kenseth 3000
8 Jimmie Johnson 3000
9 Joey Logano 3000
10 Kurt Busch 3000
11 Chase Elliott 3000
12 Austin Dillon 3000


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