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NNS: Field Gets Busch Slapped At Dover

Kyle Busch drubbed the field, leading all but 14 laps to win Saturday’s Heluva Good! 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway.

LINK> UNOFFICIAL RESULTS: Heluva Good! 200 - DOVER

PDF> UNOFFICIAL DRIVER POINTS: Heluva Good! 200 - DOVER

Busch was unchallenged all race long, as he survived a late-race red flag and subsequent green-white-checkered finish to hold off Ryan Newman, Jamie McMurray, Reed Sorenson and Jason Leffler.

The victory, Busch’s fourth NNS triumph of 2010 and 34th of his career, was never in doubt from the start, as his Joe Gibbs Toyota Camry truly was in a class of its own all weekend.

Busch started from the pole, flanked by his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Hamlin, who took the lead on the opening lap, with Brad Keselowski in third. Busch retook the lead on Lap 12, the two JGR Toyotas looking good again.

The first caution came on Lap 34, after Michael Annett spun on the backstretch with an assist from Hamlin. The leaders then pitted, Keselowski taking two tires and winning the race off pit road ahead of Busch and Hamlin.

By this time, less than half the field was on the lead lap, thanks to the torrid pace set by Busch.

Two tires didn’t work for Keselowski, as Busch was quickly back out front, with Hamlin pressuring Keselowski for second place.

The second caution came out on Lap 82 for debris in Turn 1. This time, Busch easily held the lead on pit road, but Hamlin dropped to 19th at the end of the lead-lap cars after a lengthy stop to remove spring rubbers.

Busch sprinted out to a big lead on the Lap 87 restart, Keselowski moving to second. At the halfway mark, Busch had a lead of 2.005 seconds over Keselowski. Then it was Carl Edwards, Clint Bowyer, Reed Sorenson and Ryan Newman.

Just four laps later, Keselowski went around on the frontstretch, remarkably keeping his Penske Dodge off the walls.

Once again, Busch took off like a shot on the Lap 109 restart, Bowyer and Sorenson left in the rear-view mirror. Hamlin, meanwhile, was recovering from his poor pit stop and was in the top five again by Lap 125.

Busch led Bowyer by 3.109 seconds at the Lap-150 mark, with Hamlin, Sorenson and Kasey Kahne completing the top five. At this point, Busch had led 136 of 150 laps.

Robert Richardson had an ignition failure the next lap to bring out the fourth caution on Lap 151, but the top three remained unchanged after a round of pit stops.

On the restart on Lap 156, Bowyer briefly jumped out front, but Busch re-passed him before the lap was completed.

With seven laps to go, Mark Green’s car lost a tire to bring out the final caution of the race.

The final green waved with two laps to go, but Bowyer had a slow restart and got hit from behind by Hamlin, leading to a big pile-up on the frontstretch, that took out Bowyer, Kahne, Paul Menard, Chad McCumbee, Trevor Bayne and others.

That brought out a red flag to allow clean up of the track, which was littered with damaged cars.

Under caution, Bowyer pulled out of the pits and turned hard right into Hamlin, who was in second place. The retaliatory contact damaged the nose of Hamlin’s car and earned Bowyer a trip to the NASCAR hauler.

Instead of restarting second, Hamlin restarted 16th, with Sorenson moving up to second.

On the restart, Busch took off and drove to an easy victory.

LINK> UNOFFICIAL RESULTS: Heluva Good! 200 - DOVER

PDF> UNOFFICIAL DRIVER POINTS: Heluva Good! 200 - DOVER

Tom Jensen is the Editor in Chief of SPEEDtv.com, Senior NASCAR Editor at RACER and a contributing Editor for TruckSeries.com. You can follow him online at twitter.com/tomjensen100 and e-mail him at Jensen is the author of “Cheating: The Bad Things Good NASCAR Nextel Cup Racers Do In Pursuit of Speed,” and has appeared on numerous television and radio shows. Jensen is the past President of the National Motorsports Press Association and an NMPA Writer of the Year.