Dover International Speedway turned out to be a real “Monster” on Sunday afternoon.
With less than 50 laps to go in the AAA 400 Drive for Autism, the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota Camry of Matt Kenseth was able to avoid mayhem as Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet spun out and collected 18 different cars.
Among those collected in the accident, in addition to Johnson, were Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Greg Biffle, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr. However, many of the drivers were able to stay in and finish the race, including runner-up Larson.
Kenseth, Larson and Chase Elliott made the last several laps exciting as Larson and Elliott made attempt after attempt to overtake Kenseth for the lead. There were several times when it seemed inevitable, but Kenseth showed why experience is always good to have on your side.
The win was Kenseth’s first win of the season and the seventh for Joe Gibbs Racing drivers, including six of the last seven.
Where does the win put Kenseth on this week’s Power 10 when he was absent last week? Does the second- and third-place finishes for Larson and Elliott shoot them up the rankings?
Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was caught up in the wreck on Lap 356, had another day end early. But did his early dismissal affect his standing in Lionel Racing’s most recent Top 10?
How did Harvick fare after dominating the first quarter of the race, leading 116 of the first 120 laps? What about both Busch brothers? Or six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion?
Find out the answers to all these questions and more in this week’s edition of Lionel Racing’s Power 10.
Let us know what you think and who you have in your top 10.
(Note: Only the 10 drivers receiving the highest average rankings are shown. The number of spots they’ve moved since the previous Power 10 are shown in the parentheses.)
1. Kevin Harvick (+1): Kevin was a beast early on and got caught up in the big one near the end of the race, but he was still able to manage a respectable 15th-place finish and move up one spot in the rankings.
2. Kyle Busch (-1): If Kyle hadn’t been involved in the Lap 356 wreck, he would have finished a lot higher than 30th and possibly held onto his top spot in the Power 10.
3. Chase Elliott (NR): Every driver saw movement in this week’s rankings, including Chase who used a third-place finish and a late surge to try to capture the lead to shoot up at least eight spots.
4. Martin Truex Kr. (+2): If I were a betting man, Martin’s day in the sun will come soon and he’ll be the one finally celebrating in Victory Lane after long, hard fight.
5. Jimmie Johnson (-2): In four of the last five races, Jimmie finished 17th or worse; this isn’t the Jimmie we’ve grown accustomed to seeing over the past 11 years.
6. Carl Edwards (-1): Cousin Carl led the race four different times for a total of 27 laps, but only one lap (during a caution period) after the halfway point.
7. Matt Kenseth (NR): It was finally Kenseth’s time and he had to work hard to make it count; however, now that he’s got the monkey off his back, don’t be surprised to see him in Victory Lane more often.
8. Kurt Busch (-1): Another solid finish for the older Busch brother, finishing fifth for his 11th top-13 finish in 12 races. Kurt is bound to turn one of these into a win sooner than later.
9. Brad Keselowski (-5): Brad kept his car clean and out of trouble for the most part on Sunday. He led Laps 231-279 and finished with a sixth-place finish.
10. Kyle Larson (NR): If the race had lasted one or two laps, Kyle may have been celebrating his first win in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Regardless, he gave Kenseth a scare and the fans a great show.