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Kyle Busch has a Heluva Good! race to score dominant Nationwide Series victory at Dover

Joe Gibbs Racing's Kyle Busch bows to the Dover International Speedway crowd after winning the Heluva Good! 200 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. (Photo: Toyota Motorsports)

By Lee Montgomery

DOVER, Del. – Kyle Busch put the fans to sleep with a dominant victory Saturday in the NASCAR Nationwide Series Heluva Good! 200 at Dover International Speedway.

Busch scored his fourth Nationwide victory of the season and 34th of his career by leading all but 14 of the 205 laps as the race ended with a green-white-checkered finish. He was never truly challenged and easily pulled away from the field on the final restart.

"I had a great race car rolling off the truck," Busch said. "(Crew chief) Jason (Ratcliff) and all of the guys back at the shop at Joe Gibbs Racing did a great job in preparing a cool piece. We came out here and just fine-tuned on it a little bit yesterday, and had a great qualifying effort this morning with a new track record, and we had a fast race car today.

"Denny (Hamlin) got the jump on me on the initial start and got up there a little bit and led a few laps. I was a little too loose to get going. I chased him back down and got by him and set sail from there."

Busch survived a late-race dustup between Hamlin and Clint Bowyer, mainly because he was so good on restarts. On the next-to-last green flag, Hamlin tapped Bowyer from behind and triggered a nine-car accident and an 11-minute, 43-second red flag.

But Busch was long gone.

"We hadn’t had stumbling problems all day, so I figured we can have just a good, clean restart – don’t spin the tires, get through the gears OK and you’ll be fine," Busch said. "That’s what we did. That’s what won us the race. We just had a very fast race car. This Combos Toyota was awesome. We had a great car and all we did was just make sure we adjusted on it right and kept it out front and kept it in clean air."

Ratcliff seemed to enjoy the fresh air, too. Helps when you have a dominant car and a stellar race driver.

"It was fun," Ratcliff said. "I told Kyle earlier that he makes it fun just to sit back in that seat up there and enjoy the weather. Like he said, we had a great car all weekend. Similar to what we ran here last fall. The track kind of got away from us last fall and I knew today that would probably be the key – just stay on top of it with our adjustments.

"We did and it was a dominant car and we were able to stay up front. Had great pit stops and the guys just do an awesome job here. This is just one of those tracks for us that just seems to work with our package and our setup so hopefully we can win a lot more here."


VIDEO: Kyle Busch talks about setting a record and winning Nationwide Series race at Dover

AUDIO: Post-race press conference with Kyle Busch, Jason Ratcliff