NASCAR at Dover Notebook: Kyle Busch OK but burned up after late wreck

DOVER — For a guy coming off two broken legs, the last thing Kyle Busch needed was to get in another wreck.

But his late-race accident in Sunday’s FedEx 400 at Dover International Speedway was nothing compared to the one he suffered at Daytona in February.

And the fact that Busch was able to walk away from the mishap on his own two feet was pretty good news for Busch.

That doesn’t mean he was happy about it, however.

“I hate it for my guys,” said Busch. “We had a really good run going, obviously. We were in the top five all day long. … This is is a shame. This isn’t what we need.

“We weren’t going to win today but it doesn’t help when you finish 40th.”

Busch actually finished 36th. The accident occurred with just 23 laps remaining.

It was unclear what caused the wreck but Busch went up high coming out of Turn 3 and was hit from behind by Brian Scott.

Busch, who started 10th, led a total of seven laps on Sunday. He ran in the top five for 90 percent of the race.

After missing 11 races due to his season-opening wreck, Busch was granted a waiver by NASCAR to make him eligible for the Chase. He still has to win a race and finish in the top 30 in the points standings to qualify.

Larson takes third

Kyle Larson left Charlotte last Sunday not feeling very good about his weekend.

But he was in a considerably better mood on Sunday after posting a third-place finish at Dover.

“I’m really happy with how our team rebounded from last week,” said Larson. “We were terrible at Charlotte.”

Larson’s first top-five finish of the season jumped him two spots to 20th in the Sprint Cup points standings. He also helps gets his season pointed in the right direction.

“It was our first good run of the year,” said Larson. “Hopefully we’ll have many more. Hopefully this will transition into some momentum for us.”

Back-and-forth race for Junior

Dale Earnhardt Jr. got to see both ends of the field in Sunday’s race.

After qualifying 16th, Junior had to start in the back of the field for changing the rear differential of his car.

In the past, the move wouldn’t have been penalized. But NASCAR changed the rule this season so that drivers couldn’t qualify using a different setup.

But Earnhardt Jr. didn’t let the tough start hold him back. He not only worked his way up to the front, he ended up leading three laps.

Junior picked up another penalty, though. On lap 247, he lost a lap for pitting before pit road was open.

This time, Earnhardt never did fully recover, finishing 14th in the race.

Pit notes

A total of seven drivers were penalized for pitting before pit road was open while another six were penalized for surpassing the 35 mph speed limit on pit road. … NASCAR legend Bobby Allison waved the green flag at the start of the race. … Trevor Bayne was called to the NASCAR hauler after the race for leaving his car before the safety workers got to him after a crash. … The race went 74 laps at the start without a caution. That was the longest green-flag start for a race this season. … The 89-degree temperature on Sunday made it the hottest race this season so far. … Aric Almirola’s fifth-place finish was his best of the season. … Brett Moffitt (28th) was the highest-finishing rookie driver.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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