NASCAR at Dover notebook: Busch vocal about ‘terrible package’ at Dover

Kyle Busch

DOVER — Even though Kyle Busch left the Gander RV 400 at Dover International Speedway with a 10th-place finish, tying Morgan Shepherd’s record of 11-consecutive top-10 finishes to start a Cup Series season, he was not a happy camper.

All weekend long, Busch had been critical of the higher speeds created by a new package that increased the downforce of the race cars on the high banks of the Monster Mile.

He left the track just as blunt.

“This package sucks,” Busch said. “No question about it. It’s terrible. All I can do is bitch about it and (it will) fall on deaf ears and we’ll come back with the same thing in the fall.”

Busch could never seem to get a handle on his Toyota through Monday’s race and bounced off the wall once.

After seeing that the speeds at Dover were 15 mph faster in the middle of the long corners than they were last year, Busch issued a warning.

“You pretty much know as a driver what too fast is,” he said. “If you have a (crash) here with the speeds we are carrying into the corner, it is going to hurt. The faster you go, the harder you are going to hit the wall.

“The Indy car guys were flying around here, and they don’t come here anymore, because it was too fast, too dangerous for them.

Chase Elliott, center, chats with his pit crew before the start of Monday’s race. the Gander RV 400 at Dover International Speedway on Monday. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

Eventually, there comes a point where it becomes too fast for a stock car, too. Whether that is or not, I guess that is people other than myself to think, but I would much rather appreciate racing and being able to race at a more tolerable speed than we are going right now.”

Kevin Harvick, who finished fourth in Monday’s race, agreed with Busch about the racing conditions.

“Here’s the hard thing about the package.” Harvick said. “I think that NASCAR’s tried to accomplish a lot of things with one particular package, but you look at how the cars drive behind each other and from a driver’s standpoint it’s hard to race them – anywhere.”

No delays on Monday

While many NASCAR fans were forced to return home and to their jobs on Monday, a decent crowd returned to the Monster Mile for the rain-delayed Gander RV 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on a day that featured puffy white clouds with patches of blue sky poking through.

With little fanfare, the National Anthem and driver introductions took place before Sunday’s race was postponed, the drivers started their engines right at noon and took to the race track at 12:04 p.m.

Pole-sitter Chase Elliott led the field of 37 cars to the green flag, which finally waved at 12:07 p.m.

McLeod finishes last

Part-time Monster Energy Cup Series driver B.J. McLeod, a 35-year-old from Wauchula, Florida, had the distinction of finishing in last place in the 37-car field for Sunday’s Gander RV 400.

The driver of the No. 52 RWR Chevrolet started the race in 34th place and completed 96 laps before he retired to the garage area.

Logano reaches out to fans

Reigning Monster Energy Cup Series champion Joey Logano undoubtedly added to his fan base at Dover International Speedway on Saturday afternoon.

While all the other drivers retreated to the warmth and comfort of their RV’s in the infield, Logano crossed the race track and entered the grandstands, where he spent time talking to fans and signing autographs in the rain.

Logano said it was the least he could do.

“Here we had some many diehard fans who came out to watch our races that I felt bad for because they were all out there sitting in the rain and we were really working to get them to see a race (Sunday),” Logano said. “The least I could do was go out there and spend some time with them.”

Comcast gives back to race weekend

Hundreds of volunteers, including several NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers, volunteered to build a KaBOOM! playground outside of the Boys & Girls Club of Delaware’s Greater Dover location as part of the 18th annual Comcast Cares Day on Friday.

Xfinity drivers Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, Cole Custer, Joey Gase, Noah Gragson, Kaz Grala, Justin Haley, Matt Mills, Tyler Reddick and Zane Smith participated in the project after driving at Dover International Speedway earlier in the day.

On Saturday, Comcast donated $30,000 to the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs (DCVA). The DCVA is utilizing the grant to provide computer access and guidance to Delaware veterans and promote computer literacy/computer continuing education training. Comcast also hosted DVCA guests this weekend at the race track in Dover.

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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