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NASCAR Nation – Kenseth Wins His Second of the Season 6-14-2006

By Rick Racela

Due to the scheduling of this past weekend’s races, results were not available for this issue. Here is my report on location from last weekend’s races in Dover, Delaware.
Many thought the Tony Stewart-Matt Kenseth feud would carry on all the way to the Monster Mile in Dover, Del. this weekend. It didn’t have much of a chance to take place, though. The sore Tony Stewart raced only 35 laps before being relieved of his driving duties by Ricky Rudd, and Kenseth had his hands full en route to victory lane in the Neighborhood Excellence 400.
Kenseth held off a charge in the latter stages of the race by Kevin Harvick, and then passed teammate Jamie McMur-ray to win his second race of the season. After a caution with 70-some laps to go, the field spread out and four drivers were in contention for the win: Harvick, McMurray, Jeff Burton, and Kenseth; two Roush Racing cars and two Richard Childress Racing cars.
It was the Roush cars that triumphed, with Kenseth winning and McMurray coming in second. The Childress cars followed, with Harvick in third and Burton in fourth. The Hendrick Motorsports car of Kyle Busch rounded out the top five.
As mentioned earlier, the injured Tony Stewart only raced 30 laps before turning his car over to veteran Ricky Rudd. Rudd qualified the car and practiced it most of the weekend, due to Stewart’s broken shoulder bone. Tony started the race in order to receive the driver points. The NASCAR rule book states that if a driver starts a race and then is relieved by another, the driver who started the car would receive the driver points.
When the first caution flag flew, Stewart brought the No. 20 car down pit road the second time around instead of the first time. Pit road was opened so that there would be less traffic on pit road for the switch. Once in his pit box the hurting Stewart climbed out of his car with little assistance and Ricky Rudd jumped in and began attaching the numerous safety devices and cables to his uniform. He then took the car back out onto the track before going a lap down to the leader. He finished 25th. Home-track driver Martin Truex Jr. finished 22nd.
Busch Series: As Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards, and Kurt Busch battled for the lead up front in the Stonebridge Racing.com 200, Jeff Burton was slowing making his way up through the pack around the Monster Mile in Dover, Del. But as the laps grew, so did the number on the scoring tower.
And when the lap counter struck 200, the 29 was on top.
A wreck filled race had plenty of entertainment for the Dover International Speedway crowd on hand for the race, many of whom waited in the on and off showers all morning questioning if the race was even going to be ran. But it was run, and it was run excellently. The largest wreck to note was when Todd Bodine lost control of his car on the front-stretch, collecting several cars in the process.
But it was the end of the race that caught fans’ eyes. With about 30 laps to go, Clint Bowyer and Carl Edwards began battling for the lead. As the two battled side-by-side for numerous laps, Kurt Busch, driving in only his second ever Busch Series race, caught up with the leaders and made it a three-way battle. Finally, Burton made it a four-way dash for the win.
And when it was all done, the result was Jeff Burton in first, followed by Carl Edwards, then Kurt Busch, and Clint Bowyer on the short end of the stick. Ron Hornaday quietly raced his way to fifth, well out of winning contention.
Truck Series: After the track at Dover was dried because of the 15-minute downpour that delayed qualifying for the Nextel Cup Series, the trucks hit the track, not knowing what to expect. Some felt they would have a better run, some thought the track would have more grip, and some thought it would have less. But none thought Mark Martin.
Some 165 laps later though, many saw Mark Martin seconds ahead of the rest of the field, en route to his third Craftsman Truck Series win of the year. Martin held off his hard charging teammate Carl Edwards, who finished second, in the late stages on his way to victory in the AAA Insurance 200.
Nextel Cup Series regular Kyle Busch, last year’s race winner, had a dominant truck in the middle stages and looked like he would cruise to victory, but he was black flagged by NASCAR for a loose hood pin and finished outside of the top 10. A black flag in NASCAR is a penalty flag signaling a car to come to pit road because of a problem with his or her vehicle on the racetrack. Black flags can be issued for anything from a loose lug nut, sheet metal flapping, too slow on the racetrack, or aggressive driving.
Truck Series points leader Todd Bodine finished third, while veteran race Mike Bliss finished fourth. The Toyota Tundra of David Reutimann rounded out the top five.
Coming Up: Returning to our regular schedule, The Nextel Cup and Craftsman Truck Series races from Michigan and the Busch Series race from Kentucky will be featured. Don’t miss a single second of exciting action.

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