Kyle Larson was the most dominant racer at Dover International Speedway during Sunday’s Drydene 400. But he wasn’t the winner.
Despite leading 263 of 400 laps and boasting NASCAR’s highest average finish at the track (7.4) all time, he could not pull off a victory; that went to Alex Bowman, who led the final 98 laps to earn his second win of the season.
It seemed as if Larson — who finished in the top two for the fifth straight race at Dover — would enjoy his first win on the track since October 2019. But a wreck by Aric Almirola on Lap 302 brought the majority of the field into the pits; on Lap 304, Bowman pulled in front of Larson on pit road. The Hendrick Motorsports teammates held onto the top two positions for the remainder of the race.
Also worth noting: Hendrick drivers (Bowman, Larson, Chase Elliott and William Byron) swept the top four spots.
Sporting News tracked live updates from the Drydene 400 at Dover International Speedway. Check out the full race highlights below:
NASCAR at Dover live updates, highlights from Drydene 400
All times Eastern
5:49 p.m.: Here’s Bowman crossing the finish line and celebrating postrace:
5:36 p.m.: And the foregone conclusion becomes reality: Bowman wins the Drydene 400! Below are the (unofficial) top 10 drivers:
5:32 p.m.: Chase Briscoe seems to have suffered some significant damage to the rear of his car but managed to get to the inside track; no need for a caution with seven laps left.
5:31 p.m.: Only 10 laps remain and Bowman still has a significant lead over Larson.
5:26 p.m.: With 20 laps, Bowman has a 1.7-second lead over Larson.
5:20 p.m.: Larson now leads by over a second with 35 laps remaining.
5:18 p.m.: Oh no. It’s raining in Dover with 40 laps left; it hasn’t hit the track yet but a weather delay could come at any second.
5:01 p.m.: Bowman’s gotta be mad at that; he had a pretty significant lead over Larson that he’ll have to build back up again.
5 p.m. Caution 7 (Lap 225). There’s caution on the front straightaway.
4:58 p.m.: Larson isn’t playing around coming out of the caution. He’s right on Bowman’s rear bumper.
4:57 p.m.: … Those rain clouds in the distance are looking kind of dark. …
4:56 p.m.: Good news: Almirola has been evaluated in the infield care center and released; he gave an interview on FS1 and seemed OK.
4:54 p.m.: Curious to see who pits with 83 laps to go in the race.
4:52 p.m.: Caution 6 (Lap 315). Ricky Stenhouse Jr. bumps Alfredo in the rear off Turn 2 causing the latter to spin out into the wall; Keselowski also hit Stenhouse in the bumper, which didn’t help matters. Both Stenhosue and Alfredo are pitting, but no other cars were affected.
4:50 p.m.: Bowman doing his best to keep Larson off the lead; he has a 0.41-second lead on Lap 310.
4:44 p.m.: An interesting development: Bowman got out of pit row first, giving him the lead coming out of the caution.
4:41 p.m.: Caution 5 (Lap 302). Aric Almirola lost control on the straightaway and hit the wall heading into Turn 4. He climbed out of his car and looked to be a little shaken; His car is on fire and that should be the end of his day in Dover.
“I had to catch my breath. That one hurt,” he told his team.
4:30 p.m.: Things are heating up! Behind Larson, that is. …
4:28 p.m.: Larson now has a 2-plus-second lead over Alex Bowman; Byron, Elliott, Kurt Busch, Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Hamlin, Austin Dillon and Tyler Reddick make up the top 10.
4:19 p.m.: We’re back under green on Lap 249. Only 151 laps remaining.
4:09 p.m.: Caution 4 (Stage 2 finish, Lap 240). And there’s Larson’s second stage win; he led all but one lap in Stage 2, which Hamlin led while Larson was on pit row.
Kyle Larson dominates Stage 2 and leads every lap except for one (during a pit stop).
— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) May 16, 2021
4 p.m.: Is that good? (Remember, Elliott started the race in the back of the lineup).
3:55 p.m.: Checking in now that we’re over halfway through the 400-lap race and … yep, Larson is still in the lead.
3:36 p.m.: Caution 3 (Lap 171). Berry hit the wall, knocking him well off pace; because of where he was on the track in relation to everyone else, he couldn’t get inside into pit row without drawing the yellow flag.
3:28 p.m.: Briscoe’s back in pit row; looks like his car is off pace due to the damage he sustained in a crash just before the end of Stage 1.
3:22 p.m.: I’m not entirely certain that’s not Kyle Busch.
3:20 p.m.: Berry and James Davison, down four and six laps, respectively, were both hit for speeding penalties in pit row.
3:09 p.m.: Larson was absolutely dominant in Stage 1, with an 11.3-second lead over Hamlin at the time the caution dropped. Here’s the top 10 racers for the the stage:
Kyle Larson ended up winning Stage 1 by 11.3 seconds after Harvick went from second to fifth on the last two laps and Chase Briscoe hit the wall.
— Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) May 16, 2021
3:07 p.m: Caution 2 (Lap 119). Looks like Chase Briscoe blew his tire out and hit the wall trying to stay in front of Larson (and on the lead lap). That’s going to cost him under caution. With that, Stage 1 is concluded under caution.
2:57 p.m.: Yeah, about Kyle Busch … those engine issues aren’t going away. He’s two laps off the lead with 25 laps left in the stage.
2:51 p.m.: Meanwhile, Larson continues his run of dominance with a comfortable lead 80 laps into the Drydene 400.
2:48 p.m.: Tough break for Corey LaJoie, who has to pit under green with a flat right-front tire. He’s three laps off the lead.
2:46 p.m.: Truex appears to have nose damage, affecting his ability to turn since it was hitting the track. That problem’s only going to be exacerbated with climbing car temperatures.
2:36 p.m.: Another note: Kyle Busch manages to avoid getting lapped on caution, despite his engine issues.
2:35 p.m.: Truex Jr. comes out of the caution in 12th place after a lug nut fell out and interfered with a car jack, causing him a slow pit. Incredible.
2:31 p.m.: Larson gained a position on Byron to take the lead out of the competition caution. Harvick remains at the No. 3 position coming out of the caution.
2:30 p.m.: Uh-oh.
2:29 p.m.: Caution 1 (Competition, Lap 35)
2:25 p.m.: Lots of movement at the top of the lineup while Fox Sports 1 was on a commercial break; Truex Jr. fell from first to fourth behind William Byron (first), Larson (second) and Kevin Harvick (third). He’s roughly 5 seconds off the lead.
2:19 p.m.: Elliott has moved up 12 positions from 36, 11 laps into Stage 1.
2:15 p.m.: And there they go!
2:12 p.m.: Also of note: Josh Berry will make his Cup Series debut in the 77 car as a last-minute replacement for Justin Haley (who can’t race due to NASCAR’S COVID-19 protocols).
2:11 p.m.: Ryan Newman will join Chase Elliott (two failed pre-race inspections) at the back of the lineup due to unapproved adjustments:
UPDATE: The No. 6 car will start at the rear of the field today due to unapproved adjustments.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) May 16, 2021
2:02 p.m.: Some important race notes at Dover:
On FS1: Cup engines just fired here at Dover. Competition caution Lap 35. Stages 120-120-160 (400 laps, 400 miles). 9 sets tires. Fuel: 88-97 laps. To the rear: Elliott (2x tech failure), Berry (driver change-77). NWS: Temps 70s, 20% chance rain. @NASCARONFOX
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) May 16, 2021
2 p.m.: The engines are revved at Dover. Green flag incoming.
1:30 p.m.: Things are getting heated in the Fox studio over barbecue.
NASCAR lineup at Dover
Here is the complete starting lineup for the Drydene 400 without qualifying:
|Start pos.||Driver||Car No.||Team|
|1||Martin Truex Jr.||19||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|2||Denny Hamlin||11||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|3||William Byron||24||Hendrick Motorsports|
|4||Kyle Larson||5||Hendrick Motorsports|
|5||Kevin Harvick||4||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|6||Kyle Busch||18||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|7||Ryan Blaney||12||Team Penske|
|8||Joey Logano||22||Team Penske|
|9||Chris Buescher||17||Roush Fenway Racing|
|10||Christopher Bell||20||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|11||Tyler Reddick||8||Richard Childress Racing|
|12||Ryan Newman||6||Roush Fenway Racing|
|13||Austin Dillon||3||Richard Childress Racing|
|14||Brad Keselowski||2||Team Penske|
|15||Alex Bowman||48||Hendrick Motorsports|
|16||Chase Briscoe||14||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|17||Matt DiBenedetto||21||Wood Brothers Racing|
|18||Ross Chastain||42||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|19||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||47||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|20||Michael McDowell||34||Front Row Motorsports|
|21||Bubba Wallace||23||23XI Racing|
|22||Erik Jones||43||Richard Petty Motorsports|
|23||Daniel Suarez||99||Trackhouse Racing Team|
|24||Ryan Preece||37||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|25||Corey LaJoie||7||Spire Motorsports|
|26||Anthony Alfredo||38||Front Row Motorsports|
|27||Kurt Busch||1||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|28||Josh Berry||77||Spire Motorsports|
|29||Cole Custer||41||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|30||BJ McLeod||78||Live Fast Motorsports|
|31||Aric Almirola||10||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|32||James Davison||15||Rick Ware Racing|
|33||Cody Ware||51||Petty Ware Racing|
|34||Quin Houff||00||StarCom Racing|
|35||Garrett Smithley||53||Rick Ware Racing|
|36||Josh Bilicki||52||Rick Ware Racing|
|37||Chase Elliott*||9||Hendrick Motorsports|
*Elliott, who would have started eighth in the lineup, will start at the back for failing two pre-race inspections.
Original source here
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