RELATED: Full Dover results " Updated Chase grid " Updated standings DOVER, Del. -- Kyle Busch , still looking for his first NASCAR Sprint Cup championship, remains in the title picture thanks to a runner-up finish in Sunday's AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway . The result proved to be more than enough to push the Joe Gibbs Racing driver into the top 12 in points, a necessity for those hoping to advance into the Contender Round of this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup . Busch led five times for 19 laps in an event that was dominated by defending series champion Kevin Harvick . During a weekend that saw rain limit practice time and force the cancelation of qualifying, Busch said there was enough of an unknown going into Sunday's race to hold his attention. "I had a little bit of concern just based off the short amount of practice time that we got and the way the car was feeling in those practice sessions," Busch said. "You know, I just wasn't quite as confident in it as I wanted to be. "I never really got a good feel for what I thought I needed to race. But right then and there, for today, the way we ran, I can't say enough about my team. Adam (Stevens, crew chief) and the guys, they made some really good calls and … some smart changes overnight, and we had a really fast car today. "You know, I shouldn't have been too worried, I guess. I should have put my faith in my team, which they prevailed today for me." Busch missed the season's first 11 races after suffering a broken leg and fractured foot in an XFINITY Series crash in February at Daytona International Speedway . He returned to Victory Lane five races later, and captured four of five during a hot summer stretch that saw him begin to work his way back inside the top 30 in points. Now, he's one of 12 still contending for this year's title. He's advanced through the opening Challenger Round by rallying from a 37th-place finish a week ago at New Hampshire Motor Speedway . Although outside the top 12 heading into Dover, Busch said he wasn't counting points as the race played out. "I think when you're in the position that we were in when we were running second there the whole race, you don't have to watch it," he said. "You just do the best you can and that was the best that we were going to do today. "Fortunately we came out with that finish and second-place was what we needed to do. ... The points reset so we're back even with those guys and hopefully we can have a good, solid next three races." Bonus points for race wins, awarded for during the first 26 races and used to help determine seeding for the opening round, are not awarded after the first round. Therefore, the 12 drivers advancing into the Contender Round each have 3,000 points heading into next weekend's race at Charlotte Motor Speedway .
Kyle Busch believes he finished exactly where he deserved after finishing second to Kevin Harvick at Dover.
RELATED : Full race results " Who's on the Chase Bubble? LOUDON, N.H. -- One of the strongest drivers all summer long, Kyle Busch now sits on the outside of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings looking in with one race remaining before the field is cut to 12. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver's title hopes took a significant hit Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway , as he clocked the wall between Turn 3 and 4, sending his No. 18 Toyota to the garage. "It's killed," Busch told his crew after bringing out the fifth caution flag of Sunday's Sylvania 300 . Busch , who declined comment to NASCAR.com after the race, veered out of the racing groove on Lap 159, making heavy contact with the right side of his car. "We had that short run there and the handling went away and just blew a right-front (tire)," No. 18 crew chief Adam Stevens said. "It looks like it just had a slow leak and just overworked the shoulder and finally blew out. The balance was free and it's not like we abused it, especially after we just had a fuel run. Just one of those things that happens. Sometimes you get a pin in the hole or run something over and find the fence." The result sent him tumbling toward the bottom of the 16-driver Chase field -- 13th overall and 39 points behind leader, teammate and Loudon winner Matt Kenseth -- with only Sunday's race at Dover International Speedway to advance to the Contender Round, the next three-race stage of eliminations. "( Kyle ) is bummed that we weren't a little bit quicker and he's bummed that we had a problem," Stevens said. "We can control the quicker part; we can't control the problem." Busch finished ninth in the Chase opener last weekend at Chicagoland Speedway . That effort, combined with bonus points for his four regular-season wins, gave him solid footing after the Challenger Round opener. But his extended stay in the garage for major repairs at New Hampshire dropped him to a 37th-place finish, putting extra pressure on next weekend's event. Despite the grisly outlook, by virtue of being a single point outside the cutoff behind Dale Earnhardt Jr ., it's not a do-or-die scenario at the "Monster Mile." "It's not a win-at-all-costs situation at all, which is comforting," said Stevens. "Sure (I think we can make the next round on points). Dover's a strong track for us. I haven't seen the (standings) yet at the end of the race, but a bunch of guys ran out of gas there. We were going to run third (at Dover) in Kyle's second race back and wrecked with a lapped car. I'm sure our cars have gotten better (since then) and Kyle's gotten more in shape. "There's no reason we can't go there and have a good day. Things like this happen, too. They happened to us and they can happen to anybody else." Contributing: Staff reports
Kyle Busch hits the wall after a tire goes down, putting his Chase chances in jeopardy.
RELATED: Full race results " Series standings JOLIET, Ill. -- In a race where teammates raced like archrivals to the checkered flag, Kyle Busch surged ahead of Matt Kenseth with a crossover move on the second-to-last lap and won the Furious 7 300 NASCAR XFINITY Series race by .791 seconds over his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate at Chicagoland Speedway Saturday night. The two JGR cars were the clear top of the field, but after they swapped the lead three times on Laps 176 through 178, Busch pulled out to an advantage of more than one second over Kenseth. With Busch trying to save a half-lap of fuel, however, Kenseth closed the gap in the closing laps and surged past his teammate on Lap 199, as both drivers were trying to dodge the lapped car of John Wes Townley . With Kenseth powering his No. 20 Toyota deep into Turn 3 after making the pass, Busch was able to cross over and retake the lead to the inside as Kenseth lost momentum. Busch pulled away on the final lap to win his fourth XFINITY Series race of the season, his fourth at Chicagoland and the 74th of his career, extending his own series record. Busch's car, however, was too low on all four corners when the ride height was measured during post-race inspection. NASCAR is taking the car to its tech center in Concord, N.C., for further evaluation. If penalties are warranted, they will be announced next week. RELATED: Busch's car fails inspection at Chicagoland Darrell Wallace Jr . used fuel-mileage strategy to perfection and earned himself a third-place finish, coaxing 67 laps out of his last tank of gas. Paul Menard ran fourth, followed by Ty Dillon , who moved into second place in the series standings, trailing leader Chris Buescher (seventh on Saturday) by 25 points. Defending XFINITY Series champion Chase Elliott ran 14th and dropped one position to third in points, 28 behind Buescher. Busch thought he had control of the race when he passed Kenseth for the lead on Lap 178 of 200 and began to pull away. "I thought when I got to him and I cleared him and drove away by a second-plus, it was over, and I said, 'OK. Thank you -- I can breathe a little bit," Busch said. "Then he started running us back down, and I tried to go back to the top and I was loose up there again when I went back there. "Just had to battle through there. He was right there, though … Once he lost his momentum off of (Turn) 4, it was over. That was some fun racing, though." Kenseth, who thought he had the faster car, was understandably disappointed with the outcome. "I had the best car tonight, and I got beat by a better driver," said Kenseth, who also would have preferred for Townley not to have been in the mix when the outcome of the race was decided. "It would have been nice if he'd gotten the heck out of the way, I'll tell you that," Kenseth said. "Chase (Elliott) was very courteous. He was already a lap down, and he moved down and gave us the top, because he knew that's where we were racing. "Clyde Torkel (a reference to Townley derived from the movie Stroker Ace), he just stuck it right between us. I got around him, and he passed me back when I was trying to race Kyle for the win. That was disappointing." Wallace's third-place finish was a career best for the driver of the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, who is battling sixth-place finisher Daniel Suarez for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors. "I try not to let (the rookie contest) worry me too much, but I would say it's good seeing me pass that 18 (Suarez) on the restarts every once in a while," Wallace said. "As long as we're finishing ahead of him, it will be a close battle all the way to the end."
RELATED: Full starting lineup Kyle Busch used a fast lap of 180.959 mph in the final round of group qualifying for the NASCAR XFINITY Series to take the Coors Light Pole Award at Chicagoland Speedway for Saturday's Furious 7 300 (6 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The pole is Busch's third of the season in the XFINITY Series and the 46th of his career in the series. In 11 starts at Chicagoland, Busch has three wins, seven top fives and now two poles at the 1.5-mile track. Busch is looking to make it Chicagoland sweep for the No. 54 team in the XFINITY Series. Erik Jones won the June standalone event at Chicagoland piloting the No. 54 Toyota to Victory Lane. Busch's Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Matt Kenseth and Daniel Suarez made it a clean sweep of the top three spots in the starting lineup. Kenseth (180.844 mph) will line up in the front row with Busch , while Suarez (180.542 mph) will line up in the third position. Ty Dillon (179.922 mph) will join Suarez in Row 2 for the start of the race. Ryan Blaney (179.892) and Kyle Larson (179.736 mph) will comprise Row 3. Entering Saturday's race, Chris Buescher holds a 21-point edge over defending series champion Chase Elliott and a 27-point lead over Ty Dillon . Elliott did not advance to the final round of group qualifying and will start 17th, while Buescher will line up eighth. Morgan Shepherd did not qualify for the race.
RELATED: Complete race results WATCH: 'Rowdy' post-race interview JOLIET, Ill. -- Kyle Busch 's most recent NASCAR XFINITY Series victory came with a slightly sour post-race taste Saturday at Chicagoland Speedway after the winning car was found to be too low in a post-race technical inspection. A NASCAR spokesman said that the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 Toyota failed to meet the minimum height requirement on all four corners of the car. Any potential penalties would be determined after further inspection of the car early next week at the NASCAR Research & Development Center in Concord, North Carolina. In the past, such violations have warranted P2-level violations according to the NASCAR deterrence system that was introduced before the 2014 season. Busch led 102 of 200 laps in Saturday's Furious 7 300 to notch his fourth XFINITY victory of the season and the series-leading 74th of his career.
JOLIET, Ill. -- NASCAR beefed up its policing of the restart zone this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway , but just how much help the addition of a high-definition camera manned by a "senior NASCAR official" provided remained open for debate following Sunday's myAFibRisk.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway . A restart on Lap 145 saw second-place Jeff Gordon ( Hendrick Motorsports ) wrest the lead away from Kyle Busch ( Joe Gibbs Racing ), and left the JGR group feeling as if they had been snookered. Gordon saw it differently, saying afterward that it wasn't about beating Busch , but that "it was about the guys behind me." "I started to roll a little bit and he decided not to go," Gordon said. "When we got to the second set of hash marks (indicating the end of the zone), I just went, knowing that's the rule. "I don't know if he spun the tires or what happened there. It seemed like he was trying to get a penalty put to me by not going. "He didn't go. The guy in second … the whole thing is just a mess because the box is too small. All I'm trying to do is not get beat from behind. If we roll up there slow, everybody else just hangs way back, gets huge momentum and then they take you three wide and you're either wrecked or you're going back 8-10 spots." NASCAR officials notified teams via radio that the restart "was under review" and later said the review had been completed. No action was taken. Sprint Cup Series Managing Director Richard Buck said that overall, "I thought everybody did a good job (on the restarts) and it kept getting better and better." The Gordon incident, he said, "was close, and all of our resources, especially our new resources that we were able to pull in, that helped us make the decision. We're happy about the decision, confident." Several laps were run between the time officials announced that the restart was under review and the decision that no action was warranted. "The most important thing for us is to get it right and be consistent," Buck said. "And we hear that loud and clear and that's our goal. So we will take whatever measures necessary to make sure we get it right. "But part of this process of letting the … competition know, they know now it's under review. So that gives us the opportunity to really look at it and make the right decision on the call." This weekend's Camping World Truck , XFINITY and Sprint Cup events at Chicagoland used the HD camera manned by an official on the ground to monitor restarts. MORE: Best photos from Chicagoland
The No. 18 team of Joe Gibbs Racing and longtime front tire changer Nick Odell have parted ways. Odell was changing this past weekend in the Chase opener at Chicagoland in a race in which Kyle Busch finished ninth. This is an unusual development considering the timing and that the No. 18 pit crew has been intact for eight years and is a tightly knit group. This has been regarded as one of the best pit crews for years, and Odell is a great talent. Josh Leslie will replace Odell as the front changer this weekend in the second race of the Challenger Round at New Hampshire Motor Speedway . Leslie has been doing some work with JGR the last few years and was also at Germain Racing . For more pit crew information, visit PitTalks.com
MORE: Official NASCAR release " Bowyer drops to 16th after penalty NASCAR announced P2 penalties for race-winner Kyle Busch and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Daniel Suarez on Wednesday for infractions during Saturday night's XFINITY Series' Furious 7 300 at Chicagoland Speedway . RELATED: Race-winner Busch's No. 54 fails post-race inspection After earning his series-leading 74th XFINITY victory, Busch's winning No. 54 Toyota failed post-race inspection. NASCAR officials found the car to be too low, failing to meet minimum height requirements on all four corners ( Sections 12.1 , 22.214.171.124.1. b & c, 126.96.36.199.2.b & c, 188.8.131.52.1.f, 184.108.40.206.2.a.b & d of the NASCAR rule book). In response, crew chief Chris Gayle was fined $12,500 and placed on probation through Dec. 31 2015. Car owner J.D. Gibbs was docked 10 series championship owner points. The No. 18 team, whose car is wheeled by Suarez, was penalized for modifications to the right side vertical extension panel (side skirt) following pre-race inspection ( Sections 12.1 and 20.4b and 20.4.2a of the NASCAR rule book). As a result, No. 18 crew chief Eric P. Phillips and crew member John Egbert Jr. have been placed on probation through Dec. 31, 2015. While the sanctioning body annulled governing ride-height heights for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series prior to the 2014 season, the regulations remain intact for the XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series. The Sprint Cup Series teams of Danica Patrick and Chase Contender Clint Bowyer were also penalized following Sunday's Cup event at Chicagoland. The No. 15 team was given a P4 penalty, while the No. 10 team was handed a P2.