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Kyle Busch comes from behind to deny Chase Elliott at Dover

Brendan Marks, The Charlotte Observer on

Published in Auto Racing

DOVER, Del. -- Normally we marvel at Victory Lane, fixate on the victors of a race on any given weekend.

And that held true on Sunday, as Kyle Busch passed Chase Elliott on the second-to-last lap to win at Dover. It was his fourth win this season and second in a row, not to mention a magnificent pass at the finish, and he deserved to take his signature bow with the checkered flag after everything settled.

But for the first time in these NASCAR playoffs, there was attention paid to the middle of the pack, too. Specifically, there was attention paid to that imaginary line in the standings separating 12th place from 13th. Stay above it and you're fine, but drop below and your season is over.

Four drivers -- Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, and Austin Dillon -- failed to stay above that line and were eliminated from the playoffs as a result.

Race breakdown

Stage 1: A red flag midway through the first stage delayed the race for 15 minutes. Coming out of pit road after the subsequent caution, Brad Keselowski just edged Kyle Busch. Keselowski kept that lead for the rest of the stage to claim his fifth stage win of the season and first since Martinsville in April.

 

Stage 2: Not a ton of shakeups in the second stage, as Kyle Larson led for the majority of the 120 laps, albeit with Martin Truex Jr. on his tail for most of that time. Larson ultimately held off Truex and won his fourth stage this season.

Stage 3: Elliott led for the majority of the end of the race, and ultimately it came down to him and Kyle Busch at the end. Elliott tried to hold Busch off, but with two laps left to go, Busch overtook him on the top and managed to win his second consecutive race.

Three who mattered

Kyle Busch: This was his second consecutive win in the playoffs, and he's clearly among the favorites to make it to Homestead.

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