RELATED: Stage 1 results
Brad Keselowski won Stage 1 in Sunday’s Apache Warrior 400 presented by Lucas Oil at Dover International Speedway, taking with him a precious playoff point to carry through the rest of the postseason. However, it was bubble driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. who benefited most from a caution and finished fourth to pick up important race points toward his total.
Stenhouse caught a break after Jeffrey Earnhardt brought out the caution on Lap 86 when his No. 33 Chevrolet spun and made contact with the protective barrels at the entry to pit road. Stenhouse, along with Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski, were among the drivers who had not pitted at the time of the caution, so Stenhouse jumped up to third place as a result.
Stenhouse, who started the race from the 15th spot on the grid and in the final transfer spot for the Round of 12, dropped back to 21st place in Stage 1 before the caution that helped him move up in the field.
Keselowski eventually beat Kyle Busch off pit road to take the lead before the restart, and held that lead for the stage win, his fifth of the season.
Earlier in the stage, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Larson traded the lead with Truex leading the first 25 laps, Larson the next 35 and Truex the next 22 before the caution for Earnhardt.
|1.||Brad Keselowski||Team Penske||10|
|2.||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||9|
|3.||Martin Truex Jr.||Furniture Row Racing||8|
|4.||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Roush Fenway Racing||7|
|5.||Danica Patrick||Stewart-Haas Racing||6|
|6.||Kyle Larson||Chip Ganassi Racing||5|
|7.||Chase Elliott||Hendrick Motorsports||4|
|8.||Kevin Harvick||Stewart-Haas Racing||3|
|9.||David Ragan||Front Row Motorsports||2|
|10.||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||1|
Kyle Larson took the lead on a restart from the non-preferred inside line at Dover and never looked back in winning Stage 2 of the Apache Warrior 400 presented by Lucas Oil. On Lap 174, Larson shot past Martin Truex Jr., who had led the previous four laps, and drove away for his fourth stage win of the season. Larson earned a playoff point for the stage win.
Truex Jr. finished the stage in second place, nearly a second behind Larson. Meanwhile, bubble driver Austin Dillon benefited from a caution on Lap 166 for fluid on the track from the No. 55 of Reed Sorenson. Dillon, who had taken a wave-around to get a lap down was due for a pit stop when the caution came out, allowing the No. 3 to pit with other drivers.
Dillon finished outside the top 10, though, in the stage and remained behind in the race to transfer to the Round of 12. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who did not pick up any points in Stage 2, was sitting on the 12th and final transfer spot heading into the Final Stage. Stenhouse ended up claiming the final transfer spot after a 19th-place finish. Dillon was eliminated.
|1.||Kyle Larson||Chip Ganassi Racing||10|
|2.||Martin Truex Jr.||Furniture Row Racing||9|
|3.||Chase Elliott||Hendrick Motorsports||8|
|4.||Kyle Busch||Joe Gibbs Racing||7|
|5.||Jimmie Johnson||Hendrick Motorsports||6|
|6.||Denny Hamlin||Joe Gibbs Racing||5|
|7.||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Hendrick Motorsports||4|
|8.||Brad Keselowski||Team Penske||3|
|9.||Jamie McMurray||Chip Ganassi Racing||2|
|10.||Clint Bowyer||Stewart-Haas Racing||1|