Kyle Busch has dominated much of today’s FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover, but his Joe Gibbs Racing team is now down a bullet after Matt Kenseth suffered an engine failure while leading the race.
Kenseth had beaten Busch off pit road to take the lead at Lap 127 and was leading when he suddenly slowed down on Lap 157, which allowed Busch to take the top spot. After telling his No. 20 squad that he thought he’d just blown up the motor, the engine finally let go with a big puff of smoke on the track before he went back into the garage on Lap 160.
“Something broke in the engine,” Kenseth told Fox Sports. “It’s disappointing.”
The subsequent caution brought the leaders to the pits again, where Busch managed to keep his lead coming off with a two-tire stop. He and the rest of the front four (Martin Truex Jr. in second, Jamie McMurray in third, and Denny Hamlin in fourth) took just two Goodyears while fifth-place Juan Pablo Montoya grabbed four.
On the restart at Lap 164, Busch and Truex were side-by-side momentarily before the former started to pull away in front. However, Jimmie Johnson and Truex have remained in striking distance of “Rowdy,” who is looking for his second victory of the Dover weekend after taking the Camping World Truck Series race on Friday.
At the halfway point, Busch leads Johnson (who started back in 24th), followed by Truex in third, pole sitter Denny Hamlin in fourth, and Kasey Kahne in fifth.