Kyle Busch outduels Joey Logano for Nationwide win in Dover

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‘Twas a tale of two races today at Dover International Speedway for the NASCAR Nationwide Series, with a pair of Sprint Cup veterans at the center of it all.

Pole sitter Joey Logano held the point for the first half of today’s 200-mile event. But on a round of yellow-flag stops just before halfway, Kyle Busch went to the front and held on to not only capture his fifth NNS victory of 2014, but a sweep of the NNS races this year at the “Monster Mile.”

Busch’s fifth career NNS win at Dover also helped him become the all-time leader in NNS triumphs at the track, too.

Meanwhile, Chase Elliott overcame damage from an early incident and rallied to finish third, pushing his NNS championship lead to 26 points over JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith (finished eighth) with five races left.

Roush Fenway Racing’s Chris Buescher held steady for a fourth-place result, and Busch’s JGR teammate, Elliott Sadler, completed the Top 5. Kyle Larson, Brian Scott, Smith, Trevor Bayne, and Ty Dillon rounded out the Top 10.

The opening stint of the race featured two cautions for multi-car wrecks, but the second of those yellows looked to have a big impact.

On Lap 40, Tanner Berryhill and Kevin Swindell wrecked off of Turn 4 right in front of Elliott, who tagged the outside frontstretch wall and then got into the back of Swindell before driving away.

Under the caution, Elliott took right-side tires to take the lead off pit road but came back to have the damaged front end of his No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet taped up.

Also occurring in that caution period was Larson leaving his pit box with a gas can and briefly dragging his gas man along for the ride. Said gas man was uninjured after tumbling to the ground, but Larson was hit with a pit road penalty.

Both Larson and Elliott took the Lap 47 restart outside the Top 20. Immediately, the two young phenoms charged toward the lead pack but while Larson’s run stalled around 11th place, Elliott kept going into the Top 5 by Lap 90.

“I was gonna give it my best shot, regardless of however the thing looked like,” Elliott said about driving back to the front. “I’m really, really proud and frustrated at the same time. I felt like we had a good car from the get-go and I made a mistake just following too close behind those guys off [Turn] 4.

“I saw it coming and I couldn’t get stopped fast enough…I got on the brakes and I couldn’t get it whoa’ed down. Just a big thanks to [crew chief] Greg [Ives] and all these guys for not giving up on me and getting this thing patched up the correct way where nothing else was gonna tear up and the body would fall apart.”

Logano stretched his lead, eventually pushing it past the five-second mark before a caution came out at Lap 97 for possible fluid on the track. That led to the second stop for the leaders and the critical lead change, as Busch’s crew was able to get their man out of the pits ahead of Logano.

At this point, it was Busch’s turn to dominate proceedings but a debris yellow with 53 laps left erased his advantage of several seconds. However, in the subsequent round of stops for the leaders under caution, Busch was able to maintain his spot at the front of the field over Logano, Elliott, Buescher, and Scott.

Logano tried to hang with Busch on the restart with 47 laps left, but Busch staved off the attack and then expanded his lead again. He ultimately took the checkered flag by a margin of 2.545 seconds.

Valtteri Bottas takes pole position for season-opening Austrian GP

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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas upstaged Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to take pole position Saturday for the Formula One Austrian GP.

The Finnish driver edged out the world champion by 0.012 seconds to claim the top spot for the season opener at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. He clenched his fist as he climbed out of his car and shared a hug with Hamilton.

“It’s something special when you push the car to the limit,” said Bottas, who is chasing an eighth career win. “Feels so good. It’s very impressive (from the team).”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was third, and Lando Norris gave McLaren a boost by finishing fourth. Verstappen has won the past two years here, including 2019 when he started third behind Hamilton and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

“It’s going to be interesting quite a bit warmer tomorrow and hopefully this will play to our advantage,” Verstappen said. “Today, Mercedes was on a different level, unfortunately. Last year we were also a little bit off in qualifying so I expect we will be a bit better in the race.”

Bottas had the leading time when drivers embarked on their final laps and beat his own mark before sliding off the track into the gravel.

Hamilton was chasing a record-extending 89th career pole. He was ahead but then dropped off slightly as Bottas secured a 12th career pole.

“Great job by Valtteri. It’s a great start to the season,” Hamilton said. “We show year on year that we continue to be the best team. We’re open-minded … constantly learning from each other and pushing the boundaries.”

Ferrari struggled for speed, with Leclerc nearly one second behind in seventh and Sebastian Vettel failing to make it into the third and final part of qualifying, known as Q3. He starts the race from 11th on the grid.

Vettel is leaving Ferrari at the end of the season with his future in F1 uncertain.

Earlier, Hamilton posted the fastest time in morning practice. The 35-year-old British driver was also quickest in both sessions on Friday.

Midway through third practice, F1 newcomer Nicholas Latifi misjudged the exit of a turn and spun his Williams car into a protective tire wall.