NASCAR Dover Monday Notebook: Two Tires Beat Four and More
Joey Logano’s crash with 13 laps remaining in Monday's 400-lap Wurth 400 at Dover Motor Speedway left all of the crew chiefs with cars on the lead lap with a major decision—two fresh tires or four.
Ross Chastain, who was running second at the time, told his crew he needed four new tires.
Race-winner Martin Truex Jr., who possessed a healthy lead when the yellow waved, cited crew chief James Small’s decision to take two fresh tires as his key to victory since Small considered track position more important. Ryan Blaney and Christopher Bell also opted for two fresh tires and, along with Truex, restarted ahead of Chastain with seven laps remaining.
Chastain made it back to second but couldn’t catch Truex who finished 0.505 second ahead of him for his first victory since September 2021. Still, Chastain’s second-place finish was his best this season.
More Tire Issues
Despite NASCAR having a competition caution on lap 21 so the teams could check tire wear, a multitude of tire issues existed during Monday’s rain-delayed Wurth 400 at Dover Motor Speedway.
Daniel Suarez believes a tire going down caused his accident on lap 35.
“My car wasn’t loose, and I didn’t have a warning or anything,” Suarez said.
Joey Logano dealt with corded right-front tires throughout the race. A tire issue eventually sent him slamming into the wall on lap 387.
Others reporting tire issues included Christopher Bell, Kevin Harvick, William Byron, and Bubba Wallace.
“I couldn’t load the rear tires and we were just hanging on,” said Byron, who was the top lap leader, setting the pace four times for 193 laps.
Speeding Penalty Costs Busch Early
Kyle Busch appeared to be a victory contender early in the race, leading twice for 25 laps, but a pit road speeding penalty ended his day early.
The penalty on lap 23 relegated him to the rear of the field and when Daniel Suarez triggered a three-car accident, the nose on Busch’s Chevrolet suffered damage. He eventually had to settle for a 21st-place finish in Dover’s Wurth 400, three laps off the pace.
Berry Snares A Top-10 for Hendrick in Relief Role
Hendrick Motorsports Vice President of Competition Chad Knaus said that before the season began the organization tapped Josh Berry as its substitute driver should it need one. Starting at Dover Motor Speedway in the Wurth 400, Berry began his second go-around in that role for Hendrick with a 10th-place finish.
It was Berry’s third top-10 finish in six races for Hendrick. Two of them came during his substitution for Chase Elliott, while he recovered from a broken leg. His most recent occurred Monday at Dover while substituting for Alex Bowman, who fractured a vertebra in a sprint car accident at West Burlington, Iowa, two days after the Talladega NASCAR Cup race. Bowman is expected to be sidelined for three weeks.
“We needed a little bit more there to be a little bit better, but overall, with the amount of experience I have in Cup cars, I feel like to run about where we did was really solid,” Berry said.
Poole Angry at Chastain
Brenan Poole had a few simple words for Ross Chastain after the Trackhouse driver sent him spinning on lap 81 of the 400-lap Wurth 400 at Dover Motor Speedway: “He probably needs to get his butt whooped.”
Poole was side-by-side with Austin Dillon when Chastain hit Poole in the rear bumper, turning Poole sideways. Chastain avoided any additional contact with Poole, who then shot up the track and into Kyle Larson.
“I feel like I just got ran over,” Poole responded when asked what happened. “It seems to be something Ross (Chastain) does a lot recently.
“As soon as he (Chastain) ran into me, I just kind of got shoved into the corner, like way too deep, and then I was just immediately turned around.”
After the race, Chastain said he would go to Rick Ware Racing Tuesday and “make some of that right.”
“I owe a big apology and a bit more,” Chastain said.
Poole finished 33rd in the 36-car field. Larson continued in the event but had to settle for 32nd.