Kyle Busch is offering up shades of June 2008 this afternoon in Dover. Busch took the lead on the 35th lap of the race and has seldom been out of the top spot since. Through 225 laps, Busch has held the lead for 181 circuits in as dominant a drive as he has enjoyed in quite some time.
One of his terrific performances came four years ago this past June, in his first race at Dover for Joe Gibbs Racing. Busch led 155 of the final 164 laps and left just five of his rivals on the lead lap. He had help that day from an early 11-car pileup and a 153-lap green flag run at the end of the race. Today, a caution flag right at the end of a cycle of green flag pit stops on lap 69 has left only seven cars on the lead lap.
Denny Hamlin currently trails Busch. He led the opening 34 laps from the pole and has added four more laps at the front. Jimmie Johnson runs third and has yet to lead a single lap thus far this afternoon. Even if his car were to sprout rockets and blast past Hamlin and Busch on the next circuit, he would still have his second-fewest laps-led total at Dover since 2009. Brad Keselowski and Jeff Gordon complete the top-five. Rounding out the lead-lap cars are Clint Bowyer and Carl Edwards. Mark Martin, Kasey Kahne, and Joey Logano complete the top-10 and duel for the "Free Pass" spot.