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NASCAR America: Scan All from Dover International Speedway

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“We’re allergic to stage points.”

That’s what Denny Hamlin lamented at the end of the Stage 1 of Sunday’s Cup race at Dover International Speedway.

Hamlin had run out of gas as the stage came to a close, with his No. 11 Toyota coasting during the last two laps.

He wasn’t the only driver who had issues running out of gas. You can hear other teams worrying about gas mileage in the latest edition of NASCAR America’s Scan All.

Here are some highlights.

— “Save it hard here man, we don’t want to be the dumbass that runs out of gas.” – Crew chief Adam Stevens to Kyle Busch near the end of Stage 1.

— “That guy doesn’t even know how to freakin’ wreck.” – Ty Dillon‘s spotter, William O’Dea, after a one-car wreck by Derrike Cope.

— “I evaluated it two, three times, maybe eight times this weekend. It sucks. Every part of it sucks.” – Ryan Newman as his team discussed what was wrong with his No. 31 Chevrolet.

— “Well, that wasn’t very polite.” – Rodney Childers, crew chief for Kevin Harvick, commenting on Clint Bowyer successfully staying ahead of Harvick for the lead.

Watch the above video for more.

Clint Bowyer, Daniel Suarez lose 20 points, car chiefs for two races for Dover penalties

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NASCAR docked Clint Bowyer and Daniel Suarez 20 points each and both will lose their car chief for two points races for L1 violations discovered after last weekend’s race at Dover International Speedway.

Bowyer finished second Sunday. Suarez was third, his best Cup finish on an oval.

Bowyer’s crew chief, Mike Bugarewicz, was fined $50,000 and car chief Jerry Cook was suspended two points races. The team also was penalized 20 owner points. The No. 14 Ford violated Section 20.4.8.1, which mandates “rear window support braces must keep the rear window glass rigid in all directions at all times.” Bowyer’s finish will not count in any tie-breaking procedures.

The point penalty Bowyer received is consistent with those issued for similar violations to the teams of Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott earlier this season. Harvick is Bowyer’s teammate at Stewart-Haas Racing.

Bowyer exited Dover fourth in the standings with 380 points. He loses one spot to Brad Keselowski.

Regarding an appeal, an SHR spokesperson said the team is “evaluating its options and continuing its dialog with NASCAR.”

SHR released the following statement from Greg Zipadelli, vice president of competition:

“We had a minor part failure due to the heavy loads and track conditions experienced at Dover. It had no competitive impact, and our race car fit all the templates and passed all the inspections throughout the race weekend, including pre- and post-race.”

Suarez’s crew chief, Scott Graves, was fined $50,000 and car chief Todd Brewer was suspended for the next two points events for a violation in the rear window support and structure. The team also was penalized 20 owner points. The rear window on the No. 19 Toyota was “not flush to deck lid.”

Suarez was 17th with 234 points. He drops three spots to 20th behind Ryan Newman.

Joe Gibbs Racing will not appeal its penalties. Wesley Sherrill will serve as car chief at Kansas. The car chief for Charlotte is to be determined.

Austin Dillon‘s crew chief, Justin Alexander, was fined $25,000 and car chief Greg Ebert, was suspended one points race for the splitter on the No. 3 Chevrolet not meeting specifications.

Dillon finished 26th at Dover.

Also, Kurt Busch‘s crew chief, Billy Scott, was fined $10,000 for an unsecured lug nut.

Improved communication has boosted Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing

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Sunday saw more of the same for Stewart-Haas Racing, or at least more of what could be the new normal.

Kevin Harvick visited victory lane for the fourth time this year.

But to get the win, he had to get around a teammate. That was Clint Bowyer, who is getting used to running up front consistently for the first time in years.

Harvick passed Bowyer with 63 laps to go and ran away for the win. Bowyer came home second for his third top five of the season. Bowyer, who led 40 laps, contended despite an unscheduled pit stop for a loose wheel early in the race.

Kurt Busch finished fifth to give Stewart-Haas Racing three cars in the top five. New teammate Aric Almirola placed 11th.

“This year, we’ve been working well every single weekend,” Bowyer said. “We’re pushing each other to be better, and our setups are all relatively the same, and it shows on the racetrack. (Crew chief Mike Bugarewicz) and I have done such a way better job of communicating, and all that comes with success. Make no mistake about it, those things come with success, and we’ve had that so far this year, and it makes all the communication and everything a lot better.”

Bowyer also pointed to a restructuring at Stewart-Haas Racing in the offseason that included Busch’s former crew chief, Tony Gibson, taking an oversight position in the SHR shop. Or as team co-owner Tony Stewart said, a “floor babysitter.”

“We had one car (Harvick) last year that was running well, and it doesn’t do an organization very much if you only have one car running well,” Bowyer said. With Gibson coming off the road and “collaborating amongst the teams,” Bowyer said he is “making sure all those cars are ready for battle when they go to the racetrack” and that they’re essentially alike.

“That’s the biggest thing is when you go to the track, you need to be able to bounce off each other and work with one another, and sometimes something is different or whatever, it’s hard to do that,” Bowyer said.

SHR is making it look easy, having claimed five wins through 11 races, with Bowyer earning his first since 2012.

The team has 13 top fives and 25 top 10s among its four drivers. Last year, with the team in its first season with Ford and Danica Patrick driving the No. 10, SHR had 26 top fives (14 from Harvick) and 52 top 10s the entire season.

“When you have confidence in the cars and the tools and everything going on, I think the biggest thing is just all the cylinders are clicking right now,” said Rodney Childers, crew chief for Harvick. “The biggest thing is we haven’t went back and talked about the races that we’ve won. We go back and we talk about how to get better every week, and we build better race cars and they build better engines, and we’ve done better on pit road. To keep this going, we’re going to have to get a lot better every single week, and to keep it to where it needs to be when the championship comes around.”

Stewart said everything about SHR’s operation is “on point” through 11 races. Earlier this season he saw all four of his cars finish in the top 10 for the first time at Phoenix.

“I think Brett Favre said this in a quote once, is that success is kind of one of the worst things that can happen to you because some guys feel like they’ve got where they need to be and they lose that intensity,” Stewart said “That’s something that I feel like our group is really good about, not losing that focus on the fact that we’re a technology‑driven sport, and we have to keep pushing all the time to keep finding more things to go faster and be better than we were the week before.”

All the work SHR has put in has three of their drivers in the top six in points through 11 races. Bowyer, in his second season with SHR, is fourth.

He hasn’t finished in the top 10 since 2013.

“It’s fun to be up in the limelight,” Bowyer said.

Daniel Suarez moving in ‘right direction’ after first top five on oval

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Through the first 10 races of 2018, Daniel Suarez believes he had cars capable of placing in the top five and top 10.

“We just haven’t been able to get the deal done,” he said.

Suarez was able to do that Sunday at Dover International Speedway, finishing third for his second career top five and earning his career-best result on an oval.

In placing behind race winner Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver matched his previous career-best result of third last summer at Watkins Glen International.

Suarez started seventh, his first top 10 start since Atlanta (fourth) and placed fourth in Stage 1 and sixth in Stage 2.

Suarez credited his pit crew for putting him in a spot to compete in the top five.

“My pit crew did an amazing job right there in the last stop,” Suarez said of the pit stop that came after a red flag with 80 laps to go. He restarted fourth, gaining six spots in the pits.

“They did it right when it counts, so very proud of those guys,” Suarez said. “The team actually did great adjustments to help me in the short run when we were struggling a little bit and we were able to keep the third place, which is good for us. In the beginning of the season, we had some struggles and now finally it seems like we’re going in the right direction.”

Entering Dover, Suarez had three top 10s with a best finish of eighth (Phoenix). He had one DNF, but had finished off the lead lap six times. In his last three races he had finished 11th (Bristol) and 10th twice (Richmond, Talladega).

“I feel like I was putting a lot of pressure on myself earlier in the season, trying to put a lot of pressure on the team to get the results,” Suarez said. “The (last) month‑and‑a‑half, couple months, has been more relaxed, just trying to have fun and trying to get things going by itself, and definitely things are working better that way.”

Suarez’s previous best finish on an oval was sixth three times, in last season’s spring race at Dover, at New Hampshire and at Charlotte.

Dover is also the site of one of his three Xfinity Series wins.

Suarez now heads to Kansas Speedway for the first visit to a 1.5-mile track in four races. The sophomore driver finished seventh in that race last year and crashed out of the fall race.

“It’s always good when you have a good result and you have to go next week to try to match that or go even better,” Suarez said. “Definitely proud of my team, and right now I’m looking forward to working with my team and trying to go to Kansas just as strong as we did on this weekend.”

Kyle Busch continues to lead Cup point standings after Dover

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Even though Kevin Harvick won every stage and the race, Kyle Busch continues to own the points lead despite his first DNF of the year.

Busch has a 20-point lead over Joey Logano after the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway.

Harvick, who has four wins to Busch’s three, is 40 points back in third.

The top five is completed by Clint Bowyer (-86 points) and Brad Keselowski (-101).

Click here for the full standings.