DOVER, Del. Kyle Busch revels in his role as NASCAR's villain. He enjoys his role as the top driver so much more.
Busch was simply sensational again, dominating the second half of the 400-mile race Sunday at Dover International Speedway and racing to his Sprint Cup series-best fourth win of the season.
Busch made it 10 victories total this season, including two in the Craftsman Truck Series and four in the Nationwide Series. He won for the third time in the last five Cup races.
"It was definitely a great race for us there," Busch said. "We didn't have the car to beat today."
And when the Joe Gibbs Racing driver doesn't find himself in Victory Lane at the end of a Cup race, he's pretty close: Busch earned his fifth straight top-three finish and hasn't finished outside of the top 10 in any of the last seven races.
Team owner Joe Gibbs was in the middle of the celebration on pit road while Busch took a bow from his No. 18 Toyota and saluted his crew.
He's the points leader after a race where the standings underwent a shakeup because an early race wreck took out several contenders.
Busch heard the familiar boos during pre-race introductions which have cemented his status as NASCAR's least-popular driver. He has some fun in the role and seems to have accepted the fact he's NASCAR's latest "Bad Boy."
"I want to thank all the fans even if they're not Kyle Busch fans," he said.
Roush Fenway Racing teammates Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle were second and third in the Best Buy 400. Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon rounded out the top five.
"No good," said Edwards, who won the race here in September. "Not what we came here to do.
Busch, Biffle and Edwards were lucky to be out front early and miss the 10-car wreck on the 18th lap that took out five of the top eight Chase drivers. Elliott Sadler was turned into the wall, and his No. 19 Dodge was smashed into by Tony Stewart's No. 20 car, triggering a massive pileup that put several cars in the garage and ended all hope of contention.
Danny Hamlin was knocked out of the race, and Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Clint Bowyer all returned later with their cars either missing a hood, a fender or running 100-plus laps behind. But they didn't want to quit and give up a shot at earning needed points, even if all the best the drivers could do was run slow and try and stay out of the way of the leaders.
Kasey Kahne also had his car damaged in the accident and finished 31st after winning last week.
Hamlin suffered the most in the standings, dropping from fourth to ninth. Bowyer, Harvick and Stewart all fell three spots. Biffle rocketed from 11th one spot away from the Chase cutoff to fifth in the standings.
Stewart took the blame for running too close to Sadler. Stewart lost his chance at victory last week at Charlotte after the No. 20 Toyota got a flat tire with three laps left.
"Unfortunately, adversity is our motto here at Joe Gibbs Racing," Stewart said.
Well, unless you're on Kyle Busch's team.
Biffle, the pole sitter, led 99 of the first 100 laps and was cruising on the concrete until his car had some issues that quickly dropped him off the pace. Busch didn't take the lead for the first time until the 150th lap on the 1-mile concrete track. He would lead 158 laps.
"In the end, he got his car right and was able to drive off," Biffle said.