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Gordon led 60 laps midway through the race and was poised to give Hendrick Motorsports teammate and race winner Jimmie Johnson a challenge down the stretch. Gordon, though, said the No. 24 felt “weird” because of a wheel issue and had to make an early pit stop. He would later zip into first once the rest of the leaders made their scheduled pit stops.

Gordon, though, got stuck when a debris caution came out and he finished 13th. Gordon is 21st in the points standings and he needs wins starting as soon as next week at Pocono Raceway if he has any shot at making the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

“The fastest car doesn’t always win the race,” he said. “We’re sitting here in 13th. It’s silly.”

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BUSCH’S DAY: Kyle Busch did not finish at Dover and was 29th after the No. 18 Toyota suffered an engine issue.

Busch ended his streak of four straight top-five finishes and appeared headed toward another strong finish.

“We were biding our team trying to see if we couldn’t keep up with the race track,” he said.

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BIG 4-0: Dover Motorsports president Denis McGlynn said tough economic times are keeping fans away from the Monster Mile.

McGlynn said severely slashed ticket prices caused an uptick in sales, but revenues were down. McGlynn said some short-term pain in the coffers was worth it if the track can start to rebuild attendance. The track used to pack in over 100,000 fans for both Cup races, but attendance was thin Sunday.

“We have to help rebuild this audience,” McGlynn said. “What’s going on in the grandstand now is all to do with the economy. Our customers are working guys, and if they’re not working, they can’t afford to do this. That’s why we’re trying to be helpful with the ticket prices.”

McGlynn said corporate hospitality has dwindled to almost nothing at Dover.

NASCAR estimated the race drew 85,000 fans _ 3,000 more than last year’s May race.

McGlynn is celebrating 40 years at Dover where he started as director of public relations. McGlynn has been president and a director of both the motorsports and gaming companies in Dover since 1979, and has served as CEO since the companies went public in 1996.

He serves on the NASCAR Hall of Fame voting panel.

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