DOVER, Del. (AP) – Moonlighting Ryan Newman tied a NASCAR Busch Series record by winning in his fourth consecutive start this season, a dominant performance in a wreck-filled race Saturday at Dover International Speedway.

Newman, who has the pole for Sunday’s Nextel Cup race here, won in Watkins Glen, Bristol and Michigan, but had not competed in the last two events. He tied the Busch Series record set by Sam Ard, who won four races in a row in 1983. Dale Earnhardt Jr. won five in a row over three years.

“It feels good to do four straight,” said Newman who is extremely confident at Dover, where he’s won three of the last four Cup races. “For some reason we show pretty quick in whatever car we run. We’ll try to do the same tomorrow.”

But polesitter Newman said speed in the race might not have been his biggest ally.

“Staying out of the wrecks is a big thing,” he said. “Qualifying up front keeps you out of trouble.”

Newman was far ahead of the cars involved in two multicar accidents in the opening laps.

The Dover 200 was a rout, with Newman leading all but seven laps, setting a record on The Monster Mile. Darrell Waltrip led 167 laps in 1985.

Newman’s Dodge beat the Chevrolet of Clint Bowyer by 1.343 seconds. Newman led the first 94 laps, falling out of the top spot during green flag pit stops. He regained the lead for the final time by passing Martin Truex Jr. on lap 124.

Reigning series champion Truex, a winner of the last two Dover races, leads Bowyer by 26 points after 29 of 35 races. Truex got a bad break when a cut tire forced him to pit with three laps to go, and he wound up 12th.

“I hate to gain points like that,” Bowyer said.

Truex took it in stride.

“It’s racing luck,” he said. “We’ll go on.”

The race was halted for 20 minutes after a 14-car pileup on the second lap. The crash began when Paul Menard hit Matt Kenseth as the cars exited the second turn on the high-banked concrete oval.

A half-dozen laps after the green flag waved, there was a five-car crash. Nearly half the cars were off the track permanently or being repaired after just 18 laps.

The winner averaged 115.644 mph in a race slowed three times by 21 laps of caution. There were eight lead changes among six drivers.

Jason Leffler finished third in a Chevy, followed by the Dodge of Reed Sorenson and Greg Biffle’s Ford.

Denny Hamlin, Rusty Wallace, Brian Vickers, Carl Edwards and Menard completed the top 10.

AP-ES-09-24-05 1713EDT

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