Hamlin complained of a tender throat, had trouble breathing and dizzy spells. Then he got in the car for a 200-lap race. Hamlin said the illness shouldn’t affect him for today’s Cup race at Dover. “I get hot. I get cold,” he said. “I feel inadequate really.” The results looked like they could have come straight out of the Cup race. Martin Truex Jr., who won the Cup race on the Monster Mile in June, was second. Matt Kenseth finished third. Hamlin, Truex and Kenseth are part of the 12-driver field for the Chase for the Nextel Cup championship. “We just didn’t have the car all day long,” Truex said. “We almost pulled one off on the 20. He was really strong all day.” Hamlin was fastest in the final Cup practice earlier in the day for today’s second Nextel Cup Chase race. Mike Bliss and Reed Sorenson round out the top five. Series points leader Carl Edwards, another Chase driver, was sixth. ETC.: Kurt Busch was penalized and demoralized the last time he left Dover. His tantrum in the pits cost him 100 points and a coveted spot in the top 12 of the Chase standings. Thanks to a late surge over the final two months, the Busch recovered and qualified for NASCAR’s Chase for the Nextel Cup championship. Now the former Nextel Cup champ is back at the Monster Mile, mired in a similar points hole, with even less time to recover. He’s 102 points behind with nine races left. Another faulty part or a wreck could cost Busch and the No. 2 Dodge a chance to finish near the front of the field and all but end his shot at a second Cup championship. For a driver once known for his hot temper, Busch instead is keeping his cool. “To have a small setback in the beginning still gives you nine races to go to make up that small deficit,” said Busch, the 2004 champ. “No panic mode. We just hope this weekend at the Monster Mile is better for us.” Smith’s Las Vegas 350 Polesitter Travis Kvapil broke away from a tight pack with four laps to go and held to win the Craftsman Truck series race, while former Formula One champion Jacques Villeneuve finished 21st in his series debut. Kvapil pulled away Johnny Benson and Jon Wood at the end to match Mike Skinner and Ron Hornaday for the series lead with his fourth victory of the year. Skinner finished 13th to take over the season points lead from Hornaday, who placed 22nd. Skinner, with 3,070 points, has a three-point lead over Hornaday, who fell out of fourth place following a solo accident with 10 laps left. Benson was second, followed by Wood, Terry Cook and Erik Darnell. NHRA Fall Nationals Funny Car points leader Robert Hight failed to qualify for the O’Reilly Fall Nationals in Ennis, Texas, while Top Fuel driver Doug Herbert also dropped out to all but end his season title hopes. Three of Friday’s four qualifying leaders remained intact with J.R. Todd leading Top Fuel with a 4.541-second run, Tim Wilkerson topping Funny Car with a 4.787 and Greg Anderson fronting Pro Stock with a 6.668. The only change among the front-runners was Chip Ellis sneaking around Andrew Hines in Pro Stock Motorcycle with a double-track-record pass of 6.976 seconds at 191.32 mph Despite his DNQ, Hight remained in the points lead, but could certainly suffer if “Fast Jack” Beckman, Ron Capps or Gary Scelzi do well today. Second in the points, Beckman could do the most damage. He was in the No. 7 spot after a 4.851 in his Dodge Charger R/T. Scelzi was 10th with a 4.863, while Capps was 12th with a 4.884.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! From news services The checkered flag was the perfect tonic for the ailing Denny Hamlin Saturday in Dover, Del. Feeling weak and needing intravenous fluids before the race, Hamlin nearly threw in the towel. Good thing he held on, or else he would have missed out on bringing home a trophy. Hamlin shook off an illness and found the energy to dominate and win the caution-filled Busch Series race at Dover International Speedway for his third win of the season. “I need a nap,” Hamlin said after the race. Hamlin can on sleep on this: With the yellow flag seemingly dropping every few laps, a helmet fighting for space with the cars on the track, and full-time Cup drivers nipping at his bumper, Hamlin stayed out of the care center and parked himself in Victory Lane. Swig that soda? No thanks, he sprayed the drink on his crew. He needed water. Winning sure has a way of curing the nastiest symptoms. “It makes your mind away from it, for sure,” Hamlin said.