The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will travel to the Monster Mile this week for the Gander RV 400. Dover is not considered a short track but you would not know it from watching the race. This is a fast track which provides for some exciting racing. The Gander RV 400 can be seen Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.
The MENCS will be back to their regular schedule this week. The first practice is Friday at 11 a.m. ET (No TV). Qualifying is Friday at 3:30 p.m. ET (FS1). There will be two practices Saturday. The first is at 9 a.m. ET (FS1) and final practice is at 12 p.m. ET (FS1). There is also a Truck Series Race Friday (5 p.m. ET FS1) and an Xfinity Series race (Saturday 1:30 p.m. ET FS1).
Stewart-Haas Racing dominated the spring race at Dover last year. Kevin Harvick won the pole, won both Stages, led a race-high 201 laps and took home the trophy. His teammates ran well too. Clint Bowyer scored 8 Stage points and finished 2nd and Kurt Busch finished 5th. Joe Gibbs Racing also ran well with Daniel Suarez scoring 12 Stage points and finishing 3rd and Martin Truex Jr. finishing 4th.
Race Rewind at Dover: AAA 400 (2018)
Here are my picks for Dover…
DraftKings NASCAR Preview
There are 400 laps in the race Sunday. That means there are 100 points available for leading laps and 200 points available for fastest laps. That is a lot of dominator points. The trend at Dover is to have two main dominators. The first leads 210 laps and the second dominator leads 100 laps. The driver leading the race tends to score most of the fastest laps too. Dominators 1 scores 140 bonus points and Dominator 2 scores 70 bonus points. It will be very important to have the main dominators in our lineups this week.
The drivers I expect to dominate the race Sunday include: Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott and Kevin Harvick
Top 15 DraftKings Drivers in Last 6 Races at Dover
|Avg. Finish Pos.||Laps Led||
|1. Kevin Harvick||
|2. Martin Truex Jr.||
|3. Kyle Larson||
|4. Chase Elliott||
|5. Jimmie Johnson||
|6. Brad Keselowski||
|7. Daniel Suarez||
|8. Kyle Busch||
|9. Joey Logano||
|10. Denny Hamlin||
|11. Clint Bowyer||
|12. Erik Jones||
|13. William Byron||
|14. Austin Dillon||
|15. Aric Almirola||
I will post my final DraftKings picks no later than Sunday morning.
Fantasy Live Preview
The drivers who ran well in the races using the 750 HP aero package will be highly considered for my team this week. I will also factor in past history at Dover and practice speeds. So far this season practice speeds have not translated into race speed as much as they have in the past. So I will give this aero package 50% weight for my picks, past performance 25% weight and practice times 25 % weight. This formula has worked better than simply going off of practice speeds this season.
*Pick for the Pole*: Our pick for the pole needs to be in before qualifying at 3:30 p.m. ET Friday. My pole pick will be posted after the first practice Friday (12:30 p.m. ET).
Here are the drivers I have penciled in right now…
5 Starting Drivers
Martin Truex Jr. (7): The Mayetta, N.J. boys loves racing at his home track. Truex has an average finishing position of 4.5 at Dover since 2015 (8 races). Last year he qualified 3rd and finished 4th in this race. Joe Gibbs Racing has been the best team using the current aero package. I expect them to dominate the race Sunday. Truex will have a good chance to win his 3rd race at the Monster Mile this week.
Chase Elliott (9): Elliott has been “Mr. Reliable” at the Monster Mile. Elliott has started 6 races at Dover in his career. He has finished 5 of them in the top 5, including a trip to Victory Lane last October. Elliott has also scored Stage points in 7 of the 8 Stages at the track. He should run well Sunday.
Kurt Busch (8): Busch is the only driver who finished both races at Dover in the top 5 last year. Busch started 9th and finished 5th in the spring and he started 7th and finished 5th in the fall. Busch always runs well at the high-banked concrete tracks. He finished 2nd at Bristol last month. The No. 1 car has been really good this season. I expect Busch to add another top-5 finish to his 2019 resume this week.
Jimmie Johnson (8): u have to take a chance with Johnson this week. He has 11 wins, 3,105 laps led and finished 70% of his races at Dover in the top 10. Johnson ran well in the last2 races using the current aero package. He finished 10th at Bristol and 12th at Richmond. Johnson usually performs better at Dover than he does at those tracks. That means he should finish in the top 10 again Sunday.
Daniel Suarez (10): Dover is the best track for Suarez. He has competed in 4 races at the Monster Mile and he has never finished outside the top 10. His average starting position at the track is 8.5 and his average finishing position is 6.75. That is pretty good. Suarez is having a good season. He finished 8th at Bristol last month. He should finish higher than that on the concrete surface of Dover.
My Garage Driver this week will likely be Kevin Harvick. If we go off of the stats, Harvick should dominate the race Sunday. He led 201 laps in the spring race at Dover last year and 286 laps in the fall. The No. 4 car has not been hitting on all cylinders this season so I am going to be cautious with my allocations with Harvick. If the No. 4 car looks fast and qualifies up front, I will use him in my starting lineup.
My Bonus Picks will be updated after I see the cars on the track this weekend. Here are my thoughts right now…
Pick for the Pole: Martin Truex Jr.
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr.
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch
Race Winner: Kyle Busch
Winning Manufacturer: Toyota
** Photos from NASCAR Media
If you need any further advice with your team, look for me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCAR
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