Driver Group Game Picks Dover


The Cup Series travels to Dover Motor Speedway this week to take on the Monster Mile. This is a unique race track. It is a high-banked, concrete track like Bristol, and it is considered an intermediate track. The tires make a big difference at Dover. The track takes rubber well and the racing is pretty good when there is some tire-wear during the race. Hopefully, Goodyear brings a tire that allows for some good racing this week. The Wurth 400 can be seen Sunday at 2 pm ET on FS1.



I know some of you are sick of hearing it, but Hendrick Motorsports should be the team to beat Sunday. Kyle Larson and William Byron led 239 laps and finished No. 1 and No. 2 in the last intermediate track race (Las Vegas). They also combined to lead 475 laps and won the races at Phoenix and Richmond. Hendrick Motorsports has their cars dialed in this year and now they get to race at their best track. Chase Elliott won the race at Dover last year and Alex Bowman won the race at Dover in 2021. Even if you are not a fan of Hendrick Motorsports, it is a good idea to have their drivers in your lineup Sunday.

Here are the picks for the Wurth 400





KYLE LARSON (7): Larson has been the best driver on the oval tracks this year. He finished second at Las Vegas, fourth at Phoenix and he won at Richmond and Martinsville. That is an average finishing position of second-place and he has led 387 laps in those races (most in the Cup Series). So, will that success translate into a win at Dover? Larson has a series-best 122.2 Driver Rating, led a series-high 282 laps, averaged a series-best 14 Stages Points and he has a series-high fourth-place average finishing position over the last four seasons at Dover. He is clearly the driver to beat Sunday.

CHASE ELLIOTT (9): Elliott said when he returned, “The tracks coming up on the schedule are some of my best.” He was talking about Dover. Elliott led 73 laps, scored 10 Stage Points and won the race at Dover last year. He also finished third at the Monster Mile in 2021. His average finishing position in his 12 races at Dover is 9.7. That is a large sample size with a lot of success. I had to pick between William Byron and Elliott for this pick. Both should be good, but Elliott has had more success, so he gets the spot.

(CONTRARIAN PICK) DENNY HAMLIN (8): Hamlin was dominating the race at Dover last year until he came into the pits. His team did not get the lug nut on the car, so the front tire went flying off when Hamlin left the pits. Hamlin won at Dover in 2020 and he finished seventh in 2021. Hamlin should be a good pick if the No. 11 team can avoid mistakes.

GROUP A DRIVER RANKINGS: 1) Kyle Larson 2) Chase Elliott 3) William Byron 4) Denny Hamlin 5) Christopher Bell 6) Ross Chastain 7) Ryan Blaney 8) Joey Logano



KEVIN HARVICK (6): I am quickly running out of allocations with Harvick, but do not panic… This was planned before the season started. Harvick doesn’t look like a driver who is ready to retire. He finished 9th (Las Vegas), 5th (Phoenix) and 5th (Richmond) this year. Harvick also finished 9th, 6th, 1st, 4th, 4th, 4th, 6th and 1st in his last eight races at the Monster Mile. That is an average finishing position of 4.3. Harvick should be a lock for all lineups Sunday.

KYLE BUSCH (6): Busch had a horrible season last year for Joe Gibbs Racing, but the race at Dover was one of his best in 2022. Rowdy led a race-high 103 laps, scored 11 Stage Points and he finished 7th. Busch is always good on the high-banked, concrete tracks because it is similar to the Bull-Ring he grew up racing on in Las Vegas. This should be a good race to have Busch in your lineup.

MARTIN TRUEX JR. (7): Truex was a beast at Dover in 2019 and 2020. He finished 1st, 2nd, 2nd and 2nd in those races. He was racing Ross Chastain for a top-five finish when he got spun out last year. Truex also finished 7th on the intermediate track in Las Vegas earlier this season. He should be a good backup plan to have in our lineups, just in case Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch do not live up to expectations in practice and qualifying.

CHRIS BUESCHER (9): I had Alex Bowman in this spot and I felt like I have four great drivers for the race. Bowman was injured in a sprint car race, so now he in unavailable for us to use. I know I will not use my fourth driver in Group B over Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch or Martin Truex Jr., so I decided to look for a driver who could score qualifying points. That driver is Chris Buescher. He won the pole for this race last year and he finished eighth in the race. I will take a chance with the No. 17 car Sunday.

(CONTRARIAN PICK) BUBBA WALLACE (9): Do you trust Bubba?” I don’t, but he should be a good play this week. Wallace finished 4th on the intermediate track in Las Vegas earlier this season. He also finished 11th and 16th in the two races at Dover while driving the No. 23 car. It may not be a bad idea to take a chance with Wallace, “If” you trust him.

GROUP B DRIVER RANKINGS: 1) Kevin Harvick 2) Martin Truex Jr. 3) Kyle Busch 4) Chris Buescher 5) Bubba Wallace 6) Brad Keselowski 7) Tyler Reddick 8) Chase Briscoe 9) Daniel Suarez 10) Austin Dillon



JOSH BERRY (8): Berry will be in the seat of the No. 48 car this week because Alex Bowman was injured in a sprint car race. Berry has been good at Bristol and that should translate success at Dover. Berry will also get some extra seat time since he is the only Cup Series driver competing in the Xfinity Series race this weekend. I will use Berry and save an allocation with Ty Gibbs.

TY GIBBS (8): Gibbs was pretty good at Dover in the Xfinity Series. He finished 3rd at the Monster Mile last year and 5th in 2021. He is starting to figure out the Cup Series car too. Gibbs finished 9th (Atlanta), 9th (COTA) and 9th (Richmond) and 10th (Bristol). I still plan to use Josh Berry Sunday, despite Gibbs success recently. Use Gibbs if Berry is not available in your league.

 (OTHER CHOICE) RICKY STENHOUSE JR. (8): Stenhouse is locked into the playoffs after his win in the Daytona 500. That allows the No. 47 team to take some chances with pit strategy so Stenhouse can steal some track position. That is what he did last year and Stenhouse was able to finish 2nd at Dover. I do not trust that he can do it again, but if you are feeling lucky Sunday; take a chance with Stenhouse.

GROUP C DRIVER RANKINGS: 1) Ty Gibbs 2) Josh Berry 3) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 4) Ryan Preece 5) AJ Allmendinger

* Be sure to check back Sunday morning for my starting lineup.





* If you missed my updated picks before lineup lick, use John H. Nemechek, Chandler Smith, Ryan Truex and Parker Retzlaf.



Good Luck This Weekend!

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