The NASCAR Cup Series will travel to Dover Motor Speedway this week. This track is a high-banked, concrete oval track that most drivers say is like riding a roller coaster. Nicknamed, “The Monster Mile,” Dover typically creates some good racing up front, but passing is tough once a driver gets stuck in traffic. The Wurth 400 can be seen Sunday at 1 pm ET on FS1.
STRATEGY FOR DOVER
The Fantasy Live picks bounced back at Talladega after a rough race at Martinsville. It wasn’t easy though. Most of the drivers in the lineup last week benefitted from the late race wrecks to finish in the top-10. I will take the points however I can get them on a Superspeedway. The Garage pick continues to be jinxed. I put Brad Keselowski in the Garage because he was running the first two Stages outside the top-30. He finished fifth. Who knew I should have put Joey Logano in the Garage to score 25 more points. The Garage pick jinx cannot last all season, can it?
The drivers from Hendrick Motorsports and Joe Gibbs Racing have a history of dominating the races at Dover. Kevin Harvick has also been really good at the Monster Mile. The last 17 races at Dover have been won by a driver from Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing or Kevin Harvick. I plan to have a lot of drivers from these teams in my lineup Sunday.
Track position has been important in the Gen-7 car and I expect the same at Dover. The teams are no longer allowed to build their own cars and create a competitive advantage. NASCAR issues the cars and the specs are all the same. It is hard to pass when everyone has nearly the same car. NASCAR will likely have a competition caution, so that should help the drivers who start in the middle of the pack who have a fast car.
Here is my lineup for the Wurth 400…
KYLE LARSON (6): It may be tough to finish at the top of your league standings without Larson in your Lineup Sunday. He has a series-high 122.2 Driver Rating at Dover, led the most laps, scored the most Stage Points and has a series-best fourth-place average finishing position in the last six races at the Monster Mile. Larson posted the second-fastest speed in practice. “Yung Money” has a great chance to get back to Victory Lane Sunday.
CHASE ELLIOTT (9): Elliott looked a bit rusty at Martinsville, but he looked like the driver we expected at Talladega last week. Elliott is fully back and ready to rock at the Monster Mile. He won this race last year and he finished third in 2021. Elliott had the second-fastest car on the long-runs in practice and he posted the fourth-fastest speed. I have a lot of allocations left with Elliott, so I will burn one this week.
WILLIAM BYRON (5): I am running low with my allocations with Byron, but he has been at his best on the intermediate tracks this year. Byron won the races at Las Vegas and Phoenix and he looks fast again this weekend. The No. 24 car posted the third-fastest speed in practice and he starts eighth in the race. There are only four intermediate tracks left on the schedule (Kansas, Charlotte, Darlington and Michigan), so I have no problem using another allocation with Byron at Dover.
MARTIN TRUEX JR. (10): Truex was a beast at Dover in 2019 and 2020. He finished 1st, 2nd, 2nd and 2nd in those four races. He finished 19th in 2021 and 12th last year. So what happened? The No. 19 car was running 4th late in the race in 2021 when he his team did not get the lug nuts tight on a pit stop. Last year Truex was running third on the last lap when Ross Chastain took him out. He is always fast at Dover and the No. 19 car looks fast again. Truex posted the seventh-fastest speed in practice. I will take a chance with Truex Sunday and hope he stays out of trouble.
DENNY HAMLIN (7): Hamlin talked on his podcast (Actions Detrimental) about Kyle Busch teaching him how to drive at Dover and Rowdy taught the No. 11 team how to set up a car for Dover. Hamlin went out and led 218 laps and finished fifth after his chat with Rowdy. Hamlin led 115 laps the next year and went to Victory Lane in the next race. The No. 11 car posted the ninth-fastest speed in practice. Hamlin thinks he will have a car that can win the race and his stats back it up. I will use an allocation with Hamlin at Dover.
(GARAGE PICK) KEVIN HARVICK (5): I like having drivers who are locks for a top-10 finish in my lineup. Harvick is as close to a lock at Dover as he is at any track. He has finished 9th, 6th, 1st, 4th, 4th, 4th, 6th and 1st in his last eight races at the Monster Mile. Harvick did not look fast in practice, but he usually is a lot faster in the race than he is in practice. I am not worried about running out of allocations with Harvick, because I plan to fade him in some of races over the summer. I will have Harvick and his eight consecutive top-10 as an insurance policy in the Garage.
Good luck and be sure to follow me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCAR. I will send out a Tweet during the race to let you know if I plan to swap out one of my drivers for my Garage pick.