Dover International Speedway isn’t very kind to non-Chase drivers.
The “Monster Mile” has hosted a Chase for the Sprint Cup race in all 12 years of the playoffs.
All 12 of those races, beginning in 2004, have been won by Chase drivers. The 1-mile concrete track also isn’t very giving when it comes to drivers who haven’t won a Sprint Cup title.
The last 15 Dover races have been won by drivers who have claimed a Cup title. Not since Greg Biffle won in Sept. 2008 has a non-champion tamed the “Monster.” But to be fair, seven of those were won by Jimmie Johnson, who has the track record with 10 wins.
The Dover Chase race winner has gone on to win the title four times with Johnson (2009, 2010 and 2013) and Brad Keselowski (2012).
Here’s who is Hot and Cold entering the final race of the first round of the Chase.
Brad Keselowski: Only driver with top-five finishes in both Chase races in 2016. Finished in top 10 in 15 of the last 19 races including top five in the last three. Led 49 laps at Dover in May, finished sixth.
Kevin Harvick: Five of his last six wins, including the last three, have come in races where he’s started 15th or worse. Earned first Dover win last fall after starting 15th and leading 355 laps. His 22 top-10 finishes this season leads all drivers. Has led most laps in last two Dover Chase races.
Kyle Larson: Top-10 finishes in four of the last five races. Worst finish at Dover in five races is 11th. Average finish at Dover is 6.2, his best track (four top 10s). Finished second at Dover in May, led 85 laps and challenged Matt Kenseth for the win the last 35 laps.
Martin Truex Jr.: Led in the last five races, the longest streak of his career. Has two wins in the last four races and four straight top 10s, his best streak this season. Finished top 10 in four of the last five races at Dover.
Jimmie Johnson: Only five top-10 finishes in the last 19 races of 2016. Ten wins at Dover in 29 starts. Led 3,003 laps at Dover, the most all-time.
Kurt Busch: Finished fifth at New Hampshire for his first top five in nine races. Only two top 10s in last seven races. His fifth-place finish at Dover in May is only top 10 in last nine races there.
Matt Kenseth: The May Dover winner. His second-place finish at New Hampshire was his first top five since being the runner-up at Indianapolis. Top 10s in three of last four races. Finished top 10 in five of last six races at Dover.
Carl Edwards: Sixth-place finish at New Hampshire was only finish better than 15th in last four races. Last top five was his runner-up finish at Kentucky. Best finish in the last seven races at Dover is 11th (fall 2014).
More notes of interest ahead of the Citizen Soldier 400
- Driver leading the most laps has won only one of the last eight races (Kyle Larson at Michigan).
- A Toyota Driver has never won the Dover Chase race.
- Denny Hamlin is the only Joe Gibbs Racing driver to never win at Dover, but he has three poles in the last six Dover races that have held qualifying.
- Three drivers led in the fall 2015 Dover race, tying the record for the fewest leaders in a Dover race.
- Ten drivers led at Dover in May, this was most drivers to lead in the last six Dover races
- There were 11 DNFs at Dover in May, this was the most DNFs at the track in the last eight races; nine of the 11 were due to accidents.