Drivers to watch in NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover


NASCAR heads to Dover Motor Speedway this weekend for the Next Gen’s car first race at the 1-mile banked concrete track.

Will Hendrick Motorsports be as dominant as was it was last season, sweeping the top four spots and leading most of the race? Will Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain become the first driver to win three races this season and follow his Talladega win with another visit to Victory Lane?

Here’s a look at who could be in the mix Sunday (3 p.m. ET on FS1) at Dover:


Martin Truex Jr. 

  • Points position: 8th
  • Last three races: 22nd — Martinsville; 21st — Bristol Dirt; 5th — Talladega
  • Recent at Dover: Has finished top 2 in four of the last five Dover races

It has been an up-and-down season for Joe Gibbs Racing. Truex embodies that. He’s had a four-race stretch where he had three finishes outside the top 10, and he’s had a three-race stretch of top-10 finishes.

Dover is one of his better tracks. He has three wins there. He’s scored nine top 10s in the last 11 races on the 1-mile concrete track. Truex also has led laps in nine of the last 13 Dover races.

Kyle Larson

  • Points position: 7th
  • Last three races: 19th — Martinsville; 4th — Bristol Dirt; 4th Talladega
  • Recent at Dover: Three top-3 finishes in his last three starts at the track

It’s good to be in a Hendrick Motorsports car at Dover. Hendrick drivers went 1-2-3-4 last year. Larson finished second to Alex Bowman after leading 263 of the 400 laps. The key moment came when Bowman beat Larson off pit road and went on to lead the final 97 laps last May.

Larson has led at least 85 laps in five of his last nine Dover starts. He has 10 top 10s in his last 12 races at the track. He’s finished in the top 10 in seven of his 13 career starts.

Alex Bowman

  • Points position: 5th
  • Last three races: 12th — Martinsville; 6th — Bristol Dirt; 9th Talladega
  • Recent at Dover: Defending race winner

Last year’s winner has four top fives in the last five Dover races. The Hendrick cars are again strong this season, having won four of the first 10 races. Bowman has five top 10s in the last six races this season. Since his win at Las Vegas in the third race of the year, Bowman has not finished worse than 14th in any event.


Ross Chastain

  • Points position: 9th
  • Last three races: 5th — Martinsville; 33rd — Bristol Dirt; 1st Talladega
  • Recent at Dover: Has never finished better than 15th at the track

AJ Allmendinger said on this week’s NASCAR on NBC Podcast that he views Chastain as a championship contender in Cup. Chastain and William Byron are the only drivers to score more than one win in Cup this year. Chastain has six top-five finishes in 10 races this year. The other four races he’s placed 19th or worse.

Dover, though, has not been a place where Chastain has had great success. However, it should be noted that before he drove for Chip Ganassi Racing in 2021, he was not in competitive Cup rides. It would seem likely that Chastain will change that this weekend.

Kyle Busch

  • Points position: 4th
  • Last three races: 7th — Martinsville; 1st — Bristol Dirt; 3rd Talladega
  • Recent at Dover: Two straight finishes of 11th or worse at Dover

Busch comes to Dover with questions about his future after his cryptic comments last weekend but no question about his performance. He’s scored four consecutive top-10 finishes. The three-time Dover winner has finished 27th and 11th in his last two Dover races. The only question for Busch to answer is about snapping his little drought at Dover.

Ryan Blaney 

  • Points position: 2nd
  • Last three races: 4th — Martinsville; 5th — Bristol Dirt; 11th — Talladega
  • Recent at Dover: Six consecutive finishes of 11th or worse at Dover

Blaney has not been a threat to win a Cup race at Dover in his career. He’s never finished better than eighth in 11 career starts at Dover. Four times he’s placed outside the top 20 there. Does that change this weekend?

Xfinity starting lineup at Portland: Sheldon Creed wins pole


Sheldon Creed scored his first career Xfinity Series pole by taking the top spot for Saturday’s race at Portland International Raceway.

Creed, making his 50th career series start, earned the pole with a lap of 95.694 mph on the 1.97-mile road course.

MORE: Portland Xfinity starting lineup

Cole Custer will start second with a lap of 95.398 mph. He is followed by Josh Berry (94.242 mph), John Hunter Nemechek (95.127) and Charlotte winner Justin Allgaier (94.897). Road racing specialist Jordan Taylor, driving for Kaulig Racing, qualified sixth at 94.772 mph.

The green flag is scheduled to wave 4:46 p.m. ET Saturday on FS1.

Sunday Cup race at WWT Raceway: Start time, TV info, weather


Twelve races remain until the playoffs begin in early September. Ten drivers have won races. The pressure to secure a playoff spot builds as the Cup Series heads into the summer months.

Details for Sunday’s Cup race at WWT Raceway

(All times Eastern)

START: Six-time Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee will give the command to start engines at 3:32 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:42 p.m.

PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 12:30 p.m. … Drivers meeting is at 2:40 p.m. … Driver intros are at 2:55 p.m. … Tim Bounds, pastor at The Crossing Church St. Louis, will give the invocation at 3:24 p.m. … The national anthem will be performed by Bebe Winans and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra at 3:25 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 240 laps (300 miles) on the 1.25-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 45. Stage 2 ends at Lap 140.

STARTING LINEUP: Cup starting lineup

TV/RADIO: FS1 will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. … Coverage begins at 2 p.m. … Motor Racing Network coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. and also will stream at SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the MRN broadcast.


FORECAST: Weather Underground — Partly cloudy with a high of 90 degrees and a 15% chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST YEAR: Joey Logano won the inaugural Cup race at this track. Kyle Busch was second. Kurt Busch placed third.


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Drivers to watch at World Wide Technology Raceway

Cup starting lineup at World Wide Technology Raceway


Kyle Busch will lead the Cup starting lineup to the green flag in Sunday’s Cup race at World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison, Illinois.

Busch will be joined on the front row by Coca-Cola 600 winner Ryan Blaney.

MORE: Cup starting lineup

The second row will have Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick. The third row has Martin Truex Jr. and Joey Logano.

Corey LaJoie, driving the No. 9 car in place of the suspended Chase Elliott, qualified 30th after hitting the wall on his lap.

The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:42 p.m. ET Sunday on FS1.

Kyle Busch wins Cup pole at WWT Raceway


Kyle Busch collected his first Cup pole of the season and will lead the field to the green flag in Sunday’s race at World Wide Technology Raceway.

Busch last won a Cup pole at Phoenix in November 2019. He earned his 33rd career Cup pole Saturday with a lap of 137.187 mph on the 1.25-mile speedway.

MORE: Cup starting lineup

“Being able to get a pole here with Richard Childress Racing, Team Chevy and everybody on this No. 8 team is good for us and just try to get some momentum rolling,” Busch said. “Our short track stuff hasn’t been the greatest this year so far, but this isn’t the short track aero package here this weekend, so that might pay dividends hopefully for us to just have a better day than what we anticipated. Just excited to have the guys pumped up and raring to go, and knowing that their hard work is paying off.”

Busch will be joined on the front row by Coca-Cola 600 winner Ryan Blaney, who qualified at 137.153 mph. Blaney’s car failed inspection twice before qualifying. He will lose his pit selection for Sunday’s race. His car chief also was ejected. Brad Keselowski‘s car also failed inspection twice before qualifying. He loses pit selection and had the team’s car chief ejected. Keselowski qualified 19th with a lap of 135.743 mph.

Denny Hamlin (136.903 mph) starts third and is followed by Kevin Harvick (136.766) and Martin Truex Jr. (136.360). Harvick has two top-five starts this season and both have come in the last two events.

“I think we have a little bit of work to do on our car in race trim, but a lot of it is just getting into a rhythm I think – more than anything,” Harvick said. “Qualifying, we were just a little bit tight through Turns 1 and 2, and the car was good in 3 and 4. So, we have to have a better balance, and that’s what probably cost us a little bit of speed to get the pole. But, still a good day and a good starting spot.”

Corey LaJoie, subbing for the suspended Chase Elliott, will start 30th after hitting the wall on his qualifying lap. He qualified at 134.561 mph. Carson Hocevar, making in his Cup debut in LaJoie’s car, qualified 26th with a lap of 135.220 mph.

Green flag for Sunday’s race is scheduled to wave at 3:42 p.m. ET on FS1.