NASCAR viewer’s guide: Dover Motor Speedway

0 Comments

Ten races into the Cup season, Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. are among the drivers who have yet to win this year.

Heading to Dover Motor Speedway for Sunday’s race (3 p.m. ET on FS1) might be what Elliott, Harvick or Truex need. All three have won at the 1-mile track recently.

Truex has three wins at this track, tied for his most Cup wins anywhere. Elliott has eight top-five finishes, including a win, in 11 Dover starts. Harvick, winless in his last 53 races, has three Dover victories. He’s placed sixth or better in the last seven races there.

Here are some of the key storylines this weekend at Dover:

Seeking old times 

Hendrick Motorsports dominated last year’s race, finishing 1-2-3-4 and leading 382 of the 400 laps. Alex Bowman won and was followed by teammates Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott and William Byron. 

The race marked the third consecutive top-three finish for Larson at Dover. His average finish of seventh at Dover is the best at the track among drivers who have made two or more Cup starts there.

Bowman has finished in the top five in four of the last five Dover races.

Elliott is winless in his last 26 Cup races, but his seven top 10s through the first 10 races of the season are the most he’s had at this point in any year. He has placed in the top 10 in each of the last three races this season.

Byron has two wins this year. He and Ross Chastain are the only drivers to win multiple Cup races this season.

7s are wild

Could Sunday see the seventh consecutive different winner at Dover? The last six Dover winners have been Alex Bowman, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr. and Chase Elliott. This is the longest stretch of different winners at Dover since there were nine in a row from 2004-08.

Getting closer to celebrating?

Richard Childress Racing has yet to win this season but has three runner-up finishes, including in the last two races. Tyler Reddick was second on the dirt at Bristol. Austin Dillon was second at Talladega.

The six top fives by RCR this year already are more than the team’s total for last season, which was four.

Entry lists

Thirty-six cars are on this week’s Cup entry list, meaning none will miss Sunday’s race.

Ryan Preece is back in the No. 15 for Rick Ware Racing. AJ Allmendinger will run the No. 16 for Kaulig Racing. Josh Bilicki will drive the No. 77 for Spire Motorsports.

NASCAR Cup Series Entry List — Dover Motor Speedway

In the Xfinity Series, 39 cars are on the entry list. One car will fail to qualify.

ARCA points leader Rajah Caruth will make his second career Xfinity start, driving the No. 44 for Alpha Prime Racing. John Hunter Nemechek is back in the No. 18 for Joe Gibbs Racing. Chandler Smith, who is second in the Camping World Truck Series points, will make his second career Xfinity start, driving the No. 26 for Sam Hunt Racing.

NASCAR Xfinity Series Entry List — Dover Motor Speedway

This weekend’s schedule and forecast

(All times Eastern)

Friday, April 29

Forecast: Sunny, high of 61 degrees with wind gusts of 10-20 mph

  • 1:15 – 2:30 p.m. — ARCA East practice/qualifying
  • 3 – 3:30 p.m. — Xfinity practice (FS1)
  • 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. — Xfinity qualifying (single-vehicle, two laps, two rounds, FS1)
  • 5:30 p.m. — ARCA East race (125 laps/125 miles, Motor Racing Network, will air at 1 p.m. ET May 6 on USA)

Saturday, April 30

Forecast: Sunny, high of 64 degrees with wind gusts of 10-15 mph

  • 10:30 – 11:15 p.m. — Cup practice (FS1)
  • 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. — Cup qualifying (Group A & B, single-vehicle, two laps, two rounds, MRN, FS1)
  • 1:30 p.m. — Xfinity race (200 laps/200 miles; FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Sunday, May 1

ForecastPartly cloudy, high of 65 degrees with a slight chance of rain

  • 3 p.m. — Cup race (400 laps/400 miles; FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)