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Breaking down Dover’s NASCAR betting week by the numbers

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The numbers are in after the first weekend of at-track sports betting on NASCAR at Dover International Speedway.

In conjunction with the adjacent Dover Downs Casino, the track established a tent in its FanZone to take bets from NASCAR fans just outside its main entrance Saturday and Sunday.

According to the Delaware Lottery, which oversees sports wagering in the state:

  • There was $52,600 wagered on auto racing last week at Delaware’s three casinos, including $12,100 on proposition bets.
  • Since sports betting was legalized June 5, there had been $105,900 bet on auto racing (from a total of $40.1 million wagered). So the amount bet on racing during the week that NASCAR raced at Dover nearly matched the prior total ($53,300). Since its launch four months ago, auto racing has accounted for 0.2 percent of the total amount wagered at Delaware’s three casinos.
  • Of the $601,700 bet on sports at Dover Downs last week, $17,800 was wagered in the FanZone tent (breakdowns according to sports weren’t available).
  • Last week’s “hold” for auto racing, or the amount of money kept by the Delaware Lottery after all bets on the sport were settled, was $3,700 (which is 7 percent of the total wagered on auto racing last week).

According to Dover Downs and track officials:

  • There were at least 50 winning tickets on Chase Elliott, who opened at 10-1 and went off at 17-1 before his second career victory.
  • Over the course of two days, nearly 3,000 bets were made at the tent, which had a line of more than 50 people during prerace Sunday.
  • The breakdown of NASCAR betting was roughly 60 percent on race or stage winners, 20 percent on matchups between two drivers and 20 percent on proposition betting.

 

NASCAR America: Pit road woes a familiar refrain for No. 4 team

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Kevin Harvick continues to be plagued by pit road problems. Last week on Lap 321 of the Gander Outdoors 400 at Dover International Speedway, a lug nut knocked a valve stem off his tire during a green-flag stop, forcing the No. 4 back into the pits on the following lap. He lost a lap to the leaders in the process.

It was an instance of bad luck, but it underscores a problem the driver and team have had before.

“All of these issues that we talk about and have for four years now is always things happening in the pits,” Dale Jarrett said on Tuesday’s NASCAR America. “The pit crew makes mistakes, they make a call, they have things like lug nuts flying off and hitting a valve stem. … With the level of competition and as these rounds move forward, you can’t have these types of mistakes and expect to win the championship.”

Stewart-Haas Racing has made substantial changes to the pit crew since Harvick won his first – and so far only – championship in 2014. Only two members (Mike Morneau and Justin White) who went over the wall that year remain with the team. Still, the problems persist.

“What they do … and what constantly amazes me … is they dominate a race, they let it slip away, but they come back and get something out of it,” Kyle Petty said.

On Sunday, Harvick got back on the lead lap when an axle came out of Ross Chastain’s car on Lap 339. The race restarted on Lap 349 and in the final 55 laps, Harvick was able to climb back to sixth as the checkers waved.

For more, watch the video above.

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NASCAR America: Chase Elliott’s restart skill was key to Dover win

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Before last week, Chase Elliott had a reputation he wanted to shed.

In several races during the 2016 and 2017 seasons, Elliott lost the lead on late-race restarts.

Notably, he was in position to win both Michigan International Speedway races of 2016 before finishing second to Joey Logano in June and Kyle Larson in August.

“The Chase Elliott of a couple of years ago got spanked on restarts,” Kyle Petty said on Tuesday’s edition of NASCAR America.

Elliott put that behind him at Dover. On Lap 393, he stayed on track along with Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr. while the remainder of the field pitted. Most of the top 10 cars on the restart had two fresh tires. Aric Almirola in sixth had four.

With four laps remaining in regulation, Elliott beat Keselowski on the restart and watched as a multi-car accident erupted behind him. The crash collected Keselowski and Truex, leaving Elliott as the only driver without any fresh rubber.

Elliott was forced to prove his new found skill was not a fluke. On a green-white-checkered restart, he held off the two fresh tires on the No. 11 of Denny Hamlin to take the win.

“On Sunday though, he did an outstanding job at one of … the most difficult places,” Dale Jarrett said of Elliott. “He’s on old tires … on a concrete surface but did two restarts almost to perfection.”

For more, watch the video above.

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NASCAR America: Dover ball joint failures concern teams

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Sunday’s Cup race at Dover saw two instances of rare ball joint failures on cars.

The first occurred on Jimmie Johnson‘s No. 48 Chevrolet during the pace laps and resulted in Johnson going to the garage for repairs before the green flag. He finished 36th, 17 laps off the lead.

The second failure happened to Clint Bowyer‘s No. 14 Ford and resulted in him crashing with less than 10 laps to go.

NASCAR America’s Marty Snider reported Monday that the incidents have caused “concern” in the NASCAR community over the rare failures.

“That’s a NASCAR-mandated part all the teams buy from one vendor,” Snider said. “There is concern –both those pieces have been sent to metallurgists — that there might be a bad batch of ball joints. So throughout the NASCAR community, all those pieces are being changed for Talladega and moving forward.”

Watch the above video for more from Marty Snider on Sunday’s Cup race.

Scott Miller, NASCAR’s senior vice president of competition, discussed the ball joint failures Monday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive.”

“It was a very strange failure, something that we, me as a racer and everybody in the garage area … it’s not a part that would typically fail,” Miller said. “Very strange. We looked at the parts and stuff with the team. Going to get a full metallurgy report and see if there was potentially a bad batch of material or something that led to it because it’s not a typical failure at all.”

Todd Gordon, crew chief for Joey Logano, also addressed the part issue on “The Morning Drive,” saying it “really had me scratching my head.

“I know the Hendrick guys will be looking at it, and I’m sure the parts supplier will have an intent view on (it) because that’s not something we all play in,” Gordon said. “That’s a common part across the industry. I’d say every team is looking at that and trying to understand what happened and make sure we’re not all vulnerable, too, because if Jimmie makes it through the round last week at the Roval, that’s almost a championship-run ender for any team still in the playoffs. Something that we’ll all have to understand.

“That’s a really odd part to break. I can’t ever remember a ball joint failing especially on a pace lap like that. One when it hits the wall is one thing, but to be under normal racing scenarios and have one break, or in that case under caution. From what I understand, I don’t think it was a different part than what they what they had practiced with. Really odd timing with that one.”

Rick Hendrick says Jimmie Johnson sponsorship news coming soon

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DOVER, Del. — Rick Hendrick said his team will have sponsorship news about Jimmie Johnson‘s No. 48 Chevrolet within the next 30 days.

In response to a question from NBCSports.com’s Dustin Long, the Hendrick Motorsports owner said the search for new sponsors had taken longer in part because Johnson had become so synonymous with Lowe’s, which announced in March that it would not be returning after sponsoring the seven-time champion since his 2002 rookie season.

“Sponsorships in general have been tough for everyone, and for Jimmie, we haven’t had any sponsor other than Lowe’s,” Hendrick said. “We’ve had some opportunities, but there was a conflict with some of the other sponsors we had. But we’re pretty excited. We’re going to have an announcement probably in the next 30 days or so, and I feel real good about it.

“But it’s really hard when you have someone that has been so successful, but they have been tied to one brand for a long time.  We’re excited about the next chapter there.”

After reports that the home improvement company might be reconsidering its decision and sponsoring some of Johnson’s race in 2019, Lowe’s released a statement last month to reaffirm its departure from NASCAR.