NASCAR Picks for Dover
Length: 1.000 miles
Location: Dover, Delaware
The Cup Series heads to Dover International Raceway this weekend, and the 1.0-mile concrete oval just might have the coolest nickname of any track on the schedule. The track is affectionately referred to as "The Monster Mile" because of its tendency to tear up cars in ferocious fashion. The layout of Dover's barriers is what makes the track so unforgiving, and with walls little room between the racing groove and the inside wall, any spin can send a driver bouncing like a Ping-Pong ball from the outside wall to the inside wall. To top it off, Dover's narrow pit road can be just as dangerous as the track itself.
From a fantasy standpoint, Dover is one of those unique tracks that can't really be compared to any other stop on the schedule. It has been described as Bristol on steroids, but the two tracks have little in common in terms of how a driver has to approach them. With that in mind, the best strategy at Dover tends to be relying mainly on past results at the track. After all, some of the best in the series have struggled at Dover for a majority of their careers, while some surprising drivers have enjoyed a lot of success. Even if it means taking the time to completely overhaul your roster, the effort will be well worth it.
Jimmie Johnson, #48 Lowe's/Kobalt Tools, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
He has absolutely dominated Dover throughout his career; In 24 starts at the track, he has compiled a series leading 8.7 average finish go along with eight victories. In fact, he has gone to victory lane in five of the last 10 races at the track with his most recent win coming last fall. Perhaps more impressively, Johnson has a led 1,082 laps in the last six races at the track, which are 599 more than any other driver.
Jeff Gordon, #24 Drive to End Hunger/Axalta, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
Gordon has been on a roll at Dover recently, reeling off three straight top-four finishes at the track. He has also been reliable at the track over the past several seasons, logging eight top-15 finishes in his last nine starts, including five straight. You can't beat Gordon's combination of consistency and upside.
Kyle Busch, #18 Mars Brands/Interstate Batteries, Joe Gibbs Racing [Yahoo Class A]
He is a two-time winner at Dover for his career, and Busch has been at his best at the track the past few seasons. He has finished seventh or better in seven of his last eight starts Dover (including three straight), and he finished fourth and fifth in two starts at the track last year. Meanwhile, Busch's 483 laps led at Dover over the past six races are the second most in the series.
Joey Logano, #22 Shell-Pennzoil, Team Penske [Yahoo Class B]
Logano began to figure out Dover in 2012 when he was driving for Joe Gibbs Racing, and he took his performance to the next level last year with Team Penske. Overall, he has four straight top-10s at Dover, including finishes of seventh and third last season. During the stretch, Logano has compiled a rock solid 7.0 average finish.
Clint Bowyer, #15 5-Hour Energy, Michael Waltrip Racing [Yahoo Class A]
Entering Sunday's race, no driver has a longer active streak of top-10 finishes at Dover than Bowyer. He has reeled off seven straight top-10 finishes at the track, posting a 7.3 average finish during the stretch. You will have a hard time finding a safer fantasy option this weekend.
Matt Kenseth, #20 Husky/Dollar General, Joe Gibbs Racing [Yahoo Class A]
While he has had a couple of duds at Dover recently, he has also piled up a bunch of great finishes. In fact, his eight top-five finishes in the last 12 races at the track are tied for the most in the series. During the stretch, Kenseth has only finished outside the top 10 in three starts, while notching five top-three finishes (including his second-career win).
Kevin Harvick, #4 Budweiser/Jimmy Johns, Stewart-Haas Racing [Yahoo Class A]
Not surprisingly, Harvick has been one of the most reliable drivers at Dover recently. He is riding a streak of nine straight top-15 finishes at the track heading into Sunday's race. During the stretch, Harvick has tallied six top-10 finishes, including finishes of eighth and sixth in two starts last year.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #88 National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
Junior is a former winner at Dover. He has been rounding back into top form at the track the past couple of years. In his last four starts at Dover, he has compiled a 6.8 average finish. During the stretch, Junior has logged a pair of top-four finishes, including a second-place run last fall. He has top-five upside this weekend.
Carl Edwards, #99 Fastenal/Aflac/UPS/Subway, Roush Fenway Racing [Yahoo Class B]
He always seems to end up with a solid finish whenever he gets behind the wheel at Dover. In fact, his 10.0 average finish at the track is the second best among active drivers; in 19 starts at the track, he has 15 top-15 finishes (including eight top-five finishes). Overall, Edwards has just two finishes outside the top 20 at Dover.
Brad Keselowski, #2 Miller Lite, Team Penske [Yahoo Class B]
Keselowski has been a little erratic at Dover overall, but he has been pretty stout the past couple of years. He has three top-12 finishes in his last four starts at the track, winning the fall race in 2012 and finishing fifth last June. At the very least, Keselowski should be in the mix for the top 10 this weekend.
Kasey Kahne, #5 Farmers Insurance/Quaker State, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
Although his luck at Dover has never been great, Kahne has managed to deliver solid finishes on a regular basis the past few years. He has four top-15 finishes in his last five starts at the track, picking up a pair of top-10s during the stretch. Hendrick Motorsports as a whole has been excellent at Dover lately, and Kahne should continue to benefit.
Brian Vickers, #55 Aaron's Dream Machine, Michael Waltrip Racing [Yahoo Class B]
While he has only been in the field in three of the last eight races at Dover, Vickers has cracked the top 15 in all three starts. He has one top-five finish during the stretch, and last fall he finished 12th while driving for Michael Waltrip Racing. Vickers will be driving for MWR again this weekend, and he should be able to pick up another top 15.