NASCAR Picks for Dover
Length: 1.000 miles
Location: Dover, Delaware
The Cup Series heads to Dover International Speedway this weekend for the second race of the year at the "Monster Mile." As the nickname suggests, the concrete oval has a reputation for tearing up racecars, and the action on the track could reach a new level this Sunday. After all, the AAA 400 is the first elimination race of the new Chase format, and nine drivers are all on the bubble and will be doing everything and anything to advance to the next round.
From a fantasy standpoint, it might not be a bad idea to stack your lineup with drivers like Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Jimmie Johnson, who are already locks to advance to the next round. The chaos at the end of last weekend's race at New Hampshire that saw Chase driver after Chase driver become involved in a wreck should be all the proof fantasy owners need that Sunday's race is going to be a wild one. Drivers that have already advanced have nothing to lose so they can afford to be conservative if need be, giving them a better shot at avoiding trouble.
Jimmie Johnson, #48 Lowe's/Kobalt Tools, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
He is gunning for a season sweep at Dover this weekend, and Johnson is also going for a three-peat at the track after winning the September race last year. Overall, he is a nine-time winner at the track with three victories coming in the last five races. Meanwhile, Johnson leads all drivers with a 4.8 average finish at Dover since 2012 and has led a series-high 990 laps over the stretch.
Brad Keselowski, #2 Miller Lite, Team Penske [Yahoo Class B]
Keselowski has been coming on strong at Dover recently. He has notched three top-five finishes in his last four starts, winning at the track in September of 2012 and finishing second earlier this year. Keselowski has been on a roll in recent weeks, and he should be able to keep the momentum going Sunday.
Jeff Gordon, #24 Drive to End Hunger/Axalta, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
Although it has been a while since he has won a race at Dover, Gordon remains one of the more reliable options at the track. He has reeled off six straight Top-15s at Dover, and more importantly, he has three Top-4 finishes in his last four starts. Gordon has finished fourth and second in his last two September starts at the track so he should bounce back from his rough outing at New Hampshire in a big way this weekend.
Joey Logano, #22 Shell-Pennzoil, Team Penske [Yahoo Class B]
Coming off his fourth win of the year last weekend, Logano will head to a Dover track where he has been rock solid recently. He has finished in the Top 10 in all five starts at Dover since 2012, and he has finished eighth or better in all three starts at the track since joining Team Penske. Logano finished third at Dover last September and a similar run could be on tap Sunday.
Kyle Busch, #18 Mars Brands/Interstate Batteries, Joe Gibbs Racing [Yahoo Class A]
Busch is a two-time winner at New Hampshire, and in 19 career starts at the track, he has finished seventh or better 12 times. In fact, he has finished seventh or better in seven of his last nine Dover starts, including three of his last four. Busch also ranks second in laps led at the track since 2012 with 563, which are 479 more than the driver in the third.
Matt Kenseth, #20 Husky/Dollar General, Joe Gibbs Racing [Yahoo Class A]
It is no surprise that a rhythm track like Dover has been kind to a smooth driver like Kenseth. He is a two-time winner at Dover, and he has finished in the Top 10 in 20 of his 31 starts. More impressively, Kenseth has notched nine Top-5 finishes in his last 13 starts at the track, including a third-place finish earlier this year.
Kevin Harvick, #4 Budweiser/Jimmy Johns, Stewart-Haas Racing [Yahoo Class A]
Dover has never been Harvick's best track, but he has managed plenty of solid finishes in recent years. He has cracked the Top 15 in nine of his last 10 starts at the track, picking up six Top-10s during the stretch. Harvick also had one of the best cars at Dover earlier this year when a piece of the track surface crumbled and damaged his car, resulting in a 17th-place finish.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #88 National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
Junior is actually a former winner at Dover, but his value this weekend stems from his recently reliability at the track. He has finished 11th or better in five straight starts at Dover, and he is tied for the third-most points scored at the track during that span. Junior was also the runner-up at Dover last September so he does offer a little upside, as well.
Clint Bowyer, #15 5-Hour Energy, Michael Waltrip Racing [Yahoo Class A]
While Bowyer has definitely underachieved in 2014, he could still be worth a look this weekend at Dover. After all, he has finished in the Top 10 in his last seven starts at the track, and no driver has a longer active streak of Top-10s. Bowyer finished fourth at Dover earlier this year, and since 2012, only Jimmie Johnson has accumulated more points at the track.
Carl Edwards, #99 Fastenal/Aflac/UPS/Subway, Roush Fenway Racing [Yahoo Class B]
If not for his bouts of inconsistency this season, Edwards would be even higher in the rankings. Over the past 20 races at Dover, his 10.2 average finish is the second best in the series, and he has only finished outside the Top 15 four times during that span. Edwards finished 14th at Dover in June, and he should be able to challenge for a Top-10 this weekend.
Kyle Larson, #42 Target, Chip Ganassi Racing [Yahoo Class C]
Larson has been on a tear in recent weeks, finishing 12th or better in nine of his last 10 starts, including five straight. He has also finished third and second at Chicagoland and Dover the past two weeks. Larson finished 11th in his Dover debut earlier this year, and the rookie is once again the clear No. 1 C-List option in Yahoo! leagues and a potential Top-10 driver overall.
Denny Hamlin, #11 FedEx, Joe Gibbs Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Dover has been a house of horror at times for Hamlin, but there has been some light at the end of the tunnel recently. He has two Top-10s in his last four starts at the track, including a fifth-place run earlier this year. Considering he basically has to win Sunday to advance in the Chase, the added motivation could make Hamlin a nice boom-or-bust pick for fantasy owners willing to gamble a bit.