What: AAA 400
When: June 4th
Where: Dover International Speedway
2016 Winner: Matt Kenseth
Brief over view of Coca-Cola 600 - sometimes you are good, and sometimes you are lucky. Austin Dillon was lucky, he led all of the last 2 laps and came through with the win. He put himself in the right place and just executed at the right time (not to mention watching Jimmie Johnson run out of gas).
Sorry these picks are late, I know Yahoo rosters are locked in but maybe this will help for anyone who has these players or is in another format where you can still make picks.
Track: Dover International Speedway. Opened in 1969, the "Monster Mile" 1 mile oval concrete track has 24 degrees banking on the turns and 9 degrees on the straightway. This is the third Concrete track that racers face after Martinsville and Bristol. The oils that hold Asphalt together grow more liquid during races meaning that there is more adhesive friction through straightways and turns but less abrasive friction which is where Concrete courses excel. Essentially on a Concrete course if you lose your grip you lose all grip vs. Asphalt you can regrain your grip as you drift and sway. Control is very important on Concrete tracks.
Jimmie Johnson. Doubling down on Jimmie in back to back tournaments. It was a gamble that he wouldn't run out of gas at the Coca-Cola 600 as he led down the final stretch and the crew ended up on the wrong end of that gamble but Jimmie led for 35 laps and made the right racing mentality to put himself in that spot towards the end. He has a good track record at Dover having won in 2014 and 2015. His car is looking great and his racing is among the best in the pack.
Kyle Larson. I backed off him for a few races and now I'm back on board. It wasn't that he was racing bad but with his continued success I have to pick my places so I don't use up all the starts too soon. He finished 2nd here last year and 3rd in 2015, that coupled with a win at Kansas (amidst a rough finish at Charlotte), he tends to have success at the Concrete tracks (Martinsville, Bristol and Dover). I think Kyle is a top 10 lock.
Ryan Newman. I want to double down here too until I see Chase Elliott have a solid race again (three consecutive 25+ finishes) Ryan looked great at Charlotte and he finished 16th at Dover last year. He probably won't be a top 5 but he is a safer top 15 finish at Dover. Keep in mind, last year at the Concrete tracks he finished: 10th (Martinsville), 9th (Bristol), 16th (Dover) and this year he has 8th (Martinsville) and 14th (Bristol).
Erik Jones. Amidst the bounce back between Daniel Suarez and Erik Jones, Daniel has put together 6 consecutive top 20 finishes but Erik looked a little sharper at Charlotte finishing 7th, I'm going with him to roll in another top 15 placing at Dover.
Michael McDowell off back to back top 20 finishes (13th at Kansas and 19th at Charlotte) goes to a place where he finished 20th last year. He could be a sneaky top 20 pick. He finished 26th at both Martinsville and Bristol and last year had top 30 finishes at both races, he is clearly a stronger racer on concrete.