Race: Drydene 400
Date: October 6th
Venue: Dover International Speedway
2018 Winner: Chase Elliott (3:18:02)
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 straightaways 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 regain your grip as you drift and sway. Control is very important on Concrete tracks.
Chase Elliot (sixth selection this year) — After a win last week Chase now has top five finishes in two playoff events. He finished 12th here last year and 5th earlier this year. After really struggling to get a win, it’s clear over the last 2 years that this ghost is long gone.
Martin Truex Jr. (sixth selection this year) — He finished 7th last week after back to back wins to start the playoffs. He has top 10 wins across the board here over the last three years. He won here earlier this year.
High Risk / High Reward
Denny Hamlin (eighth selection this year) — He has a bunch of top 10 finishes at Dover over the last few years averaging in a 7th place finish. I’m nervous as he finished 21st here earlier this year and only has one playoff finish in the top 12 but I think he’s due for a good finish.
Kyle Larson (sixth selection this year) — He has a handful of 2nd place finishes at Dover over the last three years. He finished 3rd here earlier this year and he has now been in the top 15 in each playoff race so far. All of that said Kyle is the ultimate top ten one minute, bottom ten the next as he trades rubber. No top ten FedEx points racer has as many finishes 30th or worst than Kyle this season.
The Dark Horse
Clint Bowyer (fourth selection this year) — He’s sitting in the last spot of the top 12 still playoff eligible at this point. He had back to back top 10 finishes at Richmond and Charlotte and he has top ten finishes at Dover both earlier this year and his last year here where he had a 2nd place finish.
Favorite: Avg Finish 12th (32nd Percent)
High Risk/High Reward: Avg Finish 11th (28th Percent)
Dark Horse: Avg Finish 17th (45th Percent)