Race: Drydene 400
Date: May 16th at 2:00pm
Venue: Dover International Speedway
2020 Winner: Kevin Harvick (2:48:07)
Dover International Speedway — Opened in 1969, the “Monster Mile” one-mile oval concrete track has 24 degrees banking on the turns and nine 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...versus on asphalt where you can regain your grip as you drift and sway. Control is very important on concrete tracks.
Martin Truex Jr. (fourth selection this year) — Not only is Martin having quite the season, he’s been arguably the strongest at Dover recently, with five consecutive top five finishes here.
Denny Hamlin (fourth selection this year) — Denny has top 10 finishes in seven of his last 10 races here, including a win last year. He is currently leading the pack in NASCAR points.
High Risk/High Reward
Kurt Busch (second selection this year) — Kurt was strong here in 2018 - 2020, finishing in the top 15 five times. His lone time outside of the top 15 he didn’t finish due to issues mid-race. He’s had a very lackluster season, finishing in the top 10 just twice across 12 races. He has rebounded okay when he finishes outside the top 30 (which he did last week at Darlington due to an accident). I think he’s a top 12 lock for this race.
Alex Bowman (third selection this year) – Alex has top five finishes at Dover three times over the last two years. After his win at Richmond, he has not finished in the top 15, but that changes this week at Dover.
The Dark Horse
Chris Buescher (fourth selection this year) – Chris’s last five races at Dover have seen continued improvement from 36th to 23rd to two top 20 finishes here last year. He finished 14th at the only other asphalt track (Bristol) earlier this year, and he now has back-to-back top 10s coming into this weekend.
Fun Fact: Jimmie Johnson won here five times!
Favorite: Avg Finish 13th (33rd Percent)
High Risk/High Reward: Avg Finish 19th (48th Percent)
Dark Horse: Avg Finish 14th (37th Percent)