NASCAR Picks for Dover
Length: 1.000 miles
Location: Dover, Delaware
Article: FedEx 400 Practice Recap: Drivers to Watch
Fantasy owners should have known it was going to be a long night at Charlotte when a rope from the sky fell and started damaging cars before the sun even went down. From there, a rash of engine issues and multi-car wrecks decimated the field. It got so bad that Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ended up 14th despite being two laps down. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that things will get easier this weekend when the series heads to Dover International Speedway. The concrete oval has been known to cause some carnage of its own, leading to the "Monster Mile" nickname. With walls on both sides of the track and a narrow pit road, staying out of trouble is easier said than done at Dover.
For fantasy owners, tackling the "Monster Mile" is also easier said and done. Outside of a select group of drivers, there just aren't many consistent options to turn to, which makes filling out fantasy rosters a serious roll of the dice. Heck, even some of the most consistent drivers at Dover have some really bad finishes on their resume. Of course, Fox is suspending the use of their overhead camera for this weekend's race, so there is at least one less thing to worry about this weekend.
Jimmie Johnson, #48 Lowe's/Kobalt Tools, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
He swept both races at Dover as a rookie and hasn't slowed down since, entering Sunday's race with seven wins at the track. Four of those wins have come in his last 10 starts, and Johnson has compiled a series-leading 4.7 average finish and nine top-10s during the stretch. More impressively, he has led 1,764 laps in the 10 races, which are 1,126 more than the next closest driver.
Matt Kenseth, #20 Husky/Dollar General, Joe Gibbs Racing [Yahoo Class A]
Kenseth has been piling up wins and top-five finishes all year, and now he heads to a Dover track where he has been excellent throughout his career. In addition to his two wins, he has 13 top-five finishes, which happen to be his most at any track on the schedule. More importantly, Kenseth leads all drivers with eight top-five finishes in the last five races at Dover.
Kyle Busch, #18 Mars Brands/Interstate Batteries, Joe Gibbs Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Dover has been kind to Busch lately, and in his last six starts at the track, he has finished seventh or better five times. He is also a two-time winner at the track in his career, and Busch has finished seventh or better in 10 of his 16 starts overall. To top it off, he has led the second-most laps in the series in the last 10 races at Dover, so he is a definite threat to win Sunday.
Carl Edwards, #99 Fastenal/Aflac/UPS/Subway, Roush Fenway Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Although he only has one victory at Dover, Edwards has been a steady force for fantasy owners at the concrete oval. His 8.3 average finish at the track is the best among active drivers, and in his last 12 starts, he has finished worse than 11th only once. Edwards also has eight top-five finishes during the stretch, so he provides the perfect blend of reliability and upside.
Clint Bowyer, #15 5-Hour Energy, Michael Waltrip Racing [Yahoo Class A]
As his 13.2 average finish at Dover suggests, Bowyer has always been decent at the track. However, he has been really dialed in lately. Bowyer has four straight top-10s at Dover, compiling a 7.0 average finish during the stretch. He has also logged his two best finishes at the track in the last two June races.
Kasey Kahne, #5 Farmers Insurance/Quaker State, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
When Kahne made his Cup Series debut at Dover, he was cruising to a win when oil from a lap car sent him spinning into the wall. He has never had a great shot at a win at the track since, but he has run very well lately. Kahne has three straight top-15 finishes at Dover, compiling a 9.3 average finish during the stretch.
Kevin Harvick, #29 Budweiser/Rheem, Richard Childress Racing [Yahoo Class A]
Harvick is suddenly red hot, and he is heading to a track where he has enjoyed a lot of success in recent years. He has reeled off seven straight top-15s at Dover, including three top-10s in his last four starts. Harvick was also runner-up in the June race last year, so a top-five finish isn't out of the question.
Martin Truex, Jr., #56 NAPA Auto Parts, Michael Waltrip Racing [Yahoo Class B]
His lone Cup Series win to date came at Dover in 2007, and Truex has been dialed in at the track again recently. He has three top-10s in his last four starts, including finishes of sixth and seventh last year. No, he hasn't shown the muscle needed to get back to victory lane at Dover, but Truex has proven he can be a top-10 option at the track.
Brad Keselowski, #2 Miller Lite, Penske Racing [Yahoo Class A]
After opening his career with five straight finishes outside the top 10 at Dover, Keselowski ended the drought in a big way with a victory last fall. The victory followed a 12th-place effort in June, so he has been improving at the track overall. That being said, Dover still isn't his best track statistically speaking, and given his mini slump recently, fantasy owners shouldn't bank on Keselowski making a return trip to victory lane this weekend.
Jeff Gordon, #24 Drive to End Hunger/Axalta, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
Since the start of the 2006 season, Gordon only has two finishes worse than 13th in 14 starts at Dover. On the flip side, he has just three top-five finishes during the stretch, so he probably isn't headed for victory lane this Sunday. That being said, Gordon is likely to be in or around the top 10 this weekend and still has plenty of fantasy value because of his consistency.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #88 National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class B]
The former Dover winner snapped out of a long slump at the track last season. Junior finished fourth in the June event and followed it up with an 11th-place run, marking his best year at Dover since 2004. Hendrick Motorsports tends to run well at the track in general, so another solid run for Junior seems likely.
Mark Martin, #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1, Stewart-Haas Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Over the course of his career, Martin has won four races at Dover and compiled a solid 12.3 average finish. More importantly, he has actually gotten better with age, improving his average to 9.3 since the start of the 2003 season. In fact, Martin has cracked the top 15 in eight of his last nine starts at Dover, logging four finishes of fourth or better during the stretch.