Last weekend the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series returned for an exciting race at Talladega Superspeedway that saw the series most popular driver Chase Elliott get his first win of the season and the first for Chevrolet. This weekend he looks to keep it rolling at Dover, the Monster Mile, a track where he has the best average finish and won at last season.
Before I dive head into Dover, it’s time to recap how I fared last weekend at Dega. I had the winner Chase Elliott in one of my lineups that cashed, but he wasn’t featured in my previews for DraftKings picks and wound up winning stage two and the race. My race winning pick Almirola scored a top 10 finish and ran up front most of the day, but the Chevy strategy ruled the day to steal one from the blue ovals. Denny Hamlin & Jimmie Johnson were both whiffs with severe damage and finishing outside the top 30 and the only other pick that I had last week that wound up being a solid one based on value was Daniel Suarez. Keselowski had a late error on pit road, where he spun around and by now you’ve seen that cost him a top 10 result.
Last week’s winner Chase Elliott is probably the best at Dover of late with 5 of his first 6 starts there resulting in top 5 finish and the driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet also has the best average finish in the series at 4.33 including a win last fall at the Monster Mile. Elliott is also on the pole for Sunday’s race after pacing the field in single-car qualifying. Jimmie Johnson ranks this among his best tracks with 11 career wins at Dover and a career 9.85 average finish. It’s the last Cup track he’s won a points race on and honestly he could probably go run up front with a Chevy Tahoe. Jimmie is that damn good at Dover.
Kyle Larson is also very good at Dover scoring a top 10 in 7 of his first 10 races including a pair of runner-up finishes. Daniel Suarez is also surprisingly good at Dover with four top 10 finishes in all four of his Cup series races at the concrete one-mile track. Kevin Harvick swept both stages in last year’s spring race in route to a win and he dominated last year leading a combined 487 laps.
Dover Opening Odds:
-Kyle Busch 3/1
-Kevin Harvick 4/1
-Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano 8/1
-Clint Bowyer, Chase Elliott 12/1
-Denny Hamlin 14/1
-Kurt Busch, Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson 18/1
-Jimmie Johnson 20/1
-Erik Jones 25/1
-Daniel Suarez 50/1
-Austin Dillon 80/1
-Ryan Newman, Alex Bowman 100/1
Kyle Busch ($12,400): Busch is super expensive here, but you might have to pony up at that price with his starting position. The single car qualifying didn’t do him any favors, but any time the 18 car starts outside the top 20 you have to find a way to get him in your lineups. Busch is locked in to start the season and is tied for second among active drivers with 3 wins at Dover.
Chase Elliott ($9,800): You have the numbers above for just how good Elliott is at Dover. Add to that he’s starting P1 with the preferred pit stall and track position, Elliott should run up front and contend for another win.
Kurt Busch ($8,900): Busch has been the most consistent Chevy driver this season and the results have been there for Chip Ganassi Racing in recent years. He starting 19th and I like his chances to get to the front and contend for the win. He was fastest in opening practice.
Jimmie Johnson ($8,200): Jimmie is the man at Dover, period. He’s got the good starting position inside the top 12 as all the Hendrick cars qualified well and backed it up pacing the field in Saturday’s final practice. This might be the race the 48 snaps the points-race winless streak.
Kyle Larson ($8,000): Larson hasn’t been very good this season and that’s being modest. Given his results at Dover and the track position he’s starting with, this is Larson’s chance to get back on track. Add to that he was fastest in consecutive 10-lap average and I like the 42 car this weekend, especially at this price.
Daniel Suarez ($7,700): I’m big on Suarez this week. He’s been locked in with his new team and with his results at Dover in the past, this could be where he breaks through for that first win. Starts 14th and was top 6th fastest in final practice and 10-lap average.
Sleeper DraftKings Picks: Chris Buescher ($7,300) starts P30, William Byron ($6,700) starts P2 has Chad Knaus, Ty Dillon ($6,400) good results this season on tracks 1 mile or less & starts P25, Daniel Hemric ($6,300): top 10 last 3 Xfinity Series races at Dover & starts P23.
Race Winner Predicition:
Jimmie Johnson: You’re telling me I get an 11-time Dover winner and a 7-time champ who’s last win came at this very track and was fastest in final practice at 20/1? I’ll take that and run. Lock that puppy in.