NASCAR Pre-Race Media: Top favorites/race preview for Sunday’s Drydene 400 (2 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN)

TRACK: Dover International Speedway (1 mile oval) DISTANCE: 400 Laps — STAGE 1: 120 Laps, STAGE 2: 120 Laps, FINAL STAGE: 160 Laps, MILES (400 Miles)

Starting Lineup


Favorites – Truex’s Race To Lose?

Kevin Harvick

Why not? Six straight top six finishes including two of which being wins. He was fourth in both races in 2019 and the first one of last year before winning the second race of the doubleheader weekend last season.

Denny Hamlin

Hard to ignore here. One of the fastest drivers of the season has four top seven finishes in his last six Dover starts including a runner-up in 2018 and a win last season. He’s had a top five result in literally all 750 horsepower tracks run this season.

Martin Truex Jr. 

The speed is there. Truex, has a win in the spring race of 2019 and three straight runner-ups to follow. Since 2014, he has 12 top 10 finishes (14 starts) including eight top four finishes in his last nine tries. He’s won twice on 1 mile or shorter tracks already this season and coming off of a win last Sunday.

Kyle Busch

Which Busch shows up this weekend? In the spring race, he has just one top 10 in his last six tries if you ignore last year since it took place in late summer. In fact, his 10th place showing in 2019 was his only finish in the top 15 in that time frame. But, in his last six Fall races, Busch has six top 10’s including a win and two runner-ups. Now, the weekend’s are combined…

Chase Elliott

He’s scored three top five finishes in his last five Dover starts. His other two finishes are 38th and 39th respectively.

Kyle Larson

Just look at what he’s done at this track with Ganassi. Larson, was third and first respectively in 2019. He has nine top 10’s in his last 11 starts there including six of them being in the top five. Now that he’s with Hendrick Motorsports…


Race Preview

For the first time since 1970, the NASCAR Cup Series is visiting the Dover Downs just once this year. They’ll do so this weekend in what should be a barn burner between the Joe Gibbs Racing vs. Hendrick Motorsports camps.

Martin Truex Jr. has won 3 of the 5 races on 750 tracks this season. He’s also had four straight top two results at Dover including 8 top fives in his last 9 starts there. His teammate Denny Hamlin has a top five finish in literally every 750 track run this season to go along with four top seven finishes in his last six at Dover including a win last year.

Aren’t these the two drivers to beat?

Joey Logano has been great on 750 tracks this year with a top three in all but two races, but he’s only had one top five in his last 12 Dover starts too though. He does have four top eight’s in his last five tries there though too. His teammates Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney have combined for just 1 top five since 2015. Blaney is 0-for-10 in top fives at Dover with only two total top 10’s while Keselowski’s top five came in the 2016 playoff race.

Kevin Harvick has been down this season but he has four straight top fours and six straight top sixes at Dover including a win last August too. How does he factor into this?

Then you have the Hendrick guys. Kyle Larson was third and first respectively in 2019. He has nine top 10’s in his last 11 starts there including six of them being in the top five. Now that he’s with Hendrick Motorsports…

What about Chase Elliott? He’s scored three top five finishes in his last five Dover starts. His other two finishes are 38th and 39th respectively. Alex Bowman has three top five results in his last four Dover tries while William Byron has been solid on 750 tracks this season and was fourth the last time out at Dover.


Top Stat

Since the stage era started in 2017, the eventual race winner has finished in the top 10 at the end of the two stages per race in all but one try. Furthermore, 13 of the 14 stages run have seen the eventual race winner finish in the top five. In the final stage (8 times) the race winner finished in the top 10 in all of them with a top five finish in seven of the eight. Five of the last six final stages have seen the eventual race winner finish either 1st or 2nd at that including both races last year seeing the winners sweep both stages.

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