Key NASCAR storylines heading to Dover

In the last 18 NASCAR Cup Series races at Dover Motor Speedway (2013-2021) only three teams have visited Victory Lane – Hendrick Motorsports (nine wins during that time), Joe Gibbs Racing (five wins) and Stewart-Haas Racing (four wins).

The most recent to win at Dover Motor Speedway was Hendrick Motorsports, when Chase Elliott drove to the win last season. It was the organization’s, NASCAR Cup Series leading, 22nd victory among seven different drivers at Dover – Jimmie Johnson (11 wins), Jeff Gordon (five), Chase Elliott (two), Geoff Bodine (one), Ken Schrader (one), Ricky Rudd (one) and Alex Bowman (one). Nine of the 22 wins have come in the last 18 races (50%), half of the events from 2013-2022.

Not far behind HMS in wins at Dover is Joe Gibbs Racing with a total of nine NASCAR Cup Series Dover Motor Speedway victories; five of them coming in the last 18 events at the one-mile facility (2013-2022). The most recent Joe Gibbs Racing driver to win at Dover was Denny Hamlin in 2020; followed by Martin Truex Jr. (2019 and 2016), Kyle Busch (2017) and Matt Kenseth (2016).

The third organization to jump in on the wins at Dover Motor Speedway from 2013-2021 was Stewart-Haas Racing with four victories among two drivers – Tony Stewart (2013) and Kevin Harvick (2015, 2018, 2020).

“Dover is a racetrack that everything about it is unique,” said veteran Kevin Harvick. “The concrete, itself, all the way around the racetrack, is unique. Dover is a racetrack where you can get away with being aggressive every single lap. You have to drive the car as hard as it will go every single lap, and that’s hard to do there because there are all the little bumps that come with the concrete, the change of elevation as you go in and off the corners, and all the banking in the corners – it’s just a really, really fast racetrack. It’s also a very physical racetrack just because of all the G’s and the bouncing and everything that comes with driving around Dover. It’s a racetrack where you have to have your hands gripping on the steering wheel and gritting your teeth all at the same time in order to go fast every single lap. When your car’s off, there’s just nowhere to hide there. You wind up going a lap down, probably two laps down, because you pit early and then the caution comes out. It’s a beast of a racetrack and there’s a reason they call it the Monster Mile because you can get yourself in trouble really quick.”

This season, seven different drivers from six different organizations have won at least one race in the first 10 events; led by Kyle Busch, William Byron and Kyle Larson with two victories each. Hendrick Motorsports leads all organizations in wins this season with four victories; followed by Richard Childress Racing with two and JTG Daugherty Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, 23XI Racing and Team Penske each have one win on the year.

Defending Dover winner Chase Elliott is still looking for first win of 2023

Mired back in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings after being sidelined earlier this season due to a broken leg, the Cup Series’ Most Popular Driver and defending winner of last season’s race at Dover, Chase Elliott, heads to the Monster Mile this weekend looking to get his first win of the 2023 season; much like he did last season.

This year and last year for Elliott have been vastly different. In 2022, the Dawsonville, Georgia native was atop the point standings heading to Dover and rolled into the one-mile track fast off the hauler. He qualified fourth and led 73 laps en route to his first of five wins last season (Dover, Nashville, Atlanta, Pocono, Talladega).

Elliott returns to Monster Mile looking for his first win of the 2023 season, riding a winless streak that dates back to Talladega on Oct. 2, 2022 – 15 races ago (nine of which he has competed in).

Taming the concrete mile at Dover has come naturally for Elliott though, in 12 series starts at the Monster Mile, he has collected one pole, two wins (2018 and 2022) and nine top-five finishes. He has led 394 laps at Dover and has an average finish of 9.750 – one of just two active drivers with an average finish inside the top-10 along with his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson (6.929).

Hendrick Motorsports announces Alex Bowman out 3-4 weeks due to injury – Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, will not compete in this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series event at Dover Motor Speedway due to a fractured vertebra. He is expected to miss 3-4 weeks.

Bowman, who leads the Cup Series in average finish through 10 points-paying races in 2023, suffered the compression fracture in an accident Tuesday evening while competing in a sprint car event at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa. The 30-year-old driver was treated locally last night and evaluated again this morning in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Josh Berry, 32, will fill in during Bowman’s recovery. Earlier this season, he was the substitute for Hendrick Motorsports driver Chase Elliott in five Cup events with a best finish of second on April 2 at Richmond Raceway. The Hendersonville, Tennessee, native competes full-time for Hendrick Motorsports affiliate JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, where he has five career wins.

Next Gen delivers high-speed competition

The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season is off to another highly competitive start and below are some of the statistics that the first 10 races of the season has produced.

The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season has produced an average of 11.3 lap leaders per race through the first 10 races of the year; which is the eighth-most in the 52 years of the Modern Era (1972-2023). Up +8.7% from 2022.

In total, 33 different drivers have led laps in the first 10 races of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season; led by Hendrick Motorsports driver Kyle Larson with 468 laps led (18.13% of the total 2,581 laps run this season).

The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season has produced and average of 23.2 lead changes per race through the first 10 races of the season – the 10th-most in the Modern Era (1972-2023), and up +1.8% from last season’s 22.8 average lead changes.

In total, the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season has produced 232 lead changes in the first 10 events – Daytona (52), Fontana (28), Las Vegas (13), Phoenix (10), Atlanta (20), Austin (16), Richmond (22), Bristol Dirt (9), Martinsville (10), Talladega (57) – up four lead changes from last season’s 228 through 10 races.

The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season has produced an average Margin of Victory of 1.604-seconds; with three of the 10 races this season finishing with a Margin of Victory of under a second. And five of the first 10 NASCAR Cup Series races this season have resulted in overtime finishes – Daytona, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Austin and Talladega.

Last weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Talladega Superspeedway was a great show and stats are here to back it up.

The 2023 Talladega-1 race produced the highest total of Green Flag Passes for the Lead (GFPL) the NASCAR Cup Series has ever had in a single event with 308 Green Flag Passes for the Lead; surpassing the previous record of 219 Green Flag Passes for the Lead set a Talladega in the Fall of 2013.

The 2023 Talladega-1 race (308 GFPL) saw an increase of +146.4% in Green Flag Passes for the Lead compared to the 2022 Talladega-1 event with 125 Green Flag Passes for the Lead.

Three tracks this season have set track records in Green Flag Passes for the lead – Daytona, Richmond and Talladega.

The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season has produced 750 Green Flag Passes for the Lead through the first 10 points-paying races of the year – series-most since the Loop Data statistic was initially tabulated in 2005 (last 19 seasons).

The 2023 Talladega-1 race (15,033 Green Flag Passes) saw an increase of +87.3% in Total Green Flag Passes compared to the 2022 Talladega-1 event with 8,025 Total Green Flag Passes.

The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season has produced 55,025 Total Green Flag Passes in the first 10 points-paying races of the year – the series-most since the Loop Data statistic was initially tabulated in 2005.

Pitbull To Name Upcoming Album “Trackhouse” – This week, multi-platinum Grammy-award winning artist Pitbull announced he will release his 12th internationally distributed album on July 7, under the title “Trackhouse” and the No. 99 Trackhouse Racing team will run the album cover paint scheme this Sunday at Dover Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Cup Series race.

“When I joined Trackhouse in 2021, I told the team, we wanted to make history,” said Pitbull who became a fan of NASCAR after watching the movie Days of Thunder as a kid and is now a business partner with Trackhouse Racing.

“Music is the universal language and music is culture,” said Pitbull. “Our mission has been to build a culture at Trackhouse. We want to share it with the world.”

LOUDON, NEW HAMPSHIRE – JULY 17: Christopher Bell, driver of the #20 Rheem/WATTS Toyota, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Ambetter 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 17, 2022 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Bell, Keselowski, Elliott comment on Goodyear Tire Test at New Hampshire

2 of the last 3 Loudon race winners were back this week for a scheduled test. This test wasn’t to help the short track package, but rather a true New Hampshire test.

Christopher Bell, Brad Keselowski and Chase Elliott have made comments about the tire test they participated in at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this week ahead of the Crayon 301 on July 16.

Christopher Bell, driver of the No. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing – “For me, I’ve always felt like having a test at a racetrack has been extremely beneficial. Getting laps at Loudon is certainly beneficial for when we come back here in July, and I think all three of us should be pretty successful when we come back for the race.”

Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 6 Ford for RFK Racing – “With New Hampshire being such a great track for me, having won races here and winning the lottery to get to test here, it was certainly a track for us to bring our A-game. We’re certainly making a lot of progress today, and looking forward to hopefully finding a little bit more tomorrow to be ready for the big race here in a few months.”

Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports – “This hasn’t been historically my best track. We had an okay run here last year. I think we were really fortunate to run second to Christopher, but at the end of the day, it’s always good to go test at a place that you don’t feel like you’ve done a very good job at, at least that’s the case for me.”

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