Congratulations to Matt Kenseth who punched his ticket to the second round of the Chase with his win at New Hampshire this past weekend. Kevin Harvick almost has to win the race at Dover this week if he wants to make it into the second round of the Chase and defend his championship after running out of gas with three laps left in this week’s race and ending up twenty-first after dominating the entire race.
This week the series heads to Dover International Speedway, also known as the Monster Mile, for the final race of the first round of the Chase. Dover is a one-mile high banked concrete oval track in Dover, Delaware. I like to think of this track as Bristol on steroids as the track is very similar to Bristol only twice as long.
Jimmie Johnson: Jimmie has won ten races at this track in twenty-seven starts including winning three of his last four starts here. Anyone who wins more than once in every three starts at any track is a no brainer to have on your fantasy team in any week. Look for Jimmie to compete for the win and if he doesn’t take the checkered flag he will still finish somewhere in the top five.
Matt Kenseth: Matt won’t have any pressure this week at Dover and can take a few chances if he needs to to pick up another win. Matt has won at this track twice in his career and has finished in the top ten in six of his last nine starts. He also has fifteen top ten finishes in thirty-three starts. I think he will be one of the drivers to give Jimmie a run for his money this weekend.
Kevin Harvick: Currently sitting fifteenth in the standings, Kevin needs to do everything he can to win this race. Even finishing second probably won’t be enough for him to move ahead of three other drivers and claim one of the top twelve spots in the standings. He is currently twenty-three points behind Dale Earnhardt Jr. who holds the twelfth spot at this moment. In other words if Kevin doesn’t win this race he needs to have at least three drivers who are just ahead of him to have disasters on the track.
Kyle Busch: Kyle needs a good finish this week to climb back into the top twelve in points. He is currently in thirteenth place but, only one point behind Dale and two points behind Jamie McMurray. A top five finish will launch him into the second round and Kyle usually runs well here. He has two wins, thirteen top ten, and nine top five finishes in only twenty-one starts here. I think he runs well and moves into the second round this week.
Jeff Gordon: Jeff has won five races at Dover in his career and has finished in the top ten twenty-six times in forty-five starts, including four top five finishes in his last six starts. Jeff just needs to stay out of trouble early in the race to move on to the second round but once the race progresses if he has a car that he thinks can win the race he will go for the win.
Carl Edwards: Carl has one win and twelve top ten finishes in twenty-two starts at this track. Carl is pretty safe when it comes to qualifying for the next round so he should be able to race as hard as he wants this weekend without having to worry about the point standings. This team has seemed to have gotten better lately so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Carl doing a back flip after this race.
Clint Bowyer: Clint is in a must win situation unless his twenty-five point penalty handed down by NASCAR last week for a rules violation. I don’t think the penalty will be overturned which means if Clint wants a chance at winning a championship this year he needs to win this race. Sorry Clint but that isn’t going to happen either. Although he runs well at Dover this team just hasn’t had the speed or consistently to win races this year. Hopefully he can find a good ride for next season.
Brad Keselowski: Brad is sitting comfortably in the standings right now and runs well at Dover. He has one win and four top five finishes in only eleven starts here. He fought his way back to a twelfth place finish at New Hampshire last week after getting penalized for jumping a restart late in the race. He survived that penalty but needs to eliminate all penalties if he wants to win another championship.
Ryan Newman: Ryan has three wins at Dover but none since the 2004 season. Yet, Ryan is doing just what he did last year in the Chase and that is staying out of trouble on the track and getting finishes which are good enough to qualify him for the next round. It might not be exciting and you might not hear much about him during the races but his strategy has proved to work so far.
Joey Logano: Joey is still looking for his first win at this track but he has finished in the top ten in eight of his thirteen starts here. Joey is another driver who is sitting comfortable in the standings and can just go out and race his race. The pressure comes in the future rounds where there are less drivers and you have some type of hiccup during one of the early races in that round that puts you behind the eight ball.
YAHOO! FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR DOVER INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
Yahoo Driver Group A
- Jimmie Johnson
- Matt Kenseth
Yahoo Driver Group B
- Kasey Kahne
- Kyle Larson
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Aric Almirola
Yahoo Driver Group C
- Justin Allgaier
- Danica Patrick
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT DOVER INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
- Jimmie Johnson
- Matt Kenseth
- Kevin Harvick
- Kyle Busch
- Joey Logano
Dark Horse: Kyle Larson
Stay Away From: Austin Dillon