Congratulations to Austin Dillon on winning his first ever Monster Energy Cup race this past weekend at Charlotte when he passed Jimmie Johnson, who ran out of gas with three laps to go, and held off Kyle Busch for the remainder of the race to claim the victory. Martin Truex Jr. lead the most laps in the Coca-Cola 600 for the third consecutive year and finished third.
Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski both were knocked out of the race early when Jeffrey Earnhardt lost an engine and a part went through the front of Chase’s car and broke an oil line or oil cooler. Chase’s car slowed down as it caught fire and Brad got in the oil that was leaking from Chase’s car and couldn’t stop as he slid through that oil and demolished his car as he ran into the back of the #24.
AAA 400 DRIVE FOR AUTISM
This week the series heads to Dover, Delaware and the Dover International Speedway for the running of the AAA 400 Drive for Autism. This is one of my favorite tracks to watch a race at. ‘The Monster Mile’ is exactly that, a one-mile high banked concrete oval which has multiple racing grooves in it. The action here is fast and seldom boring because the track is shorter than the typical intermediate track, which means the cars are always close to one another and not spread out.
Jimmie Johnson: I am picking Jimmie to shake off losing the Coca-Cola 600 on gas mileage and come away with his eleventh victory at this track. That’s right, Jimmie has ten career wins here already to go along with fifteen top five and twenty-one top ten finishes in his thirty starts at this track. Jimmie always seems to come back more determined than ever after dealing with some adversity in a race the previous week and this is the track he knows well.
Matt Kenseth: Matt won this race last year for his third victory at Dover to go along with seventeen top five and twenty-four top ten finishes in his thirty-six career starts. This team ran well at Charlotte last week and seems to be getting better every week and avoiding the bad luck that has plagued them for much of the season so far. I think Matt will give Jimmie a run for his money at the end of this race and could possibly win this race for the second year in a row.
Kyle Busch: Kyle came oh so close once again to picking up his first victory of the season when he finished second at Charlotte last weekend. This team is very hungry and this is one of the tracks where they have won multiple races in the past. Two victories, eleven top five and fifteen top ten finishes in twenty-four starts tells you all you need to know about how Kyle can get around this place and his attitude tells you that he will do whatever it takes to get back to victory lane.
Kyle Larson: Kyle finished second in this race last year and has run well every weekend for the most part this entire season. He slipped out of first place in the standings after brushing the wall at Charlotte last weekend, which knocked him out of contention after starting towards the back of the field and making his way into the top five during the second stage of the race. He only has six starts at Dover, but he has come away with two top five and four top ten finishes in those races.
Chase Elliott: Chase is another driver with out a lot of Cup experience here. In fact, he has only run two races in this series at this track and he has finished third in both of those races. I’m sure he is eager to get back to racing after getting knocked out of the Coca-Cola 600 last weekend and is even more eager to get his first win in a Cup car. I believe that will come sometime this season and it might even be this weekend.
Joey Logano: Joey is another driver who will be looking forward to getting back on the track after finishing a disappointing twenty-first last weekend. Joey is still looking for his first win at Dover, but he has finished in the top ten here in ten of his sixteen starts. This track suits his style of racing as he will be able to run either the high or low lines and might even run one line at one end of the track and the other line at the other end of the track if it improves his overall speed.
Martin Truex Jr.: Martin won the fall race here last year for his second career victory at this track. Right now this team is doing everything right, so the momentum is on his side. He could easily win this race this weekend because this team is hitting on all cylinders right now. The pit crew has been fast and nearly flawless lately which gives any driver a lot of confidence when they are pitting and makes them try even harder on the track.
Kevin Harvick: Kevin won his only race here in the fall of 2015, so it wasn’t that long ago. He is another driver looking for his first win of the season and is getting awful hungry for it right now. Even though he has only finished in the top five here five time in his thirty-two starts, two of those have come in the last four races he has run here. With the speed this team has shown over the past two plus years you can’t count them out at any track.
Brad Keselowski: Brad has one win at this track and has finished in the top six in four of his last six starts at this track. He is another driver chomping at the bit to get back to racing after his early exit last weekend. With multiple victories already this year and the speed the Ford’s have shown all year, Brad is going to be a contender this weekend once again.
Ryan Blaney: Another driver with only two starts at this track, he came away with an eighth place finish in his first race here. This team has been fast all season and this is the type of track where he should do well. He won’t need to use as much patience here in a 400-mile race on a track where you need to go so the leaders don’t pass you early in the race. I look for this team to post another top ten finish here this weekend.
YAHOO! FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR DOVER INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
Yahoo Driver Group A
- Jimmie Johnson
- Matt Kenseth
Yahoo Driver Group B
- Kyle Larson
- Chase Elliott
- Ryan Blaney
- Clint Bowyer
Yahoo Driver Group C
- Erik Jones
- Regan Smith/Driver of the #43
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT DOVER INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
- Jimmie Johnson
- Matt Kenseth
- Kyle Busch
- Kyle Larson
- Chase Elliott
Dark Horse: Ryan Blaney
Stay Away From: Denny Hamlin
Big 18: Jimmie Johnson