NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 Drive For Autism
Dover International Speedway Distance: 400 miles (400 laps)
Sunday, May 15 1 p.m. ET TV: FS1, 11:30 a.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
NASCAR XFINITY Series Ollie’s Bargain Outlet 200
Dover International Speedway
Distance: Two Heat Races – 40 miles (40 laps) | Main – 120 miles (120 laps)
Saturday, May 14 2 p.m. ET TV: FOX, 2 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series JACOB Companies 200
Dover International Speedway Distance: 200 miles (200 laps)
Friday, May 13 5:30 p.m. ET TV: FS1, 5 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
No One Better At Dover Than Jimmie Johnson
Last season, Jimmie Johnson notched his 10th career win at Dover International Speedway – aka the Monster Mile – to become just the fifth driver to visit Victory Lane at least 10 times at a single track. If he takes the checkered flag in Sunday’s AAA 400 Drive for Autism at Dover (1 p.m. ET on FS1), Johnson will join Richard Petty and Darrell Waltrip as the only drivers to win 11 or more races at single track.The No. 48 Chevrolet driver has dominated at the Monster Mile where he holds the track record for wins (10) and leads all active drivers with a 120.1 driver rating and a 7.7 average running position. In 28 career starts at the one-mile track, Johnson owns 15 top fives and 20 top 10s. He is the defending winner of the AAA 400 Drive for Autism.
Like King Kong in New York, can Kyle Busch be stopped?
The defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion became the first three-time winner this season when he toppled arch-nemesis Kansas Speedway for the first time on Saturday. Busch has been on a tear his last six starts, logging three wins and two runner-up finishes. In 11 races this season, he has finished worse than fourth only twice. With his victory at Kansas, only two tracks remain where the 31-year-old Las Vegas native has never won – Charlotte and Pocono – the sites of the two races following Sunday’s showdown at Dover. Busch’s nine top-five finishes this season lead the NSCS and are four more than the next closest drivers’ output (Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson). He also paces the series with 679 laps led. In 22 starts at Dover, Busch claims two wins, 10 top fives and 14 top 10s. His 105.8 Monster Mile driver rating ranks third in the NSCS.
Concrete Colossus Carl Edwards Eyes First Dover Victory
Since he began competing in NASCAR’s national series in 2003, Carl Edwards has exceled on concrete racing surfaces. The No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing driver won the most recent race on concrete at Bristol and will attempt to follow it up with a victory at Dover. Overall, Edwards boasts 16 national series wins on concrete: six at Bristol, four at Dover and six at Nashville. In all three national series, he ranks second on concrete in top fives (44), and third in top 10s (59) and laps led (2,992). In 23 career NSCS starts at Dover, Edwards owns one win, eight top fives and 12 top 10s. His 10.5 average finish at the Monster Mile ranks third in the NSCS.
Mammoth Of Mayetta: South Jerseyan Truex Tries To Topple Hometown Track
For the second time this season, Martin Truex Jr. failed to win a race he dominated. Four weeks after he led the most laps at Texas, yet finished sixth, Truex paced the field for a race-high 172 go-arounds at Kansas before placing 14th. The No. 78 driver’s “loss” was no fault of his own, the head bolt fell off his brake during a pit stop on the 212th lap, forcing him to pit for a second time. “I couldn’t believe it,” Truex said. “Went around (turns) one and two and I was like, ‘Wheel loose.’ I kept telling myself that maybe
it’s not me, maybe it’s just shaking because it has tape on it or something stupid. It was loose and I knew it right away. Frustrating, but that’s how it goes. “We’re going to win races for sure – if we keep bringing cars like that, we’re going to win some. It’s frustrating when you’ve had it happen so many times in your career. I swear, you watch guys win races that don’t have the fastest car or on fuel mileage and all
this stuff and it’s like, ‘damn.’ Someday I’m going to get on one of those or on the other side of one of them. Usually you can dominate and win, but it’s tough and it happens. It’s part of racing. We’ll just move on to Dover next week, which is another good track for our Furniture Row Racing team.” Over the last two seasons, Truex has led the most laps in six races, but has only won one of them – a rate of 17 percent. Since 2011, 74 of the drivers who led the most laps in a race also won it – (38.7%, 191 races). Truex, who hails from Mayetta, New Jersey, will try to close the deal this weekend at his home track – Dover International Speedway – the place he won his first race (06/04/07). In 20 starts at the Monster Mile, he has one win, one top five and nine top 10s.
Kevin Harvick – The Loopness Monster
Since his 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship season, Kevin Harvick has dominated NASCAR’s Loop Data Statistics – measurements indicative of complete race performance. In his last 83 races (beginning with the 2014 Daytona 500), Harvick ranks first in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led (5,002; Brad Keselowski is second with 2,804) and driver rating (113.6; Joey Logano is second at 104.1). While Kyle Busch has been the dominant driver this season in terms of wins, Harvick leads the NSCS in the majority of loop data statistics: average running position (6.1), driver rating (116.3) and fastest laps run (461). In addition, he ranks third in laps led (571). These numbers indicate the wins will start coming. On the season, Harvick has one win, five top fives and nine top 10s. The No. 4 Chevrolet driver won at Dover for the first time in the Chase last fall after leading a race-high 355 laps.
Monsters University: Roaring Rookies Blaney And Elliott Ready For Dover Debut
Sunoco Rookie of the Year contenders Ryan Blaney and Chase Elliott finished in the top 10 together for the second consecutive week with Kansas finishes of fifth and ninth, respectively.Elliott, who claims three top fives and seven top 10s in 11 starts this season, leads Blaney by 22 points in the rookie points
standings. Blaney owns one top five and four top 10s this year. Both NASCAR Next alumni are making their track debuts at Dover this weekend. Elliott’s seven top-10 finishes in the first 11 races in his Sunoco Rookie season are the most since Jimmie Johnson accomplished the feat in 2002.
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES
It’s Baaaaack: Dash 4 Cash Returns
Another $100,000 bonus is on the line this weekend at Dover International Speedway as the NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash will be in full swing for the third round of the popular 2016 program – Saturday’s Ollies Bargain Outlet 200 (2 p.m. ET on FOX). The NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash is comprised of Two Heats and a Main at four tracks this season: Bristol Motor Speedway (April 16), Richmond International Raceway (April 23), Dover International Speedway (May 14) and Indianapolis Motor Speedway (July 23). Erik Jones won the first round of the Dash 4 Cash at Bristol; Ty Dillon captured the second round at Richmond. Qualifying for each Dash 4 Cash event will set the 40-car field and the starting positions for the Two Heats with the fastest qualifier awarded the Coors Light Pole Award. Odd-numbered qualifiers (1st, 3rd, 5th, etc.) will start in the first Heat in respective order, while even-numbered qualifiers (2nd, 4th, 6th, etc.) will start the second Heat in respective order. The Two Heats will set the starting positions for the Main with the top two NASCAR XFINITY Series regulars in each Heat becoming eligible for the Dash 4 Cash bonus. The highest finishing driver among the four Dash 4 Cash eligible drivers will be awarded a $100,000 bonus. If any driver wins two of the four Dash 4 Cash bonuses available, he/she is all but guaranteed a spot in the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase. In short, two Dash 4 Cash bonuses are equivalent to one race win in the new NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase format. If Ty Dillon can win the Dash 4 Cash this weekend, he will have two Dash 4 Cash bonuses, and as a result, a spot in the NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase – provided he stays in the top 30 in points. Dillon has made six starts at Dover, posting four top 10s and an average finish of 14.2.
Sadler Looks To Hulk Up His Points Lead
Elliott Sadler was last seen celebrating in Victory Lane at Talladega Superspeedway on his birthday. Since then, he has had an extra week to enjoy the spoils of winning in the NASCAR XFINITY Series and capturing the championship standings lead. As the series returns to action this weekend at Dover for the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet 200, Sadler can use his veteran experience to put space between him and second-place Suarez in the points (they’re currently tied, though Sadler owns the tiebreaker). Sadler has made 16 starts at Dover, posting nine top 10s and an average finish of 12.9. He placed ninth at Dover last fall.
JR Motorsports has been a good fit for Sadler. In nine starts this season, he has posted one win (Talladega), four top fives and eight top 10s. His consistency producing solid finishes has been the foundation for his success this season. He hasn’t had a DNF and his average finish is a series-leading 6.6 among title contenders.
If He Can Continue Goblin Up Points, Suárez Can Regain Points Lead
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Daniel Suárez is still looking for his first win in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, but his consistency has put him in the hunt for the points lead. Expect Suárez to be a man on a mission this weekend at Dover; which happens to be the track that 13 drivers in series history have recorded their first victory in the NASCAR XFINITY Series – drivers like Mark Martin, Ricky Rudd, Ken Schrader and Michael Waltrip to name a few. “Dover is such a unique racetrack and really unlike any track we visit all season,” said Suárez. “It reminds me a lot of Bristol, but on a much bigger scale. This is the third Dash 4 Cash race of the season, so we are going to work hard to qualify well, stay up front in our heat race, and hopefully come away with a win and 100,000 dollars!” Suárez has made two starts at Dover International Speedway where he’s recorded one top 10 an average finish of 14.5.
Sunoco Rookie Of The Year Round Up: Three Currently In Chase Contention
With nine races in the books, Erik Jones is still the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings leader, followed by Brandon Jones (-26), Brennan Poole (-31), Ryan Preece (-60), Garrett Smithley (-70), Ray Black Jr. (-72), BJ McLeod (-74) and Cody Ware (-109). Of the seven-driver 2016 Sunoco Rookie class, three are currently eligible for the NASCAR XFINITY Chase – Erik Jones (1 win – Bristol), Brandon Jones (sixth in championship points) and Brennan Poole (eighth in championship points).
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Erik Jones is currently seventh in the NASCAR XFINITY Series standings – 10 points behind Richard Childress Racing’s Brandon Jones. In nine starts this season, Erik Jones has landed one pole, one win (Bristol), five top fives and an average finish of 12.4. Jones currently has clinched a spot in the Chase with his win provided he stays in the top 30 in points.
Erik Jones made his series track debut at Dover last season where he started sixth and finished ninth. “Last year, I had a great Toyota Camry, gained a lot of track time and led laps,” Jones said. “I just made a late-race mistake that cost us a chance at the win. We’ve had fast Toyotas all season and if we can minimize mistakes, I know we will be there at the end with a shot at the Monster Mile.”
Richard Childress Racing’s Brandon Jones sits sixth in the standings, five points behind fifth-place Brendan Gaughan. Brandon Jones has posted four top 10s with an average finish of 10.8. Jones’ path to the Chase is built on points at this moment. His sixth-place spot in the standings is good enough to grant him passage if he can stay inside the top 12.
Last but not least, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Brennan Poole is currently eighth in the series points, 13 back from seventh-place Erik Jones. Poole is coming off his career-best series finish at Talladega (third). In nine starts, Poole has registered one top five, three top 10s and an average finish of 13.3. Poole has made one start at Dover, logging a 12th-place finish.
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES
Will. I. Am.: Byron Gets It Started With First Career Win
William Byron had a “good night” last Friday. The Kyle Busch Motorsports driver captured his first win in only his fifth career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start. Byron, who led the first 33 laps of his career earlier in the race, retook the point on the final go-around of NASCAR Overtime to take the
victory that virtually guarantees him a spot in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase. “This is a dream come true,” Byron said. “I was six-years-old watching Truck races and I didn’t start racing until I was 14, and just to be in a KBM Toyota Tundra like this is amazing.” After starting the season slow with finishes of 13th at Daytona and 32nd at Atlanta, Byron has hit his stride with the Kansas win and a third-place showing in the previous race at Martinsville. Byron ranks seventh in the NCWTS points standings, 16 markers behind frontrunner Timothy Peters. The 19-year-old Charlotte native leads the NCWTS Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings by 10 points over Ben Rhodes. Coincidentally, they are the last two NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champions (Byron, 2015; Rhodes, 2014), as well as NASCAR Next alumni.
Dover Devil: Reddick Readies To Defend Dover ‘W’
One of the early-season favorites to capture the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship, Tyler Reddick has struggled with a high finish of 13th in his first four starts of 2016. He’ll attempt to turn his season around in Friday’s JACOB Companies 200 at Dover International Speedway (5:30 p.m. ET on FS1) where he is the defending race winner. In Reddick’s only other start at the Monster Mile in 2014, he placed eighth. The No. 19 Brad Keselowski Racing driver is the lone driver in the field with a Dover
victory. At the moment, Reddick ranks 15th in the NCWTS standings, 34 points off the lead. A win would be a cure-all for the Brad Keselowski Racing driver since it would essentially qualify him for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase. Reddick finished runner-up in the NCWTS last year.
Crafton Back In Form
Matt Crafton couldn’t pull off his race-win defense at Kansas Speedway on Friday, but he accomplished what NASCAR fans have grown accustomed to seeing him do – compete for victories. The No. 88 ThorSport Racing driver recorded his highest finish of the season with a runner-up showing in the Jayhawk State. Crafton sits sixth in the NCWTS standings (15 points off the lead) on the strength of
a series-high-tying three top 10s. Since the 2013 season when he won his first of two consecutive NCWTS championships, Crafton has finished at least second 20 times and his won nine races. Crafton has never won in 15 previous starts at Dover International Speedway, but does have four top fives and nine top 10s there. He leads the NCWTS this season with a 104.3 driver rating.
Hemric Off To Hot Start
Daniel Hemric has to be enjoying his first season with Brad Keselowski racing. In his first four starts for his new team, Hemric boasts two top fives along with three top 10s and finds himself perched second in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings, eight points behind leader Timothy Peters. Coming off a career-best third-place finish at Kansas, Hemric heads to Dover where he placed fourth in an NTS Motorsports machine last year.
Ogre-Achieving: Truex Tries To Continue Momentum At Hometown Track
Arguably the biggest surprise in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series through the first four races this season, Ryan Truex ranks third in the points standings (10 markers behind Timothy Peters) on the strength of one top five and two top 10s, including a sixth-place result in last Friday’s race at Kansas. The Mayetta, New Jersey native, and younger brother of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Martin Truex Jr., will attempt to continue his success at his home track – Dover International Speedway – in Friday’s JACOB Companies 200. Truex earned his career-best NASCAR national series finish in the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Dover in 2012 when he placed runner-up. He matched the result in this season’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season opener at Daytona. The Hattori Racing Enterprises driver has produced a positive place differential in three of the four races this season: +13 at Daytona, started 20th and finished second; +6 at Martinsville, started 18th and finished 12th; +15 at Kansas, started 21st and finished sixth.
Peters Ascends Atop The Standings
Nyquist wasn’t the only horse with a big day last weekend. Red Horse Racing’s Timothy Peters ascended to the top of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings with an eighth-place finish at Kansas on Friday night. He sits eight points ahead of second-place Daniel Hemric (-8), who is followed by Ryan Truex (-10), Tyler Young (-14), John Hunter Nemechek (-15). Matt Crafton (-15), William Byron (-16), Spencer Gallagher (-18), Brandon Brown (-20) and Parker Kligerman (-21) round out the top 10.
Nemechek, Byron and Johnny Sauter have virtually clinched berths to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase with wins. Peters heads to Dover where he placed 20th last season and has finished no higher than sixth.
Cameron Hayley looking for a Top 5 if not a win
Asked how difficult is a place like Dover? Cameron Hayley: “It’s very difficult. Dover seems to be my arch nemesis. We’ve run really well there, led a bunch of laps in the K&N race there, and had a tire blow out at the end of the race that hurt our finish. We had a top-three run there last year in the truck, and had a motor problem. It’s been good to me in terms of speed and running up front, but we haven’t had any luck there. I think the speed will be there again this year, just need to get the little gremlins out, and come
out of there with at least a top-five finish, if not a win.” Asked how physically demanding is a place like Dover? Cameron Hayley: “Dover is probably the most physically demanding track out of all the track we go to. I tell people all the time, the first lap I go out for practice, I have to cough going down the front straightaway after going through Turns 3 & 4 because it just knocks your insides crazy. You have to learn to relax at Dover, relax in the seat, because if your tensed up, trying to hold your head, it will wear you out in five laps.”
Graphics & Photos Courtesy of NASCAR