NASCAR Cup Series Würth 400
Dover Motor Speedway The Purse: $7,629,649
Sunday, April 30 2 p.m. ET TV: FS1, 1 p.m. ET Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 400 miles (400 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 120), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 250), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 400)
NASCAR Xfinity Series A-GAME 200
Dover Motor Speedway The Purse: $1,361,382
Saturday, April 29 1:30 p.m. ET TV: FS1, 12:30 p.m. ET Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 200 miles (200 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Heart Of America 200
Kansas Speedway The Purse: $734,551
Saturday, May 6 8 p.m. ET TV: FS1, 7 p.m. ET Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 201 miles (134 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 30), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 60), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 134)
NASCAR Cup Series
The Monster Mile at Dover Motor Speedway awaits the NASCAR Cup Series
After a wild Talladega Superspeedway race last Sunday that saw Richard Childress Racing’s Kyle Busch grab his second victory of the 2023 season, the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Dover Motor Speedway for this Sunday’s Würth 400 at 2 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio at the always unique ‘Monster Mile’.
Aptly nicknamed the Monster Mile, Dover Motor Speedway is a one-mile concrete paved oval located in Dover, Delaware. Dover Motor Speedway, originally known as Dover Downs International Speedway, has hosted 104 NASCAR Cup Series races dating back to the inaugural event on July 6, 1969.
The first Dover Cup Series race was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty driving a Petty Enterprises Ford (115.772 mph, 02:35:28). Petty actually won the first two Cup events at the track (1969, 1970).
In total, the 104 NASCAR Cup Series races at Dover Motor Speedway have produced 43 different pole winners and 39 different race winners. NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson leads the Cup Series in poles at Dover Motor Speedway with six (1969, 1973 sweep, 1974, 1975, 1981). Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin leads all active series drivers in poles at Dover with four (2012, 2013, 2015, 2019).
Eight of the 43 NASCAR Cup Series Dover Motor Speedway pole winners are active this weekend.
Active Dover Pole Winners Poles Seasons
Denny Hamlin 4 2019, 2015, 2013, 2012
Martin Truex Jr 3 2017, 2011, 2010
Chris Buescher 1 2022
Chase Elliott 1 2019
Kyle Larson 1 2018
Kyle Busch 1 2017
Brad Keselowski 1 2014
Kevin Harvick 1 2014
Legacy Motor Club’s Jimmie Johnson holds the NASCAR Cup Series record for the most wins at Dover Motor Speedway with 11 victories (2002 sweep, 2005 Playoffs, 2009 sweep, 2010 Playoffs, Spring of 2012, 2013 Playoffs, Spring of 2014, Spring of 2015, and Spring of 2017). Three drivers are tied for the most wins among active competitors at Dover Motor Speedway – Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch – each have three wins.
Of the 39 different NASCAR Cup Series winners at Dover Motor Speedway, eight are active this weekend.
Active Dover Race Winners Wins Seasons
Kevin Harvick 3 2020, 2018, 2015
Martin Truex Jr 3 2019. 2016, 2007
Kyle Busch 3 2017, 2010, 2008
Chase Elliott 2 2022, 2018
Alex Bowman 1 2021
Denny Hamlin 1 2020
Kyle Larson 1 2019
Brad Keselowski 1 2012
This weekend’s Würth 400 will be 400 laps (400 miles) and will be broken up into three stages. The first stage will be 120 laps, the second stage will be 130 laps and the final stage will be 150 laps.
All the NASCAR Cup Series on-track action begins on Saturday, April 29 with practice from 10:30 a.m. ET directly followed by Busch Light Pole Qualifying at 11 a.m. ET. You can find practice on FS2 and qualifying will be televised on FS1.
Three teams have dominated Dover over last 18 Cup races (2013-2023)
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).
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.
Playoff polaroid is coming through but still a little fuzzy
With 10 NASCAR Cup Series races in the books this season, the Playoff picture is somewhat taking shape. So far, seven drivers have earned their spot in the postseason by virtue of a win, leaving nine spots still up for grabs as the series heads to Dover Motor Speedway for the Würth 400 on Sunday, April 30 at 2 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
The fast seven that have earned a spot in the Playoffs already this season on wins are Kyle Larson (two wins), Kyle Busch (two wins), William Byron (two wins), Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick, Joey Logano, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (each have one win).
Last season, 19 different drivers visited Victory Lane in the NASCAR Cup Series, led by Hendrick Motorsport’s Chase Elliott with five wins – including this weekend’s Monster Mile. This season, 12 of the 19 winners last year are looking for their first win of 2023 this weekend – Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Ross Chastain, Alex Bowman, Austin Cindric, Austin Dillon, Bubba Wallace, Chase Briscoe, Chris Buescher, Daniel Suarez and Erik Jones. Of the 12 looking for their first win of 2023, four are former Dover Cup winners – Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman and Denny Hamlin.
Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain holds the biggest points cushion between himself and the Playoff cutoff heading into Dover this weekend, up 90 points. Watch for Chastain to be a contender this weekend, he finished third in this race last season.
At the other end of the Playoff outlook sits last season’s Dover pole winner Chris Buescher, currently 16th in the standings 11 points up on Trackhouse Racing’s Daniel Suarez in 17th – the first position outside the postseason cutoff. Last season, RFK Racing’s Chris Buescher ran well at Dover. He scored the pole and then posted an eighth-place finish. Suárez finished 14th in last season’s Dover race.
NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.
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.
Talladega Superspeedway put up record passing statistics – 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.”
Bell, Keselowski, Elliott comment on Goodyear Tire Test at New Hampshire – 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.”
Chastain to Drive Dirt Late Model at Georgetown Speedway on Friday – In addition to driving the No. 1 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet this weekend, Chastain will race the No. 41 dirt late model for Niece Motorsports at Georgetown Speedway on Friday. Georgetown is located at the intersection of Route 113 and Speedway Road in Georgetown, Delaware. Hot laps begin at 6:20 p.m. ET with racing set to begin at 7:20 p.m. ET.
“I wanted to explore dirt racing a little bit,” said Chastain. “I don’t feel like I’m as good at dirt racing as I would like to be when we go to Bristol. I don’t think running a dirt late model is going to help me a ton in the Cup car, but I don’t even know what I’m looking at when I look at a dirt track. If I can sprinkle in some dirt races and I have the blessing from Justin (Marks) then I’m going to take advantage of that.”
U.S. Naval Academy Drum & Bugle Corps to perform National Anthem at Dover Motor Speedway – The U.S. Naval Academy Drum & Bugle Corps has two performances slated for Sunday, April 30 before the Würth 400 NASCAR Cup Series race.
Comprised of 100 midshipmen from all classes and majors, the U.S. Naval Academy Drum & Bugle Corps will perform in front of the Monster Monument at Victory Plaza, presented by Ally, at 11:15 a.m. on Sunday, April 30 before making their way to the frontstretch for the national anthem prior to the 2 p.m. green flag.
Formed in 1914, the U.S. Naval Academy Drum & Bugle Corps is the oldest active drum corps in the nation.
NASCAR Xfinity Series
NASCAR Xfinity Series takes on Dover’s Monster Mile
NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers will need to bring their A-game for the A-Game 200 at Dover Motor Speedway (1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 29 on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR radio) for their 10th race of the 2023 season.
This will be the 77th NASCAR Xfinity Series race hosted at Dover Motor Speedway. The previous 76 races have produced 52 different race winners and 48 different pole winners. Eight races have been won from the pole or first starting position, most recently by Kyle Larson in 2017.
Two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch holds the record for most Xfinity Series wins (five) and laps led (1,349) on the Monster Mile and he’s tied with Justin Allgaier for most top 10s (15).
Reigning Cup Series champ Joey Logano holds a few records himself – he snagged the race record in 2013 with a speed of 131.219 mph and is tied with Harry Grant for most poles at five.
On-track activity for the NASCAR Xfinity Series will kick off on Friday, April 28 with practice at 3:05 p.m. ET followed by qualifying at 3:35 p.m. ET on FS1.
Conquering the Monster Mile: Will they do it again?
This weekend’s A-Game 200 has three drivers who have already triumphed at Dover Motor Speedway entered and will be heading back to the track with the hopes of finding themselves in Victory Lane yet again – Justin Allgaier, Cole Custer and Josh Berry.
Allgaier first conquered the Monster Mile in 2018 after completely dominating the race, leading 104 of the 200 laps. One win wasn’t enough for the JR Motorsports driver as he came back in 2020 to show that his 2018 victory was not from luck. He once again took control of the race, leading 120 laps of the race. He is currently riding a streak of nine consecutive top 10 finishes at the track. In total, Allgaier has 22 starts at Dover, posting two wins (2018, 2020), 11 top fives, 15 top 10s and has led 514 laps.
Custer’s win came in 2019 after starting the race from the third position. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver has made six Xfinity Series starts at Dover Motor Speedway, posting one win (2019), four top fives, five top 10s and has led 224 laps. His last start at Dover in the Xfinity Series was in 2019, but he hasn’t taken a break from the Monster Mile. From 2020 to 2022, he made four starts at the track in the NASCAR Cup Series, posting two top 10s.
Berry is the most recent Xfinity Series driver to claim a victory at the Monster Mile. The JR Motorsports driver has only made two starts at the track but has already proved to be a force in the field. In his debut at the track in 2021, he posted a runner-up finish and then came back the following year (2022) to snatch his win.
Big Money: Custer cashes in; Dover to host final round of Dash 4 Cash
After scoring a top-five finish, Stewart-Hass Racing’s Cole Custer cashed in the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus, beating out Josh Berry, John Hunter Nemechek and Sammy Smith who all fell victims to the wild racing expected at Talladega Superspeedway last weekend.
Now, Custer will have the opportunity to win the final round of Dash 4 Cash at Dover Motor Speedway, this time alongside new competitors. Joining him in the race for the bonus will be Jeb Burton (Talladega winner), Sheldon Creed and Parker Kligerman.
Coming off a win at Talladega, Jordan Anderson Racing’s Jeb Burton will be looking to carry his new momentum into Dover. He has made five starts at the one-mile track, posting one top-10 finish (2020).
Richard Childress Racing’s Sheldon Creed made his first start at Dover Motor Speedway last season where he posted an eighth-place finish. Creed has yet to post a win in the Xfinity Series, but is coming off a runner-up finish last weekend at Talladega and did well on Phoenix’s one-mile track earlier this season (third). In his nine starts this season, he has posted two top fives and five top 10s.
Parker Kligerman heads into the weekend with three Xfinity Series starts at Dover Motor Speedway to his career. In his three appearances, he’s posted one top-10 finish. The Big Machine Racing driver hasn’t raced in a Xfinity Series race at Dover Motor Speedway since 2013, but has run in NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series races at the track in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2020.
NASCAR Xfinity Series standings shakeup after ‘Dega
The NASCAR Xfinity Series is heading into its 10th race of the 33-race season and five drivers have earned their spot in the Playoffs with their respective wins – Austin Hill (Daytona, Las Vegas, Atlanta), John Hunter Nemechek (Auto Club, Martinsville), Sammy Smith (Phoenix), Chandler Smith (Richmond) and Jeb Burton (Talladega). With 16 races left in the regular season and seven spots still up for grabs a lot can happen over these next few months.
Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Hill currently sits atop the NASCAR Xfinity Series standings with 328 points, but Joe Gibbs Racing’s John Hunter Nemechek isn’t giving him much wiggle room, sitting just four points behind with 324.
Kaulig Racing’s Chandler Smith slides in at third with 309 points and Stewart-Haas Racing’s Riley Herbst, who is still itching to post his first NASCAR Xfinity Series win but has made the Playoffs in all three of his full-time seasons in the Series, sits in fourth with 296 points.
JRM teammates Josh Berry and Justin Allgaier sit in fifth and sixth, respectively. One of the two could very well clinch their spot in the Playoffs this weekend at Dover Motor Speedway as both drivers have won at the track.
Cole Custer (-49) and Sheldon Creed (-52) take up the next two slots in the standings and Sammy Smith takes up the ninth spot with 258 points.
Daniel Hemric (-73) and Parker Kligerman (-81) are currently in 10th and 11th, respectively. Sam Mayer takes up the final Playoff spot at the moment with 237 points. Mayer ran his first full-time season last year and made it into the 2022 Playoffs, ultimately finishing seventh in the overall standings.
NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.
Corey Heim to make NASCAR Xfinity Series debut at Dover for Sam Hunt Racing – The latest product of the NASCAR ladder system, current NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series contender Corey Heim will attempt to make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut this weekend at Dover Motor Speedway in the No. 24 Toyota for Sam Hunt Racing.
Heim has worked his way up the ladder in NASCAR, he has competed in the ARCA Menards Series East and West from 2020-2021 and competed fulltime in the ARCA Menards Series in 2021 finishing runner-up in the standings after posting six wins on the year.
This weekend will also be Heim’s NASCAR national series debut at Dover Motor Speedway.
Kyle Larson to join Kaulig Racing at Darlington – 2021 Cup Series champion Kyle Larson will be pulling double duty at Darlington Raceway in a few weeks. He will be getting behind the wheel of the No. 10 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet for Kaulig Racing.
This will be Larson’s first Xfinity Series start of the 2023 season.
“I’m looking forward to competing in the Xfinity Series race at Darlington Raceway in a few weeks with Kaulig Racing and HendrickCrs.com,” said Larson. “Darlington is a challenging track and definitely one on the top of my list that I’m eager to get a win at. The Kaulig Xfinity cars have been really fast this year too so I’m thankful for the opportunity to run double-duty and hopefully we’ll have a good shot at a win.”
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series
Six different NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series winners in seven races
Through seven races of the 2023 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series season, six different winners have visited Victory Lane. When the series returns to action next weekend at Kansas Speedway for the Heart of America 200 (Saturday, May 6, at 8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, and SiriusXM Radio), it could very well see a seventh.
Zane Smith, Kyle Busch, Christian Eckes, Carson Hocevar, Joey Logano, and Corey Heim have all raced their way into Victory Lane this season. Smith is the only two-time winner.
ThorSport Racing’s Matt Crafton is searching for his first win, but it could be on the horizon. Crafton has three wins at Kansas Speedway, tying him for the all-time series lead at the track with Kyle Busch.
Of the six different winners this season, Smith, Eckes, Hocevar and Heim, are the four that have earned their spot in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Playoffs by virtue of their wins. This season, Front Row Motorsport’s Zane Smith is looking to become the second driver in the series history to win consecutive championships; joining Matt Crafton (2013-2014).
Making their way through the ranks
As NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series season approaches the halfway point of the regular season, several drivers have put themselves in favorable position compared to last year.
With a win at Martinsville under his belt, Corey Heim has locked himself into the 2023 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Playoffs – a feat he had hoped to accomplish in 2022. Heim is currently fourth in the standings after finishing 14th last season.
ThorSport Racing’s Hailee Deegan had an unfortunate start to this season after being taken out early in Daytona and Las Vegas, but she is bouncing back. Deegan tied her career best finish (sixth – Talladega, 2022) at Texas Motor Speedway and continues to run close to the top-10. Although she did not make the Playoffs last year, she still has plenty of time to race her way in this season. She currently sits 43 points outside the cutoff with nine regular season races left.
TRICON Garage’s Tanner Gray has two top-five finishes this season. Starting the 2023 season off strong, Gray recorded his best career finish at Daytona (second). The driver of the No. 17 sits eighth in the standings after finishing 15th last year.
Four competitors locked into NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Playoffs
With nine races left in the regular season, here’s a look at the current CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Playoff standings:
Four drivers have locked themselves into the 2023 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Playoffs by virtue of win this season – Zane Smith (Daytona, COTA), Christian Eckes (Atlanta), Carson Hocevar (Texas), and most recently, Corey Heim (Martinsville).
Currently in on Points:
Four drivers have built up a points cushion of 35 points or more over the Playoff cutoff following Martinsville – Ty Majeski (127 points above the Playoff cutoff), Ben Rhodes (+78), Grant Enfinger (+37), and Matt Crafton (+35).
Just 27 points above the cutoff and ranked ninth in the CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Playoff outlook is TRICON Garage’s Tanner Gray. Following behind Gray is Rackley W.A.R.’s Matt DiBenedetto, just 11 points above the cutoff.
Outside Looking In:
Another ten drivers sit outside the Playoff cutoff but still have plenty of time to race their way into the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Playoffs.
Kyle Busch Motorsports’ Chase Purdy is 11th in Playoff standings, 11 points behind Matt DiBenedetto. Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Nick Sanchez also sits 11 points off the final Playoff position.
Following Purdy and Sanchez is Jake Garcia (-33 points back from Playoff cutoff), Stewart Friesen (-36), Hailie Deegan (-43), Tyler Ankrum (-46), Colby Howard (-62), Rajah Caruth (-67), Kris Wright (-72), and Daniel Dye (-87).
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series, Etc.
Four NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series drivers entered this weekend at Dover – This weekend at Dover Motor Speedway, four CRAFTSMAN Truck Series drivers are entered to compete in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race.
TRICON Garage’s Corey Heim will attempt to make his Xfinity Series debut this weekend, piloting the No. 24 Sam Hunt Racing Toyota. Heim won the most recent NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway.
GMS Racing’s Rajah Caruth will get behind the wheel of the No. 45 Alpha Prime Racing Toyota. The CRAFTSMAN Truck Series rookie has participated in nine Xfinity races in the last two years with an average finish of 22.8. This will be his second time visiting Dover Motor Speedway, he finished 38th at the track in 2022 after experiencing suspension issues.
Hill Motorsports’ Timmy Hill is entered to race this weekend in the No. 66 Motorsports Business Management Chevrolet. Hill is no stranger to the Xfinity Series, participating in 239 races since 2011, including nine at Dover. His best Dover finish was 16th in 2019.
Niece Motorsports’ Carson Hocevar will be attempting his Dover debut in the Xfinity series this weekend, piloting the No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet. Hocevar made his debut at COTA earlier this season, but only ran seven laps before being taken out for a transmission issue.
Graphics Courtesy of NASCAR