This week the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will race at Dover International Speedway for the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks.
Dover is known as the world’s fastest one-mile oval. The concrete racetrack has 24 degree banking in the corners that makes it race like a Super Speedway. Drivers will race to see who can tame the Monster Mile.
Qualifying up front for Sunday’s race will be important. The winner of 16 of the last 19 races at Dover has come from a driver who started inside the top 10.
Sprint Cup teams will qualify for the FedEx 400 Friday at 3:15 p.m. ET. On Speed TV
Coverage of the race can be seen Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET on Fox.
Five Favorites to Watch
Jimmie Johnson is the driver to beat on Sunday. He has seven wins, 11 top-five finishes, 16 top-10 finishes and three poles at Dover. Johnson has a series-best 120.6 drivers rating, series-high 5,570 laps ran in the top 15, series-best average running position of No. 7 and a series-best average green flag speed of 143.988 mph.
Johnson will try to win his third race of the season this Sunday.
They do not call Carl Edwards “Concrete Carl” for nothing. Edwards has been very good in his career at Dover. He has one win, eight top-five finishes and 12 top-10 finishes in his career at the racetrack. Edwards has the third-best driver rating of 104.5, the third-best average running position of No. 9 and the second-most quality passes with 453.
Edwards will try for his second victory of the season this Sunday.
Matt Kenseth has had a fast racecar at every race this season. He will bring another fast car to the Monster Mile on Sunday. Kenseth has two wins, 13 top-five finishes, 18 top-10 finishes and one pole at Dover. He has the second-best driver rating of 107.8, the second-best average running position of No. 8 and the second-most laps run in the top-15 with 5,270.
Kenseth has a good chance to win his fourth race of the season at Dover.
Kyle Busch has had cars capable of dominating races, but bad luck has prevented him from dominating the 2013 season. He has two wins, seven top-five finishes and 10 top-10 finishes at Dover. Busch has the fourth-best drivers rating of 104, the fourth-fastest green flag speed of 143.602 mph and an average finishing position of No. 13.9.
Busch has a great chance to win his third race of the season on Sunday.
Denny Hamlin has run well since returning from his back injury. Hamlin is No. 24 in the point standings and needs wins in order to make the Chase. Hamlin’s statistics at Dover are not that impressive, but the way he and the other drivers from Joe Gibbs Racing have performed this season, Hamlin must be considered a threat to win the race at Dover.
Sleepers to Watch
Whenever the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Dover, Mark Martin must be considered a threat to win the race. Martin always qualifies up front and has four wins, 24 top-five finishes and 32 top-10 finishes.
This is a great race for Martin to turn around his poor 2013 season.
In order to go fast at Dover drivers must be able to hit their marks. The racetrack is an oval, but it drivers like a road course. That gives Ambrose an advantage this week. Drivers must know when to get on the breaks and when to slam on the gas pedal. If Ambrose can save his breaks in the corners, he could outrace the other drivers to the finish.
Ricky Stenhouse is making his second career start at Dover in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Last year Stenhouse started No. 17 and finished No. 12. Stenhouse is a long shot to win the race, but a top-five finish is a possibility.
Top 12 Driver Ratings at Dover
Jimmie Johnson 120.6
Matt Kenseth 107.8
Carl Edwards 104.5
Kyle Busch 104.0
Greg Biffle 103.3
Mark Martin 97.0
Kurt Busch 93.4
Jeff Gordon 92.5
Clint Bowyer 91.1
Ryan Newman 89.8
Martin Truex Jr. 89.3
Jeff Burton 87.0
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2012 races (16 total) among active drivers at Dover International Raceway.
Best Finish at Dover
The 2005 MBNA Race Points 400 at Dover had the best finishes in the history of the racetrack.
Kurt Busch was running up front when he got a flat tire with 22 laps left in the race. With only three laps left, Joe Nemecheck crashed to setup a Green-White-Checker finish. Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch raced for the win. Johnson beat Busch by .080 seconds, the closest finish ever at the Monster Mile.
Most Wins by Active Driver: Jimmie Johnson (7)
Most Poles by Active Driver: Mark Martin (5)
Worst Starting Spot to Win: Kyle Petty, 1995, started No. 37
Best Average Starting Position by Active Driver: Ryan Newman (9.5)
Best Average Finishing Position Active Driver: Carl Edwards (8.2)
Most Laps Led by Active Driver: Jimmie Johnson (2,318)
Most Wins by Manufacturer: Chevrolet (32)
Note: All driver statistics come from DriverAverages.com
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