After a monster of a race at NASCAR’s scariest track, we’ve made our way to the Monster Mile of Dover, high concrete banks where Miles rules. Practice, of all things, has already incurred some wrath of the field, relegating a few drivers to backup cars before the Green even drops. What does today’s RACE have in store for us?
Here’s what to look for:
–Chris Buescher notched his first career Pole on Saturday, starting out front where Qualifying matters oh so much. And after what we’ve seen in Practice, being out there where you don’t have to follow anyone who is potentially having issues is a definite positive. Outside of the Qualifying Races at Daytona we haven’t seen much positive out of Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing this year. Could this be the race they get that first Win of 2022?
-We were doing two Dover races each season until last year, and Alex Bowman was the victor of the only event in 2021. He was the lead car in a 1-2-3-4 Hendrick Motorsports finish. Chances are these guys will be pretty strong today, too, though William Byron had to go to a backup car after getting all smashed up in Practice. Bowman will start 6th, Larson and Elliott will start 3rd and 4th respectively. Byron will start out back in a two-tone backup.
-Over the last ten races, Martin Truex Jr. has the best average finish (5.3), eight Top 5s, and two Wins. This is a good track for the Mayetta, NJ native, and pretty close to home. He’s been in the news for different reasons this week, yet to finalize a deal with Joe Gibbs Racing for 2023. We’ll see if today’s success (or failure) contributes to any sort of leverage for either side.
–Kevin Harvick hasn’t been hitting on all cylinders lately, but he’s also scored two Wins over the last ten races, and eight Top 10s, too. His average finish is slightly lower than Truex’s (8.9), but he definitely knows his way around here. The new car has proved difficult for a number of drivers; how will one of NASCAR’s most experienced drivers handle this today? Happy will roll off 11th.
–Daniel Suarez finished 9th in 2021, and has actually had a bunch of solid finishes here. 2020 was a bit of a vacation from the good (30th and 28th), but before that the worst he’d run was 14th. This season has been very kind to Trackhouse Racing so far, and Ross Chastain especially, and it is just about Suarez’s turn to take that baton himself. Could today be his first visit to Victory Lane in the Cup Series? He’s won here before in Xfinity. Today, the #99 will start 8th.
We had to pump out a quick one today, going for a solid dish for Dover:
Goulash. Big in Dover, who knew? Lisa has whipped up a Monster pot for the Monster Mile, with all the fixin’s. Haven’t dug in yet, but the smell this morning was quite appetizing. If the scent matches the taste, we’re all in for a great day. Nice job, Leese. Thanks for working so hard and quick on it. I love you.
Coverage of the race today starts on FS1 at 3:00pm, green flag scheduled for 3:11pm.