StatChat - NASCAR Cup Series @ Dover

When the checkered flag flies on Sunday at Dover, we will officially be halfway to the end of the regular season.  Is this where it’s no longer socially acceptable to say it’s still early?  Almost every year there are some surprise winners, but this year there are still some top contenders who have yet to win a race.

 

14 races and 6 playoff spots remain.  Denny Hamlin looks like a safe bet to make the playoffs, even if he goes winless, as his point lead is still quite substantial.  But what happens if we get another couple of unexpected winners?  With some new tracks still left to visit on the regular season schedule, many of which are road courses, there is certainly room for some surprises.  Tyler Reddick has been showing some speed lately, Matt DiBenedetto has been in contention a few times, even Daniel Suarez has been impressive with a brand new team.  If even just one of those drivers wins, it could really upset the playoff picture.  It will certainly be interesting to watch unfold over the next weeks!

 

Dover International Speedway is a 1-mile oval nicknamed “The Monster Mile.”  It first opened in 1969, with Richard Petty winning the first NASCAR Cup race there (the Mason-Dixon 300) the same year.  It originally was built with an asphalt surface, but it was replaced with a unique concrete surface in 1995. 

 

This weekend’s race will be known as the “Drydene 400,” and will be 400 laps (for a total of 400 miles), with stage breaks occurring at 120 – 240 – 400, and a competition caution at lap 35.  The fuel window is approximately 88-92 laps.

 

NASCAR has run 4,372.85 miles so far this year.

 

Top 5 Career Average Finishers at Dover:

Kyle Larson

7.42 over 12 races

Cole Custer

10.50 over 2 races

Chase Elliott

11.30 over 10 races

Martin Truex Jr.

11.50 over 30 races

Brad Keselowski

12.64 over 22 races

 

Bottom 5 Career Average Finishers at Dover:

Quin Houff

34.33 over 3 races

Michael McDowell

31.95 over 20 races

Ross Chastain

30.67 over 6 races

Ryan Preece

24.50 over 4 races

Alex Bowman

20.80 over 10 races

 

Dover is a Short Track

 

Top 5 Career Average Finishers at Short Tracks:

Denny Hamlin

11.67 over 150 races

Kyle Busch

11.70 over 156 races

Brad Keselowski

12.63 over 113 races

Chase Elliott

12.65 over 52 races

Joey Logano

13.13 over 121 races

 

Jimmie Johnson has the most victories at Dover, having won 11 times.  Bobby Allison and Richard Petty each have 7 wins.  For current drivers, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, and Ryan Newman each have 3 wins. 

 

Notable drivers who have not won at Dover:

Joey Logano

(has won at 15 other tracks)

 

Martin Truex Jr. scored his first Cup Series win at Dover, winning in his 58th Cup Start. 

 

Based on their point pace, let’s have a look at who’s having a better year than last year.

 

Drivers Faring Better than in 2020

William Byron

+378 pts

Daniel Suarez

+298 pts

Denny Hamlin

+283 pts

Christopher Bell

+247 pts

Michael McDowell

+240 pts

 

Drivers Faring Worse than in 2020

Aric Almirola

-506 pts

Erik Jones

-303 pts

Kurt Busch

-275 pts

Kevin Harvick

-261 pts

Alex Bowman

-211 pts

 

While some drivers may be doing better this year than they did in 2020, how does this year stack up against their entire career?  This statistic does not include rookies, as this is their first full year in the Cup Series.

 

Drivers Having their BEST Career Year

Denny Hamlin

7.25

William Byron

9.67

Ryan Blaney

13.17

Austin Dillon

13.58

Michael McDowell

15.58

Chris Buescher

15.83

 

Drivers Having their WORST Career Year

Ross Chastain

19.25

 

 

 

In 2017, NASCAR introduced the concept of Stage Racing, which pauses the race at certain intervals and awards bonus points for the top 10 at that moment.  Here are the Top-5 Stage Point earners so far this year:

 

Stage Point Leaders:

Denny Hamlin

172 pts

Ryan Blaney

94 pts

Martin Truex Jr.

92 pts

Kyle Larson

86 pts

Brad Keselowski

85 pts

 

For those that aren’t aware, the Manufacturer Standings are calculated by awarding points to the highest finisher for each manufacturer according to their finishing position.  (40 for 1st, 35 for 2nd, 34 for 3rd, etc.)  No stage points or playoff points count.

 

Manufacturer Standings

Ford

428

Chevrolet

427

Toyota

422

 

Here is the same formula, but used on a team-vs-team basis:

 

Chartered Team Standings

Joe Gibbs

421

Hendrick

417

Penske

399

Stewart-Haas

351

Richard Childress

309

Chip Ganassi

286

Roush Fenway

283

JTG-Daugherty

281

Front Row

267

Wood Brothers

244

Trackhouse

204

Richard Petty

185

23XI

184

Spire

154

Rick Ware

104

Live Fast

80

StarCom

61

 

 

 

The race begins Sunday, May 16th at 2:00 pm EST (11:00 am PST) – Enjoy the race everyone!

 

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Or you can email directly: acarabine@racingrefresh.com

 

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