Jacksonville Sports Day

NASCAR: Action-Packed Cup Doubleheader this Weekend at The Monster Mile

This weekend Dover International Speedway will become just the third track in NASCAR Cup Series history to run a doubleheader at the same facility in consecutive days, joining Pocono Raceway (June 27-28, 2020) and Michigan International Speedway (Aug. 8-9, 2020).

The two Cup events this weekend at Dover International Speedway will be mirror images of each other. Both races are 311 laps each (311 miles) and each race is broken up into three stages. The first stage for both races is 70 laps, the second stage is 115 laps and the final stage is 126 laps.

The official opening of Dover International Speedway, then called Dover Downs International Speedway, was in 1969. Dover has hosted 100 NASCAR Cup Series races, dating back to the inaugural event on July 6, 1969 – won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty (Ford).

The 100 NASCAR Cup Series races at Dover have produced 42 different pole winners and 37 different race winners. NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson leads the series in poles at Dover with six (1969, 1973 sweep, 1974, 1975, 1981). Roush Fenway Racing’s Ryan Newman (2003, 2005, 2006, 2007) and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin (2012, 2013, 2015, 2019) lead all active series drivers in poles at Dover with four each.

Hendrick Motorsport’s Jimmie Johnson leads the series in wins at Dover 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).

There are nine former Cup Dover winners entered this weekend – Johnson (11 wins), Kyle Busch (three), Martin Truex Jr. (three), Matt Kenseth (three), Ryan Newman (two), Kevin Harvick (two), Brad Keselowski (one), Chase Elliott (one) and Kurt Busch (one). Truex is the most recent winner entered this weekend, taking the checkered flag at Dover in last year’s May race.

Last season, Chase Elliott won the pole for the first Dover (May) race and then Denny Hamlin won the pole for the second Dover (Oct.) race setting a new track record at 166.984 mph, 21.559 seconds.

This season, the Cup Dover pole for the Drydene 311 (1) was decided by metric qualifying and Hendrick Motorsport’s Elliott, who is coming off his second win of the season last weekend at the Daytona Road Course, will start first and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Hamlin will complete the front row for Saturday’s race, starting second.

Playoff Bubble: Three races left to clinch a spot in the postseason

With only three races remaining in the NASCAR Cup Series regular season time is running out for the competitors vying for the final six Playoff transfer spots.

A total of 10 drivers have clinched their spot in the postseason on wins – Kevin Harvick (six wins), Denny Hamlin (five), Brad Keselowski (three), Chase Elliott (two), Joey Logano (two), Ryan Blaney (one), Martin Truex Jr. (one), Alex Bowman (one), Austin Dillon (one), Cole Custer (one).

Impossible to Clinch

Even with a win, Corey Lajoie (0 Wins, 287 Points, +39 Points Ahead of 31st) would not clinch a Top 30 spot, so he cannot clinch a Playoff berth in the next race. If he can’t clinch a Top 30 with a win, no winless driver below him in the standings could clinch either.

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick can lock-up regular season title at Dover

This weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader at Dover International Speedway means double the opportunities for drivers to rack up points and for Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick, it doubles the chances to lock up the series’ regular season championship.

Harvick heads to the Monster Mile as the series standings leader with a 118-point advantage over second place Denny Hamlin. To clinch the NASCAR Cup Series regular season championship, Harvick will either need to be 121 points ahead of second in the series driver standings following the first race at Dover, or 61 points ahead of second in the standings following the second race at Dover.

Harvick has made 38 series starts at Dover posting two wins (2015, 2018), eight top fives and 19 top 10s.

When Harvick wins the regular season championship, he will be awarded 15 bonus Playoff points, bringing his current total of 35 to a whopping 50 Playoff points to take into the postseason.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *