Thursday, October 4, 2018

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Round Two opener at Dover

by Carol D'Agostino

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
Kyle Busch - 5
All with 4 -  Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, and Joey Logano
All with 3 - Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson, and Clint Bowyer

By Track
Both with 7 - Jimmie Johnson and Martin Truex Jr.
All with 6 - Kyle Larson, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, and Clint Bowyer
Kevin Harvick - 5

Recent Pole Winners:
2017 Martin Truex Jr.
2016 Rained Out
2015 Rained Out
2014 Kevin Harvick

Last Year's Race Winner: Kyle Busch

The Likely Suspects: Dover International Speedway is my home track. Nicknamed the Monster Mile, it is a tough track to master, but for some drivers, the high-banked track is their playground.  These drivers have developed a knack for Dover: Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, and Clint Bowyer.

My 2 Cents: As we enter this second round of playoff races, I believe we'll see some non-playoff drivers strutting their stuff as spoilers. My no-brainer pick this week is Martin Truex Jr., who may be looking for redemption this week. My next picks are Kyle Larson, Matt Kenseth, Chase Elliott, Daniel Suarez, and Clint Bowyer. I will round out my roster with William Byron and Chris Buscher. At Dover, I would never count Jimmie Johnson out. Perhaps we'll see Martin Truex Jr. and Jimmie Johnson replay last weekend's drama minus the crash.

My Final Four: Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott, Clint Bowyer, and William Byron.

Second-look driver: This week's second-look driver is Jimmie Johnson. Johnson leads all drivers with 11 wins at the Monster Mile. He has 17 top-five finishes and 24 top 10s in 33 starts. His driver rating of 117.2 is far beyond anyone else in the field. Busch is second at 105.5. Last week's second-look driver AJ Allmendinger finished seventh at the Roval after starting second.

Points to Ponder:
  • The second-place starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (18) than any other starting position at Dover International Speedway. 
  • Ryan Newman leads all active drivers in Busch poles at Dover with four.
  • Two active drivers have posted consecutive poles at Dover: Ryan Newman (fall 2005 and spring 2006), and Denny Hamlin (fall 2012 and spring 2013).
  • A total of 35 different Monster Energy Series drivers have won at Dover International Speedway, led by Jimmie Johnson with 11 wins.
  • Hendrick Motorsports has the most wins at Dover in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with 19: Jimmie Johnson (11). 
  • Kyle Busch leads all active drivers in runner-up finished at Dover with four.  
  • Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth lead all active drivers in top-five finishes at Dover with 17 each as well as top-10 finishes at Dover with 24 each. 
  • Chase Elliott (five starts) leads all active drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing position at Dover with a 5.0.
    Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your picks by 8 a.m. EDT on Friday, October 5th and your final picks by 2 p.m. EDT on race day Sunday, October 7th.

    Enjoy the race! Post your comments here or follow me on Twitter at @purplecatpr.

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