NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Round Two Opener at Dover

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
Kyle Busch - 5
Joey Logano - 4
All with 3 - Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Larson, and Chase Elliott

By Track
Martin Truex Jr. - 8
Both with 7 - Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Larson
Both with 6 - Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin
All with 5 - Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, and Clint Bowyer

Recent Pole Winners:
2018 Rained Out
2017 Martin Truex Jr.
2016 Rained Out

Last Year's Race Winner: Chase Elliott

The Likely Suspects: Dover International Speedway is one of my favorite tracks, and not just because it's my home track. I just love the quality of racing on high-banked short tracks. These drivers also love Dover because they race well here: Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott, Jimmie Johnson,  Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, and Clint Bowyer.

My 2 Cents: The racing this season has been exceptionally competitive with the playoffs being particularly exciting. Tighten your belts because this round is going to be crazy. My no-brainer pick this week is Martin Truex Jr. My next picks are Chase Elliott, Jimmie Johnson, Austin Dillon, Alex Bowman and William Byron. I will round out my team with Ty Dillon and David Ragan. If you have any Clint Bowyer and Michael McDowell starts left, pull William Byron and David Ragan and play Clint and Michael instead.

My Final Four: Martin Truex Jr., Alex Bowman, Jimmie Johnson, and Ty Dillon.

Second-look driver: This week's second-look driver is William Byron. William was the pole winner at the Roval last weekend and ultimately finished in sixth place with enough points to advance him into this second playoff round. He'll bring that momentum with him this weekend at the Monster Mile,  his best track at the three playoff tracks this round. Back in May, William started on the outside pole and finished eighth, leading five laps.

Last week's second-look driver Clint Bowyer had a consistent day. Clint started fifth on the grid, finished in fourth and led two laps. His fourth-place finish and 16 bonus points enabled him to finish 17 points above the playoff cutoff and advance to the Round of 12. This was Clint's seventh Top 5 and 14th Top 10 of the season, and his second Top 5 in two career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at the Roval.

Points to Ponder:
  • Ryan Newman leads all active series drivers in poles at Dover with four poles (2003, 2005, 2006, 2007)
  • Jimmie Johnson leads the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Dover International Speedway 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). 
  • The second-place starting position is the most prolific starting position in the field, producing more winners (18) than any other starting position at Dover International Speedway.    
  • Kyle Busch leads all active Monster Energy Series drivers in runner-up finishes at Dover with four.
  • Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in Top Five finishes at Dover with 17 and in Top 10s with 24.
  • Chase Elliott (seven starts) leads all active drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing position at Dover with a 4.4.
  • Jimmie Johnson leads all the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in laps led at Dover with 3,109 laps led in 35 starts – his 3,109 laps led are the 16th-most laps led all-time at a single track.
Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your picks by 8 a.m. ET on Saturday, October 5th and your final picks by 2:30 p.m. ET on race day Sunday, October 6th.

Enjoy the race!

Carol D’Agostino wields fantasy-racing superpowers. Each week, Carol researches statistics and combs through her personal racing notes to provide fans with fantasy racing advice in NASCAR Fantasy Fusion, a column she has written for Skirts & Scuffs since October 2011. Carol also does race coverage for Skirts & Scuffs at Richmond Raceway and occasionally at her home track, Dover International Speedway. This year she joins the NASCAR Expert Picks panel at Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet. When she isn’t crunching numbers, you’ll find Carol in business meetings or hammering out a news release or creating a marketing strategy at a small niche public relations firm she founded called Purple Cat. 

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Round Two Opener at Dover NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Round Two Opener at Dover Reviewed by Carol D'Agostino on Thursday, October 03, 2019 Rating: 5