FedEx 400 Betting News and Notes

FedEx 400 Betting News and Notes

Odds & Ends - Dover
VegasInsider.com
   
Dover International Speedway Data

Race #: 13 of 36 (06-03-12)
Track Size: 1 mile
Race Length: 400 miles
Banking/Turns: 24 degrees
Banking/Frontstretch: 9 degrees
Banking/Backstretch: 9 degrees
Frontstretch: 1,076 feet
Backstretch: 1,076 feet

Driver Rating at Dover

Jimmie Johnson 118.6
Matt Kenseth 110.0
Carl Edwards 106.5
Greg Biffle 105.4
Kyle Busch 102.6
Kurt Busch 97.8
Mark Martin 96.1
Ryan Newman 91.1
Jeff Burton 90.0
Jeff Gordon 89.2
Clint Bowyer 88.1
Martin Truex Jr. 88.1

Note: Driver Rating compiled from 2005-2011 races (14 total) at Dover.

Qualifying/Race Data

2011 pole winner: None due to weather
2011 race winner: Matt Kenseth, (125.578 mph, 05-15-11)
Track qualifying record: Jeremy Mayfield (161.522 mph, 22.288 seconds, 06-04-04)
Track race record: Mark Martin (132.719 mph, 09-21-97)

Driver Ratings for Winners

Driver-Year (Driver Rating-Series Driver Rating Rank)

Matt Kenseth/2011 (109.3-3rd)
Kyle Busch/2010 (98.5-7th)
Jimmie Johnson/2009 (102.9-4th)
Kyle Busch/2008 (101.5-5th)
Martin Truex Jr./2007 (83.0-15th)
Matt Kenseth/2006 (92.4-10th)

Pre-Race Driver Ratings of the year the driver won at Dover (last six spring races).

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Re: FedEx 400 Betting News and Notes

Driver Highlights - Dover
VegasInsider.com

Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M/Heiland Ford)

Two wins, six top fives, 10 top 10s; one pole
Average finish of 12.3
Average Running Position of 9.4, third-best
Driver Rating of 105.4, fourth-best
414 Fastest Laps Run, third-most
585 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most
Average Green Flag Speed of 143.350 mph, third-fastest
4,562 Laps in the Top 15 (81.4%), third-most
416 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), second-most
   
Clint Bowyer (No. 15 5-hour Energy Toyota)

Five top 10s
Average finish of 14.3
Average Running Position of 14.0, 11th-best
Driver Rating of 88.1, 11th-best
133 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most
Average Green Flag Speed of 142.875 mph, ninth-fastest

Jeff Burton (No. 31 BB&T Chevrolet)

One win, eight top fives, 15 top 10s
Average finish of 15.2
Average Running Position of 13.5, ninth-best
Driver Rating of 90.0, ninth-best
172 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most
Series-high 660 Green Flag Passes
358 Quality Passes, sixth-most

Kurt Busch (No. 51 Phoenix Construction Services Inc. Chevrolet)

One win, six top fives, eight top 10s
Average finish of 17.9
Average Running Position of 11.1, sixth-best
Driver Rating of 97.8, sixth-best
220 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most
539 Green Flag Passes, 13th-most
Average Green Flag Speed of 143.033 mph, seventh-fastest
3,933 Laps in the Top 15 (70.2%), ninth-most
333 Quality Passes, seventh-most

Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M's Toyota)

Two wins, seven top fives, nine top 10s
Average finish of 13.3
Average Running Position of 12.1, eighth-best
Driver Rating of 102.6, fifth-best
236 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most
Average Green Flag Speed of 143.227 mph, fifth-fastest
4,208 Laps in the Top 15 (75.1%), fifth-most
365 Quality Passes, fourth-most

Carl Edwards (No. 99 Subway Ford)

One win, seven top fives, 11 top 10s
Average finish of 7.3
Average Running Position of 9.4, fourth-best
Driver Rating of 106.5, third-best
479 Fastest Laps Run, second-most
561 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most
Average Green Flag Speed of 143.289 mph, fourth-fastest
4,230 Laps in the Top 15 (75.5%), fourth-most
412 Quality Passes, third-most

Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet)

Four wins, 14 top fives, 21 top 10s; four poles
Average finish of 12.2
Average Running Position of 13.8, 10th-best
Driver Rating of 89.2, 10th-best
581 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most
Average Green Flag Speed of 143.024 mph, eighth-fastest
3,952 Laps in the Top 15 (70.5%), eighth-most
362 Quality Passes, fifth-most

Kevin Harvick (No. 29 Jimmy John's Chevrolet)

Two top fives, nine top 10s
Average finish of 16.6
Driver Rating of 79.7, 13th-best
593 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most
2,985 Laps in the Top 15 (53.3%), 12th-most
261 Quality Passes, 13th-most

Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Madagascar Chevrolet)

Six wins, nine top fives, 14 top 10s; three poles
Average finish of 9.3
Series-best Average Running Position of 7.7
Series-best Driver Rating of 118.6
Series-high 734 Fastest Laps Run
Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 143.632 mph
Series-high 4,770 Laps in the Top 15 (85.1%)
287 Quality Passes, ninth-most

Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Best Buy Ford)

Two wins, 12 top fives, 17 top 10s; one pole
Average finish of 12.2
Average Running Position of 7.9, second-best
Driver Rating of 110.0, second-best
365 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most
600 Green Flag Passes, third-most
Average Green Flag Speed of 143.418 mph, second-fastest
4,746 Laps in the Top 15 (84.7%), second-most
Series-high 424 Quality Passes

Mark Martin (No. 55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota)

Four wins, 23 top fives, 31 top 10s; four poles
Average finish of 12.4
Average Running Position of 11.0, fifth-best
Driver Rating of 96.1, seventh-best
293 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most
572 Green Flag Passes, ninth-most
Average Green Flag Speed of 143.112 mph, sixth-fastest
4,063 Laps in the Top 15 (72.5%), sixth-most
321 Quality Passes, eighth-most

Ryan Newman (No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet)

Three wins, six top fives, 11 top 10s; four poles
Average finish of 11.5
Average Running Position of 11.7, seventh-best
Driver Rating of 91.1, eighth-best
Average Green Flag Speed of 142.763 mph, 11th-fastest
4,020 Laps in the Top 15 (71.7%), seventh-most
285 Quality Passes, 10th-most

Martin Truex Jr. (No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota)

One win, one top five, four top 10s; two poles
Average finish of 17.2
Average Running Position of 15.5, 12th-best
Driver Rating of 88.1, 12th-best
191 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most
Average Green Flag Speed of 142.697 mph, 12th-fastest
2,921 Laps in the Top 15 (60.9%), 13th-most
272 Quality Passes, 12th-most

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Re: FedEx 400 Betting News and Notes

2012 FedEx 400 Dover Storylines
NASCAR.com

Dover International Speedway’s Monster Mile awaits this weekend, ready to greet a growing monster – Hendrick Motorsports – and the rest of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Hendrick has played the role of the Incredible Hulk, growing larger than life after a 16-race wins drought. Competitors don’t like them when they get angry. When they get angry, they win three of NASCAR’s biggest races in succession – the Southern 500 (Jimmie Johnson), the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (Johnson, again) and the Coca-Cola 600 (Kasey Kahne).

And there’s no sign of a let-up, with Johnson winning three of the last six Dover races and boasting an average Dover finish of 9.3. Another win at Dover would tie NASCAR Hall of Famers Bobby Allison and Richard Petty for most all-time at the one-mile track.

Sunday’s race, the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks, starts at 1 p.m. on Sunday on FOX.

The monster race weekend begins with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ Luca Oil 200 on Friday afternoon at 4:50 p.m. on SPEED.

The triple-header weekend continues Saturday with the NASCAR Nationwide Series 5-hour Energy 200 on ESPN at 2 p.m.

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES

Kahne Finds His Bearings With New TeamKasey Kahne, the ever adaptable newest member of Hendrick Motorsports, nabbed his first win with his new squad in one of NASCAR’s crown jewels – the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It marked his third win in NASCAR’s longest race, and the third different manufacturer with which Kahne has won: Dodge, Ford, Chevrolet.

But more importantly, after a wretched start to 2012, Kahne now finds himself in prime position to land a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

His string of six consecutive top 10s (after starting the season with finishes outside the top 25 in four of the first six races) has moved him to 15th in points, 42 points outside the top 10. Sunday’s victory also put him the Wild Card hunt. Kahne currently sits third in the Wild Card Standings, behind Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman.

Junior’s Stellar Season ContinuesWith yet another top-10 finish, at Charlotte – his seventh in the previous eight races – Dale Earnhardt Jr. now has nine top 10s in 2012. That’s more than any driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Earnhardt boasts another "most" statistic. He has completed all 3,888 laps this season, the only driver to do so.

Can the trend continue? Well…

Earnhardt has struggled at Dover of late, having failed to finish in the top 10 in each of the last eight Dover races. His last one, last October, he finished two laps down.

Truex Comes Home In Search Of Second WinSouthern New Jersey native Martin Truex Jr. has one win in his NASCAR Sprint Cup career, and it came five years ago at Dover in a race scheduled for June 3 but run on June 4 because of rain.

Could this be a happy anniversary?Truex has resided firmly inside the top 10 since the second race of the season and has excelled at Dover in recent races. Truex Jr. has won two of the last three Coors Light qualifying sessions run at the track (last spring's qualifying was rained out). He finished eighth in last year’s spring Dover race.

Roush Crew Led By ‘Concrete Carl’ At DoverOnly one team has placed three divers in the top 10 through 12 races: Roush Fenway Racing.

In points leader Greg Biffle, second-place Matt Kenseth and 10th-place Carl Edwards, RFR is charging toward a possible third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.

Edwards, with an apt nickname of ‘Concrete Carl,’ should contend this weekend at the high-banked one-mile concrete oval. He owns the series’ top average finish (7.3), the third-best Driver Rating (106.5) and has one Dover win (9/23/07).

Race Weekend Raises Awareness Of Autism

In what has become tradition at Dover International Speedway in the six years the track has partnered with Autism Speaks, drivers will again help create autism awareness during the June 1-3, 2012 race weekend by showing their support with a decal on their respective cars.

Drivers across all three series have stepped up to raise awareness for the cause during the Dover race weekend by featuring a decal of the Autism Speaks puzzle piece logo on their cars in the June 1 "Lucas Oil 200" NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, the June 2 "5-hour ENERGY 200" NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the June 3 "FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

The all-inclusive event marks the first-ever autism friendly NASCAR race and gives families an opportunity to experience a NASCAR race in an environment specifically designed for the enjoyment of children with autism. Autism Speaks Day at the Races will be held in Dover’s air-conditioned grandstand, offering a great view of the Monster Mile from the backstretch and will feature brief presentations by educational speakers in the morning, special appearances by NASCAR personalities, food and drink and much more.

In addition, the area will offer a dedicated quiet zone, set inside special rooms within the air-conditioned grandstands, where parents can bring their kids to get away from the crowd if necessary. The quiet zone will be sensory friendly, with muted lighting in a calmer environment, while also featuring video screens to keep up with the action on the track.

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Re: FedEx 400 Betting News and Notes

Dover FedEx 400 Preview
By Micah Roberts
VegasInsider.com

A third of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Sup season is in the books as we head to Dover, Delaware for the 13th race of the season. The saddest part about seeing the month of May go away is knowing that Fox coverage of the races will soon be going away for the rest of the season. Following Sunday’s coverage at Dover, NASCAR fans will have to painfully endure six weeks of NASCAR racing on TNT before moving to ABC/ESPN coverage that closes out the season beginning with the Brickyard July 29.

There are plenty of race fans who disagree with my feelings about who does the best job covering the sport. Some say Darrell Waltrip is too silly and that Fox’s actual production of each race isn’t as good as the others. However, the insights Mike Joy, Waltrip and Larry McReynolds bring to each race are unmatched by any commentating crew in the history of NASCAR.

To get us prepared for Dover, we have to consider the surface and distance of the track to help with dissecting every angle that has gone on this year and how it’s relative to this weeks race. Dover has 24 degrees of banking on a 1-mile concrete oval. There is nothing like it on the circuit. We can use a little bit of Texas and Charlotte races this year because of similar banking, but the distance doesn’t allow for the same type of speeds.

We can use the Bristol race as probably the best barometer because of similar banking and concrete, but Bristol is a half-mile and doesn’t produce the speeds we’ll see at Dover.

Then we have to look at the drivers themselves; who are the best concrete drivers?

Carl Edwards currently leads all drivers with a 7.3 average finish at Dover and also has a couple of Bristol wins, but he’s a hard sell right now just because his team isn’t performing at the same rate they did last season.

Kyle Busch has been known as ‘King of the Concrete’ for his excellence on the surface in all series. He’s got two wins at Dover and has a 13.3 average finish in 14 starts. He’s also performing at a high level right now with five top-5 finishes in the 12 races, including third-place Sunday at Charlotte.

Jimmie Johnson has six Dover wins, including three of the past six. He’s had a 9.3 average finish over his career at Dover which places him right behind Edwards with consistency. Even though Johnson finished with a disappointing 11th-place finish at Charlotte, he’s still part of one of the most dialed in teams in NASCAR right now. The momentum of the No. 48 team makes them the favorite this week.

Matt Kenseth won this race last season giving him two for his career at Dover. He also has been one of the more consistent drivers there over the last six years. In his last 12 Dover starts, Kenseth has nine top-5 finishes. Consistency and good current form make him a contender on the same level as Johnson and Busch.

Brad Keselowski hasn’t done much over his career at Dover with a best of 13th last year, but he did win at Bristol’s concrete track which makes him a viable candidate to win this week. He’s coming off a great fifth-place run at Charlotte last week.

Martin Truex Jr’s only career win came at Dover in 2007 and his strong third-place run at Bristol suggest he’s got what it takes to take the checkers here again. He will break through with a win this season and what better place than a track that is only 129 miles from his home town of Mayetta, NJ.

“I always look forward to Dover no matter what the situation," Truex Jr said earlier this week. "Aside from on the track stuff, it’s just fun to go up there. I’ve got a lot of friends and family that come to that race and that makes it extra special for me no matter what.

“I feel like Dover is probably the next track where we have a real shot to get back to victory lane. We did the tire test there a few months ago and had a really fast car there too. I always look forward to Dover but definitely more this year with the race cars we have and the team that we’ve got right now. I know we will be fast. It will be all about setting the car up for the long runs. We’ve got a great game plan going in. I think we can win the thing.”

Enjoy the race, make some money and farewell to Fox until next year. Boogity-boogity-boogity!

Top-5 Finish Prediction:

1) #18 Kyle Busch (8/1)
2) #17 Matt Kenseth (10/1)
3) #48 Jimmie Johnson (6/1)
4) #2 Brad Keselowski (15/1)
5) #56 Martin Truex Jr. (30/1)

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Re: FedEx 400 Betting News and Notes

Fed-Ex 400 Preview and Picks
By Greg Engle
Covers.com

As the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series leaves its longest race of the season, the 600-miler at Charlotte, the field can look forward to a relatively short 400 miles for the Fed-Ex 400 at Dover International Speedway Sunday.

Those 400 miles, however, come at the track nicknamed the Monster. The one-mile concrete oval has always been one of the toughest on the circuit, providing physical challenges to drivers and mechanical tests for crew chiefs. A few drivers have Dover figured out and some always struggle. It’s feast or famine.

One driver who has Dover figured out is Jimmie Johnson. Johnson won three of the last seven races here and has two Top-5s and a Top-10 finish in the other four. In addition, he has more wins than any other active driver, six overall, and the highest driver rating. He was second in the fall race and will look to add a second win to this season’s total. But ask Johnson why he does well at Dover and even he can’t quite understand it.

“I honestly don’t know,” Johnson told reporters. “It just suits my driving style and I guess you could say my stats show that. You really have to learn how to get through the corners there. If you get it to turn in the center and you get good forward grip off of the corner you will typically turn a good lap. That’s the tough part though, figuring out how to get your car do that. I’m looking forward to seeing what we’ve got for it though.”

Another driver in the “feast” category at Dover is Matt Kenseth. Kenseth has two wins here, including one in this race last year. He finished fifth in the fall and has six Top-5 finishes in the last seven races. He’s also second in the championship standings.

“Dover is my favorite track on the Sprint Cup circuit, and it’s been a place where we’ve had a lot of success at as well, so I just love racing there,” Kenseth said. “The track is so fast and challenging, and it’s unique because of the way you drive up out of the turns. The turns sit a bit lower than the straightaways and you can feel it when you’re driving out there. We’re just going to continue to try and put ourselves up front and into position to be able to be consistent each and every week.”

The Busch brothers have also found success at the Monster Mile. Kurt won the race last fall, while younger brother Kyle has two wins here, the last in 2010. Kyle will get the nod as this week’s spoiler, as Kurt is still trying to find his way with a new team. Kyle on the other hand is coming off a third-place finish at Charlotte last week and has had consistent finishes. He appears ready to score his second win of the season each and every week.

Head-to-head

Carl Edwards vs. Greg Biffle: The Roush-Fenway teammates are having opposite seasons. Edwards is struggling while Biffle is leading the points. Both have won here before, but there’s a sense that Edwards is ready to stage a turnaround and begin a slow recovery. Look for Edwards to prevail in this matchup.

Martin Truex J. vs. Ryan Newman: Both Truex and Newman have won here and both are having OK seasons. Dover is the site of Truex’s first career win, that coming in 2007, while Newman’s win came in 2004. However, both were with other teams at the time, so it’s a different scenario now. Truex had the pole here in the fall but finished 30th, while Newman finished 23rd. Based on that recent history, look for Newman to repeat and finish ahead of Truex Sunday.

Bottom line

Starting near the front is important - 51 races at Dover have been won from a Top-5 starting position while 18 races have been won from a starting position outside the Top 10. Thirteen drivers have won from the pole. The last to do so was Jimmie Johnson, in the 2010 September race. The furthest back in the field a race winner started was 37th, by Kyle Petty in 1995.

Picks

Jimmie Johnson (+600)
Matt Kenseth (+1000)
Kyle Busch (+800)

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Re: FedEx 400 Betting News and Notes

NASCAR Practice Notes & Driver Ratings     
By Micah Roberts
VegasInsider.com

This Week's Race: FedEx 400

Practice Notes - Dover

Rating     Driver     Odds     Practice 1     Practice 2     Qualified     Bristol 2012*
1     Jimmie Johnson     5/1     14th     4th     2nd     9th
Notes: Six-time winner, the last coming 2010; excellent Friday practices using new chassis.

2     Greg Biffle     8/1     5th     19th     7th     13th
Notes: Two-time winner, the last coming in 2008; using chassis that last ran at Martinsville.

3     Kyle Busch     6/1     4th     26th     8th     18th
Notes: Two-time winner, the last coming in 2010; at his best on concrete; sixth or better in last four starts.

4     Martin Truex Jr.     25/1     3rd     12th     18th     3rd
Notes: 2007 winner, his only Cup win; hometown of Mayetta, NJ is 129 miles from track; strong practices.

5     Jeff Gordon     12/1     28th     2nd     14th     35th
Notes: Four-time winner, none since 2001; had perhaps the best practice, but downgraded due to slump.

6     Mark Martin     30/1     1st     29th     1st     DNP
Notes: Four-time winner, the last coming in 2004; best 10-consecutive lap average in practice 2.

7     Matt Kenseth     8/1     12th     25th     5th     2nd
Notes: Two-time winner, including last season; has finished fifth or better in seven of last eight starts.

8     Denny Hamlin     12/1     2nd     31st     10th     20th
Notes: Career best of fourth-place on two occasions, the last coming in 2010; good practices.

9     Ryan Newman     40/1     6th     18th     3rd     12th
Notes: Three-time winner, the last coming in 2004; using Bristol chassis that's making its third start.

10     Brad Keselowski     15/1     11th     17th     16th     1st
Notes: No top-10's in four starts, ordinary practices, but did win on concrete surface at Bristol.

* Results from the March 18, 2012 race at Bristol. Although a half-mile smaller than Dover, both concrete tracks use similar set-ups due to the banking despite Bristol running at much slower speeds.

Betting Notes:

I really like what I saw out of Jeff Gordon in Friday practices, but how can you take a driver that hasn't won on a track in 11 years and is in one of the worst slumps of his career sitting 22nd in points? There's just too much baggage associated to back Gordon in this race and 12-to-1 odds isn't enticing me too much.

But yet, I'm drawn in by the magnetic powers of Gordon's past as if he is the same driver who swept the 1996 events at Dover. Despite all the writing on the wall saying to stay away, I'm trapped and buying into Gordon having a good race this week.

Is it really hard to suggest that a Hendrick team could pull themselves from the depths they have sunk and get a win? It shouldn't be since it happened last week with Kasey Kahne at Charlotte, a driver who, granted, was on a much better run at the time than Gordon is right now.

The safe choice here is Jimmie Johnson but he'll be 3-to-1 or lower by the time the green flag drops. Where's the fun in that?

It may sound like a broken record that skips at the worst part of a song, but the Michael Waltrip drivers are going to win very soon and concrete looks like a great surface for the duo to break through. At Bristol in March, the trio of MWR cars finished 3-4-5. Truex Jr. and Martin both have a great history here and their practices suggest they'll be contending in similar fashion this week. All three drivers should be able to found in the 20-to-1 range with a stronger lean towards Truex Jr and Martin.

When it's all said and done, it might end up the same way most of the concrete races have gone in all NASCAR series the last five years -- a Kyle Busch win. He was fast in practice and should be able to battle Johnson, Gordon and the Martins all day for the lead.

Matchup of the Week: Greg Biffle -125 vs. Carl Edwards

Biffle was slightly better than Edwards in practice, but Edwards has the better past history despite Biffle holding a 2-1 advantage in career Dover wins. The deciding point here is current form. Edwards hasn't had a top-5 finish since Fontana in March while Biffle has done so four times over the same span.

I could also be forced to take Kyle Busch +160 over Johnson. The two drivers have split their last four Dover matchups.

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