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FedEx 400 Betting News and Notes
FedEx 400 Betting News and Notes
Driver's Tale of the Tape at Dover
Aric Almirola (No. 43 Smithfield Ford)
· One top 10
· Average finish of 12.5
· Driver Rating of 84.0, 13th-best
Greg Biffle (No. 16 Rite Aid Ford)
· Two wins, six top fives, 10 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 12.4
· Average Running Position of 10.0, fourth-best
· Driver Rating of 103.3, fifth-best
· 431 Fastest Laps Run, third-most
· 689 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 143.612 mph, third-fastest
· 5,090 Laps in the Top 15 (79.5%), third-most
· Series-high 463 Quality Passes
Clint Bowyer (No. 15 5-hour Energy Toyota)
· One top five, seven top 10s
· Average finish of 13.2
· Average Running Position of 12.8, eighth-best
· Driver Rating of 91.1, ninth-best
· 166 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 143.288 mph, eighth-fastest
· 3,970 Laps in the Top 15 (70.9%), ninth-most
· 322 Quality Passes, 11th-most
Jeff Burton (No. 31 Cheerios Chevrolet)
· One win, eight top fives, 15 top 10s
· Average finish of 15.7
· Average Running Position of 14.4, 11th-best
· Driver Rating of 87.0, 12th-best
· 184 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-most
· Series-high 756 Green Flag Passes
· Average Green Flag Speed of 143.034 mph, 12th-fastest
· 3,939 Laps in the Top 15 (61.5%), 11th-most
· 383 Quality Passes, sixth-most
Kurt Busch (No. 78 Furniture Row Racing/BeautyRest Chevrolet)
· One win, six top fives, eight top 10s
· Average finish of 18.4
· Average Running Position of 12.9, 10th-best
· Driver Rating of 93.4, seventh-best
· 237 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most
· 645 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 143.229 mph, ninth-fastest
· 3,942 Laps in the Top 15 (61.6%), 10th-most
· 348 Quality Passes, eighth-most
Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M's Toyota)
· Two wins, seven top fives, 10 top 10s
· Average finish of 13.9
· Average Running Position of 11.7, sixth-best
· Driver Rating of 104.0, fourth-best
· 318 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 143.602 mph, fourth-fastest
· 4,774 Laps in the Top 15 (74.5%), sixth-most
· 390 Quality Passes, fifth-most
Carl Edwards (No. 99 Subway Ford)
· One win, eight top fives, 12 top 10s
· Average finish of 8.3
· Average Running Position of 9.9, third-best
· Driver Rating of 104.5, third-best
· 487 Fastest Laps Run, second-most
· 651 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 143.526 mph, fifth-fastest
· 4,782 Laps in the Top 15 (74.7%), fifth-most
· 453 Quality Passes, second-most
Jeff Gordon (No. 24 AARP Credit Cards from Chase Chevrolet)
· Four wins, 15 top fives, 22 top 10s; four poles
· Average finish of 12.0
· Average Running Position of 12.9, ninth-best
· Driver Rating of 92.5, eighth-best
· 223 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most
· 663 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 143.443 mph, seventh-fastest
· 4,676 Laps in the Top 15 (73.0%), seventh-most
· 426 Quality Passes, fourth-most
Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Patriotic Chevrolet)
· Seven wins, 11 top fives, 16 top 10s; three poles
· Average finish of 8.6
· Series-best Average Running Position of 7.0
· Series-best Driver Rating of 120.6
· Series-high 878 Fastest Laps Run
· Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 143.988 mph
· Series-high 5,570 Laps in the Top 15 (87.0%)
· 317 Quality Passes, 12th-most
Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota)
· Two wins, 13 top fives, 18 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 12.6
· Average Running Position of 8.5, second-best
· Driver Rating of 107.8, second-best
· 379 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most
· 651 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 143.691 mph, second-fastest
· 5,270 Laps in the Top 15 (82.3%), second-most
· 443 Quality Passes, third-most
Mark Martin (No. 55 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota)
· Four wins, 24 top fives, 32 top 10s; five poles
· Average finish of 12.3
· Average Running Position of 10.7, fifth-best
· Driver Rating of 97.0, sixth-best
· 327 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most
· 649 Green Flag Passes, ninth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 143.468 mph, sixth-fastest
· 4,816 Laps in the Top 15 (75.2%), fourth-most
· 369 Quality Passes, seventh-most
Ryan Newman (No. 39 Haas Automation Chevrolet)
· Three wins, six top fives, 11 top 10s; four poles
· Average finish of 12.1
· Average Running Position of 12.2, seventh-best
· Driver Rating of 89.8, 10th-best
· Average Green Flag Speed of 143.056 mph, 11th-fastest
· 4,366 Laps in the Top 15 (68.2%), eighth-most
· 325 Quality Passes, 10th-most
Martin Truex Jr. (No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota)
· One win, one top five, six top 10s; two poles
· Average finish of 15.6
· Average Running Position of 15.0, 13th-best
· Driver Rating of 89.3, 11th-best
· 213 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 143.065 mph, 10th-fastest
· 3,607 Laps in the Top 15 (64.4%), 13th-most
· 326 Quality Passes, ninth-most
Re: FedEx 400 Betting News and Notes
2013 FedEx 400 Dover Storylines
Crossed flags coming up. Dover International Speedway and Sunday’s FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks mark race No. 13 and the mid-point of the regular season. A year ago, nine of the top-10 ranked drivers leaving “The Monster Mile” wound up punching their tickets into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup™.
Jimmie Johnson, the current standings leader, won last spring’s Dover race – his record-matching seventh. One more win breaks a tie with NASCAR Hall of Famers Bobby Allison and Richard Petty.
Brad Keselowski’s victory in Dover’s fall race was a springboard to his 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup championship. The champ’s wheels are wobbling a bit after his 36th-place Coca-Cola 600 finish, Keselowski’s first DNF since the 2012 Daytona 500. But there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Key Penske personnel, including the No. 2 Ford’s crew chief Paul Wolfe, will return from their parts infraction suspensions at Dover.
Could this be the end of Richard Childress Racing’s near two-decade championship drought? Kevin Harvick won Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 was the second of the season for the No. 29 RCR Chevrolet. Both Harvick and teammate Paul Menard rank among the current top 10 in points.
Three former NASCAR Sprint Cup champions – Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch and Tony Stewart – hold Chase Wild Card eligibility among the top 20 but each has yet to find either victory or consistency in 2013.
The Denny Hamlin Wild Card Watch rolls on with the Virginian – fourth at Charlotte – reducing his top 20 deficit to 53 points.
Another race track. Another record in sight. Kyle Busch became Charlotte Motor Speedway’s all-time NASCAR Nationwide Series winner last weekend. Winner of six of the year’s nine races, Busch can accomplish the same feat in Saturday’s 5 Hour Energy 200 at Dover where he shares the three-victory record with Todd Bodine and Carl Edwards.
JR Motorsports’ Regan Smith continues to head NASCAR Nationwide Series standings by 28 points over former leader Sam Hornish Jr. Smith, however, has yet to finish among the top 15 at Dover.
Two drivers – leader Matt Crafton and reigning NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion James Buescher – reach career milestones in Friday’s Lucas Oil 200. Crafton will start his 300th consecutive race while fifth-ranked Buescher marks start No. 100.
Rookie and first-time winners dot the NCWTS record book at Dover where there have been 12 different winners in the track’s 13 races. Kyle Busch is the series’ only two-time winner.
Dover’s Sprint Race Ends First Half Of Regular Campaign
Sunday’s race at Dover International Speedway marks the halfway point of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. When the checkered flag falls on the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks just 13 races remain until the lineup for this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup™ is set. A year ago, nine of the top 10 in points leaving Dover qualified for the Chase. Only Kyle Busch (ninth) missed the post season.
Johnson Bids To Unseat Legends As Dover ‘s All-Time Winner
Another record is in defending Dover spring winner Jimmie Johnson’s sights. Last year’s victory was Johnson’s seventh – matching NASCAR Hall of Fame members Bobby Allison and Richard Petty atop the Dover all-time win list. Johnson has led laps in 11 consecutive starts at Dover, eight times in double figures. The current NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader has won the track’s spring race three times and swept both races in 2009.
Penske Personnel’s Return May Aid Wobbling Keselowski
A victory at Dover last September was crucial to Brad Keselowski’s championship run. Right now, Keselowski could use some momentum. His 36th-place finish in Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600 marked the driver’s first failure to finish since the 2012 Daytona 500. Worse, it dropped the still winless Keselowski to 10th in points. The good news is that the Charlotte race marked the conclusion of crew chief Paul Wolfe and other members of Penske Racing’s parts infraction suspension.
Charging Harvick, Steady Menard Work To End RCR Drought
Richard Childress Racing hasn’t celebrated a NASCAR Sprint Cup championship since Dale Earnhardt won his seventh trophy in 1994. Nineteen seasons later, the drought could be nearing an end. Kevin Harvick’s Coca-Cola 600 victory – the Californian’s second win of 2013 – makes the No. 29 RCR Chevrolet a solid Chase contender in the driver’s final season with Childress. Harvick, seventh in the standings, isn’t RCR’s only championship hopeful. Teammate Paul Menard, who recently extended his contract with Childress, ranks eighth. Each seeks his first win at Dover where RCR’s last victory came in the fall of 2006 by teammate Jeff Burton.
Busch’s Championship Bid Slowed By Inconsistency
It’s been chicken or feathers for Kyle Busch so far in 2013: two victories and three DNFs. Engine failure claimed Busch’s No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota at Charlotte after leading 65 laps – the eighth time in 12 races Busch has headed the field. It dropped Busch out of the top 10 (11th), although his wins give him a solid Chase Wild Card fall back. Busch is a two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Dover winner (spring 2010; fall 2011).
Stewart, Hamlin Clawing Toward Chase Wild Card Eligibility
Neither Tony Stewart nor Denny Hamlin won the Coca-Cola 600 but it was mission accomplished for both. Stewart finished seventh, his best performance of the season and reached 20th in the standings and Wild Card eligibility. Hamlin won the Coors Light Pole, finished fourth and closed to within 53 points of the top 20. Stewart holds two Dover wins but Hamlin has struggled at “The Monster Mile” – eight finishes outside the top 15 in 14 starts. Hamlin’s best Dover finishes are a pair of fourths.
Champions Gordon, Busch Look To Replay Dover Fortunes
Tony Stewart isn’t the only previous NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion outside the top 10. Jeff Gordon is 16th; Kurt Busch 18th. Gordon, like Keselowski, crashed out of the Coca-Cola 600 while Busch finished third – possibly losing victory when the battery in his No. 79 Furniture Row Chevrolet failed while leading. Like his younger brother Kyle, Busch’s 2013 finishes have been all over the map – three top fives offset by five finishes of 30th or worse. Gordon’s luck has been no better – a pair of thirds and five finishes 20th or worse. Gordon has four Dover victories; Busch one.
Re: FedEx 400 Betting News and Notes
FedEx 400 Preview
By Micah Roberts
The northeast gets their first live look at the touring NASCAR series this week when it arrives in Dover, Delaware for the 13th points race of the season. Also, 13 races will remain until the Chase begins. Dover International Speedway is a unique 1-mile concrete oval with 24 degrees of banking that has been part of the Sprint Cup series schedule since 1969. They call it the "Monster Mile".
"Dover is one of my favorite tracks," said Paul Menard, driver of the RCR No. 27 SS Chevrolet. "It's one of the few tracks that you get your greatest sense of speed. You can really feel the speed inside the car and anything can happen at that one-mile oval, making the nickname 'Monster Mile' very fitting. When you drop off into the corner, you feel the speed the most. We've had mixed results at Dover in the past, but I feel like we've got some momentum going into this weekend with our Libman/Menards Chevrolet."
The best way to handicap this weeks race is by using a little bit of past track history, what has happened on a few tracks this season, and also what teams are in a groove right. The final part of the equation will be known on Saturday after the final two practices are run in race trim.
Because there is no other track like Dover, we have to piece together a few elements from others tracks to come up with the top candidates to win. The track requires lots of horsepower, but not to the degree of Charlotte, Texas or Fontana. It also requires a great set-up with a premium placed on the balance of the car, which makes Bristol's high banked half-mile track similar in some ways.
Over the last few years, I've noticed several crew chiefs using their Bristol chassis at Dover and if that logic is good enough for them, it's good enough for me.
To recap what we saw at Bristol on March 17, Kasey Kahne led six times for 109 laps and beat Kyle Busch by 1.7 seconds. Denny Hamlin finished 23rd, but led twice for a race high 117 laps. All three of those drivers should be in contention this week. Kahne and Hamlin have never won at Dover, but Busch has two wins there, the last coming in 2010.
Hamlin is only 53 points away from moving into 20th in season points, which would make him eligible for one of the two wild cards. But he's got to start winning some races soon, because that is the main criteria to getting a wild card. Between his Gibbs horsepower and near desperation for wins, Hamlin wouldn't be a bad choice to win this week.
Carl Edwards has the best average finish (8.3) at Dover, which includes a 2007 win. Among the many nicknames given to him, "Concrete Carl" seems to fit him best because he's been one of the best between competitive in the Nationwide and Cup series on concrete surfaces. In his last race at Dover, Edwards finished fifth.
Jimmie Johnson has seven Dover wins, the most among all active drivers. He won this race last year which gave him four wins in seven races there. Should he win Sunday, he'll pass NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Bobby Allison for the all-time track record.
Brad Keselowski won in the fall last season and has a 14.3 average finish in six career starts. If we put Bristol into the equation, Keselowski becomes an even better candidate to win this week. He's a two-time winner at Bristol and was third there in March. The one problem betting on Keselowski this week is that he's struggling. His 35th-plcae finish at Charlotte last week was his first DNF since the 2012 Daytona 500. The good news is that he gets crew chief Paul Wolfe back after serving a suspension.
Matt Kenseth has been good just about everywhere this season and is a two-time Dover winner, the last coming in 2011. He's had top-5 finishes in eight of his last 10 starts there.
Top-5 Finish Prediction:
1) #11 Denny Hamlin (11/1)
2) #48 Jimmie Johnson (6/1)
3) #20 Matt Kenseth (7/1)
4) #18 Kyle Busch (6/1)
5) #5 Kasey Kahne (8/1)
Re: FedEx 400 Betting News and Notes
Driver Handicaps: Dover
By: Jeff Wackerlin
o help you make your fantasy racing picks, MotorRacingNetwork.com's Jeff Wackerlin brings you his weekly detailed analysis to help steer you toward Sunday's Dover 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway.
Who's HOT at Dover
• Jimmie Johnson, the defending event winner, has captured seven wins and 16 top 10s in 22 starts.
• Matt Kenseth, who will make first track start with Joe Gibbs Racing, has finished in the top five in eight of the last 10 races, including a win in the 2011 spring race.
• Carl Edwards leads all drivers an 8.3 average finish.
• Kyle Busch has finished seventh or better in five of the last six races, including a win in the 2010 spring race.
• Clint Bowyer has finished in the top 10 in his last four starts.
• Four-time winner Mark Martin leads all drivers with 32 top 10s and five poles.
Who to Keep an Eye On at Dover
• Kasey Kahne, who has posted a 9.3 average finish in his last three Dover starts, will be back in the same car he won with at Bristol Motor Speedway.
• Four-time winner Jeff Gordon is coming off his first top 10 (second) at Dover in his last six starts.
• Martin Truex Jr. has finished in the top 10 in his last two starts at Dover.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. posted his first Dover top 10 (fourth) with Hendrick Motorsports last year in this event.
• Greg Biffle has posted one win (2008 fall race) and an average finish of 11.8 in the last 10 Dover races (sixth-best in that span).
• Aric Almirola, a winner at Dover in the Truck Series in 2010, finished sixth in his first Sprint Cup Dover start last year in this event.
• Kurt Busch, who won the 2011 fall race with Penske Racing, recorded his third top five of the season with Furniture Row Racing last weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
• Brad Keselowski posted a 6.5 average finish in both Dover races last season, which included a win last fall.
• Denny Hamlin led the most laps (117) in the first race on a concrete speedway this season - Bristol Motor Speedway.
• Kevin Harvick and Marcos Ambrose each have finished in the top 10 in three of their last four Dover starts.
Note: Teams are running the same combination of left- and right-side Goodyear tires that they ran last season at Dover.
MotorRacingNetwork.com Writer Picks
Jeff Wackerlin: Jimmie Johnson
Pete Pistone: Matt Kenseth
Dustin Long: Jimmie Johnson
John Singler: Carl Edwards
Top 20 Driver Notes - Ordered by current standings
(All stats/notes are in regards to Dover unless noted)
Jimmie Johnson: Seven-time winner; Defending event winner; Best average finish (3.4) and has led the most laps (887) in the last five races; Will debut a new chassis (No. 797) in the FedEx 400.
Carl Edwards: Winner of the 2007 fall race; Has finished eighth or better in 11 of his last 13 starts; Second-best average finish (9.2) in the last five races; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 802) that he finished sixth with at Richmond International Raceway.
Matt Kenseth: Last of two wins came in this event in 2011; Has finished in the top five in three of his last four starts; 12.4 average finish in the last five races; Led 85 laps in the first race of the season on a concrete surface - Bristol Motor Speedway - prior to an accident; Making first track start with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Clint Bowyer: 7.0 average finish in two starts with Michael Waltrip Racing; Has finished ninth or better in four of his last five starts; 10.6 average finish in the last five races.
Kasey Kahne: Finished ninth in this event last year; 12.0 average finish in two starts with Hendrick Motorsports; 9.3 average finish in last three starts; Led 109 laps en route to the win in the first race of the season on a concrete surface - Bristol Motor Speedway; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 769) that he raced at Bristol.
Dale Earnhardt Jr: 19.5 average finish in 10 starts with Hendrick Motorsports; Only top 10 (fourth) with Hendrick came last year in this event; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 745) that he finished ninth with at Darlington Raceway.
Kevin Harvick: Finished second in this event last year; Has finished in the top 10 in three of his last four starts; 10.0 average finish in the last five races; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 383) that he finished fifth with at Darlington Raceway.
Paul Menard: 17.3 average finish in four starts with Richard Childress Racing; Only top 10 (seventh) came in the 2010 fall race with Richard Petty Motorsports; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 412) that he finished ninth with at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Martin Truex Jr: 16.2 average finish in six starts with Michael Waltrip racing; Has finished seventh or better in last two starts; Won this event in 2007 with Dale Earnhardt Inc.
Brad Keselowski: Coming off first win - and first top 10 - in six starts; 13.6 average finish in the last five races; Led 62 laps and finished third in the first race of the season on a concrete surface - Bristol Motor Speedway; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 849) that he finished ninth with at Texas Motor Speedway.
Kyle Busch: Winner of the 2008 and 2010 spring race; Led 302 laps en route to a seventh-place finish last fall; Has finished seventh or better in five of the last six races; 10.4 average finish and second in laps led (349) in the last five races; Led 56 laps and finished second in the first race of the season on a concrete surface - Bristol Motor Speedway.
Aric Almirola: 12.5 average finish in two starts; Finished sixth in this event last season; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 855) in the Dover 400.
Greg Biffle: Last of two wins came in the 2008 fall race; Last of 10 top 10s came in this event in 2010 (sixth); 18.4 average finish in the last five races; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 809) that he finished 13th with at Darlington Raceway.
Jamie McMurray: Has yet to finish in the top 10 in six races driving an Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet; 18.2 average finish in the last five races; Last of five top 10s came in this event in 2008 driving for Roush Fenway Racing.
Jeff Gordon: Coming off 15th top five with a second-place finish; Led 60 laps and finished 13th last year in this event; Last of four wins came in this event in 2001; 11.0 average finish in the last five races; Led 65 laps in the first race of the season on a concrete surface - Bristol Motor Speedway - prior to an accident.
Ryan Newman: Best track a 1-mile or greater based on average finish of 12.1; Last of 11 top 10s came in the 2010 fall race in eighth; 14.9 average finish in eight starts with Stewart-Haas Racing; 17.6 average finish in the last five races; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 761) in the Dover 400.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr: Finished 12th in first start last fall; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 820) that he finished 11th with at Kansas Speedway.
Kurt Busch: Winner of the 2011 fall race with Penske Racing; 13.2 average finish in the last five races; Will be making first track start with Furniture Row Racing.
Joey Logano: Finished eighth in this event last year; 9.0 average finish in both races in 2012; Will make first track start with Penske Racing in the same car (chassis No. 842) that he finished 17th with at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Tony Stewart: 24.0 average finish in the last five races; Finished in the top 10 in his first three of eight starts with Stewart-Haas Racing; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 722) that he finished 31st with at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Re: FedEx 400 Betting News and Notes
FedEx 400 Post-Practice Betting Notes
By: Micah Roberts
Kurt Busch had the fastest lap (153.224 mph) during Saturday's final practice session at Dover International Speedway in preparation for Sunday's FedEx 400, but it was Matt Kenseth who was the most impressive on the day. Kenseth, a two-time winner at Dover, was fastest in the early session (156.788 mph) and second fastest during happy hour (153.074).
The leaders of Saturday's two practice sessions looked almost like two completely different groups, with the one glaring difference being Kenseth high on each speed chart. In the early session, Kenseth had the fastest five-consecutive lap average, but he didn't run 10 straight laps. During happy hour, he had the 10th-best 10-consecutive lap average.
Based on the final practice session being run at relatively the same time at which Sunday's race will start, a case could be made that happy hour was the more important of the two sessions, but that might not be entirely true. Every team seemed to have different agenda's between the two 60-minute sessions, whether it was attempting different set-ups or running on used tires over long runs.
Because of Kenseth's outstanding history at Dover, which includes eight top-five finishes in his last 10 starts there, and being fast in both sessions, he becomes the race favorite. Seven-time Dover winner Jimmie Johnson and two-time Dover winner Kyle Busch opened as 5-to-1 favorites earlier in the week.
Johnson was very good in both of Saturday's sessions. He had the fastest 10-consecutive lap average among the 15 drivers that attempted that many in the early practice, and he was third best in that category during happy hour. Johnson has won four of the past eight races at Dover and will be attempting to pass NASCAR Hall of Famers Bobby Allison and Richard Petty for Dover's all-time lead in wins with eight.
A driver that doesn't have the type of history at Dover like Johnson or Kenseth but was strong in practice, is Kasey Kahne. He had the second-fastest single lap in the first session, and he was ninth fastest during happy hour. He posted the best 10-consecutive lap average among 19 drivers running at least 10 straight laps in the final session.
Another reason to suggest Kahne might be a driver to stop Kenseth or Johnson from a victorious Sunday is because he's using his winning chassis from Bristol. While Bristol is half-mile shorter than the Dover, both tracks have a concrete surface with high banking, which makes the set-up somewhat similar for crew chiefs.
Juan Pablo Montoya and Jamie McMurray were both fast in practice, showing that Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing is making major strides with its program. They both finished within the top six fastest single-lap times in happy hour.
Kurt Busch won his last Cup race at Dover in 2011 and is carrying over some serious momentum from an excellent two weeks at Charlotte and, for the most part, all season long. Seeing his name atop the speed charts is no longer a shock, as the No. 78 Furniture Row team has been doing it on a consistent basis. His 20-to-1 odds are the lowest they've been all season, and he's knocking on the door loudly for a win.
Martin Truex Jr. won his only race at Dover in 2007 and ran well in the final session with the ninth-fastest lap and second-best 10-consecutive lap average.
A driver that may have his odds increased considerably because of not doing anything special in practice is 2007 Dover winner, Carl Edwards. While all the drivers who did well in practice will have their odds dropped, the drivers -- like Edwards -- who didn't, will have theirs raised. His 8.3 average finish at Dover over his career makes him live on Sunday. The guy loves racing on concrete, and practices don't always tell the story.
Kenseth, Johnson and Kahne are the drivers to beat, but it wouldn't be a shock to see a driver with odds of 20-to-1 or higher win the race. If finding a juicy enough price on Kurt Busch, Montoya or McMurray, they might be worth a small poke. However, let it be known that Truex, Montoya and McMurray didn't crack our final top-10 list, sliding to 11-13, respectively.
Re: FedEx 400 Betting News and Notes
FedEx 400 Preview
NASCAR remains on the East Coast this Sunday when the drivers try their luck in Dover, DE for the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks. Dover International Speedway, nicknamed the "Monster Mile" is a 1-mile, intermediate concrete track completed in 1969 in an oval shape. Each turn has the same "monster" 24° banking and straightaways consist of 9° banking. Both the frontstretch and backstretch measure 1,076 feet (0.204 miles). Jimmie Johnson has won seven of his 22 races at Dover, but Brad Keselowski won at this track in the most recent race last fall. Starting position is very important at this venue, as seven of the past 10 Dover winners have started in one of the top five spots.
Drivers to Watch
Jimmie Johnson (4/1) - Not only has Johnson won seven times at this track since 2002, but his average finish is a stellar 6.3 since 2005, spanning 16 races. In his past eight starts at Dover, he has four wins, a runner-up, and a 4th, 9th and 16th. This season, he's finished in the top-5 in half the races, and placed 12th or better in all but two starts.
Martin Truex Jr. (15/1) - He has certainly had some shining moments at Dover, as he's started third or better in four of his past six starts at this track, a stretch which includes two pole positions. More importantly, Truex Jr. has also finished in the top-8 in three of the past four starts at the "Monster Mile." He's also turned his 2013 season around completely, as Truex was in 25th place with a 23.0 average finish after his first six races this year, but has now moved up to 9th place in the standings, thanks to an 8.5 average finish over his past six starts.
Brad Keselowski (12/1) - He won the Dover race last fall, and also finished strong in the one concrete track race this season at Bristol, placing third behind Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch. Keselowski's average finish at this track is a mediocre 14.3 in six starts, but he has not enjoyed especially strong starting positions either (16.8 average). Keselowski is also due to bust out of his month-long slump that has seen him place 33rd, 15th, 32nd and 36th in his past four starts.
Joey Logano (35/1) - As darkhorses go, Logano has a lot to offer bettors on Sunday. First of all, he's thrived on concrete tracks with three top-10's in his past four races on this surface, which includes finishes of 8th and 10th at Dover. Logano has also raced better than his current 19th place in the standings shows. Take away his two crashes in Kansas and Talladega, and he's tallied top-5's in four of his past six races.
Jeff Burton (200/1) - He's got a great chance of being in contention at the "Monster Mile," where he won in 2006 and has seven other top-5 showings at Dover in his career. Since 2005, Burton has placed 12th or better in 12 of 16 starts at this track, posting runner-up finishes in both of the 2010 Dover starts. Burton has also led two of the past four races this season, which included a 5th-place finish at Richmond.