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NASCAR Sprint Cup FedEx 400 Betting Preview
Dover International Speedway plays host to Sunday's FedEx 400 for Autism Speaks, the first of two races this season at the concrete oval in Delaware. Dover International Speedway is also known as the "Monster Mile," for good reason. It's like a super-sized Bristol Motor Speedway, with similar banking and track surface all in a one-mile oval. Dover has a short track feel, but produces the high 160-plus mph speeds of the larger tracks on the circuit.
Need To Know
The surface is very abrasive on tires, and four-tire stops on pit road will be the norm Sunday. The track distance and difficult conditions can stretch the field, which can sometimes allow for teams to play the fuel-strategy game. Passing is generally done on the inside, but drivers must be very careful to avoid the apron and its more shallow banking. Staying on top of the track can be just as important as racing your fellow competitors here.
Jimmie Johnson is batting .500 at The Monster Mile since 2009 — he's won six of the 12 races — which has left few victories for everyone else. But there are other drivers capable of winning at the 1-mile Delaware track. Just ask Jeff Gordon, who won his first Dover race since 2001 last fall.
Kevin Harvick had the dominant car last fall at Dover, leading 223 laps before a cut tire sent him to pit road. Harvick will be back in the same car he led 96 laps with at Texas Motor Speedway in April. Dover has been one of Tony Stewart's best tracks since 2013, posting an average finish of 7.3 in three starts, which includes a win. He will be back in the same car he scored his only top 10 of the season with at Bristol Motor Speedway. Carl Edwards, who has one Dover win, will be making his first track start with Joe Gibbs Racing after scoring his first win with the team last weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Kevin Harvick (7/2): The fuel mileage game left Harvick without a top-two finish at an intermediate track for the first time all season last week. Still, he scored another top 10. Dover is one of five active tracks on the circuit that the 2014 Sprint Cup champion has yet to win at. He looked strong in last fall's Chase race here, leading 223 of the first 248 laps before a left front tire went down. 2014 was the first season Harvick didn't have at least one top 10 at Dover since 2009. On the positive side, Harvick has the second-most green flag passes (867) in the loop data era at Dover.
Jimmie Johnson (4/1): Johnson smacked the pit road wall while running in the top five at Charlotte to derail his bid for a repeat in the Coca-Cola 600. The cure for that? A trip to Dover of course, where Johnson has been the king of the castle with nine wins (most among all drivers), the best average finish among active drivers (8.2), the most laps led (2976) and the best average running position (6.454) in the loop data era. The dominance has really come since 2009 as six of the nine wins have come in that 12-race stretch.
Brad Keselowski (6/1): Keselowski's seventh-place finish last week extends his run of consecutive top 10s at intermediate tracks to seven, dating back to last year at Texas. The 2012 champion won the fall Chase race at Dover that year and has four top fives in his past five starts there. Last year, despite having series-best six wins on the season, the Team Penske driver couldn't quite get to Victory Lane at Dover, finishing as the runner-up in both races.
Kurt Busch (8/1): Busch led 118 circuits at Charlotte but none after Lap 260, indicating his car didn't find the changing track conditions to its liking. Still, the SHR driver has led the second-most laps in the series (659) and that's with being suspended for the first three races of the season. Dover is far from Busch's strongest track. He was eliminated here from the Challenger 16 round of the Chase last year and has finished outside the top 10 in the six races since his fall 2011 win.
Joey Logano (10/1): Logano's 17 laps led last week were the fewest he has led in a race this season where he has paced the field. Dover has been a favorable track for Logano despite leading just one lap there in 12 starts. His average finish (13.8) is the fifth-best among tracks on the circuit. His past six starts at the Monster Mile have all produced top-10 finishes. Not to mention, in the loop data era, Logano has the fourth-highest average of quality passes (27.5) at Dover.
Number of previous races: 90.
First Sprint Cup race: July 6, 1969, won by Richard Petty.
Last Sprint Cup race: September 28, 2014, won by Jeff Gordon.
Won from pole: 13, last time by Jimmie Johnson in 2010.
Won from top-5 starting position: 53 times in 90 races (59%).
Won from top-10 starting position: 71 times (79%).
Won from 21st or worse starting position: 5 times (6%).
Worst starting spot for race winner: 37th, by Kyle Petty in 1995.
Most laps led: 491, by Richard Petty in 1974.
Fewest laps led by a race winner: 3, by Tony Stewart in 2013.
Fastest race: 132.719 mph by Mark Martin in 1997.
Fastest qualifying speed: 164.444 mph by Brad Keselowski in 2014.
Most lead changes: 29 in 1980 and 1986.
Closest finish: Jimmie Johnson's .08 second margin over Kyle Busch in 2005.
Most caution flags: 16 in 1993.
From 2010-2014 a typical Dover race had 17.9 lead changes, 6.1 cautions for 29.2 laps, and an average green-flag run of 52.2 laps
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