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NASCAR National Series News & Notes – Dover International Speedway


Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Next Race: Gander RV 400
The Place: Dover International Speedway
The Date: Sunday, May 5
The Time: 2 p.m. ET
TV: FS1, 1:30 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 400 miles (400 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 120),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 240), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 400)
2018 Winner: Kevin Harvick

NASCAR Xfinity Series
Next Race: Allied Steel Buildings 200
The Place: Dover International Speedway
The Date: Saturday, May 4
The Time: 1:30 p.m. ET
TV: FS1, 1:00 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 200 miles (200 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)
2018 Winner: Justin Allgaier

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series
Next Race: JEGS 200
The Place: Dover International Speedway
The Date: Friday, May 3
The Time: 5 p.m. ET
TV: FS1, 4:30 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 200 miles (200 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)
2018 Winner: Johnny Sauter

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Kyle Busch is at a record pace
Kyle Busch is not only pacing the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in victories (three) this season, but his 10-consecutive top-10 finishes through the opening 10 races has only been accomplished by four other drivers – Lee Petty (1955), James Hylton (1972), Cale Yarborough (1974), Morgan Shepherd (1990) – and hasn’t been done in 29 years. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver, who celebrates his 34th birthday on Thursday, has 12 consecutive top-10 finishes going back to the end of the 2018 season.

And this week’s Gander RV 400 at Dover International Speedway (Sunday, 2 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) may well be a place for Busch to further pad his numbers. He has 12 total NASCAR national series victories at the famed one-miler, including three in the Monster Energy Series, five in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and four in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.

He has 17 top-10 finishes and 12 top-five showings in 28 series starts, including a series-best four more runner-up finishes in the past four seasons in addition to his three wins. Only the track’s all-time best Jimmie Johnson has more top-fives (17) or top-10s (24). Busch, who drives the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry, has led laps in six of the last eight races. He won the pole position in the Playoff race at Dover last Fall and won the 2017 Playoff race at the track, however he finished 35th after a drivetrain problem in this spring race at Dover last year.

An 11th consecutive top-10 finish this week would tie a mark set in 1990 by Morgan Shepherd who began the season with 11 top 10s. Busch continues to lead the Monster Energy Series championship driver standings. He’s now 15-points up on Joey Logano and boasts the most stage wins (five) of the series.

"I love that place,” Busch said of Dover’s Monster Mile. "It’s fun to race there and it’s a place I’m looking forward to going to with our Toyota Camry. I went there when I was 18 to race in the Xfinity Series for my first time. It will scare you the first time you race there. You carry so much speed at that racetrack and, for it to be a mile in length and for it to be concrete – concrete surfaces that we race on, anyway – are a little bit slick.

"It’s definitely a rollercoaster ride and you need to treat it like it’s fun and not to be scared of the place, I think, because you can get so much out of that place. There are two ways about it – you can probably be really, really good there, or really, really bad there. Some days are going to be better than others, obviously, with how you can get your car set up compared to the competition."

Chasing Hendrick Motorsport’s Chase Elliott
Chase Elliott’s dramatic victory at Talladega Superspeedway last Sunday not only secured a Playoff berth for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series’ reigning Most Popular Driver, but it was a huge boost of early season confidence for the 23-year old from Georgia.

Elliott returns to Dover International Speedway this week as the most recent winner at the Monster Mile. He scored a Playoff win here last October and has been nothing short of amazing in his young career at the track. He has five top-five finishes in six series races. His "worst" showing is 12th in this race last year. Watch for him to be upfront as his 4.3 average finish is best in the series as is his 8.24 average running position.

The victory last Sunday was the fourth of Elliott’s four-year Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career. He’s. seventh in the championship standings, only four points behind 2017 series champ Martin Truex Jr.

"What kind of stands out to me, I just love Dover, because when you win Dover, you’ve done something,” Elliott’s crew chief Alan Gustafson said, looking ahead after the Talladega win.

"That’s a tough, fast track. There’s no place to hide. There’s no way you can get away with not being on the edge all day.”

Truex loves coming home to Dover
Martin Truex Jr. heads to Dover International Speedway feeling both comfortable and optimistic. The New Jersey native considers Dover as close to a "home track" as he has. And it has long been a sentimental favorite as well, considering it’s where Truex scored his first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win in June of 2007. He added another trophy is 2016 and shows up this weekend already with a victory on the season – scoring his first career short track win at Richmond Raceway three weeks ago.

Since a disappointing 35th-place showing in the season-opening Daytona 500, Truex has steadily made his way up the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings. The new Joe Gibbs Racing team driver has a pair of runner-up showings (at Atlanta and Phoenix) in the No. 19 Toyota Camry and is currently sixth in the championship rankings, only nine points behind fifth place Brad Keselowski.

Truex has five top-10s and four top-fives in the last six Dover races, leading 387 laps in that time. He hasn’t started farther back than the fourth row in the last eight races. He’s won at the track in the Xfinity Series too – scoring two of his 13 career wins there (in 2004 and 2005).

He said he expects Sunday’s race to be more unpredictable than past versions.

"Dover is going to be a tough race, I think,” Truex said. "The speeds are going to be really high. I’m sure it will be the fastest we’ve ever been around Dover and 400 laps there is tough no matter what. I think it’s going to be pretty crazy.

"Hopefully we’ll be able to do some passing and hopefully the dirty air deal is not terrible. I think track position will be important, but the speeds are going to be tough. It’s going to be demanding. Bristol was pretty crazy. I thought it was just because of how hard you had to drive the car every lap. As fast as Dover is, I think feel wise, it’s probably the fastest place we go. So, it’s going to be an eye opener for some guys."

Harvick has some ground to make up
Kevin Harvick grimaced answering reporters’ questions last weekend following an early and unexpected exit from the Talladega Superspeedway race. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver and perennial championship contender was collected in a wreck only 11 laps into last Sunday’s event and suffered a season worse 38th-place finish.

But Harvick arrives at Dover International Speedway, the defending race winner of Sunday’s Gander RV 400 (2 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) and more than ready to correct his season trajectory.

He led a series best 487 laps in the two 2018 races on the Monster Mile, winning in the spring and finishing sixth during the Fall Playoff race. He has six top-five and 17 top-10 finishes in 36 starts – earning five top-10s since joining SHR in 2014.

In 2015, Harvick led an amazing 355 of the 400 laps to earn his first victory at Dover. During a five race stretch from 2014-16, he led 810 laps at the track – 56% of his 1,442-career total.

Harvick crashed out in both of this season’s superspeedway races (in the season-opening Daytona 500 and at Talladega) but is still ranked fourth in the championship thanks to top-10 finishes in seven of the other eight races. The driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang has four finishes of fourth-place this season.

Dover is a vital venue for Jimmie Johnson
Seven-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson returns to the site of his most recent victory – Dover International Speedway, where he is the sport’s all-time winningest driver with 11 victories. It’s that last one, in the spring of 2017, that is most noteworthy as the series returns to the tough one-mile concrete track this week. That was his last series win and marks the first time in his illustrious 83-victory, Hall of Fame-bound career that he has gone an entire season (2018) without a trophy.

Technically, the 43-year old Californian hoisted one already this year as winner of the exhibition "The Clash" race at Daytona International Speedway to kick off Daytona Speedweeks. But Johnson is eager to return to his historic winning ways and with his history at Dover, this week may present an ideal opportunity.

Johnson leads the competition with 24 top-10 and 17 top-five finishes in 34 starts at Dover. He has 11 wins, including this very first two visits to the track in 2002. He swept the 2009 season as well and won back-to-back in 2013-14 too – the only driver in the field to win back-to-back races at Dover. He boasts the series-best driver rating (114.4) heading into the weekend and the top average running position (8.835) among those with more than six starts at the track.

The driver of the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 has a pair of top 10s in the three races since his win, including a ninth place in this race last year a third place in the 2017 Fall race.

He’s led a series best 3,105 laps total at Dover but is looking to lead his first since the 2017 season.

Johnson is coming off a tough Talladega Superspeedway race, finishing 33rd, which dropped him from 13th to 16th in the series championship driver standings.

Change of Pace: Bowyer, Hamlin looking for first Dover win
Stewart-Haas Racing driver Clint Bowyer and Joe Gibbs Racing driver Denny Hamlin arrive in Dover, Delaware with a statistic they’d like to quickly alter. The two perennial championship contenders have made the most Dover starts (26) in this weekend’s field without a win.

Half the current members of the Championship Top 16 are still looking for their victory at the Monster Mile, but none of the other active competitors have gone this long without a trophy. Bowyer, the driver of the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang, has 14 top-10 finishes at Dover, but only three top-five showings – his best finish, however, came in this race last year – runner-up to SHR teammate Kevin Harvick. Bowyer’s 13.3 average finish is fourth best among the top-16 ranked drivers and his 89.8 driver rating is eighth best. Bowyer has a pair of Xfinity Series wins at the track as well.

Hamlin, driver of the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry, has won three poles at the track (second-most among active drivers), but his average finish of 17.385 is only 13th best in the field. His best showing (runner-up) came in last season’s Dover Playoff race. He has five top-10 finishes in the last six Dover races. Plus, he owns a pair of Xfinity trophies at Dover, winning back-to-back races in 2007-08.

"Ever since I’ve been at SHR, we’ve seemed to have some really good cars at Dover," Bowyer said. "We’ve been so close to taking home that Miles The Monster (a replica of the track’s 46-foot mascot) trophy. I hope we are just as good this weekend. If we are, then we have as good of a chance as anyone. You’ve got to fight this ‘monster’ every lap. I won a couple of Xfinity races there – haven’t won a Cup race – but love this racetrack."

Sunoco Rookie Optimism
After enduring an expected learning curve in recent weeks two of the Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidates scored big time at Talladega Superspeedway last week. Both Ryan Preece and Daniel Hemric left Alabama with career best showings in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

JTG-Daugherty Racing’s Ryan Preece answered a top-10 in the season-opening Daytona 500 with a third-place finish at Talladega just off the bumpers of fellow Chevrolets, race winner Chase Elliott and runner-up Alex Bowman. Richard Childress Racing driver Daniel Hemric finished a career best fifth for the first top-10 of his career. His previous best showing in 2019 was 18th at Phoenix.

Both Preece and Hemric have reason to be optimistic about Dover’s notoriously tough "Monster Mile." Preece has a best showing of fourth-place in last year’s Fall Xfinity race. Hemric has three previous top-10s in the Xfinity Series there, including a career-best third-place finish in the spring race last year and a pole position for the Fall, 2018 race. He also scored a pair of top-10s competing in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series – fourth in 2015 and ninth in 2016.

Front Row Motorsports’ rookie Matt Tifft is still looking for his first series top 10, but like Preece and Hemric, he boasts a solid resume at Dover. He has four top-10 finishes in the Xfinity Series there, including a career-best of sixth in Fall, 2017.

Parade Laps: Insights ahead of this week’s driver media rotations
Six drivers from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series – Germain Racing’s Ty Dillon, Hendrick Motorsport’s Alex Bowman, Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick, Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Dillon, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson and Front Row Motorsport’s Michael McDowell will be participating in this week’s media rotations at Dover International Speedway in advance of Sunday’s Gander RV 400 (2 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Ty Dillon, 27, of Lewisville, N.C., tallied the most laps (seven) out front this season last Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway en route to a 17th-place finish – his fifth top-20 effort in 2019. The grandson of NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Childress, Dillon has one top-10 – a sixth-place finish in the Daytona 500 – for his No. 13 Germain Racing team. In five starts at the notoriously tough Dover International Speedway, he has a single top-15 finish – 14th in this race two years ago. He led 27 laps in the race – the only time he has paced the field at Dover.

Alex Bowman, 26, of Tucson, Ariz., shows up in Dover fresh off his best career finish – a runner-up showing to Hendrick Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott at Talladega last Sunday. It’s his only top-10 finish of the season. He started on the outside of the front row for the Daytona 500 and his 11th-place finish in the race was his previous best showing of 2019. Bowman has one previous top-20 finish at Dover – a 20th in the Spring, 2015 race when he was driving for Tommy Baldwin Racing. He finished 23rd and 28th in his Hendrick Motorsports full season debut at Dover last year.

Kevin Harvick, 43, of Bakersfield, Calif., is coming off his worst showing of 2019 – a 38th-place finish at Talladega after being collected in a crash only 11 laps into the race. An eight-time race winner in 2018, Harvick is still looking for his first victory this season. He has four top fives this season – all fourth-place showings for the driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang. He won the pole position at Las Vegas and two weeks ago at Richmond, where his fourth-place finish is his last top-10 in a three-race stretch. Dover’s "Monster Mile" may well prove a venue where Harvick returns to Victory Lane. He is the defending race winner, has two career wins there and three top-10 finishes in the last four races. He’s led 1,442 laps in his career at Dover, including a five-race streak between 2014-16 when he led 810 laps – or 56 percent of the five-race total. He led 487 laps in last year’s two races – winning in this race and finishing fourth in the Playoff race.

Austin Dillon, 29, of Lewisville, N.C., earned his third 14th-place finish of the season last Sunday at Talladega. He won the pole for the race – his second of the season (also at Fontana, Calif.) – and his best race finish this season was a sixth at Richmond two weeks ago. The driver of the famed No. 3 RCR Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for his grandfather’s Richard Childress Racing team has never led a lap at Dover in 11 starts but is coming off his best career finish at Dover – seventh last Fall.

Kyle Larson, 26, Elk Grove, Calif. is coming off a dramatic finish at Talladega, crashing on the white flag lap and having to settle for a 24th-place finish after a strong run all afternoon in the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. Larson has been caught up in crashes in three of the last four races coming to Dover. More typically considered a legitimate championship contender, he has had only two top-10 finishes in 2019 – a seventh in the season-opening Daytona 500 and a sixth at Phoenix two weeks later. Dover has been a good venue for Larson, however. He has two runner-up finishes – in the spring 2016 and 2017 races. He has also led a combined 378 laps in the two 2017 season races – finishing second and fifth. In this race last year, he won the pole position and finished 10th.

Michael McDowell, 34, of Phoenix, Arizona started the season with a headline-making fifth place showing in the Daytona 500, but has six finishes since of 30th-place or worse. He’s crashed out of the last two races and finished last in the 40-car field at Talladega last Sunday. While he is still looking for his first top 10 on Dover’s "Monster Mile" he turned in his best showing (19th) at the track in the 2017 spring race.

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Final Four: Xfinity Series drivers’ last chance to win the Dash 4 Cash
The NASCAR Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash program has reached its fourth and final round. With it brings one last chance for Tyler Reddick, Chase Briscoe, Christopher Bell and Gray Gaulding to battle it out for the $100,00 bonus, and it all comes down to who finishes the highest at the high-speed, concrete, one-mile track – Dover International Speedway – for this weekend’s Allied Steel Buildings 200 at 1:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Earlier this year, Christopher Bell (Bristol), Cole Custer (Richmond) and last weekend’s winner Tyler Reddick (Talladega) all fattened their bank accounts by winning the Dash 4 Cash and pocketing the $100,000 bonus.

Dash 4 Cash Driver’s Dover Stats Rundown:
Tyler Reddick (No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet) has made three starts at Dover International Speedway, posting one top five and an average finish of 15.0. Plus, he has completed 99.5% of his laps attempted and has also led 23 laps.

Christopher Bell (No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) has made two series starts at Dover International Speedway posting one win (last fall), two top fives and an average finish of 2.5. He has completed 100% of his laps attempted at Dover and has led 110 laps.

Chase Briscoe (No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi Ford) made his series track debut at Dover International Speedway last fall driving for Roush Fenway Racing; he started 13th but finished 19th.

Gray Gaulding (No. 08 SS Green Light Racing Chevrolet) made his series track debut at Dover International Speedway in 2017 driving for RSS Racing; he started 40th and finished 34th.

Locked into the Playoffs, Reddick looks to Dover to keep the win streak rolling
Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick must be floating on ‘Cloud 9′ following his dominating performance at Talladega Superspeedway last weekend en route to his first win of the season. Now the NASCAR Xfinity Series standings leader has locked himself into the Playoffs with his win and opened up his points lead to 32 points over second-place Christopher Bell and a massive 74 points over third-place Austin Cindric.

Heading to Dover this weekend, Reddick is not only looking to keep the winning ways going, but he also has a chance at another big $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus; which he won last weekend.

In nine starts this season, Reddick has put up two poles (Daytona, California), one win (Talladega), seven top fives and eight top 10s. Plus, he leads the series in average finish with a 4.9 and has led 199 laps this season.

Justin Allgaier hopes Dover can be his springboard to the Playoffs
Last season’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Spring race winner at Dover International Speedway was JR Motorsport’s Justin Allgaier. The victory was significant in the fact it would end up being his first of a career-best five-win season. Fast forward to 2019 and Allgaier returns to the concrete Monster Mile looking for a spark to get his winning ways back in full swing and defend his victory from a year ago.

Allgaier currently sits fifth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship standings, 115-points behind Tyler Reddick in the series standings lead. At this point last year heading into Dover Allgaier had five top fives and six top 10s. This season, he only has three top fives and four top 10s. A win this weekend at Dover would make Allgaier the 10th different driver to win back-to-back series races at Dover International Speedway. It would also lock him into the Playoffs. Most recent driver to win back-to-back Xfinity races at Dover was Kyle Busch’s 2014 season sweep.

Allgaier has made 16 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Dover, grabbing one win (2018), six top fives, nine top 10s and an average finish of 11.4.

Sunoco Rookie Update: Nemechek, Briscoe are tied for rookie standings lead

Rookie Standings Points
John H. Nemechek

295

Chase Briscoe

295

Noah Gragson

284

Justin Haley

273

Brandon Brown

180

Through nine NASCAR Xfinity Series races this season the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings are tied at the top with GMS Racing’s John Hunter Nemechek and Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi’s Chase Briscoe both having 295 points.

John Hunter Nemechek and the No. 23 GMS Racing Chevrolet team with crew chief Chad Norris have put up two top fives and seven top 10s in nine starts this season. The Mooresville, North Carolina, native has an average starting position of 11.2 and an average finish of 10.4. this season – with his best result coming a few weeks back at Las Vegas Motor Speedway; where he finished runner-up to Kyle Busch.

Chase Briscoe’s season got off to a slow start, but since has been in full gear marching up the standings in the No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi Ford with crew chief Richard Boswell. In nine starts this season, Briscoe has posted four top fives and seven top 10s. The Mitchell, Indiana native has an average starting position of 13.3. and an average finish of 7.3 this season.

Both drivers made their series track debuts at Dover last season, but Nemechek has a slight advantage in experience heading into this weekend at Dover as he has two series starts at the Monster Mile posting one top 10 an average finish of 11.5. While Briscoe only has his lone debut start driving for Roush Fenway Racing; he started 13th but finished 19th.

Monster Mile: Xfinity Stats Snapshot
Below are some quick stats to get you up to speed for this weekend’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Dover International Speedway the Allied Steel Buildings 200 on Saturday, May 4 at 1:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio:

Races/Starts:
Dover International Speedway will tie Richmond Raceway for the third-most (71) NASCAR Xfinity Series races in series history with the event this weekend; the track has currently hosted 70 series races. The first Xfinity Series race held at Dover International Speedway was on May 15, 1982 and the event was won by Joe Ruttman driving for car owner Butch Mock (Pontiac). The series has competed at Dover International Speedway once a year for the first four seasons (1982-1985) and then twice a season since 1986. In total, 498 different NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers have made starts at Dover, and 353 drivers have competed in more than one. Morgan Shepherd leads the series in starts at Dover International Speedway with 34.

Poles:
In total, the NASCAR Xfinity Series has seen 46 different drivers win the pole award at Dover International Speedway; led by Joey Logano (2009, 2010, 2013, 2014 sweep) and Harry Gant (1982, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1994) with five poles each. Harry Gant (Pontiac) won the series’ first pole (138.021 mph) at Dover International Speedway in 1982 and Daniel Hemric (Chevrolet) won the most recent Xfinity pole (158.249 mph) at Dover last October. The youngest Xfinity pole winner at Dover International Speedway is Bubba Wallace (September 29, 2012 at 18 years, 11 months and 21 days). Dick Trickle is the oldest series pole winner at Dover International Speedway (June 5, 1999 at 57 years, 7 months, 9 days). Erik Jones (Toyota) holds the NASCAR Xfinity Series qualifying record at Dover International Speedway with a speed of 158.318 mph (October 2, 2016).

Wins:
In total the NASCAR Xfinity Series has seen 48 different drivers win the race at Dover International Speedway; led by Kyle Busch with five victories (2008, 2010 sweep, 2014 sweep). Joe Ruttman (Pontiac) won the series’ first race at Dover International Speedway in 1982 with an average speed of 111.679 mph, and Christopher Bell (Toyota) won the most recent Xfinity race at Dover last October with an average speed of 116.845 mph. Four former winners are entered this weekend – Morgan Shepherd (1986), Jeff Green (2001), Justin Allgaier (spring 2018) and Christopher Bell (fall 2018). The youngest Xfinity race winner at Dover International Speedway is Casey Atwood (September 25, 1999 at 19 years, 1 months, 0 days). The oldest series winner at Dover is Harry Gant (September 14, 1991 at 51 years, 1 month, 0 days). Joey Logano holds the race record in the series at Dover International Speedway with an average speed of 131.219 mph (September 28, 2013).

Parade Laps: Insights ahead of this week’s driver media breakouts
Four drivers from the NASCAR Xfinity Series – JR Motorsport’s Tyler Reddick, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell and Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi’s Chase Briscoe and SS Greenlight Racing’s Gray Gaulding – will be participating in this week’s media rotations at Dover International Speedway leading into this Saturday’s Allied Steel Buildings 200 at 1:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Tyler Reddick (No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Camaro)
Birthdate: January 11, 1996
Driver’s Age: 23
Hometown: Corning, California
Hobbies: Riding ATVs, gaming, working on cars
Team: Richard Childress Racing
Crew Chief: Randall Burnett
Xfinity Career Highlights:

  • Won the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship.
  • Also won the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors; just third driver in series history to win the title in his rookie season joining Chase Elliott (2014) and William Byron (2017).
  • In 2017, he captured his first NASCAR Xfinity Series victory at Kentucky, while running a partial schedule. Currently has three series career wins (Kentucky, Daytona and Homestead-Miami).

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Current NASCAR Xfinity driver championship standings leader, 32 points ahead of second place Christopher Bell.
  • In nine starts this season he has posted two poles (Daytona, California), one win (Talladega) seven top fives, eight top 10s and an average finish of 4.9 (series-best).
  • Won last weekend’s Dash 4 Cash, banking the $100,000 bonus on top of his first win of the season at Talladega Superspeedway.
  • Is qualified for this weekend’s Dash 4 Cash bonus at Dover.

Dover International Speedway Performance:

  • In three starts at Dover he has put up one top-five finish. His average starting position at the Monster Mile is 17.3 and his average finish is a 15.0. Has completed 99.5% of his laps attempted and has led 23 laps.

Christopher Bell (No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry)
Birthdate: December 16, 1994
Driver’s Age: 24
Hometown: Norman, Oklahoma
Hobbies: Dirt track racing, iRacing, golf
Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
Crew Chief: Jason Ratcliff
Xfinity Career Highlights:

  • In 2018, he set the rookie single season Xfinity Series wins record with seven victories; the previous record of five wins was held by three drivers – Greg Biffle (2001), Kyle Busch (2004) and Carl Edwards (2005).
  • Made the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs in rookie season (2018), and advanced to the Championship 4; ultimately finishing fourth in the championship standings.
  • Has 10 career NASCAR Xfinity Series wins in just 50 starts; including two this season (Atlanta, Bristol).
  • He is one of only five drivers in series history to win 10 or more races in their first 48 starts; joining Darrell Waltrip (12 wins), Dale Earnhardt (11 wins), Harry Gant (10 wins) and Jack Ingram (10 wins).

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Currently second in the NASCAR Xfinity driver points standings, 32 points back from series standings leader Tyler Reddick.
  • In nine starts this season, he has posted two poles (ISM Raceway, Texas), two wins (Atlanta, Bristol), five top fives, six top 10s and an average finish of 8.4.
  • Won the first Dash 4 Cash $100,000 bonus of 2019 at Bristol; is qualified this weekend for the Dash 4 Cash in Dover.
  • Leads the series in laps led this season with 454 (26.57% of his total laps completed). Has led at least one lap in all nine races in 2019.
  • Is qualified for this weekend’s Dash 4 Cash bonus at Dover.

Dover International Speedway Performance:

  • Has made two series starts at Dover International Speedway posting one win (fall 2018) and two top fives. Has an average starting position at Dover of 18.0 and an average finish of 2.5. Has completed 100% of his laps attempted and has led 110 laps – all in last October’s race.

Chase Briscoe (No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi Ford Mustang)
Birthdate: December 15, 1994
Driver’s Age: 24
Hometown: Mitchell, Indiana
Hobbies: Spending time with family, online racing, watching sports
Team: Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi
Crew Chief: Richard Boswell
Xfinity Career Highlights:

  • Made NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in 2018 at Atlanta.
  • Ran 17 Xfinity races last season for Roush Fenway Racing (12) and Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi (five) and won the inaugural race at the Charlotte Road Course (ROVAL).

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Currently seventh in the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver championship standings and tied for the lead with John Hunter Nemechek in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings.
  • In nine starts this season he has posted four top fives, seven top 10s and an average finish of 7.3.
  • Currently on a seven-race streak of top-10 finishes dating back to Las Vegas; including last weekend’s fourth-place finish to qualify him for this weekend’s Dash 4 Cash.

Dover International Speedway Performance:

  • He made his series debut at Dover last season driving for Roush Fenway Racing, starting 13th and finishing 19th.

Gray Gaulding (No. 08 SS Green Light Racing Chevrolet Camaro)
Birthdate: February 10, 1998
Driver’s Age: 21
Hometown: Colonial Heights, Virginia
Hobbies: Weight lifting, basketball, spending time on the lake, Go-Karting
Team: SS Green Light Racing
Crew Chief: Patrick Donahue
Xfinity Career Highlights:

  • Has made 17 NASCAR Xfinity Series career starts; posting a best finish of runner-up last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway.
  • Made five series starts in 2017 gaining experience driving for RSS Racing.
  • Made NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in 2016 with Roush Fenway Racing – competed in two races in 2016 finishing 13th at both (Bristol and Richmond).

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Current 14th in the NASCAR Xfinity Series driver championship standings, 223 points behind the standings lead.
  • In nine starts this season he has posted one top-five, three top-15 and seven top-20 finishes with an average finish of 16.6.
  • Is qualified for this weekend’s Dash 4 Cash bonus at Dover.

Dover International Speedway Performance:

  • Made his series track debut at Dover in 2017 driving for RSS Racing; he started 40th and finished 34th.

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.
Kaz Grala returns to RCR’s No. 21 - Boston, Massachusetts native Kaz Grala will be back in the Richard Childress Racing No. 21 Chevrolet Camaro with crew chief Justin Alexander this weekend at Dover international Speedway. This will be Grala’s third Xfinity start this season (all with RCR); in his previous two starts he has posted an average finish of 16.0. Grala made his series debut at Dover last season driving for JGL Racing; he started 16th but was caught in an incident on Lap 76 that relegated him to a 37th-place finish.

Zane Smith is back in JRM’s No. 8 - Huntington Beach, California, native Zane Smith has been tapped to pilot the JR Motorsports No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro with crew chief Taylor Moyer this weekend at Dover International Speedway. Smith has made four starts this season for JRM, posting one top 10 and an average finish of 13.7. This weekend will be Smith’s series track debut at the Monster Mile.

Riley Herbst jumps in JGR’s No. 18 - Las Vegas, Nevada native Riley Herbst returns to Joe Gibbs Racing to strap into the No. 18 Toyota with crew chief Ben Beshore. Herbst made his series season debut a few weeks back at Richmond, where he started on the pole and finished ninth. This weekend will be Herbst’s series track debut at Dover.

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series

Has Todd Gilliland got his groove back?
This past weekend in Talladega was an exciting one for the Gilliland family. Former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver David Gilliland got to watch on with pride as his son Todd Gilliland captured his first ARCA Menards Series win since 2015. The victory was the confidence boost the young driver acknowledged he needed after a slow start in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.

"This is really big for us," the Sherrills Ford, North Carolina native Todd Gilliland said. "Obviously, my confidence has been down a little bit, but racing with these DGR-Crosley guys is definitely something special. Being able to come to the race track with such confidence in myself and everyone around me is huge. I think as soon as we can get that on the truck side, it’s definitely going to be a lot of wins coming."

This ARCA win and confidence boost came at the right time as Gilliland heads into Dover International Speedway this weekend for the Gander Trucks race the JEGS 200 on Friday at 5 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Gilliland currently holds a one-point lead over Harrison Burton in the series Playoffs outlook.

Gilliland made his Gander Trucks debut at Dover back in 2017 and managed to place 20th even with a suspension issue. He came back in 2018 improving upon the previous year’s finish by securing a top 10 spot (10th). Additionally, the Kyle Busch Motorsports driver has some NASCAR K&N Pro Series East experience at the concrete track, making two starts posting average finish of 13.5

Sunoco Rookie Update: Burton still hold rookie standings lead

Gander Outdoors Rookies

Points

Harrison Burton

148

Sheldon Creed

133

Tyler Dippel

97

Gus Dean

72

Tyler Ankrum

54

Anthony Alfredo

48

Natalie Decker

42

North Carolina’s Harrison Burton, driver of the No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra, finished a disappointing 31st at Texas but still manages to lead the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings by 15 points over second place Sheldon Creed.

Burton’s misfortune at Texas turned out to be Creed’s gain. Creed managed a 22nd-place finish which helped him close Burton’s points lead from 31 to 15 points heading into this weekend at Dover International Speedway.

But Dover could be where Burton strikes back in the points though, last year the rookie managed to turn a 17th-place start into a solid fifth-place finish at the Monster-Mile. This weekend will be Creeds series track debut at Dover International Speedway.

Under Pressure: Friesen might be feeling it
The pressure is on, as NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series standings leader Stewart Friesen and second place Grant Enfinger are only separated by six points and will look to battle it out for the top spot in the championship standings this weekend at Dover International Speedway in the JEGS 200 on Friday, May 3 at 5 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Enfinger grabbed the points lead following Atlanta and was able to hold the top points position up through Martinsville, then Stewart Friesen took his place with a solid fifth-place finish at Las Vegas and held the point ever since.

Both Enfinger and Friesen are coming off strong finishes in Texas, with Enfinger placing fourth and Friesen second.

As these drivers head into Dover International Speedway this weekend, Enfinger may have his opportunity to take back the top points position. His average finish at the Monster Mile is an 8.5.
While Friesen may have his work cut out for him if wants to stay on top – the Halmar Friesen Racing driver’s average finish at the track is a 25.5 due to being in incidents in both of his starts at the one-mile track.

Rearview Mirror: Looking Back at Dover
The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Series races at Dover International Speedway are always ones to remember, especially when there have been so many notable trends throughout the years.

From 2008 to 2014, Toyota won a string of seven races at Dover, until 2015, when Tyler Reddick snapped the wins streak in a Ford. Toyota responded in 2016 with a Matt Crafton win.

However, it could be any OEM’s game this weekend. With defending event winner Johnny Sauter in the No. 13 ThorSport Racing Ford this season we could see Ford break Chevrolet’s two-year wins streak.

We could also see Toyota make their comeback at this race since the manufacturer is the only one to have posted wins in 2019 with Austin Hill winning the Daytona opener and Kyle Busch winning each race since then.

Dover International Speedway Quick Facts
With Dover International Speedway only a few days away, here are some quick facts you should know about the Gander Trucks at the speedway.

Length: One mile
Track Surface: Concrete
Safety Apron and Pit Road Surface: Asphalt with concrete pit boxes
Banking: Straightaways, 9 degrees; turns, 24 degrees
Width: Straightaways, 48 feet; turns, 58 feet
Safety Apron: Encircles the inside of the track, 10 feet wide on straightaways and 21 feet wide in the turns.
Number of Pit Positions: 40, with water and electric
Length of Straightaways: 1,076 feet
Length of Pit Road: 1,580 feet long, 47 feet wide
Races: 19
Pole Winners: 15
Youngest Pole Winner: Bubba Wallace (05/31/2013 – 19 years, 7 months, 23 days)
Oldest Pole Winner: Ron Hornaday Jr (05/30/2009 – 50 years, 11 months, 10 days)
Race Winners: 15
Youngest Winner: Tyler Reddick (05/29/2015 – 19 years, 4 months, 18 days)
Oldest Winner: Ron Hornaday Jr (06/01/2007 – 48 years, 11 months, 12 days)

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Series Etc.
Natalie Decker is on deck - Rising rookie star Natalie Decker makes her NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series return this weekend at Dover International Speedway driving the No. 54 DGR-Crosely Toyota Tundra. This will be Decker’s first race since Las Vegas where she scored a solid 13th-place finish and it will also be the young driver’s series track debut at Dover International Speedway.

"This weekend will mark my first time going to Dover. I’ve talked to some of my competitors to help get ready for Friday’s race, and it seems like most of the other drivers really like this track and think I will as well." says Decker.

The rookie recently announced that she will be adding six more races to her schedule this season.

Driver to Watch: Raphael Lessard – Canada’sRaphael Lessard will make his second of three scheduled NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series starts this weekend at Dover International Speedway. Lessard made his debut back in March at Martinsville, where he posted a 13th-place finish and is feeling optimistic heading into Dover.

"I’m excited and I think I’m way more prepared than I was when I went to Martinsville for my first truck race," said Lessard. "It’s going to be fun – it will be the biggest track that I’ve ever been on and I think it is going to be the fastest track I’ve been on too. I think I’m going to have a good Spectra Premium Toyota Tundra – Kyle Busch Motorsports is working hard on it to get it ready. I think it’s going to be a fun weekend and I’m going to learn a lot."

Lessard’s final scheduled race for the Gander Trucks will be at Bristol Motor Speedway in August.

Parade Laps: Insights ahead of this week’s driver media breakouts
Three drivers from the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series – Hattori Racing Enterprises driver Austin Hill, ThorSport Racing driver Ben Rhodes, and Stewart Friesen from Halmar-Friesen Racing – will be participating in this week’s media rotations at Dover International Speedway. These three drivers are preparing for the JEGS 200 this Friday, May 3, at 5 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Austin Hill (No. 16 Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota Tundra)
Birthdate: April 21, 1994
Driver’s Age: 25
Hometown: Winston, GA
Hobbies: Hunting, spending time with family and boating
NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Career Highlights:

  • 2019 marks Hill’s second full-time season in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Trucks Series.
  • He made his Truck Series debut in 2014 at Martinsville, finishing 26th.
  • Finished 11th in 2018 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Championship points, his first full season.

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Currently seventh in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series points standings.
  • Recorded his first career win at the season-opener at Daytona.
  • In five starts this season he has posted one win (Daytona), two top 10s an average finish of 16.2.

Dover International Speedway Performance:

  • Hill has made four starts at the one-mile track.
  • Hill’s best finish at Dover was in 2015 where he started 21st and finished 16th

Ben Rhodes (No. 99 ThorSport Racing Ford F-150)
Birthdate: February 21, 1997
Driver’s Age: 22
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Hobbies: Boxing, off-roading, range time/sporting clays, video games, car restoration, aviation/flying planes.
NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Career Highlights:

  • In 2018, he grabbed his second-career win (Kentucky) and posted a career high three poles (Martinsville, Eldora, CTMP).
  • Won his first NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race (Las Vegas) and earned his second-career pole (Pocono Raceway) in 2017.
  • In 2016, he competed in his first full NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series season finishing 14th in the final standings and posting his first career pole at Martinsville.
  • In 2014, he made his NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series debut at Martinsville Speedway for Turner Scott Motorsports

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Rhodes is currently third in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series points standings.
  • He has an average finish of 11.2 for the season-his best finish being second at Martinsville.
  • In five starts this season he has posted two top fives, three top 10s an average finish of 11.2.

Dover International Speedway Performance:

  • Rhodes has four starts at Dover. He’s led 71 laps during those races and has an average start of 8.2 and average finish of 15.5 at the one-mile track. He has one top five and two top 10s there.

Stewart Friesen (No. 52 Halmar-Friesen Racing Chevrolet Silverado)
Birthdate: July 25, 1983
Driver’s Age: 35
Hometown: Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada
Hobbies: Dirt racing
NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Career Highlights:
· 2019 marks Friesen’s second full-time season in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.

  • In 2018, he competed in all 23 races, qualifying for the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs for the first time; ultimately finished the season seventh in points.

2019 Season Highlights:

  • Currently the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series points standings leader.
  • In five starts this season he has posted three top fives, four top 10s and one pole.

Dover International Speedway Performance:

  • Friesen has just two starts at Dover with an average start of 14.5 and average finish of 25.5.

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