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NASCAR National Series News & Notes – Dover International Speedway


NASCAR Cup Series
Next Race: Drydene 311 (1)
The Place: Dover International Speedway
The Date: Saturday, August 22
The Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN, 4 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 311 miles (311 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 70), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 185), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 311)

NASCAR Cup Series
Next Race: Drydene 311 (2)
The Place: Dover International Speedway
The Date: Sunday, August 23
The Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN, 4 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 311 miles (311 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 70), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 185), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 311)

NASCAR Xfinity Series
Next Race: Drydene 200 (1)
The Place: Dover International Speedway
The Date: Saturday, August 22
The Time: 12 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN, 12:30 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)

NASCAR Xfinity Series
Next Race: Drydene 200 (2)
The Place: Dover International Speedway
The Date: Sunday, August 23
The Time: 12 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN, 1 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)

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series
Next Race: KDI Office Technology 200
The Place: Dover International Speedway
The Date: Friday, August 21
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)

ARCA Menards Series East
Next Race: General Tire 125
The Place: Dover International Speedway
The Date: Friday, August 21
The Time: 2 p.m. ET
TV: Streamed live on NBC Gold TrackPass

NASCAR Cup Series

Action-packed Cup doubleheader weekend at The Monster Mile

This weekend Dover International Speedway will become just the third track in NASCAR Cup Series history to run a doubleheader at the same facility in consecutive days, joining Pocono Raceway (June 27-28, 2020) and Michigan International Speedway (Aug. 8-9, 2020). First up, is Saturday’s Drydene 311 (1) at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, followed by Sunday’s Drydene 311 at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

The two Cup events this weekend at Dover International Speedway will be mirror images of each other. Both races are 311 laps each (311 miles) and each race is broken up into three stages. The first stage for both races is 70 laps, the second stage is 115 laps and the final stage is 126 laps.

The official opening of Dover International Speedway, then called Dover Downs International Speedway, was in 1969. Dover has hosted 100 NASCAR Cup Series races, dating back to the inaugural event on July 6, 1969 – won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty (Ford). The 100 NASCAR Cup Series races at Dover have produced 42 different pole winners and 37 different race winners. NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson leads the series in poles at Dover with six (1969, 1973 sweep, 1974, 1975, 1981). Roush Fenway Racing’s Ryan Newman (2003, 2005, 2006, 2007) and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin (2012, 2013, 2015, 2019) lead all active series drivers in poles at Dover with four each. Hendrick Motorsport’s Jimmie Johnson leads the series in wins at Dover with 11 victories (2002 sweep, 2005 Playoffs, 2009 sweep, 2010 Playoffs, Spring of 2012, 2013 Playoffs, Spring of 2014, Spring of 2015 and Spring of 2017).

There are nine former Cup Dover winners entered this weekend – Johnson (11 wins), Kyle Busch (three), Martin Truex Jr. (three), Matt Kenseth (three), Ryan Newman (two), Kevin Harvick (two), Brad Keselowski (one), Chase Elliott (one) and Kurt Busch (one). Truex is the most recent winner entered this weekend, taking the checkered flag at Dover in last year’s May race.

Last season, Chase Elliott won the pole for the first Dover (May) race and then Denny Hamlin won the pole for the second Dover (Oct.) race setting a new track record at 166.984 mph, 21.559 seconds. This season, the Cup Dover pole for the Drydene 311 (1) was decided by metric qualifying and Hendrick Motorsport’s Chase Elliott, who is coming off his second win of the season last weekend at the Daytona Road Course, will start first and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin will complete the front row for Saturday’s race, starting second.

Playoff Bubble: Three races left to clinch a spot in the postseason

With only three races remaining in the NASCAR Cup Series regular season time is running out for the competitors vying for the final six Playoff transfer spots.

A total of 10 drivers have clinched their spot in the postseason on wins – Kevin Harvick (six wins), Denny Hamlin (five), Brad Keselowski (three), Chase Elliott (two), Joey Logano (two), Ryan Blaney (one), Martin Truex Jr. (one), Alex Bowman (one), Austin Dillon (one), Cole Custer (one).

Possible to Clinch at Next Race (sorted by points) at Dover:

Clinch On Wins

The following 10 drivers have already clinched a top 30 spot in the points and with a win this weekend, they could clinch a Playoff spot on wins:

Aric Almirola (0 Wins, 682 Points, +434 Points Ahead of 31st)

Kurt Busch (0 Wins, 673 Points, +425 Points Ahead of 31st)

Kyle Busch (0 Wins, 652 Points, +404 Points Ahead of 31st)

Clint Bowyer (0 Wins, 618 Points, +370 Points Ahead of 31st

Matt DiBenedetto (0 Wins, 596 Points, +348 Points Ahead of 31st)

William Byron (0 Wins, 577 Points, +329 Points Ahead of 31st)

Jimmie Johnson (0 Wins, 552 Points, +304 Points Ahead of 31st)

Erik Jones (0 Wins, 542 Points, +294 Points Ahead of 31st)

Tyler Reddick (0 Wins, 520 Points, +272 Points Ahead of 31st)

Christopher Bell (0 Wins, 431 Points, +183 Points Ahead of 31st)

Clinch Top 30 and Wins

The next eight drivers attempting to clinch a spot in the top 30 in the driver standings will need help this weekend to accomplish the feat, but if they do and win the race, they will clinch a Playoff spot.

Darrell Wallace Jr. (0 Wins, 412 Points, +164 Points Ahead of 31st)

Michael McDowell (0 Wins, 403 Points, +155 Points Ahead of 31st)

Chris Buescher (0 Wins, 403 Points, +155 Points Ahead of 31st)

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (0 Wins, 396 Points, +148 Points Ahead of 31st)

Ryan Newman (0 Wins, 396 Points, +148 Points Ahead of 31st)

John H. Nemechek (0 Wins, 343 Points, +95 Points Ahead of 31st)

Ty Dillon (0 Wins, 342 Points, +94 Points Ahead of 31st)

Matt Kenseth. (0 Wins, 327 Points, +79 Points Ahead of 31st)

Impossible to Clinch

Even with a win, Corey Lajoie (0 Wins, 287 Points, +39 Points Ahead of 31st) would not clinch a Top 30 spot, so he cannot clinch a Playoff berth in the next race. If he can’t clinch a Top 30 with a win, no winless driver below him in the standings could clinch either.

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick can lock-up regular season title at Dover

This weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series doubleheader at Dover International Speedway means double the opportunities for drivers to rack up points and for Stewart-Haas Racing’s Kevin Harvick, it doubles the chances to lock up the series’ regular season championship.

Harvick heads to the Monster Mile as the series standings leader with a 118-point advantage over second place Denny Hamlin. To clinch the NASCAR Cup Series regular season championship, Harvick will either need to be 121 points ahead of second in the series driver standings following the first race at Dover, or 61 points ahead of second in the standings following the second race at Dover.

Harvick has made 38 series starts at Dover posting two wins (2015, 2018), eight top fives and 19 top 10s.

When Harvick wins the regular season championship, he will be awarded 15 bonus Playoff points, bringing his current total of 35 to a whopping 50 Playoff points to take into the postseason.

NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.

Driver Milestones: Wood Brothers Racing’s Matt DiBenedetto will be making his 200th career NASCAR Cup Series start this weekend in the Drydene 311 (1) on Saturday, August 22. DiBenedetto will be the 135th different driver to make 200 or more starts in the NASCAR Cup Series. … Germain Racing’s Ty Dillon will be making his 150th NASCAR Cup Series start this weekend in the Drydene 311 (1) on Saturday, August 22. Dillon will become the 173rd different driver to make 150 or more starts in the NASCAR Cup Series.

OEM Milestones: Ford Motor Company has reached 699 NASCAR Cup Series victories; with a win this weekend the OEM can reach the 700 wins milestone. Ford’s 699 wins is second only to Chevrolet’s 790. … Toyota has 149 wins (sixth-most all-time) and with a victory this weekend, the OEM could reach the 150 wins milestone.

Country music star Matt Stell, actress Malin Akerman among pre-race dignitaries for Dover: Matt Stell, a chart-topping country music star, will sing a virtual version of the national anthem prior to the "Drydene 311" NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, Aug. 23, the final event of Dover International Speedway’s huge six-race, three-day NASCAR weekend on Aug. 21-23.

Before the Saturday, Aug. 22 "Drydene 311" NASCAR Cup Series race, actress Malin Akerman, star of Netflix’s THE SLEEPOVER, will serve as the race’s grand marshal, giving America’s best drivers the command to start their engines.

An Arkansas native, Stell reached the top of Billboard’s Country Airplay chart with his 2019 single "Prayed For You," a multi-week No. 1 Platinum certified hit and featured on his Everywhere But On EP, also the title of his Top 15 and climbing current single. Co-written by Stell, "Prayed For You" has accumulated more than 270 million streams.

Directed by Trish Sie (Pitch Perfect 3), THE SLEEPOVER is a family adventure-comedy streaming on Netflix. Akerman has also starred in films such as "Final Girls," "I’ll See You In My Dreams," and "Rampage," as well as hit TV shows such as "Entourage" and "Billions."

Drydene to sponsor four races at Dover: Drydene Performance Products will sponsor two NASCAR Cup Series races and two NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Dover International Speedway on Aug. 22-23 as part of the Monster Mile’s "Drydene Doubleheader Weekend". Drydene will also be the primary sponsor for NASCAR Cup Series driver Corey LaJoie during the entire race weekend.

Drydene Performance Products is headquartered in Warminster, Pennsylvania. Drydene is a historic brand and a staple in the mid-Atlantic region. Drydene’s reputation as the "hardest working brand in heavy-duty lubrication" is backed up by a product lineup that includes engine oils, racing oils, transmission oils, hydraulic oils, grease, gear lubricants, diesel exhaust fluid and other functional fluids.

Drydene has also extended its multi-year agreement to host the NASCAR Cup Series races at Dover International Speedway.

"What an exciting event to be a part of – the ‘Drydene Doubleheader Weekend’ at the Monster Mile," said Dave Klinger, president of Drydene Performance Products. "After last year’s ‘Drydene 400′ we couldn’t wait to partner with Dover International Speedway once again – two heritage brands are bringing race fans a historic weekend."

Ally is the new presenting sponsor of Monster Monument at Victory Plaza and Monster Bridge; sweepstakes winner announced: Two of Dover International Speedway’s most recognizable attractions have a new sponsor, track officials announced today.

Ally, a leading digital financial-services company and the primary sponsor of 11-time Monster Mile winner and seven-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson, will be the presenting sponsor of the Monster Monument at Victory Plaza and the Monster Bridge suite complex overlooking Turn 3.

"I can’t think of a better situation for my final year than going to the Monster Mile and having Miles stand up front, holding that 48 car," Johnson said. "It’s my favorite track. Ally and Hendrick Motorsports are doing amazing things together. To go [to Dover] and hopefully win the race and experience the ultimate of highs would be really special."

To celebrate its sponsorship of the Ally Monster Bridge, a special sweepstakes was conducted earlier this year to grant VIP access to one winner and their guest for Dover’s 2021 NASCAR weekend. Out of thousands of unique entries in the online contest, Madisyn S. of Jackson, Michigan, was selected as the winner earlier this month. The prize package includes two seats in the Ally Monster Bridge, two garage and pit passes, two Racing Electronics scanners and/or Fan Vision rentals, a $1,500 travel gift card and a three-night stay at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino.

Dedicated in 2008, the Monster Monument in Victory Plaza, presented by Ally, stands 46-feet tall and holds a full-scale stock car in the monster’s right hand, which now features the No. 48 Ally car driven by Johnson. The base of the monument pays tribute to every race winner at Dover International Speedway and features larger dedications to legendary drivers who are recognized for their special accomplishments earned on the world’s fastest one-mile oval.

Opened in 2004, USA Today has called the Ally Monster Bridge the best seats in NASCAR. Sitting 29 feet above the entrance to Turn 3, Dover International Speedway’s Ally Monster Bridge offers "The Most Exciting Seat in Sports" to NASCAR fans. Several of the 56 seats are autographed by past Dover winners, including Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin, Ryan Newman and Martin Truex Jr.

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Doubling down at Dover International Speedway

The NASCAR Xfinity Series will be part of a rare double-header weekend with the NASCAR Cup Series as both will race twice at Dover. Saturday will feature a 200-mile Xfinity Series race followed by the Cup Series, and then they will turn around and do the same thing again the next day.

Saturday’s Drydene 200 will start at 12:30 p.m. ET, while the Sunday edition of the Drydene 200 will be at 1 p.m. ET. Both races will run on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

This marks the third time this season that the Xfinity Series will run back-to-back races at the same track on the same weekend. Homestead-Miami Speedway was the first track to host the unique schedule adjustment, with Harrison Burton winning the first race and Chase Briscoe taking the second.

Kentucky Speedway hosted the second double-header weekend for the series, which was swept by Austin Cindric.

The last driver to sweep the pair of series’ races in a season at the Monster Mile was Kyle Busch in 2014, although Christopher Bell did win back-to-back races in the fall of 2018 and spring of 2019.

In all, six different drivers have swept the pair of races in a season at Dover – Robert Pressley (1992), Todd Bodine (1993), Randy LaJoie (1996), Carl Edwards (2011), Joey Logano (2012, 2013) and Busch (2014).

Justin Allgaier is hoping that his past success at Dover will vault him to his first victory of the season, which has been trademarked by misfortune. Allgaier is the only former series winner at Dover entered in this weekend’s races – he won in the spring of 2018.

Bouncing around the Playoff bubble

Drivers on the Playoff bubble in the NASCAR Xfinity Series get two chances to bounce into the postseason this weekend as the series heads to Dover International Speedway for a Saturday/Sunday double-header.

Austin Cindric racked up his fifth win of the season last weekend on the Daytona International Speedway Road Course, which keeps the number of drivers locked into the Playoffs with a win at six. Seven races remain in the regular season – affording plenty of opportunity for drivers to win their way into the opportunity to race for the title.

Ross Chastain continues to hold onto the seventh spot in the driver Playoff standings as the first driver without a win. Justin Allgaier is right behind Chastain in eighth and Michael Annett is in ninth. Sunoco Rookie Riley Herbst and Ryan Sieg flip-flopped positions after the Daytona Road Course race, with Herbst now sitting in 10th and Sieg in 11th.

Brandon Brown remains the 12th and final driver in the Playoffs on points, but a win by any driver outside of the current Playoff picture would bump him out.

Rank Driver Points Race Wins Stage Wins Pts from Cutoff
1 Austin Cindric 830 5 8 In On Wins
2 Chase Briscoe 782 5 4
3 Noah Gragson 740 2 8
4 Harrison Burton # 645 2 0
5 Brandon Jones 561 2 2
6 Justin Haley 637 1 2
7 Ross Chastain 709 0 0 328
8 Justin Allgaier 633 0 7 252
9 Michael Annett 567 0 0 186
10 Riley Herbst# 462 0 0 81
11 Ryan Sieg 462 0 2 81
12 Brandon Brown 409 0 0 28
13 Jeremy Clements 381 0 0 -28
14 Myatt Snider # 357 0 0 -52
15 Alex Labbe 333 0 0 -76

Jeremy Clements has been hanging onto the 13th spot right below the cutline and Myatt Snider, another rookie, is in 14th, now just 52 points back from the cutline following a 10th-place effort at Daytona on the Road Course. Alex Labbe overtook Josh Williams for the 15th spot in the Playoff outlook.

Cindric has now tied Noah Gragson with the most stage wins of any driver in the series with eight and his JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier has seven.

Dover is the great unknown for Xfinity Series field

Justin Allgaier comes to Dover as the only previous winner at the mile-long track in the nation’s first state. He also has eight top-five and 11 top-10 finishes there. Allgaier also has three runner-up results – in both races last year and in the fall race in 2017.

But outside of his performance, the remainder of the field has only combined to put together five top-five and 18 top-10 results. Allgaier has 18 starts at the track and five additional drivers have 10 or more starts (Ross Chastain – 10, Ryan Sieg – 12, Michael Annett – 16, Timmy Hill – 16, Jeremy Clements – 19).

After Allgaier’s 11 top 10s, Cindric has four top 10s, including a third-place result last fall. And Chase Briscoe has a pair of top-10 finishes, both fifth-place efforts in the pair of 2019 races.

While Allgaier has a win and three runner-up finishes, Annett has the next highest finish in the field at Dover, finishing third in the fall of 2012.

Harrison Burton could be one to watch at Dover – he’s had success at the track in the ARCA Menards Series East, winning the race and the series title in 2017 while it was branded the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.

With the field set by the new metric qualifying and the lineup announced on Wednesday, Cindric will lead the field to green with Noah Gragson alongside him on the front row. Brandon Jones starts third and Burton will be fourth. Allgaier will round out the top five.

2020 Sunoco Rookie Watch

Harrison Burton continues to dominate the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings, holding a 183-point lead over Riley Herbst.

Burton is the only rookie who is locked into the Playoffs by virtue of a win – he has two on the season (Auto Club, Miami). Herbst is in 10th-place on the Playoff outlook, 81 points ahead of the cutoff.

In addition to his two wins, Burton has put together a plethora of points on the strength of nine top-five and 13 top-10 finishes in the 19 races this season. He had a string of three races in which he finished 25th or worse (Talladega and Pocono saw his day end with crashes, and he finished 25th on the Indianapolis Road Course), but otherwise he has finished 17th or better in all other races.

Herbst has had a pair of top fives (runner-up finishes at Auto Club, Kentucky-1) and 10 top-10 results.

Jesse Little is in third in the Sunoco Rookie standings and is looking for his first top five of the season. (He did finish 10th at Pocono for his first career top 10).

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series

Friday evening battle with Miles the Monster

The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series goes from one wild and crazy track to the other as the trucks transition from the Daytona Road Course to the Dover concrete mile for Friday’s KDI Office Technology 200 at 5 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Sheldon Creed is coming off his second win of the season (Kentucky, Daytona Road Course) and will be making his second career start at Dover (he finished 27th last fall after a crash).

Meanwhile, Johnny Sauter will be looking to take home Miles the Monster one more time as he attempts to get his first win of the season. Sauter has won the past three races at Dover (2017-2019) and desperately needs to visit Victory Lane to get his season back on track. He fell to 14th place on the Playoff grid – 67 points back of the cutoff to make it to the postseason.

The only other previous winner in the field is Sauter’s ThorSport Racing teammate Matt Crafton, who won here in 2016. Crafton does have a win under his belt this season – at Kansas. The win locked him into the Playoffs – which was fortuitous as Crafton’s current points total would have had him in a precarious position near the bubble to make the postseason on points.

Triple Truck Challenge continues at Dover

With the win on the Daytona International Speedway Road Course last weekend, Sheldon Creed took home the first $50,000 bonus of the 2020 edition of the Triple Truck Challenge, now in its second year with the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.

The second race in the bonus program will take place this Friday evening at Dover International Speedway at 5 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

The third and final race of the challenge will be at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway on August 30.

Creed will be looking to triple his bonus as a win this weekend at Dover would net him $150,00 total through the two races.

This year’s rules will copy last season. The drivers will compete for cash prizes:

  • $50,000 bonus for the race winner of any of the three events
  • If a driver wins two of the three events, they’re awarded an extra $50,000, totaling $150,000
  • Win all three events and take home an additional $300,000 for a total of $500,000 in prize money.

Greg Biffle came out of retirement in 2019 to win the first Triple Truck Challenge event at Texas Motor Speedway for Kyle Busch Motorsports. Brett Moffitt won at Iowa Speedway and Ross Chastain won at Gateway.

"The Trip" was originally supposed to take place beginning April 18 at Richmond Raceway and continuing into May at Dover and Charlotte Motor Speedway, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic it was rescheduled.

Four to go in the regular season

With repeat winner Sheldon Creed taking the victory on the Daytona Road Course, that still leaves five spots open in the postseason as five have been claimed by race winners.

Brett Moffitt, Ben Rhodes, Christian Eckes, Tyler Ankrum, and Todd Gilliland currently occupy the five spots on points.

There was a bit of a shake-up in the Playoff outlook following the Daytona Road Course, as Moffitt jumped from eighth to sixth as the highest-ranked driver without a win. And a 30th-place finish on the Daytona Road Course caused Derek Krause to tumble outside the top 10 to 11th. He was replaced by Tyler Ankrum in the outlook, following his sixth-place result on the Daytona Road Course.

Rank Driver Points Race Wins Playoff Pts Pts from Cutoff
1 Sheldon Creed 399 2 14 In On Wins
2 Grant Enfinger 366 2 11
3 Austin Hill 476 1 6
4 Zane Smith # 417 1 8
5 Matt Crafton 375 1 8
6 Brett Moffitt 422 0 4 84
7 Ben Rhodes 413 0 0 75
8 Christian Eckes # 412 0 0 74
9 Tyler Ankrum 343 0 0 5
10 Todd Gilliland 340 0 0 2
11 Derek Kraus # 338 0 0 -2
12 Tanner Gray # 295 0 0 -45
13 Raphael Lessard # 285 0 0 -55
14 Johnny Sauter 273 0 1 -67
15 Stewart Friesen 253 0 0 -87

With 12 races in the books this season, former series champion Johnny Sauter is still below the Playoff cutline after a long string of bad luck. He fell this week from 13th to 14th and is now 67 points back from the final Playoff spot. Krause dropped out of the top 10 and is now sitting in 11th with hopes of making the jump above the cutline before the postseason begins. Stewart Friesen has had a tough season, like Sauter, and is currently sitting in 15th, 87 points back from the cutline.

— NASCAR —