Event: NASCAR Monster Energy | AAA Drive for Autism 400 at Dover International Speedway
Date: Sunday May 6, 2018
Location: Dover International Speedway
TV: Fox 2 pm ET
While everybody will be focused on horses rather than horse power on Saturday, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series visits Dover International Speedway for the AAA Drive for Autism 400 on Sunday. This is the first of two stops for NASCAR at the one-mile oval in Dover. Coverage of the AAA Drive for Autism 400 will on Fox Sports 1 on Sunday afternoon with a 2 p.m. ET start time. The Monster Mile can’t be as dangerous and daunting as what the drivers had to endure last week at Talladega. Restrictor plate racing is extremely hard to handicap and full of crashes. Joey Logano ended a 36-race drought, but most of the field was wrecked by the multi-car accidents throughout the race. This week’s race has to feel like an oasis for the drivers.
This is the 11th race of 26 set for the regular season. With Joey Logano’s win last week, we now have six different winners in feature-length races. Austin Dillon, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, and Joey Logano are your super six.
Kyle Busch leads in points with 447. That lead was trimmed to 30 when Joey Logano won last week. Kevin Harvick is third with 366 points. Clint Bowyer is fourth with 335 points and Kurt Busch rounds out the top five with 320 points.
Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr., and Kyle Larson round out the top 10.
Dover International Speedway
Jimmie Johnson stands alone at the top of the charts for Dover with 11 career wins. It is as straightforward of a track as they come, with one mile in length and four turns that have 24-degree banking. Interestingly enough, the fall race speeds are a lot higher than the spring race speeds at this track, which adds anywhere from 25 to 30 minutes to the actual race time in this May race.
Favorites to Win : Kyle Busch at +350
The race favorite per the odds is Kyle Busch at +350. Busch will most likely be at or near the top of the board in every non-plate race the rest of the season. Ford and Toyota have won all but one feature-length race this season and Busch has three of those wins for Toyota.
Dover has not been a kind track in the spring for Busch. In the fall, he has a win and two second-place finishes over the last three years. In this race, he hasn’t finished higher than 16th since 2013. That probably doesn’t matter, as Busch has 17 wins over the last 3½ NASCAR seasons and is pretty capable of winning anywhere. He tends to win on shorter tracks, but finish high on longer tracks. Dover definately qualifies as a shorter track.
Favorites to Win : Kyle Larson & Kevin Harvick at odds of +550
Kyle Larson is the second favorite to win this week , but he generally doesn’t win on short tracks. He is tied with Kevin Harvick at odds of +550. Larson only has three top-five finishes this season, but one was on the mile track at Bristol, where he also led the most laps.
Larson has been second, second, and third over the last three years in this race. He was fifth in the fall race last year. As far as short tracks go, this seems to be a good one for him. Maybe he’s becoming a better racer in tight conditions as he matures. He also won the Xfinity Series race here last year.
Kevin Harvick was 31st to start the year at Daytona, and he was 35th at the Auto Club. Outside of that, Harvick hasn’t finished lower than seventh and has three wins and four additional top-five finishes. Harvick hasn’t won at Dover since the fall race in 2015, but he led the most laps two years ago before finishing 15th. He was ninth last year. He’s really locked in now with the Ford car after running Chevys his entire career up until last year, and Fords are ahead of the pack this season, aside from what Kyle Busch has done in his #18 car.
Favorites to Win : Jimmie Johnson +750
The winningest driver in Dover International Speedway hasn’t won in a very long time, and it looks as if Jimmie Johnson’s best days are very much behind him. His only top-five finish this season came on the mile at Bristol, so maybe there is some hope this week. He won last year at Dover and hasn’t won since. He’s actually won this race three of the last four years and four of the last six. That’s why he gets the respect and is priced at +750 this week, and he’s certainly worth a bet. There’s not much value on it, but this is basically his track in the spring. Outside of Johnson, no active driver has a win in this race since 2010, and that was Kyle Busch. The non-Johnson wins belong to Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth.
Picks & Prediction:
You can always pick a longer shot, but it seems like one of these short prices will take the AAA Drive for Autism 400 down. Dover seems to be one of the most repetitive tracks in terms of winners on the circuit, so you’re better off grabbing a favorite or two and hoping to grind out some profit
Odds To Win 2018 AAA Drive for Autism 400: (Courtesy of BetDSI.eu)
Kyle Busch +350
Kyle Larson +550
Kevin Harvick +550
Martin Truex Jr +750
Jimmie Johnson +750
Chase Elliott +850
Denny Hamlin +1650
Brad Keselowski +1650
Joey Logano +1650
Erik Jones +2250
Ryan Blaney +2250
Clint Bowyer +3300
Kurt Busch +3300
Aric Almirola +5500
Matt Kenseth +6600
Alex Bowman +8800
Daniel Suarez +9500
Ricky Stenhouse Jr +11500
Ryan Newman +11500
Austin Dillon +22500
Jamie McMurray +22500
Paul Menard +22500
William Byron +22500
Darrell Wallace Jr +22500
Kasey Kahne +33000
AJ Allmendinger +55000
Ty Dillon +115000
Chris Buescher +115000
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