ThatsRacin

NASCAR FedEx 400 preview in 3 minutes

Hendrick Motorsports has been struggling on tracks not called Daytona or Talladega. Jeff Gordon, above, says the problems have come from downforce issues and a lack of power.
Hendrick Motorsports has been struggling on tracks not called Daytona or Talladega. Jeff Gordon, above, says the problems have come from downforce issues and a lack of power. Getty Images

Everything you need to know about Sunday’s FedEx 400 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway in three minutes:

Three things to watch

1. Joe Gibbs Racing appears to be on the verge of a real breakthrough this season. With Denny Hamlin on the pole Sunday two weeks after he won the Sprint All-Star Race and Carl Edwards fresh from a victory in Charlotte’s Coca-Cola 600, JGR is red hot.

2. Hendrick Motorsports, on the other hand, has been struggling on tracks not called Daytona or Talladega. Jeff Gordon says the problems have come from downforce issues and a lack of power.

3. Tony Stewart hasn’t won since 2013 – and that was at Dover’s fall race. But the best he’s done this season is a sixth-place finish at Bristol.

Observations

▪  With two weeks of pressure at Charlotte Motor Speedway finished, the Dover race signals the beginning of the summer portion of NASCAR’s season. The series takes a week off after next week’s race at Pocono, but then settles in for nine consecutive weekends.

▪  Martin Truex Jr. who is second in points, has lots of company in the top 10 without a win, including Jamie McMurray, Gordon and Kasey Kahne.

▪  Dover has joined a group of NASCAR tracks (including Charlotte, Talladega and Daytona) that have reduced seating in the offseason. The track, which has seen its ticket revenues decline in recent years, now has a capacity of 95,500, down from 113,000. Dover will continue to remove seats and will be down to 85,000 for its fall race. The track also now has a new 21-foot tall safety catch fence round its outside retaining walls.

Best bets

Three picks for your fantasy team:

Jimmie Johnson: He’s always a safe bet on a track where he’s won nine times.

Martin Truex Jr.: Not only has Truex come close to winning recently, but he qualified second fastest for Sunday’s race.

Kyle Larson: Still looking for his first career win, and has averaged a finish of 8.5 in his two starts at the Monster Mile. Starts third Sunday.

He said it

“We have some work to do.” – Gordon, on Hendrick Motorsports’ performance at intermediate tracks.

N@SCAR

Three crazy predictions

Three crazy predictions for the :

Getting there

Race facts

FedEx 400

Where: Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

Track type: 1-mile concrete, high-banked oval.

Race distance: 400 miles, or 400 laps.

Green flag: 1:15 p.m.

Weather: High of 87, partly cloudy. Chancer of rain: 20 percent.

TV: Fox Sports 1.

Radio: Motor Racing Network.

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