Everything you need to know about Sunday’s AAA 400 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, in three minutes:
Three things to watch
1. After a wet couple of days – including a complete washout of track activities Friday – the chance of getting in the race appears to be pretty good (15 percent chance of rain).
2. Two drivers expected to contend for the championship – Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch – are in jeopardy of not advancing to the 12-driver second round of the Chase unless they change things around Sunday. Harvick (15th in points) is in a virtual must-win situation; Busch is 13th, one point behind 12th-place Dale Earnhardt Jr.
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3. Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth have already clinched spots in the second round, but don’t expect them to lay back. Hamlin’s second-place finish at New Hampshire last week (after winning at Chicagoland two weeks ago) is evidence of that.
▪ Harvick has been fast all season and will most certainly be again Sunday. But this isn’t a good place for him: He hasn’t won in 29 career starts at Dover. He was fastest in Saturday’s second practive, however.
▪ It’s hard to envision a scenario in which Paul Menard and Clint Bowyer aren’t eliminated Sunday. Their points positions (Menard 14th, Bowyer 16th) are perilous, and they haven’t shown enough strength in the Chase that a victory for either is very likely. Menard is just two points out of the top 12, however, so he’s got a chance.
▪ NASCAR’s attempts to clean up restarts – the restart zone has been doubled in length at Dover and will also be lengthened at other tracks – continues. Brad Keselowski was caught in the act of jumping a restart last week after a dedicated camera and NASCAR official were placed at the restart box in New Hampshire.
Three picks for your fantasy team:
Jimmie Johnson: Johnson’s No. 48 Chevy has shown signs of life recently, as it usually does during the Chase. He’s got 10 career victories at Dover, including in June.
Kevin Harvick: It’s desperation time for Harvick, and the defending Cup champion has responded well under these kinds of conditions before.
Kasey Kahne: If you’re looking for a non-Chase to win, Kahne might be it. He had Saturday’s fastest practice lap (160.506 mph).
He said it
“I wish all 10 events of the Chase could be here at this racetrack.” – Johnson, who has 10 career victories at Dover.
Where: Dover (Del.) International Speedway
Track type: 1-mile concrete oval
Race distance: 400 miles, or 400 laps
Green flag: 2:45 p.m.
Weather: High of 64, 15 percent chance of rain
TV: NBC Sports Network
Radio: Motor Racing Network