Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:49 AM
Drydene 311 Race 1 and Race 2 Picks, Predictions
- August 20
- by Micah Roberts
NASCAR Cup Series
The awesome news this weekend is that we have a double-header at Dover International Speedway with one race Saturday called the Drydene 311 and another on Sunday also called the Drydene 311. The not-so-awesome news is that this will be the last double-header of the season.
The concept of having two NASCAR Cup races on the same weekend wasn’t born out of the pandemic because it was originally scheduled for Pocono.
But for NASCAR to run 36 Cup races in 2020 and catch up with the original Playoff schedule, they had to do mash a few weekends together and I absolutely love it.
Dover Betting Resources
- Race: Drydene 311
- Date: Aug. 23, Aug. 24, 2020
- TV-Time: NBCSN, 4:00 p.m. ET
- Venue: Dover International Speedway
- Location: Dover, Delaware
I think NASCAR is listening too. Between the drivers and teams, I haven’t heard one bad thing about the doubleheader format except a few have complained about no practices. Expect a couple on the schedule next year and Pocono, Michigan, and Dover would be welcomed sites again.
The great thing about Dover is that it is unique to itself. There’s no other track like it. It’s a 1-mile concrete layout with 24 degrees of banking in the turns making it kind of like Bristol on steroids. It’s super-fast. Just take a look at the pole speed from Dover last May compared to New Hampshire’s flat 1-mile layout. Dover was 165 mph while New Hampshire is 133 mph. Same distance, but way different speeds.
“It’s called the Monster Mile for a reason,” said three-time Dover winner Kyle Busch. “It’s almost like going around a circle in a rollercoaster. The drop-off you have going into the corners, the sustained load that you have, as well as the G-force of turning around that turn and going back the other direction.”
NASCAR Cup Odds
Drydene 311 Race 1 Odds
Saturday, August 22, 2020
- Kevin Harvick +375
- Martin Truex Jr. +375
- Chase Elliott +550
- Denny Hamlin +600
- Kyle Busch +1200
- Brad Keselowski +1200
- Joey Logano +1500
- Ryan Blaney +1600
- Jimmie Johnson +2000
- Aric Almirola +2500
- More NASCAR Futures
- (Odds Subject to Change)
Busch is one of six different drivers to have won the last six Dover races but after 23 races this season he’s still searching for his first win. The drought has pushed his odds up to 12/1 to win this week which I’m debating on how much to include him in my betting portfolio this week.
In addition to three Dover wins, he’s got 12 top-fives and led 1,210 laps. I’m not into the due theory for any betting sport, but yes, Kyle Busch is due and he’s been strong with this race package.
Buy the Hometown Narrative?
I’ll come back to Busch later, but the driver to start with this week is Martin Truex Jr. who won his first career Cup race at Dover in 2007. Dover is only two hours away from where he grew up in Mayetta, NJ and he’s treated it lately like one of the best home-field advantages in sports.
He’s been ninth or better in 10 of the last 12 races there and 15th or better in all 12. Last season he won the spring race and was runner-up in the fall. Starting with his 2016 win, he’s been fourth or better in six of his last seven Dover starts.
And then we have to talk about the run his team is on with four straight third-place finishes, two of them using this week’s race package featuring engines with 750 horsepower, the package he grabbed his only win of the year with at Martinsville. This is his race to lose.
Chase Elliott is the next driver to focus on because of his performance at both Dover and the 750 hp package this season. He’s got another reason why the doubleheaders are cool.
“To me, doubleheaders mean that there are a lot of points on the line in a short matter of time,” Elliott said. “Thankfully, for our good run at the Daytona Road Course and this new qualifying format, we will get to start up front on Saturday at Dover. Having that first pit box is also a huge thing for us this weekend.”
Elliott won the 2018 fall race at Dover and six of his eight career starts there have been top-fives. It sounds like he has this place figured out and should be paid attention to in any betting strategy so I will position him in dollar amounts to ensure a 3-to-1 return-on-investment after all my other bets lose.
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Avoid the Chalk
Oddsmakers have posted Kevin Harvick as the +275 favorite as though he’s going to duplicate the Michigan sweep. He’s a two-time Dover winner and likes this track.
“Dover is the racetrack where you feel the sensation of speed more than anything,” Harvick said. “It’s a place where you drop off into the corner and slam into a lot of banking and then, as you come out of the corner, it’s kind of like jumping out of a hole and up onto the straightaway. It’s a really fun place to race. You feel that sensation of speed and you can be really aggressive.”
Call me crazy, but I’ve left Harvick out of all my betting equations this week. I’m not betting against him in match-ups out of respect to how well his team has put everything together with a series-leading six wins. But none of those wins came with the 750 hp package. They were all with the 550 hp package - Michigan twice, Pocono, Indy, Atlanta, and Darlington.
This week’s cars used on the tracks 1-mile or shorter and road courses have a small crew of teams that have excelled like the Team Penske cars and Hendrick Motorsports with Elliott and Jimmie Johnson. Six races, four different winners with Brad Keselowski and Elliott having two wins, and Joey Logano and Truex having the others.
No Denny Hamlin, either, although he has been runner-up in his last two starts using it. William Hill books have overpriced Hamlin this week at 9/2 odds so I’m shopping for other drivers I think can win. Hamlin has never won at Dover. Keselowski is a good play just because of the car as is Blaney at 15/1 odds, but I’m reaching out to some longer shots.
Looking for Dover Longshots
I wasn’t smart enough to bag a win with Cole Custer at 300/1 odds at Kentucky or Austin Dillon at 100/1 odds at Texas, but I’ve been chasing my white whale the last few weeks and I’m going again this week. No, it’s not Aric Almirola and I’ll let you know when the time to bet hmi again is like when they race the 550 hp package again.
But Clint Bowyer at 50/1 odds said hello. He doesn’t have a Dover win, but he’s been wheeling this particular race package better than Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Harvick. He was sixth last week on the road course, fifth at Phoenix, and runner-up at Bristol, the track that might resemble Dover the most. I’m on him again this week.
He’s such a fun guy to root for and I’ve been waiting to have a post-race beer with him for a while. Maybe it’s Saturday or Sunday. I’ll have action on him both days.
The other guy is Jimmie Johnson, who like Bowyer, has been at his best with this week’s race package. He finished fourth with it last week in a sweet new paint scheme he’ll be using this week as well. Did I mention he owns the Dover track record with 11 wins and 3,110 laps led?
“We are very excited for this weekend at Dover,” Johnson said. “It’s hands down my favorite track, and from the pictures I have seen, there is a lot of Ally signage all over the place. It’s a homecoming of sorts. Performance-wise, last weekend at the Daytona Road Course we had a solid day. We needed that. Because of our fourth-place finish, we will be starting sixth Saturday at Dover, which is really an advantage to where we have been starting lately. With the random draw and the way track position has been working out, I feel like we have had things stacked against us for a while. This will be a good advantage for us, and we just have to go out there and get it done.”
Come on Jimmie. It’s been 118 races since the last win, which not so ironically came at Dover. Last season at Dover, last weekend at Dover. I love the storybook stuff in NASCAR and a Jimmie win at Dover is like peanut butter and jelly that pays out at 25-to-1 odds. It’s not all about his history, it’s about this particular race package which has been his best that includes third at Martinsville and leading 70 laps at Martinsville before finishing 10th.
As for Kyle Busch, I'll be looking to make a 15 percent bankroll profit if he wins. He's 12/1, I can't pass.
Top-5 Finish Prediction
Saturday - August 22, 2020
- 1) #19 Martin Truex Jr. (11/2)
- 2) #14 Clint Bowyer (50/1)
- 3) #48 Jimmie Johnson (25/1)
- 4) #9 Chase Elliott (13/2)
- 5) #2 Brad Keselowski (12/1)
Sunday - August 23, 2020
- 1) #9 Chase Elliott (7/1)
- 2) #2 Brad Keselowski (12/1)
- 3) #19 Martin Truex Jr. (5/1)
- 4) #11 Denny Hamlin (6/1)
- 5) #4 Kevin Harvick (9/2)
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