Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:04 AM
Best Bets - Dover
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Each week during the Monster Energy Cup Series (MENCS) regular season through the Chase, we'll take a look at the best Fantasy plays, as well as Futures and Wagers when applicable, to get you ready for the upcoming race week.
The MENCS moves to Dover International Speedway for the AAA 400 Drive for Autism at the 'Monster Mile'.
Joe Gibbs Racing's Kyle Busch (3/1) enters the weekend as the favorite at DIS, and he was able to take checkers in the Apache Warrior 400 at the track in Oct. 2017. Since the start of the 2005 season he has made 26 starts at the track, posting three victories with 12 finishes inside the Top 5. NASCAR's Loop Data shows him second among all racers with a 109.3 Driver Rating across the past five starts at the track. He has led 170 laps during the span while running 89.1 percent of his laps inside the Top 15. He has posted a 10.2 Average-Finish Position (AFP) across the past five starts at the cement track, too.
Furniture Row Racing's Martin Truex Jr. (11/2) will be an intriguing play this weekend, and he is quite a value at this price. He picked up his first-career MENCS victory in June 2007 at what is essentially his home track, and the New Jersey native also picked up a win in the Citizen Soldier 400 in the fall 2016 race at the track. He has made 24 Dover starts, posting 13 runs inside the Top 10, while finishing outside of the Top 15 on just seven occasions. MTJ has really picked up the pace lately, though, managing a 119.8 Driver Rating across the past five starts at Dover, best among all drivers. During the span he has run a whopping 94.6 percent of his laps inside the Top 15, leading 387 laps with 229 fastest laps, a figure DFS players like. He has a 5.6 AFP, which is second-best on the circuit during the span.
Hendrick Motorsports will look to snap out of its season-long slump at a track they have had a lot of success over the years. Jimmie Johnson (8/1) certainly needs no help with directions to Victory Lane, as he has claimed 11 checkered flags at the track. That includes the spring race last June when he won a crash-marred run with 15 cautions, most yellows at the Delaware track since Sept. 1993. Chase Elliott (15/2) could also make some noise this weekend, as he has managed a 3.3 AFP in his four career Cup starts at the track. Elliott has been out front for 138 laps, including 75 fastest laps, while running 93.6 percent of his laps in the Top 15. He has been third, third, fifth and second in his four tries at Dover, so he'll be a popular fantasy and betting option.
Ganassi Racing's Kyle Larson (11/2) is also among the favorites despite the fact he has zero wins in eight career attempts at Dover. He has been close, however, posting four Top 5 finishes and six Top 10s in his career, while managing an impressive 105.5 Driver Rating over his past five outings at the track. He has 463 laps led over the past five outings, including 170 fastest laps. His 8.6 AFP over the past five starts makes him one to watch.
JGR young guns Erik Jones (20/1) and Daniel Suarez (80/1) each have two Cup starts under their belts, ranking inside the Top 10 among active drivers during the span. Jones finished 15th in the spring race and 12th in the fall run, while Suarez was even better at sixth and eighth in his two runs. Neither led any laps last season at the track, but Suarez had a solid 92.7 Driver Rating, while Jones checked in at 90.4. Teammate Denny Hamlin (15/1) rounded out the Top 10 in Driver Rating with an 88.2 mark, posting three Top 10 finishes over his past four starts. Hamlin is still searching for his first victory at the track, however.
Stewart-Haas Racing's Kevin Harvick (9/2) is also among the favorites, and rightly so. He picked up his first-career Dover victory in Oct. 2015, but he has been hot at the track lately. Harvick ranks sixth in Driver Rating (105.0) over the past five Dover starts, racking up a circuit-best 472 laps led with 273 fastest laps. He has run 71.4 percent of his laps inside the Top 15 while going for a 15.8 AFP over the past five runs. Over his past 10 starts at Dover he has been 17th or better in nine of the outings.
Harvick's SHR teammate Kurt Busch (30/1) hasn't had nearly the same success as his younger brother. While he did pick up a win in Oct. 2011 at the track, he has mostly been a disappointment. He has just one Top 10 finishes across his past 10 starts at the track, posting a 19.4 AFP in 10 races at Dover since the start of the 2013 season. e he been 15th or worse in eight of the past nine runs. Clint Bowyer (25/1) showed some promise last fall with a sixth-place start, and he he'll now be in much better machinery. Since the start of the 2013 season he has managed six Top 10 finishes in 10 outings.
Lastly, Ryan Newman (100/1) is a sleeper you'll want to pay close attention this weekend. While he hasn't slayed the Monster Mile since winning the MBNA America 400 in Sept. 2004, he does have three wins at the track. Newman has finished 19th or better in each of his past seven starts at the track, and he posted an 8.5 AFP in his two 2017 runs. Another Ryan, Penske Racing's Ryan Blaney (22/1) has struggled at the track lately. He averaged a disappointing 27.5 AFP in his two 2017 starts at the track, and he is 23rd or worse in each of his past three starts at the Delaware run.