After a stellar NASCAR throwback weekend, the Cup Series takes on the “Monster Mile” Sunday in the Drydene 400 at Dover International Speedway (2 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Before you tune in for the race, take a look at a few important details you should know.
WHO’S ON THE POLE?
After a dominant performance at Darlington Raceway, Martin Truex Jr. earned his second Busch Pole Award of the season and sets the pace for this Sunday’s race at Dover. Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin fills out the top row, ahead of the Hendrick Motorsports duo of William Byron and Kyle Larson in row two.
Where does your driver start Sunday? See the full Drydene 400 starting lineup.
FAN ATTENDANCE, VIRTUAL FAN ZONE
General admission tickets for the 2021 Drydene 400 are sold out. However, premium packages may still be available at the Dover International Speedway event site.
BETTING ODDS, SLEEPER PICK
Truex has been on a tear lately and it’s caught the eye of oddsmakers across the board, as he enters this weekend a 7-2 favorite. Larson (9-2), Hamlin (5-1), Chase Elliott (7-1) and Kevin Harvick (7-1) stand in the way as the primary contenders, according to BetMGM Dover betting odds.
Notably, Hamlin and Harvick won here last year, but Dover only has one slot on the 2021 Cup Series schedule.
Outside of the usual favorites, one driver has impressively finished top five in three of the last four races at the track and was collected in an early wreck in the other — Alex Bowman. Bowman already has a win this season and arguably has his best performances at Dover. Look out for the new driver of the No. 48 to continue bringing a familiar number to Victory Lane.
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The 2020 NASCAR rules package for short tracks and road courses will be in effect with a reduced downforce package that features a 1.17-inch tapered spacer used to achieve a target of 750 horsepower, a significantly smaller rear spoiler at 2.75 inches, a quarter-inch front splitter overhang with approximately 2-inch wings and alterations to the radiator pan and the removal of its vertical fencing to reduce front-end downforce.
Surfaced in 1995, the paved concrete track is the oldest on the Cup Series schedule and a terror on tires throughout the afternoon. For 400 miles around the 1-mile circuit, teams have nine sets of Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials to conquer the “Monster Mile”.
The Minimum recommended tire inflation is 18 psi for the left side tires, 49 psi for the right front and 45 psi for the right rear.
“Dover poses several obvious challenges for us and the race teams,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing. “In addition to the concrete surface, the high banks and high horsepower put an emphasis on the importance of air pressures. Getting aggressive on-air pressures is definitely a way to gain grip, but that also carries a certain amount of risk. We added some grip to the left-side tire we bring to Dover for last season, and that has proven to help teams get the grip they need while helping protect the right-front position.
KEY STORYLINES, STATS
— There have been five different winners in the last five races at Dover (Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr. and Chase Elliott).
— 21 cars finished on the lead lap in the second race at Dover in 2020, tying the record for the most all-time.
— Hendrick Motorsports has 20 Dover wins (11 by Jimmie Johnson), totaling more than double any other organization. However, Hendrick has failed to reach Victory Lane in the last four, making it their longest winless streak since 2008.
— 10 different drivers have secured a checkered flag in the 12 races in 2021, with Martin Truex Jr. as the only repeat winner this season.
Source: Racing Insights
RELATED: Top all-time Dover lap leaders
Want to manage a team and race your way to the top of the leaderboards? Well, you can with NASCAR Fantasy Live. The free-to-play game lets you choose your drivers each week and show off your crew chief instincts. It’s not too late to join in on the competition!
The 2021 Fantasy Live points leaders are Denny Hamlin (529), Martin Truex Jr. (454) and William Byron (428).
ALSO ON NASCAR.COM
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