Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jimmie Johnson
In the words of Wayne Campbell, “Hi, I’m in Delaware.”
While the state is rather unassuming, it boasts “The Monster Mile,” a 95,500-seat one-mile concrete oval with 24-degree banking in the corners, which makes Dover International Speedway one of the steepest tracks on the circuit.
One of NASCAR’s two concrete steep tracks (Bristol Motor Speedway is the other one), Dover especially caters to a particular type of driver known as a “rim rider” (someone who prefers to ride at the top of the track, where it’s easier to maintain a high speed). Additionally, concrete (as opposed to asphalt) tends to provide more grip and tire consistency as well, which means that it’s harder to pass at Dover than at the average NASCAR track. As a result, track position (starting position and running position) is more important than it usually is.
Here are the main metrics I’m looking at this weekend:
- Projected finishing position
- Starting position
- Short- and long-run practice times
- Year-to-date performance
- Steep-track history
- Track-specific history
Something to keep in mind: Past Dover performance is predictive of how drivers are likely to perform at the AAA 400 Driver for Autism, but Dover is also a high-variance track because of its steep banking. It’s not as random as the restrictor-plate tracks of Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, but cars at Dover go faster than they ordinarily do at other tracks of similar size and length, so we should expect to see an elevated degree of randomness. With that in mind, the drivers I’m highlighting are those with plus odds.
Here are four prop bets I’m eyeing for Sunday’s NASCAR race at Dover.