Following back-to-back events at two of NASCAR’s more varied tracks, the Cup Series returns to the familiar grounds of Dover. Let’s dive into the track information NASCAR DFS players need to know, what to expect for this weekend’s running of the DuraMAX Drydene 400 at Dover and some early NASCAR fantasy picks.
NASCAR DFS Preview: 2022 DuraMAX Drydene 400
Dover International Speedway Information
- Track: Dover Motor Speedway
- Location: Dover, Delaware
- Length: 1-mile steeply banked oval (concrete)
- Banking: 24 degrees
- Dominator Points:
- DraftKings: 100 – laps led, 180 – fastest laps
- FanDuel: 40 – laps led
- Past winners: Alex Bowman (Spring 2021), Kevin Harvick (Summer 2020)
- Betting favorite: Kyle Larson +400 (BetMGM)
- Entry List: All 36 Chartered Teams including Ryan Preece (15), A.J. Allmendinger (16) and Josh Bilicki (77).
- Weather: High of 65, intervals of clouds and sun
- Watch: FOX Sports 1
- Listen: MRN (MRN, NASCAR.com, NASCAR Sirius/ XM Channel 90)
On Track Schedule (All Times Eastern)-
- Saturday, April 30
- 10:30 a.m.: practice
- 11:05 a.m.: qualifying
- Sunday, May 1
- 3:00 p.m.: green flag (120/250/400 laps)
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2022 Drydene 400 NASCAR DFS Preview
Following back-to-back weekends of racing on dirt at Bristol and a superspeedway race at Talladega, racing returns to a level of normalcy that DFS players can get behind. Sunday finds NASCAR returning to Dover, Delaware for its now annual trip to Miles the Monster. Dover is a mile-long oval set apart by two distinct factors. First, Dover has one of the few remaining tracks on the regular rotation that still sports concrete as its main racing surface. While not overly abrasive, like what will be seen at Darlington next weekend, this old concrete will weather the tires at perhaps this season’s fastest rate so far.
Second, Dover is steeply banked, measuring out at 24 degrees in all of the turns. Success at Dover is determined by tire management as well as the ability to maneuver around this banking. Just like regular Bristol, Darlington or even Miami, a driver that can negotiate their way around the wall can garner serious speed relative to the field.
Eleven races into the 2022 season, it is hard to look at any of this season’s past events and find a real corollary for Dover. Considering every race outside of superspeedway events is using the same 670-horsepower setup, it should make comparisons easier than last year when races were split between the low horsepower, high downforce package (non-drafting tracks greater than 1.4-miles in length) and the high horsepower, low downforce package (road courses and non-drafting ovals shorter than 1.4-miles in length). However, looking at this year’s schedule, DFS players can immediately cross out Daytona, Auto Club Speedway, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Circuit of the Americas, Bristol Dirt and Talladega due to length discrepancies.
This potentially leaves Phoenix, Richmond and Martinsville as tracks to gauge for Sunday but the banking at these tracks is minimal compared to Dover. Because of the peculiarities of Dover, DFS players are better off looking back to last year’s event at Dover plus the two races at Darlington as plumb lines for Sunday’s Drydene 400. It is what DFS players will find compared on the Super Sheet of this week’s RaceSheets. Yes, the comparative is only three races in a package no longer used but sometimes tracks are such unique snowflakes that DFS players have to step out on a ledge of sorts to find corollaries.
In this race last year, Martin Truex Jr. started on the pole, led the first 16 laps and yielded the lead to William Byron until lap 37 when the competition caution flag was waved and Truex had regained the lead. Truex had a slow pit stop, suffered damage on pit road and then was never heard from the rest of the race, as the hole in his bumper was a giant parachute.
This opened the door for Larson to grab the lead with a fast pit stop. The rest of the race was a jockeying back and forth between Larson and teammate Bowman as the two combined to lead the final 361 laps. By the end of the 400 laps, Hendrick Motorsports had combined to lead all but 18 laps and swept the top four positions.
While a half-mile, flat paperclip-shaped oval (Martinsville) is not going to be a corollary track for DFS purposes this weekend, it is worth noting that in the last short track NASCAR raced at, it was Hendrick’s drivers (Chase Elliott and Byron) who demonstrated speed during practice and basically dominated the race on that Saturday night.
If there has been a complaint about the Generation 7 car thus far it has been short-track racing and the seeming impossibility to pass, especially upfront. With Sunday’s forecast projected to be in the mid-60s with overcast skies, Dover could look like Martinsville and Richmond with little passing as the fast cars in practice hold a glue-tight grip on the top positions.
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