DOVER, Del. – Next up on the NASCAR schedule is a visit to Dover International Speedway for all three national touring series.
The one-mile concrete oval is known as the Monster Mile for good reason – if you screw up here, the place will eat you up. And, the reason you get down in Dover is because when a driver goes into Turns 1 and 3, they literally dive down the equivalent of a two-story building through the turns.
Eyes will once again, whether you like him or not, be on Kyle Busch to see if he can get back to his winning ways after Talladega. Coming into this race, the No. 18 Toyota driver from Joe Gibbs Racing has 12 total wins at Dover. Three Monster Energy Cup, five Xfinity and four Gander Outdoor Truck Series victories definitely make him a favorite.
He knows what it takes to get around Dover, but getting from the green to checkered flags can be a challenge.
“It’s definitely a rollercoaster ride and you need to treat it like it’s fun and not to be scared of the place, I think, because you can get so much out of that place,” said Busch, the current MENCS points leader. “There are two ways about it – you can probably be really, really good here, or really, really bad here.”
While Busch is on a winning roll, the seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson can’t be overlooked at Dover. He’s the all-time winningest driver here with 11 trips to Victory Lane with his last series victory taking place in the 2017 race.
Packman’s Pick – I’ll go for the nostalgia-really-needs-a-win choice of Johnson for the win
For the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Christopher Bell rolls into Miles the Monster with 100 percent of laps completed in two starts. The last time he dodged the self-cleaning danger of Dover, he ended up in Victory Lane last Fall.
In addition to the lap completion stat, he has also led 110 circuits around the speedway.
For race fans who like to watch racing during Happy Hour, tune into the Gander Outdoors race at 5 p.m. on Friday. The event never lacks for action and makes for a fairly quick race.
Since this is a WNY-based website, the pick for this one is local favorite Stewart Friesen. He’s been knocking on the door too many times to NOT win one. Look for that No. 52 Chevrolet Truck to make its first trip to Victory Lane on Friday.