Monster of a good time ahead for the NASCAR Cup Series at Dover

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Next up on the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series schedule is Dover International Speedway and Sunday’s Drydene 400 (2 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) the 13th race of the season. 

Aptly named the Monster Mile, Dover International Speedway is a 1-mile concrete paved oval located in Dover Delaware. Dover International Speedway, originally known as Dover Downs International Speedway, has hosted 102 NASCAR Cup Series races dating back to the inaugural event on July 6, 1969. The first Dover race was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty driving a Petty Enterprises Ford (115.772 mph, 02:35:28). Petty actually won the first two Cup events at the track (1969, 1970). 

In total, the 102 NASCAR Cup Series races at Dover have produced 42 different pole winners and 38 different race winners. NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson leads the series in poles at Dover with six (1969, 1973 sweep, 1974, 1975, 1981). Ryan Newman (2003, 2005, 2006, 2007) and Denny Hamlin (2012, 2013, 2015, 2019) lead all active series drivers in poles at Dover with four poles each. Recently retired driver, Jimmie Johnson holds the series record for the most wins at Dover with 11 victories (2002 sweep, 2005 Playoffs, 2009 sweep, 2010 Playoffs, Spring of 2012, 2013 Playoffs, Spring of 2014, Spring of 2015, and Spring of 2017).

Of the 38 different NASCAR Cup Series winners at Dover International Speedway, nine are active this weekend. Four drivers are tied for the most wins among active drivers at Dover – Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, and Ryan Newman – each have three wins.

Race WinnersWinsSeasons
Kevin Harvick32020, 2018, 2015
Martin Truex Jr32019. 2016, 2007
Kyle Busch32017, 2010, 2008
Ryan Newman32004, 2003 sweep
Denny Hamlin12020
Kyle Larson12019
Chase Elliott12018
Brad Keselowski12012
Kurt Busch12011

This weekend’s Drydene 400 race will be 400 laps (400 miles) and will be broken up into three stages. The first two stages will be 120 laps each and the final stage will be 160 laps. Since the inception of Stage racing in the Cup Series in 2017, six different drivers have won at least one stage at Dover, led by Kevin Harvick with six stage wins; followed by Martin Truex Jr. with four, Denny Hamlin with three and Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Kyle Larson each have one. Hamlin and Harvick swept both stages en route to their wins last season at Dover. 

Sunday’s Drydene 400 will set the starting lineup by Metric Qualifying and as a result Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Martin Truex Jr. (pole) and Denny Hamlin (second) will start on the front row. Hamlin should feel quite fortuitous starting in the second position this weekend, as it is the most proficient starting position in the field producing (20) the most wins of any starting position – winning percentage 19.61%. And it’s the same starting position he won from last season.

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