The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will travel to Dover, Delaware this week for the FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks.
Dover is a unique racetrack. It is a one-mile oval with high banking on a concrete surface. Nicknamed the Monster Mile, the track is tough on the drivers and the cars as they have to dive into the corners 1,200 times during the race. Dover is also one of the hardest tracks to get on and off of pit road, so track position will be important this week.
The key to winning the race at Dover is for the drivers to find the rhythm to make fast laps. Some drivers have the rhythm down to perfection, while others spend the entire day trying to figure out how to get speed from their cars.
The drivers to watch this week include Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth. Each of these drivers has had success at Dover.
Here are my picks for the FedEx 400 at Dover.
Yahoo Group A Picks
Finding a driver for Group A of Yahoo Fantasy Auto Racing should be easy this week. Jimmie Johnson has dominated the races at this track and should be on every team Sunday. The only concern fantasy teams should have is deciding what driver to pair with Johnson in Group A.
Kevin Harvick has been the most popular choice for Group A this season. He has run well at every track, but this would be a good week to leave him off your roster. Harvick has never won at Dover and he is so good on the intermediate tracks that it would be wise to save him for the race at Michigan.
My sleeper pick in Group A is Kyle Busch. He needs to run up front and win a race to make the Chase. Busch has 11 wins across the three racing series at Dover. Busch has finished 13 of his 20 races at Dover in the top 10. He would be an excellent choice for your team.
Here are the two drivers I selected for Group A.
Johnson is the best choice in the field this week. He has a series-best driver rating and a series-best average finishing position at Dover. Johnson has nine wins at the Monster Mile and won two of the last three races at the track. No driver knows how to get around Dover better than Johnson.
There are many drivers who would be good choices to pair with Johnson, but I decided to go with Keselowski. He finished second in both races at Dover last season and he started on the pole for the spring race. Keselowski has finished four of the last five races at Dover in the top five. Do not be surprised to see Keselowski win the Pole for the race Sunday.
Other good choices: Joey Logano, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman
Yahoo Group B Picks
This will be the week to take a chance with some drivers you may not have used much in Group B. Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Kasey Kahne have been popular picks this season. It would be wise to save these drivers for the races on the intermediate tracks.
My sleeper pick for Group B is Tony Stewart. He is off to his worst start of his career, but if he is ever to turn his season around, it should come at Dover. Stewart has three wins and 17 finishes in the top 10 at the track. If you are ever going to take a chance with Stewart, this is a great week to do so.
Here are the four drivers I selected for Group B.
Bowyer has not been very good this season, but this would be a good week for the No. 15 team to get their season going. Bowyer has the fourth-best average finishing position and the eighth-best driver rating at Dover. He has a streak of eight consecutive top-10 finishes going. It would be great if your fantasy team could sneak a top-10 finish out of Bowyer this week.
Larson is another driver who I am willing to take a risk with this week. He has had an up and down season so far, but his stats at Dover last season are too good to ignore. Larson qualified for both races in the top 10 and finished both races in the top 11. Most fantasy teams would be satisfied with the same results Sunday.
Martin Truex Jr.
I wanted to select at least one of the top drivers from Group B as an insurance policy this week. Truex Jr. is my selection. Last year Truex finished both races at Dover in the top seven. His Furniture Row Racing team was not nearly as good last year as it is in 2015. I expect even better results from the No. 78 team this week.
Edwards will have momentum coming into the race at Dover after his win at Charlotte. “Concrete Carl” could get another top-10 finish this week at the Monster Mile. He has won races at Dover before and now he is teamed with some of the best drivers at the track (Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth). Edwards is a good pick for your team this week.
Other Good Choices: Kurt Busch, Kasey Kahne, Paul Menard and Jamie McMurray
Yahoo Group C Picks
There will be not as many good choices in Group C as there has been in recent weeks. Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott and Eric Jones are not entered in the race. Brian Scott will be driving the No. 33 which has an alliance with Richard Childress Racing. Scott would be the only driver worth considering other than the series regulars.
Here are the two drivers I selected for Group C.
Dover is not one of Patrick’s best tracks, but the choices in Group C are slim this week. This pick is more about the No. 10 car than it is about Patrick’s ability to finish up front. Stewart Haas Racing will provide her a car capable of running in the top 20; she will need to find a way to get it there. Expect a top-25 finish from Patrick this week.
Ragan has not been very good at Dover in his career, but he has not been in very good cars. Last season Brett Moffitt was able to drive the No. 55 car to a 22nd place finish. I would expect Ragan to perform better and finish inside the top 20 Sunday.
Other Good Choices: Justin Allgaier and Brian Scott
Fantasy Live Picks
Selecting drivers who start the race up front will be the best strategy for Fantasy Live this week. There are 400 laps in the race and 200 bonus points available. Fantasy teams who can select the drivers who lead the majority of these laps will be the teams at the top of their weekly standings.
I have been using Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards and Martin Truex Jr. for many weeks. I had these drivers at a cheap price and it was not worth selling them. That could change this week. Jimmie Johnson is a better choice than Harvick, so it may be wise to take the No. 48 over the No. 4 car at Dover.
Here are the five drivers I selected for Fantasy Live for the race at Dover:
Driver 1: Jimmie Johnson $27.50
Driver 2: Kyle Busch $25.00
Driver 3: Carl Edwards $21.00
Driver 4: Martin Truex Jr. $20.50
Driver 5: Matt Dibenetto $6.00
Pick to Win: Jimmie Johnson
* Driver prices based on prices at Charlotte
Fox Fantasy Racing
The strategy for Fox Fantasy Racing has beento select driver who started the race in the back with a chance to move to the front. This strategy would score your team the maximum bonus points for finishing differential.
Picking a combination of drivers who start up front and some who can improve their position during the race is the best strategy this week. Track position is very important at Dover and it will be difficult for drivers to move to the front from deep in the field.
Here are my selections for Fox Fantasy Racing for Dover:
Driver 1: Kevin Harvick $13,500
Driver 2: Jimmie Johnson $13,200
Driver 3: Kyle Busch $6,200
Driver 4: Kurt Busch $8,900
Driver 5: Carl Edwards $7,900
* Driver prices based on prices at Charlotte