NASCAR Picks for Dover
Length: 1.000 miles
Location: Dover, Delaware
Is it too early to call the Chase a three-horse race? As the Cup Series heads to Dover International Speedway this weekend for the third race of the Chase, point leader Matt Kenseth has already amassed an 18-point cushion, and fourth-place Carl Edwards is 36 points back. Sure, second-place Kyle Busch and third-place Jimmie Johnson are within striking distance, but the rest of the title contenders are going to need Kenseth to run into trouble to have a realistic shot at catching up.
From a fantasy standpoint, the early separation in the playoffs is really just a microcosm of the entire year. After all, Kenseth, Busch and Johnson have combined to win 15 of the 28 races this year with Kenseth owning a series-high seven wins and Busch and Johnson ranking first and second in top-five finishes. There is no reason to expect the three drivers that have dominated the series all year to slow down now that a title is on the line. Going forward, all three of these drivers should form a nice starting point when building fantasy rosters.
Jimmie Johnson, #48 Lowe's/Kobalt Tools, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
There is simply no other option for the top spot in the rankings this weekend. Johnson is a seven-time winner at Dover, and his 5.7 average finish in the last 10 races at the track is by far the best in the series. Johnson has seven top-five finishes, including four wins, during the stretch, and he was cruising to another victory at the track earlier this year when he was penalized for jumping the final restart by a rule that has since been changed. Expect a dominating showing from Johnson this weekend.
Kyle Busch, #18 Mars Brands/Interstate Batteries, Joe Gibbs Racing [Yahoo Class B]
He is off to a fast start in the Chase, and Busch now heads to a Dover track where he has 11 finishes of seventh or better in 17 starts, including a pair of wins. More importantly, Busch has finished seventh or better six times in his last seven starts at Dover, including a fourth-place finish earlier this year when he led the most laps.
Matt Kenseth, #20 Husky/Dollar General, Joe Gibbs Racing [Yahoo Class A]
Kenseth is 2-for-2 in wins in the Chase, and he just might stay perfect this weekend at Dover. After all, he is a two-time winner at the track, and he has finished in the top five in eight of his last 11 starts. Fantasy owners need to jump on the Kenseth bandwagon ASAP.
Carl Edwards, #99 Fastenal/Aflac/UPS/Subway, Roush Fenway Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Fantasy owners will have a tough time finding a safer option this weekend. Edwards leads all active drivers with an 8.6 average finish at Dover, and in 18 starts at the track, he has only finished outside the top 15 on three occasions. More importantly, Edwards has eight top-five finishes and 12 top-10s at Dover.
Clint Bowyer, #15 5-Hour Energy, Michael Waltrip Racing [Yahoo Class A]
As his 12.7 average finish at Dover suggests, Bowyer has always been solid at the track. However, he has really turned it on in recent years. Bowyer has reeled off five straight top-10s at Dover and has posted a 6.8 average finish during the stretch.
Brad Keselowski, #2 Miller Lite, Penske Racing [Yahoo Class A]
He is the defending winner of this weekend's race, and he followed up his victory last September with a top-five run earlier this year. After finishing outside the top 10 in his first five starts at the track, Keselowski has clearly figured things out at Dover. He is fast becoming one of the better fantasy options at the track.
Jeff Gordon, #24 Drive to End Hunger/Axalta, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
Gordon provides the ideal blend of consistency and upside this weekend. For one, he has finished in the top 15 in seven of his last eight starts at Dover, including four straight. More importantly, Gordon finished second at the track last September and third earlier this year.
Kevin Harvick, #29 Budweiser/Rheem, Richard Childress Racing [Yahoo Class A]
In typical Harvick fashion, he has been rock solid at Dover. He has eight straight top-15 finishes at the track and has four top-10s in his last five starts. Granted, Harvick has managed just a single top-five finish during the stretch, but what he lacks in upside, he makes up for in reliability.
Joey Logano, #22 Shell-Pennzoil, Penske Racing [Yahoo Class B]
In nine starts at Dover, Logano has logged six top-15 finishes. More importantly, he has reeled off three straight top-10s at the track -- including a seventh-place run earlier this year in his first start at the track with Penske Racing. At the very least, Logano should be able to contend for another top-10 at Dover this weekend.
Mark Martin, #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1, Stewart-Haas Racing [Yahoo Class B]
The veteran has gotten better with age at Dover. His 9.0 average finish at the track in the last 10 races is the third best in the series, and he has finished outside the top 15 only once during the stretch. Martin finished third at Dover last September and ninth earlier this year, and this weekend, he will be driving for the No. 14 team that won at the track with Tony Stewart earlier this season.
Kurt Busch, #78 Furniture Row, Furniture Row Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Although he hasn't been the most consistent driver at Dover, there is no denying Busch's upside. In his last 10 starts at the track, he has four finishes of fourth or better -- including a win in the September event in 2011. Busch managed a 12th-place finish in his first start at Dover with Furniture Row Racing earlier this year, and he could easily best that result this weekend.
Kasey Kahne, #5 Farmers Insurance/Quaker State, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
Dover has never been his best track, but Kahne has been enjoying one of his better stretches. He has three top-15s in his last four starts at Dover and two top-10s during the stretch. Kahne probably isn't the best option in Yahoo! leagues and other similar formats, but he should still have a decent afternoon.