Gone are the random draws from previous NASCAR races for starting positions. For this weekend’s doubleheader at Dover, Del., NASCAR’s new competition-based formula is in play. It’s 50% finishing position in the previous race, 35% overall team points, and 15% the fastest lap for the previous race.
With a win last weekend at Daytona, fourth place in team points, and the fastest lap last weekend, Chase Elliott gets the pole. Denny Hamlin, the second-place finisher at Daytona, will start in the second position.
The rest of the top 10 starters for the Drydene 311 are Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski, William Byron, Kurt Busch, and Kevin Harvick.
Favorites for Drydene 311
Where you line up isn’t necessarily an indicator of where you are expected to finish. The odds board for winning the race, finishing top three, and finishing top 10 looks like this:
- Kevin Harvick (+350/+105/-560)
- Martin Truex Jr. (+400/+115/-500)
- Chase Elliott (+550/+150/-375)
- Denny Hamlin (+550/+150/-375)
- Kyle Busch (+1200/+300/-186)
- Brad Keselowski (+1200/+300/-186)
- Ryan Blaney (+1400/+350/-167)
- Joey Logano (+1500/+400/-157)
- Aric Almirola (+2000/+500/-139)
- Jimmie Johnson (+2000/+500/-139)
A few names jump off this list and deserve extra consideration. Jimmie Johnson has struggled in this, his final season as a full-time driver. But he finished fourth at Daytona last weekend and has the most-ever Cup wins at Dover with 11.
He’s driving much better of late, and he’s on a course he knows and loves. Give him consideration at +2000.
Chase Elliott has started on the pole in two previous races this season – Atlanta and Phoenix. He finished seventh in Phoenix and eighth in Atlanta.
Before jumping on Elliott for the win or a top three finish, these results are worth considering. He hasn’t finished outside the top 10 in four straight races, but before his win at Daytona, he’d gone 10 straight races without a top three finish.
Martin Truex Jr. is more than worthy of his second-place spot on this list. In two races at Dover in 2019, he finished first and second. And in his last seven races at Dover, only once has he finished outside the top four. That includes another win on the mile-long oval in 2016.
Fun Fact: the 2020 Drydene 311 is the 101st NASCAR race to be run at Dover International Speedway.
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