The NASCAR Cup teams roll into Dover to tackle the Monster Mile for the second time this season. Current points leader Jimmie Johnson won the spring event (source - ESPN) and led the most laps, dominating at the end. Could he be a favorite to win it again or might someone else be the leading contender to drive to victory lane? Here are the top five contenders for the third race of the NASCAR Cup Chase.
5. Kasey Kahne - He's never won at Dover but has a couple Top 10s the last two races. He's been driving well this year and is two-for-two with top fives during the Chase. This might be a bit of a stretch but I think Kahne will be sniffing around the lead at some juncture during the race.
4. Matt Kenseth - He won last year at Dover and has eight top fives over his last nine visits to the one-mile all-concrete track. Actually, I'd have him higher than this but his performance towards the end of the season had been so-so. He'll certainly be one of the contenders.
3. Jeff Gordon - There was a period a long time ago when Gordon was the guy to beat at Dover. He hasn't had a Top 10 in a few years but the way he's driving right now, anything is possible. I mean anything. The guy has four top threes over the last five events but also has three finishes outside of the top 20 over the last seven races. Again, expect any and everything from Gordon during this race.
2. Kyle Busch - I'm hesitant to put him this high because he seems to find a way or reason not to win just about every race. Still, Kyle has two wins at Dover and four top sixes over the last five events. He'll probably have the lead at some point but whether he can keep it is another question.
1. Jimmie Johnson - Actually, this is a no-brainer. He has five poles and a record seven wins since he first stepped foot on the concrete at Dover. Johnson has won two of the last three fall events at Dover and of course won the race in the spring. And get this - over the last seven races at Dover, Johnson has averaged 234 laps led. Yes, averaged and remember, each race is 400 laps, so he's leading the majority of the laps every time out. Dominant doesn't begin to describe his abilities at the Monster Mile.
Want a longshot? It's hard to believe that he'd be considered a longshot but how about Carl Edwards? He won here back in '07 and had a streak of 12 straight top 11s prior to the spring race this season.
The race is on ESPN this coming Saturday September 30th at 2:00PM Eastern Time in Dover, Delaware. The next race will be at Talladega on October 7th.
Sources - NASCAR, Racing Reference
Daryle has been involved in motorsports most of his life and has three decades of experience inside racemarketing, plus for several years has blogged about every type of racing.
- Motor Racing
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- Jimmie Johnson
- Jeff Gordon
- Kasey Kahne