By Staff Report
5 Minute Read
Six races in three days will make up this weekend’s full slate of racing at Dover International Speedway.
The NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series both have doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday, while the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series and ARCA Menards Series East will race on Friday afternoon.
Here’s everything you need to know for all the Cup Series action at the “Monster Mile.”
RELATED: How to follow the races | Dover weekend schedule
Dover International Speedway, nicknamed the “Monster Mile,” is a 1-mile race track located in Dover, Delaware. Opened in 1969, the NASCAR Cup Series’ first race was on July 6 of the same year, won by seven-time champion Richard Petty.
The banking in the turns is 24 degrees. The 1,076-foot straightaways are set at 9 degrees.
The track was initially an asphalt track until a concrete surface was laid in 1995, serving as the oldest concrete surface on the circuit. The track will host its 101st and 102nd Cup Series races with the doubleheader set for this weekend.
The track was originally named Dover Downs International Speedway, designed as a dual-purpose facility to accommodate both harness racing and motorsports events. In 2002, the track was re-named to Dover International Speedway as the gaming side of the company split off and Dover Motorsports, Inc. was created to exclusively oversee racing.
The track also has a mascot, named “Miles the Monster.” A 46-foot tall sculpture was introduced in 2008, located in Victory Plaza outside of the track. The trophy awarded to the winner of each race is a replica of the statue.
For both Cup Series races on Saturday and Sunday: Stage 1 is set to end at Lap 70, Stage 2 at Lap 185, with the final stage slated to conclude on Lap 311.
For the second time this year, the starting lineup and pit-stall selection were determined by a competition-based formula, eliminating the random-draw element from all three national series through the end of the 2020 season.
The formula uses three performance metrics, which will be weighted and averaged to determine the lineup and pit selection order for the Saturday event:
The competition-based formula also brings back the awarding of the Busch Pole Award in the NASCAR Cup Series.
For Sunday’s race, the top 20 from Saturday’s event will be inverted, with the 20th-place finisher starting first and so on. The remaining positions — 21-40 — will be determined by the same three performance metrics.
RELATED: Official lineup | Pit stall selections
The 2020 NASCAR rules package for short tracks and road courses will be in effect, a reduced downforce package that features a 1.17-inch tapered spacer used to achieve a target of 750 horsepower, significantly smaller rear spoiler at 2.75 inches, a quarter-inch front splitter overhang with approximately 2-inch wings and alterations to the radiator pan and the removal of its vertical fencing to reduce front-end downforce.
Between the rules package and the steep banking and high speeds, the amount of load on the right-front tire must be a focus. Goodyear will be working with Cup teams leading into the event and throughout the two days at the track to emphasize the importance of the minimum recommended air pressure. Going below the minimum may get a car more grip, but that is clearly a risk vs. reward proposition. Low-air pressure under the conditions teams will face at Dover can damage the tire and result in air loss. With no practice leading into Saturday’s race, teams must be especially mindful with their initial set-ups, and then not crank up the aggression as they move to Sunday.
“While we all have some experience with running this rules package on fast, high-banked tracks, having run Dover and Bristol in 2019 and Bristol again this season, it is always important to keep on top of the delicate balance between performance and durability,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing. “Dover, with this current package, is a big challenge for all of us, so we will be working with the teams to re-emphasize the data. Gaining as much grip as possible is always front and center for these teams, and one tuning tool they use to accomplish that is air pressure. But as they say, ‘to finish first, you must first finish.'”
New tire set for Dover: Teams in the Cup, Xfinity and Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series will run the same tire set-up — a new combination of left- and right-side tires. These teams have previously used the left-side tire code at Auto Club Speedway, Darlington Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway this season. Compared to what was run at Dover last Fall, the new tire code features a construction update on both sides of the car and a compound change on the left-side for more grip. The tires will also have standard inner liners.
STATS TO KNOW
– If Kyle Busch leaves Dover without a win, 2020 will serve as the first season in his Cup Series career that he has failed to win before the 26th race.
– Brad Keselowski’s 16 top 10s are his most ever through 23 races in 2020.
– Denny Hamlin’s 13 top fives are a career-high through 23 races in 2020.
– Kevin Harvick has won three of the last four races on doubleheader weekends (Pocono-1, both Michigan races).
– Johnson leads active drivers in these categories at Dover: wins (11), top fives (17), top 10s (25) and laps led (3,110).
– Chase Elliott only has two finishes outside the top five in his eight Dover starts, winning there in October 2018.
– Clint Bowyer has finished in the top 10 in four of the last five races at Dover.
Source: Racing Insights, NASCAR statistics
The ARCA Menards Series East will kick things off on Friday at 2 p.m. ET for the General Tire 125 on TrackPass and MRN, followed by the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series KDI Office Technology 200 (5 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
On Saturday, the NASCAR Xfinity Series takes off in the Drydene 200 (12:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), then the NASCAR Cup Series will take the stage in the Drydene 311 (4 p.m. ET on NBCSN/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
A pair of doubleheaders are on Sunday’s slate with the Xfinity Series Drydene 200 (1 p.m. ET on NBCSN/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) and the Cup Series Drydene 311 (4 p.m. ET on NBCSN/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
RELATED: Ways to follow the races
For a more interactive experience, steer over to NASCAR.com or the NASCAR app to check out an enhanced Race Center, live Lap-by-Lap coverage, the customizable live leaderboard with Scanner and the return of Drive (featuring in-car cameras).
Be sure to set your lineup in Fantasy Live and make your picks in the NASCAR Finish Line App.
ACTIVE DOVER WINNERS
Jimmie Johnson (11 wins); Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Newman, Martin Truex Jr. (three wins); Kevin Harvick (two wins); Kurt Busch, Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski (one win)