The starting lineup is set for today’s DuraMAX Drydene 400 at Dover Motor Speedway (3 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
If the race is anything like the practice session just before qualifying, we’re in for a wild affair. Five cars suffered incidents in practice. Some, like Tyler Reddick, simply spun and moved on.
Four other drivers weren’t so lucky. William Byron, Todd Gilliland, Harrison Burton, and Josh Bilicki all made contact with the wall in practice, and will start the race at the rear of the field.
With the potential for spins and chaos at the Monster Mile, I’m looking toward one extremely consistent driver for today’s best bet.
NASCAR at Dover Picks
*Odds as of Sunday morning
Kevin Harvick +475 to Finish as Top Ford
The NASCAR Cup Series has raced at five traditional ovals so far in 2022. By that, I mean the non-drafting and non-dirt ovals, like the series visits this weekend at Dover.
Of those five ovals, the least similar to Dover is Martinsville. The half-mile flat track simply doesn’t match the speeds we traditionally see at Dover. Meanwhile, the other four tracks all average green-flag speeds within 30 miles per hour of Dover.
In those four races, Kevin Harvick finished among the top three Fords every single time. That included two second-place finishes among the blue ovals, as well as one finish as the best Ford driver.
Just looking at Dover, Harvick has finished as the top Ford driver in five of the last seven races, with no finish worse than third.
This consistency has been a staple of the latter part of Harvick’s career.
The 2014 champion has not had a DNF at a traditional oval since Bristol in 2019.
In a race where mayhem might occur, it helps to have a driver with the experience and consistency that Harvick has.
Harvick said his car felt good in race trim, which bodes well for his comfort level and should strengthen our faith in his consistency.
My model gives him a 19.8% chance to finish as the top Ford driver. That certainly outpaces the 17.4% implied odds he’s being given at BetMGM.
The Bet: Kevin Harvick +475 to finish as top Ford.