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April 28, 2024

Racing Insights: Truex Jr. no longer the favorite in updated projection

Martin Truex Jr. celebrates a win.
Tim Nwachukwu
Getty Images

Editor’s note: This projection has been updated after Saturday’s practice and qualifying at Dover:

After last-lap mayhem last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, the NASCAR Cup Series is now at Dover Motor Speedway for the Würth 400 (2 p.m. ET, FS1, PRN Radio, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

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The advance metrics originally predicted Martin Truex Jr. would roar to Victory Lane for the first time this season and end his winless drought at the Monster Mile for the second straight year. However, after practice and qualifying on Saturday, it’s Denny Hamlin, Truex Jr.’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, who rises to the top of the board.

Hamlin will start the race in the sixth position, while Truex will fire off in 15th after Saturday’s qualifying. Hamlin also posted the second-best 10-lap averages in practice, behind only William Byron.

Byron follows Hamlin in the updated projection, with Truex, Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott rounding out the top five. Ross Chastain, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, polesitter Kyle Busch and Ty Gibbs round out the top 10.

With the 2024 campaign in full swing, the high-banked concrete oval in Delaware is sure to produce more thrilling action this weekend in the Cup Series.


KYLE LARSON: Larson’s 8.6 average finish at Dover is second best all-time among drivers with more than two races. Dover’s slick track profile has helped the former dirt-track racer find his way to the front. Larson has led over 100 laps in four out of his previous nine starts at Dover. In total, Larson has led 899 laps at Dover — his most at any track.

CHASE ELLIOTT: In 13 starts at Dover, Elliott has nine top-five finishes and two wins. Elliott is starting 29th, however, and will need to roar forward from the back.

ROSS CHASTAIN: Chastain has found a liking to Dover in the Next Gen car. He’s the only driver to finish in the top five at both races, leading the field with a total of 97 points scored at the track. More importantly, Chastain has led 184 laps at Dover, and he leads all drivers in laps run in the top five (613) and laps run in the top 10 (754).

ALEX BOWMAN: Since 2019, Bowman has accumulated five top-five finishes at the Monster Mile. He is also a former Dover winner, having won at the concrete oval in 2021. Bowman has also found solid consistency this season, scoring top-10 finishes in four of the last six races.

KYLE BUSCH: Busch was a Saturday surprise by surging to his first pole win of the season. He has seven top-two finishes at Dover, including three wins.


Racing Insights’ advanced statistical formula includes current track, current track type, recent performance, team data and pit-crew data to arrive at a projected winner and full race results.

FinishCar NumberDriver
111Denny Hamlin
224William Byron
319Martin Truex Jr.
45Kyle Larson
59Chase Elliott
61Ross Chastain
712Ryan Blaney
848Alex Bowman
98Kyle Busch
1054Ty Gibbs
1122Joey Logano
1245Tyler Reddick
1323Bubba Wallace
1420Christopher Bell
156Brad Keselowski
1617Chris Buescher
174Josh Berry
1814Chase Briscoe
1947Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
203Austin Dillon
2199Daniel Suárez
2216AJ Allmendinger
2334Michael McDowell
2484Jimmie Johnson
252Austin Cindric
2610Noah Gragson
2741Ryan Preece
287Corey LaJoie
2951Justin Haley
3021Harrison Burton
3142John Hunter Nemechek
3231Daniel Hemric
3377Carson Hocevar
3438Todd Gilliland
3543Corey Heim
3615Kaz Grala
3771Zane Smith