This article is part of our DFS NASCAR series.
Location: Dover, Del.
Course: Dover International Speedway
Format: 1.0-mile oval
Martin Truex Jr. extended his lead atop the winner's list last week with a dominating performance at Darlington Raceway. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver was the car to beat that afternoon, and only Kyle Larson seemed capable of mounting a serious challenge. This week could be another time for Truex to shine. He starts on pole and has three prior wins at Dover International Speedway. Last year, the NASCAR Cup Series raced a double-header weekend at the track with Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin splitting the victories. Both drivers remain winless in 2021 but will start inside the top five. Harvick won the second of those races starting 17th, but Hamlin won his starting on the outside of the front row. That is exactly where he will start this weekend, too. Matt DiBenedetto enters this week's race on the bubble in the playoff standings with Tyler Reddick tied on points but on the outside looking in. With 14 regular-season races remaining and only six playoff spots available for nonrace winners remaining, the pressure is creeping higher each week.
Key Stats at Dover International Speedway
- Number of races: 102
- Winners from pole: 13
- Winners from top-5 starters: 58
- Winners from top-10 starters: 78
- Winners from 21st or lower starters: 5
- Fastest race: 135.734 mph
Previous 10 Dover Winners
2020 II - Kevin Harvick
2020 I - Denny Hamlin
2019 fall - Kyle Larson
2019 spring - Martin Truex Jr.
2018 fall - Chase Elliott
2018 spring - Kevin Harvick
2017 fall - Kyle Busch
2017 spring - Jimmie Johnson
2016 fall - Martin Truex Jr.
2016 spring - Matt Kenseth
Dover's 1.0-mile high-banked oval is paved in concrete and a difficult track for some to master. The circuit is fast and punishing on equipment. Track position plays a heavy role and fantasy players should focus their search for a winner within the top 15 starting positions. No driver had won at the track starting outside of the top 15 prior to Harvick's drive to Victory Lane from 17th since Tony Stewart won from 22nd in 2013. Dover requires drivers to get into a rhythm early, much like at Bristol, and it will be difficult to move forward through pit strategy. The circuit is difficult for passing, and the shorter lap distance means going multiple laps down when pitting under green. Staying mistake-free on pit road and capitalizing on track position on restarts should be the areas drivers and teams focus on for success this Sunday.
DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)
DraftKings Tier 1 Values
DraftKings Tier 2 Values
DraftKings Tier 3 Values
DraftKings Long-Shot Values
MY PICKS THIS WEEK
Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Last week's Darlington race was another where Larson (DK $11,500, FD $13,500) put himself in position to win. The team's speed has been consistent, and Dover is a good track from him. He won the last time he raced here in the series and has led a total of 617 in 12 starts. Harvick (DK $9,800, FD $11,500) has turned a corner and is back on fantasy wish lists. He will start fifth this week and has three Dover wins including one last season. Christopher Bell (DK $8,000, FD $9,000) may be another good option at this track. He will start 11th and may not have shown what he is capable of at the track last season. He won two of his four Xfinity Series starts at the circuit. Similarly, Tyler Reddick (DK $7,600, FD $7,800) should also be a nice option for rosters this week. He starts inside the top 15 and finished 13th and 18th in the two 2020 races at track. He is tied for the 16th and a final spot in the playoffs right now, and a top-10 finish should be his aim. As predicted, Chris Buescher (DK $6,600, FD $7,000) and Roush Fenway Racing were contenders for top-10 finishes at Darlington. At Dover, Buescher has never finished in the top 10, but he scored his two best finishes at the track in last season's races. He is in the playoff positions and has two top-10s in the last two races. Another prior Xfinity Series winner at Dover is Chase Briscoe (DK $6,100, FD $5,500). He has two 11th-place finishes in the last three races and may now be finding his voice in the Cup Series.
Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Hamlin (DK $11,100, FD $13,000) won at Dover last season when starting second. Doing the same this week would end his 2021 winless drought and give him some additional breathing room until the playoffs get underway. His victory last season was his first at the track. Chase Elliott (DK $10,700, FD $12,500) won at Dover in 2019 and has an impressive seven top-five finishes from 10 starts. He also led 321 laps in that span and will start eighth Sunday. His Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron (DK $8,900, FD $10,300) has had an extremely impressive start to the season. He won at Homestead and hasn't finish lower than ninth in any race since then. He finished fourth in the second Dover race last season from the 28th starting position but starts third this time. Like Bristol, Dover has been a track where Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (DK $7,100, FD $6,300) has been capable of outperforming expectations. He has three top-10s at the track, including the first of the double-header races last season. Daniel Suarez (DK $6,300, FD $6,700) has been making progress quickly with his new team. He is 23rd in the standings, will start 24th on Sunday, and has four top-10s from eight Dover starts. Ryan Preece (DK $5,900, FD $4,500) has had an up-and-down start to the season, but picked up top-20 finishes at Bristol and Talladega. He was 19th in the fall Dover race two seasons ago. Another top-20 this weekend would be a nice step forward before he hits another road course next week.