What to Watch: 2022 Dover Motor Speedway race


Everything you need to know for Monday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at newly-renamed Dover Motor Speedway, the 11th regular-season event of the 2022 campaign.

Race-day info 📝

Where: Dover, Delaware
Approximate start time: Noon ET  | Race postponed on Sunday | Updated weekend schedule
TV/Radio: FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio | Full TV schedule
Forecast: A slight chance of showers after 2 p.m. ET. Partly sunny, with a high near 66 degrees, according to NOAA.gov | Weather tracker
Race distance: 400 laps | 400 miles
Stages: 120 | 250 | 400
Pit-road speed: 35 mph
Caution car speed: 45 mph
The purse: $7,205,230
Dover 101: Get the full lowdown
Starting lineup: See the field | How qualifying works
Pit stalls:
Where each driver will pitExpert Dover pit analysis

Key things to watch 🔑

Saturday’s sessions

Not many surprises in Saturday morning’s qualifying session, with Hendrick Motorsports and Trackhouse Racing sharing most of the success. Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Alex Bowman, Ross Chastain and Daniel Suárez each flashed Chevrolet’s speed and will start in the top 10 on Sunday. However, the biggest and boldest surprise was Chris Buescher’s dash to the top of the leaderboard. The No. 17 Ford driver claimed his first career pole and first for RFK Racing’s newly-formed operation. Ford counterpart Ryan Blaney qualified fifth. Toyota drivers Denny Hamlin (second), Bubba Wallace (ninth) and Kyle Busch (10th) rounded out the top 10 quickest lap times. William Byron, the only Hendrick Motorsports driver who didn’t qualify, suffered a heavy hit during practice, forcing the No. 24 camp to a backup car. | See Byron’s wrecked Chevrolet | Full practice and qualifying recap

Big story line

After putting on a clinic at Dover in 2021, Hendrick Motorsports could very well do it again this year. Though we have seen reasonable parity to this point, William Byron (twice), Alex Bowman and Kyle Larson have still each reached Victory Lane. And Chase Elliott has to be champing at the bit to join his teammates in the win column. Each of the four sits top-seven in the NASCAR Cup Series standings, meaning they’ve still been quietly the team to beat every week. At a technical track like Dover, they could very well set themselves apart from the field as they did in last year’s historic 1-2-3-4 finish. But if anyone can slow their momentum at the “Monster Mile,” it is Kevin Harvick. The No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing driver is the only multi-time winner in the previous seven races here and has seven consecutive top-six finishes. Will we see the usual Dover dominators set the pace on Monday? Or will in-form drivers such as Ross Chastain, arguably the hottest driver on the planet, and Austin Dillon, the leader of the underdogs, continue to charge up the standings? | Who has the best odds for Monday’s race?

Who’s hot? Who’s not? 

If Ross Chastain can win on Monday, it would be his series-leading third victory of the season at a third different track type. He enters this weekend as winner of two of the last five races (Circuit of The Americas and Talladega Superspeedway), boasting a career-best 13.5 average finish. However, Dover has historically been his Achilles heel. In seven Cup Series starts, Chastain has never finished better than 15th and has led zero laps. Time will tell if his 2022 magic will continue at the “Monster Mile.” On the other hand, Cole Custer has gotten off to a rocky start overall, racking up three DNFs in the first 11 races this season. Custer and the No. 41 team have 10 straight finishes of 11th or worse to start 2022. But he has been historically successful at Dover, with back-to-back top-10 finishes and a 10.3 average finish here. Look for Custer and company to turn their season around this weekend.

Driving under the radar

Cool, calm and collected. That has been the mantra for Alex Bowman as he has quietly become a weekly contender at almost every track. The No. 48 wheelman has five top 10s in the last six races, has scored stage points in eight of the 20 stages this season and already has the Las Vegas Motor Speedway win under his belt. It makes sense to put more focus on Bowman this weekend. He is the defending race winner and led 98 laps here last spring. 12-1 odds, while still very great, place him at the bottom of the Hendrick Motorsports camp. So keep an eye out for him Monday. It is always when you least expect it that Bowman rises to the occasion.

Milesthemonster Dover
Getty Images

Race-day staples ✅

Our biggest pieces of the week — get covered for race day from all angles.Dillon Com Powerrankings Hero

• Paint Scheme Preview: Dazzling schemes for Dover | See them here
• Power Rankings:
Austin Dillon continues string of RCR top-three finishes | Where does he rank?
• Fantasy Fastlane:
Can Hendrick Motorsports repeat Dover performance from 2021? | Top plays, sleepers 
• NASCAR betting:
Odds for Monday’s Cup race at Dover | BetMGM odds
• Backseat Drivers:
At what point does 23XI hit the panic button? | Listen to the analysis

Catch the pack 💨

Read up on the top headlines from the week leading up to Monday’s race.

• Analysis: Ross Chastain is smashing his way through 2022 | Read more
• NASCAR Salutes:
Military-support initiative returns this season | More details
• Finding his groove:
Cole Custer is primed for a breakout at Dover | Full story
• Next Gen era:
Kevin Harvick aims to keep clicking this week at the “Monster Mile” | Read more
Nick Ottinger gets 19th win in Coca-Cola iRacing Series | Final laps
• Penalties:
NASCAR penalizes No. 78 Live Fast Motorsports team for loose wheel at Talladega | Full report
• Driver action:
Denny Hamlin required to complete sensitivity training for tweet | More details
• Texas two-step:
2022 Cup Series All-Star Race format announced | Learn more
• Dirt track goes clean:
Knoxville Truck Series race named Clean Harbors 150 | Press release

Get in on the action 💰

Think you know NASCAR? Put your mettle to the test with gaming, fantasy.2022 Feb28 Fantasylive Main 1

• The Action Network: How to bet William Byron vs. Alex Bowman | Full analysis
• Backseat Bets:
Who will win head-to-head at Dover? | Hear who the experts think
• Play it LIVE:
Full guide to 2022 NASCAR Fantasy Live game | Get the FAQ
• BetMGM:
Is Hendrick poised to dominate again at Dover? | Expert insight
• Fantasy picks:
Kevin Harvick is an easy play for Dover | Video breakdown
• Going all the way: NASCAR betting: 2022 Cup Series championship odds | See them here

Memorable ‘Monster Mile’ moments 🧟‍♂️

Take a look back at some important track history before the Cup Series returns on Monday. 

• Back in time: Memorable moments at Dover | Which is your favorite?
• Winner, winner:
All-time wins at Dover Motor Speedway (spring) | See the list
• Last year:
Bowman wins, Hendrick finishes 1-2-3-4 | Full race recap
• An impossible save:
Jimmie Johnson’s qualifying spin at Dover in 2006 | Watch it here

Fast facts ⏩

Hard-hitting, race-relevant statistics, brought to you by the experts at Racing Insights.

Dover has hosted a Cup race every season since 1969 and two races from 1971-2020. There is just one on the schedule this season.
• The last six Dover races were won by different drivers.
There was a green-flag stretch of 80 laps or more in the last eight Dover races and 119 or more in five of those eight races.
The race winner started outside the top 10 in three of the last five Dover races.
Hendrick Motorsports has 21 Dover wins, more than double any other organization.

Say what? 🎙

Notable quotes from the stars of the sport heading into Monday’s race.

Logan Riely | Getty Images
Logan Riely | Getty Images

“It’s going to be a challenge for sure. Dover is so different from anything we have raced so far and really different from anywhere that we go all year. So that practice is going to be very important. It’s a hard track to get right anyways but throw in the new car and limited track time, it’s going to be difficult. I love going there though, so I’m really looking forward to it.” — Martin Truex Jr., No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

“Even though we’ve had some good runs the last couple weeks I don’t feel like we’re where we need to be, but I feel like there’s the potential to get to where we need to be, so I’m not discouraged by where we’re at, but it’s not gone as well as we’d hoped, but, at the same time, we’re learning this new car and learning these new packages and there have been places we just haven’t hit it yet, so as long as we can start stringing together like we have the last few weeks, some good results, and keep building the momentum, but what’s important is having a shot at winning a race, so we are continuing to work towards that to where we can be closer to the front to give yourself that opportunity. We’re not there yet, but I feel like we have all the things that we need to get there. We just haven’t gotten there yet.” — Michael McDowell, No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford

“I want to win just as much as everyone else, if not more. I always want to win, and I always have an expectation of myself to want to go and perform. That expectation is the only one that matters to me, and I want to do the job to the best of my ability always, whether you have a win in the bank or not. For me, that doesn’t make me try any harder.” — Chase Elliott, No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet


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