NASCAR Cup Series: Dover Predictions and How To Watch

Credit: DOVER, DELAWARE - MAY 01: Chris Buescher, driver of the #17 Fastenal Ford, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Office Toyota, lead the field on a pace lap prior to the NASCAR Cup Series DuraMAX Drydene 400 presented by RelaDyne at Dover Motor Speedway on May 01, 2022 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

The NASCAR Cup Series returns to Dover this weekend as another Hendrick driver is set to miss time with an injury.

After a break from short-track action at Talladega last week, NASCAR is back to a short track this weekend at “The Monster Mile” in Dover. Though excitement is bundling for this weekend, there has been another driver injury that will leave the field looking a bit different on Sunday.

Alex Bowman, the driver of the No. 48 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, was involved in an on-track crash during a sprint car race earlier this week that left him with a fractured vertebra. He is expected to miss 3-4 weeks, and Josh Berry will drive the No. 48 in his place. Berry’s name should be recognizable at this point in the season given he filled in for Chase Elliott on oval races when Elliott was recovering from his broken leg.

Bowman is set to miss races at Dover, Kansas, Darlington, and potentially the NASCAR All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro. As they did with Elliott, Hendrick will request a medical waiver to allow Bowman to remain playoff-eligible.

While Bowman rests off-track this weekend, it is expected to be a good showing for Hendrick Motorsports on the track with Elliott, Kyle Larson, and William Byron among the favorites to grab the win. Let’s see if Hendrick can continue to shake off adversity to take home another victory, or if someone can swoop in and spoil the party at “The Monster Mile” this weekend.

The Track

Dover Motor Speedway is a notorious one-mile-long circuit in Dover, Delaware. Nicknamed “The Monster Mile,” the track is tricky for drivers to navigate, which makes winning there even more rewarding. The track opened in 1969 and has held at least one NASCAR Cup Series event every year since. From 1971 to 2020, there were two races per year at Dover, but starting in 2021 the calendar has been adjusted to only include one Dover race per season which takes place in the spring.

Jimmie Johnson holds the track record with 11 wins, while Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Martin Truex Jr. are tied for the most wins among active drivers with three each. Chase Elliott won last year’s race, giving him two wins at Dover.

Though they have their differences, Dover almost appears as a stretched-out version of Bristol Motor Speedway with the concrete surface and steep turns. Unlike Bristol, drivers can carry much more speed given the high banking and the longer straights, which creates a challenge for drivers and results in some fun racing for fans. The turns have 24-degree banking while the straights have nine-degree banking.

Sunday’s race will be 400 miles long and require 400 laps to complete. Stage 1 will be the first 120 laps of the race while Stage 2 will be the next 130 laps. Stage 3 will consist of the final 150 laps of the race. Unfortunately, rain is likely to impact this weekend’s running. The forecast calls for at least a 65% chance of rain on both Saturday and Sunday.

Dover Motor Speedway -

Points Standings

Here’s where things stand as we head into the weekend.

  1. Christopher Bell*, Joe Gibbs Racing – 331 points
  2. Ross Chastain, Trackhouse Racing – 319 points
  3. Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing – 311 points
  4. Kyle Larson*, Hendrick Motorsports – 295 points
  5. Kyle Busch*, Richard Childress Racing – 290 points
  6. Tyler Reddick*, 23XI Racing – 286points
  7. Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing – 281 points
  8. Ryan Blaney, Team Penske – 276 points
  9. Alex Bowman, Hendrick Motorsports – 270 points
  10. Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing – 270 points

*= 2023 race winner


Kyle Larson is the odds-on favorite this weekend and that’s who I’m rolling with at Dover. He leads two of his Hendrick teammates at the top of the odds boards with William Byron and Chase Elliot right behind. On what should be another strong weekend for Hendrick, I’m taking Larson to pick up his third win of the year.

  1. Kyle Larson, Hendrick Motorsports
  2. Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing
  3. William Byron, Hendrick Motorsports
  4. Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing
  5. Ross Chastain, Trackhouse Racing

How To Watch – NASCAR at Dover (All Times ET)

  • Practice: Saturday, April 29 – 10:35 a.m. – FS2 (Coverage switches to FS1 at 11:00 a.m.)
  • Qualifying: Saturday, April 29 – 11:20 a.m. – FS1
  • Würth 400: Sunday, April 30 – 2:00 p.m. – FS1 (Green flag at 2:15 p.m.)

Featured Image Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images