How to make an informed fantasy pick for the 2011 Dover FedEx 400:
1) Look back at recent Dover races, it matters. Last year five drivers finished in the top ten in both Dover races. Also in recent Dover races you’ll find that some drivers know how to get around the 1.0 mile concrete track and some don’t.
2) Practice is extremely important at Dover. In recent weeks I’ve downplayed the importance of practice but not this week. Dover is a symmetrical track and average practice speeds will weed out the contenders from the pretenders.
3) Qualifying counts at Dover. Fifty of the eighty-two races run at the Monster Mile have been won from a top five starting position (61%). Thirteen of them have been won from the pole. Only seventeen races have been won from a starting position outside the top ten.
4) Don’t get to carried away studying similar tracks this week. Dover is twice as big as Bristol and I feel fantasy racers can’t really digest Darlington info the best because I feel only one set of turns is similar to Dover so why complicate things.
The Big Three Drivers To Watch:
1) Jimmie Johnson is easily the favorite heading into Dover. He’s won three out of the last four races and only a pit road speeding penalty kept him from being 4 for 4. Johnson has won a third of his races at Dover and last year he led 416 laps.
2) Carl Edwards – Edwards struggled at Dover early in his career but once he figured it out he hasn’t looked back. Since 2006 Edwards hasn’t finished lower than 11th and his average finish in this time span is 4.66.
3) Kyle Busch – Sure Kevin Harvick’s gonna get him back in time but Dover’s to soon to worry about that. Entering this race Kyle Busch is the defending champion. Last year he capitalized on a Jimmie Johnson mistake and won his second career race at the Monster Mile. Kyle Busch has finished in the top ten in half his races at Dover.
Others To Watch:
Matt Kenseth – Previous winner who’s finished in the top ten in every race but two since 2006.
Greg Biffle – Two time winner and if you’re a loop data fan he has the second best driver rating (110.1), best average finish in the last twelve (6.7) and the best average running position (8.0).
Jeff Burton – Last year Jeff Burton finished second in both Dover races. He’s had his struggles this year but Dover has been like medicine to him before. In 2006 he beat Matt Kenseth to the finish line and snapped a long losing streak. Could it happen again?
Ryan Newman – He’s had a lot of success at Dover in his career but for the most part its front loaded. Look for him to get a top ten.
AJ Allmendinger -In the last three Dover races AJ has finished 10th, 14th and 7th. Last fall he led 143 laps but pit road problems hurt him greatly.
Tony Stewart – Stewart’s finished in the top eleven in four out of the last five Dover races. Both of his wins at the Monster Mile were back in 2000.
Jimmie Johnson 5/1, Kyle Busch 5/1, Carl Edwards 8/1, Denny Hamlin 8/1, Tony Stewart 12/1, Kevin Harvick 12/1, Jeff Gordon 12/1, Kurt Busch 15/1, Clint Bowyer 20/1, Dale Earnhardt Jr 20/1, Matt Kenseth 20/1, Greg Biffle 20/1