Ryan Blaney – Ryan Blaney will likely have out of sync value at Dover thanks to his 25.3 average finish. In his last three races here he’s finished 23rd or worse. Last fall he just didn’t have a good performance. He finished 23rd and had a 22nd place average running position. The race was full of long green flag runs and that didn’t allow his team time to make his car better. In spring 2017 he had a great car and looked top ten good but he broke his axle while leaving pit road after the end of Stage #2. In Stage #2 he crossed the finish line in 8th. In Stage #1 he finished 7th. If he didn’t have problems I think it’s clear he was top ten good. In fall 2016 he ran well but walked away with a misleading 38th place finish. On lap 105 while he was running in 12th he had a tire go down and nailed the wall. In spring 2016 he dodged the carnage and had a successful Dover debut. When the checkered flag waved he finished 8th and had a 13th place average running position.
Erik Jones – Erik Jones will be a driver to watch at Dover. He had a respectable rookie season and I think he’ll be able to build off it and be even better now that he’s in the #20. Last fall he had his better of the two races. When the checkered flag waved he earned the 11th best driver rating, finished 12th and had a 13th place average running position. In spring 2017 he had a good Dover debut. When the checkered flag waved he finished 15th, had a 10th place average running position and earned the 8th best driver rating. I will note that result is misleading. There was a late wreck and I feel pretty certain he was collected in the carnage, or at the least it cost him quite a few positions. Just prior to the late caution coming out he was running in 11th.
Aric Almirola – Aric Almirola should have a solid showing at Dover now that he’s in the #10. On Sunday I would look for him to be a low-double digits driver who has a great chance to compete for a top ten. In the past in the #43 he’s shown potential here having finished 5th in both 2015 races. Last fall he didn’t have a good performance. He finished 25th and had a 25th place average running position. In spring 2017 he missed the race due to injury. In fall 2016 he finished 16th and had an 18th place average running position. In spring 2016 he was likely about high-teens good but his race wasn’t incident free. His first problem was when he had a cut tire from contact with Tony Stewart that dropped him from 19th to two laps down in 28th. He recovered from that in time with cautions, but near the end he was caught up in the “Big One” which led to his 31st place finish.