1) Kevin Harvick (Starting – 2nd)
Dover Fantasy Spin – Kevin Harvick is a super-elite performer at Dover who should be on your short list of favorites. It’s been a great track for him and this spring he raced his way to victory lane in dominant fashion. In practice, Harvick had a great car. He had the best average speed, the 3rd best 15 lap average, the 4th best 10 lap average and most importantly, Kyle Larson perceived him to have the best car. On Sunday I would look for Harvick to compete for the win.
Dover Track History – At Dover, Kevin Harvick is unquestionably one of the best drivers. He’s won here twice but should have a handful of wins. This spring at Dover, nobody was better than Harvick. He finished 1st, earned the best driver rating, had a 2nd place average running position, won Stage #1 & #2 and led 201 laps. Last fall, he was top five good but finished an asterisk mark 17th. On lap 229 while he was running around 6th he made an unexpected pit stop for a loose wheel that dropped him two laps down. The race lacked cautions so he didn’t bounce back. In spring 2017 I thought he was also top five good but finished 9th. In that race he was burned by a caution during the pit cycle which dropped him from 4th to 16th. Additionally, it should be noted Harvick finished 3rd in Stage #1, 6th in Stage #2 and earned the 5th best driver rating. In fall 2016 he looked fast but on lap 34 while he was running in the top five his track bar mount broke and he immediately took his car to the garage.
DraftKings $12,100 / FanDuel $14,500
2) Kyle Larson (Starting – 10th)
Dover Fantasy Spin – Kyle Larson is an elite performer at Dover who’ll be one of the drivers to beat. At the “Monster Mile” he has an 8.1 average finish and in recent races he’s arguably been the best performer. In Happy Hour, Larson had a great car. He had the best 5, 10 and 15 lap averages. In an interview Larson said he felt like he had the second best car.
Dover Track History – Kyle Larson has performed at an extremely high-level at Dover and in recent races he’s been knocking on the door to victory lane. This spring he had a strong car but finished 10th. I’ll note he faced quite a bit of adversity. He won the pole, but started in the rear of the field because of an inspection issue. He also had to overcome a pit road penalty under green. Those two issues make his good result really notable. “Performance Wise” in that race he felt like he had the best car. Last fall he had a great car. He finished 5th, earned the 2nd best driver rating, had a 4th place average running position and led 137 laps. Additionally, he won Stage #2 and finished 6th in Stage #1. In spring 2017 nobody was better. Larson earned the best driver rating, led 241 laps, finished 2nd and had a 3rd place average running position. If there wasn’t a late caution, he would’ve easily raced his way to victory lane. In fall 2016 he had a good car but while he was running in the top ten during the first caution he had electrical problems and also got penalized for too many men going over the wall. Those problems dropped him 3 laps down to 39th. When the checkered flag waved he finished 25th. In spring 2016 he had a great car and if he would’ve moved Matt Kenseth at the end he would’ve won. When the checkered flag waved he finished 2nd, led 85 laps and earned the 7th best driver rating. In 2015 Larson had results of 3rd and 9th.
DraftKings $10,200 / FanDuel $12,600
Further Recommended Reading: Dover Post Practice Predictions (another fantasy take), Dover Happy Hour Notes, Dover Happy Hour Speeds, Dover Likely Finish Ranges, DraftKings Dover Playability Value Chart/ Projected Base Scores, FanDuel Dover Playability Value Chart/ Projected Base Scores
3) Kyle Busch (Starting – 1st)
Dover Fantasy Spin – Kyle Busch is a phenomenal performer at Dover who’ll be a favorite. He’s the defending champion of this particular event and on Sunday unless something goofy happens I think he’s a lock for a top five. At Dover, Busch has always fared better in the fall. In spring races he has 5 straight misleading results. In fall races he has three straight results in the top 2 and since 2010 he’s finished in the top ten every race. One attribute I like about Busch is his weekly level of performance. Since June minus the three races he’s wrecked he has a 3.8 average finish and a 7.4 average running position.
Dover Track History – At Dover, Busch has performed at an extremely high-level. He’s a three-time winner who’s finished in the top five 44% of the time and in the top ten 59% of the time. This spring, Busch had one of the best cars but finished an asterisk mark 35th after his drive shaft broke after the midpoint while running in 3rd. Prior to his problem he finished 2nd in Stage #1 and 3rd in Stage #2. Last fall he had a great car and raced his way to victory lane after passing Chase Elliott with two laps to go. In the race he earned the 4th best driver rating, had a 4th place average running position and led 30 laps. Additionally, he finished 2nd in Stage #1 and 4th in Stage #2. In spring 2017 he had a great car but had multiple problems (tire fell off while leading following a pit stop, was burned by a caution and made an unexpected pit stop). If his race would’ve been incident free I think a top ten would’ve been very achievable. In fall 2016 he had a stellar showing. He finished 2nd, had a 2nd place average running position, earned the 2nd best driver rating and led 102 laps. In spring 2016 he was probably around 10th place good but finished 30th after crashing in the “Big One.” In fall 2015 he finished runner-up.
DraftKings $11,800 / FanDuel $14,000