2018 Dover International Speedway, AAA 400 Drive for Autism

Congratulations to Joey Logano who picked up his first win of the season and is now qualified for the playoffs after the Talladega race this past weekend. Once again a bunch of drivers got taken out in two different wrecks that weren’t of their own making at a restrictor plate race, but this is to be expected.

The big news of the week is that Matt Kenseth will be returning to the track on a limited schedule with Roush/Fenway Racing starting next weekend at Kansas. Even though he is running a limited schedule the rest of the season, splitting time with Trevor Bayne, he is still on one of the better teams in the sport and will be worth using in the B group of the Driver Group Game.


This week the series heads to the Dover International Speedway for the running of the AAA 400 Drive for Autism. The races at Dover are usually some of my favorites to watch because it is short, fast, and there are multiple grooves for the drivers to run in and that makes for some great racing most of the time. The ‘Monster Mile’ is just what the nickname suggests. It is a one-mile concrete oval with a lot of banking in the corners and on the straightaways, giving drivers options when picking a line to run.

Kyle Larson: I am picking Kyle to win the race this weekend at Dover. Though he didn’t win here last season in either race, he led almost four-hundred laps in those two races and finished in the top five in both of those races with runner-up finish in the spring race last season. This is the type of track where you can run the high or low groove and Kyle likes the high groove, and has shown he can run just as well in the low groove this year. I think he visits victory lane for the first time this year.

Chase Elliott: Not to be outdone by Larson, Chase also finished in the top five in both of the races at Dover last season including a second place finish in the fall race. In fact, in the four races Chase has run at Dover in his young career, he has finished in the top five every race. I think he is going to give Kyle a run for his money this weekend as he tries to pick up his first ever Cup victory.

Kyle Busch: Kyle had won three races in a row before the Talladega race and still has to be considered the hottest driver on the circuit at this time. He won the fall race here last season and a Toyota driver has won three of the last four races at Dover. It is tough to stay away from a driver when they have momentum on their side and you will probably want to have Kyle on your roster once again this weekend.

Martin Truex Jr.: Martin finished third and fourth in the two races run here last season and has been pretty consistent once again this year. I look for him to compete at the front of the pack all day and have himself in position to try and pick up his second win of the season late in the race. This team has shown they could be the next driver to win multiple races in a row and we know that Charlotte is coming up and we also know how well Martin ran there last season.

Jimmie Johnson: Jimmie won this race last season and has always run very well at Dover. That was his eleventh career win at this track. This team has also shown improvement each and every week and looks like they are poised to win a race very soon. How can you keep a guy like this off your roster? Maybe we don’t want to trust him just yet and want Kyle Busch and Truex in the A group, but Jimmie is worth taking a chance on this weekend.

Brad Keselowski: After a frustrating week at Talladega, Brad and his team will be chomping at the bit to get back on the track and compete for another win. Brad got caught up in an early wreck in the spring race here last season, but came back and won the first stage of the fall race before finishing in the top ten in that race. He has always run well at this track and should have another good handling car once again this weekend.

Kevin Harvick: Kevin won the fall race here in the 2015 season and led 355 of the 400 laps in that race. With the consistency and speed he has shown so far this year he could do something similar once again this weekend. This is going to be a tough race to set your A group drivers in because of how good most of them have been at Dover in their careers. I look for Kevin to have another strong run and finish in the top ten at the very least this weekend.

Denny Hamlin: Here is another A group driver who has run pretty well at Dover in his career. The worry I have with Denny is all of the pit road speeding penalties he picks up that virtually take him out of races. Last weekend at Talladega he got caught speeding coming down pit road and then got caught again while he was serving his pass through penalty. That is an unforgivable sin at any track, but even more so at a one-mile track where it will definitely put you at least one lap down.

Ryan Newman: Ryan finished fourth here last spring and likes to run on this high banked oval. The RCR cars have shown quite a bit of speed so far this season and this could be one of those weeks where everything goes right for this team. Although he hasn’t won a lot of races with RCR he has still run consistently well almost winning a championship a few years ago without winning a race. I thin he will be a surprise this weekend.

Daniel Suarez: Daniel has only run two Cup races at Dover so far in his career, but in those two races last year he finished in the top ten both times. He also started in the top five in both of those races. This could be the race where Daniel picks up his first Cup victory. He is my dark horse this week and to me he really isn’t a dark horse, but he will surprise a lot of fans this week.


Driver Group Game Group A

  • Kyle Larson
  • Jimmie Johnson

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Chase Elliott
  • Daniel Suarez
  • Ryan Newman
  • Aric Almirola

Driver Group Game Group C

  • William Byron
  • Alex Bowman


  1. Kyle Larson
  2. Chase Elliott
  3. Jimmie Johnson
  4. Kyle Busch
  5. Kevin Harvick

Dark Horse: Daniel Suarez

Stay Away From: Paul Menard

Big 18: Jimmie Johnson

26 thoughts on “2018 Dover International Speedway, AAA 400 Drive for Autism

      1. any thoughts now with a practice & qualifying in? I have stage 1 going to Harvick, stage 2 going to Truex & Larson winning the race!

        1. There are still 2 more practice sessions tomorrow. Watch those before you set your lineup. I would guess most drivers were setup to make qualifying runs today. Let’s see how they do in race trim during the practice sessions tomorrow.

          1. how do my stages look now that all practices & qualifying is done… Harvick stage 1
            Truex stage 2
            Larson Race winner? any last minute advice on this before the green flag today?

          2. Top 3 qualifiers and all fast in the final practice session. Putting these three as your stage and race winners looks like a good idea.

  1. If you are not limited on starts with your A and B drivers and can use any what would your line up look like??

  2. 18 looks better than 42 on long run in final practice jeff..im leaning towards 18 What do you think..enjoy reading your article..thanks

    1. It’s a toss up to me. With Larson sitting on the pole he should lead the first lap and if there is a long green run he could also lead the most laps which both give him bonus points. He could also get passed on the first lap and never lead a lap the whole race.

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