NASCAR Cup Series Preview: Gander Outdoors 400 at Dover

Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick will start on the front row at Dover International Speedway after rain washed out qualifying.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series AAA 400 Drive for Autism
Jerry Markland—Getty Images

NASCAR Nation is still talking about the inaugural Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but for the playoff drivers who advanced to the Round of 12, it’s time to focus on Dover. Austin Dillon, Erik Jones, Denny Hamlin, and Jimmie Johnson were eliminated from the playoffs after a wild race at the Charlotte road course. For the drivers that moved on, conquering the “Monster Mile” will prove challenging. With the unpredictable Talladega race imminently looming, winning at Dover or Kansas is the best way to secure a spot in the next round of the playoffs.

Jimmie Johnson has dominated at Dover International Speedway with a record 11 wins. He didn’t make the playoff cut after coming up short in a three-way tiebreaker to advance to the next round. “My desire to win has never been stronger,” said Johnson. He added, “We’re at my favorite race track and absolutely do I want to win the race. I will do everything in my power to win the race, but it takes a collective group to have the car, the pit stops, the strategy, and I don’t know if this weekend is that weekend. But if there is a track I can make up a tenth (of a second) or two for the team, this would be one of them.” Will the Hendrick Motorsports driver be able to bounce back and salvage his season with at least a win?

The starting lineup for the Gander Outdoors 400 at Dover International Speedway was set by owner’s points after an unexpected rain shower forced NASCAR to cancel qualifying. Kyle Busch, who leads all drivers in playoff points, will lead the field to green at the one-mile oval.

Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, stands in the garage area during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Gander Outdoors 400 at Dover International Speedway on Oct. 5, 2018. 

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Schedule:


Saturday, Oct. 6

11 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series second practice, CNBC/NBC Sports App (Canada: TSN App) (Follow live)
1:30 p.m. - 2:20 p.m.: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series final practice, NBCSN/NBC Sports App (Canada: TSN App) (Follow live)


Sunday, Oct. 7

Gander Outdoors 400: (Follow live)
The Place: Dover International Speedway
The Time: Approximately 2 p.m. EST
TV: NBCSN/NBC Sports App, 1 p.m. EST
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 400 miles (400 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 120), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 240), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 400)

Press Pass (Watch live)
5:15 p.m.: Post-Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race

Starting Lineup

(Position, Driver, Manufacturer, Speed)

1. Kyle Busch, Toyota
2. Kevin Harvick, Ford
3. Martin Truex, Jr., Toyota
4. Brad Keselowski, Ford
5. Clint Bowyer, Ford
6. Joey Logano, Ford
7. Kurt Busch, Ford
8. Ryan Blaney, Ford
9. Chase Elliott, Chevrolet
10. Kyle Larson, Chevrolet
11. Aric Almirola, Ford
12. Alex Bowman, Chevrolet
13. Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet
14. Austin Dillon, Chevrolet
15. Denny Hamlin, Toyota
16. Erik Jones, Toyota
17. Ryan Newman, Chevrolet
18. Paul Menard, Ford
19. Daniel Suarez, Toyota
20. Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet
21. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Ford
22. William Byron, Chevrolet
23. Chris Buescher, Chevrolet
24. A.J. Allmendinger, Chevrolet
25. Regan Smith, Chevrolet
26. David Ragan, Ford
27. Michael McDowell, Ford
28. Matt Kenseth, Ford
29. Bubba Wallace, Chevrolet
30. Ty Dillon, Chevrolet
31. Matt DiBenedetto, Ford
32. Ross Chastain, Chevrolet
33. Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet
34. Landon Cassill, Chevrolet
35. J.J. Yeley, Toyota
36. B.J. McLeod, Ford
37. Jeffrey Earnhardt, Toyota
38. Timmy Hill, Toyota
39. Harrison Rhodes, Chevrolet



Past 10 Winners at Dover International Speedway

(Year, Driver, Manufacturer)

2008, Greg Biffle, Ford
2009, Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet
2010, Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet
2011, Kurt Busch, Dodge
2012, Brad Keselowski, Dodge
2013, Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet
2014, Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet
2015, Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet
2016, Martin Truex, Jr., Toyota
2017, Kyle Busch, Toyota

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races twice annually at Dover. The above winners represent the second race of the season.

Playoff Drivers at Dover*:

(Driver, Races, Wins, Top-Fives, Top-10s, Poles)


Kyle Busch, 27, 3, 12, 16, 1
Kevin Harvick, 35, 2, 6, 16, 1
Martin Truex, Jr., 25, 2, 5, 14, 3
Brad Keselowski, 17, 1, 5, 8, 1
Clint Bowyer, 25, 0, 3, 14, 0
Joey Logano, 19, 0, 3, 10, 0
Kurt Busch, 36, 1, 8, 10, 0
Ryan Blaney, 5, 0, 0, 2, 0
Chase Elliott, 5, 0, 4, 4, 0
Kyle Larson, 9, 0, 4, 7, 1
Aric Almirola, 12, 0, 2, 3, 0
Alex Bowman, 5, 0, 0, 0, 0

*Data according to Racing-Reference.com