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.

byOct 6, 2018 5:20 AM
NASCAR Cup Series Preview: Gander Outdoors 400 at Dover

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.

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. , Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

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)

Sunday, Oct. 7

Gander Outdoors 400: (Follow live)

Press Pass (Watch live)

Starting Lineup

(Position, Driver, Manufacturer, Speed)

1. Kyle Busch, Toyota

Past 10 Winners at Dover International Speedway

(Year, Driver, Manufacturer)

2008, Greg Biffle, Ford

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

*Data according to