The veteran Joe Gibbs Racing driver is a past victor at the one-mile Dover oval, so he should be a challenger to win Sunday’s AAA 400. Then again, with rain washing out all track activity at the Monster Mile, there wasn’t a compelling reason for Puccia to be there.
Points leader Matt Kenseth has the pole for the first knockout race in this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship after rain canceled qualifying Friday.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson (48) drinks champagne in victory lane after winning the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover worldwide Speedway. In the last couple of days my odds of us seeing a race let alone a complete race have continued to increase.
Gordon was among the drivers who praised NASCAR’s decision to double the restart zone for this weekend’s race from 70 feet to 140 feet. The win kept Kenseth atop the points standings and guaranteed his spot in the next round of the Chase.
Kyle Busch conceded Harvick’s victory was bad news for everyone else still in the Chase. Dale Earnhardt Jr. tied with McMurray in points and earned the final spot on a tiebreaker. His aggressiveness will have him battling for a win, but that same aggressiveness has been known to be his downfall.
“Anytime you can go through moments like this and gain a few momentum and prove to yourself that you can do things like this, there’s no way you can’t be stronger”, Harvick said. His win at Dover last fall was the fifth of his career and marks the only hiccup in Johnson’s resume over the past four Dover races (Johnson finished third in that race).
After two Chase races, the defending champion is 15th in points, 23 behind the cutoff line for advancing.
Harvick was separated from the six-time champion, and Johnson pointed at Harvick as he was restrained from getting at Johnson a second time.
The only excitement Friday was found inside Dover’s media center.
As for Harvick, he showed last week at New Hampshire that he had something for the JGR Toyotas, as he led 216 of the 300 laps before running out of fuel with three laps to go.
Despite the shortened session, Earnhardt was pleased with the changes the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports team made on the auto between practices. Needless to say this is not his favorite track and he will be starting 42 on Sunday. Jamie McMurray finished fourth, and Aric Almirola played Chase spoiler by finishing in the top five as a driver not in Chase for the Sprint Cup contention.
If Jeff Gordon’s final trip around Dover global Speedway appeared drama-free, don’t trust that perception.
Saturday College Football action and Marco is releasing his 4% College Game of the Week.
“It was a bummer deal”, he said of the incident in New Hampshire, “but it puts us in a position now where we have to fight through this round and it’s no different than any other year“.
“My only question is, did they go big enough?”