By: Becca Cottingham
Headline Photo Credit: USA Today
Dover International Speedway known as the Monster Mile can always bring us some interesting racing. The cement can tear up tires but add a green race track due to rain falling most of the day Sunday. Dover started off with roughly four drivers moving to the back of the pack because they failed to pass inspection after qualifying. The best time to truly pass at Dover is in the pits or when the cars are bunched up together during restarts. We did see Jimmie Johnson trying to make a pass that almost collected four cars, but Jimmie Johnson was able to make a great save and keep the race under green. Most of the cars are loose except for what appears to be Kyle Busch. Chase Elliott was able to take off from the field with over a second lead on most of the pack. Within the first forty laps we saw twelve cars go down at least one lap if not more. Kyle Larson after having multiple weeks of bad luck, is having his best showing so far at Dover. Will this race change Kyle Larson’s bad luck around? Time will tell if his luck is turning around. In round one we had two cautions for accidents and one competition caution. The last caution came out with roughly five laps to go. Giving the cars roughly one lap to go, giving them a very fast shoot out. Joey Logano was able go hold the group off go secure the win for stage one.
With the way stage one ended it made for an interesting caution between stages. Only two leaders pitted and that put Brad Keselowski and Chase Elliot on the front row to start stage two. At one point we were four to five wide at Dover at the restart until everyone started settled down. Alex Bowman made some great progress after having to start from the back of the pack due to a inspection issue. He made up ground between pit road and finding groups to pass. One of the biggest battles we are seeing are drivers fighting to stay the first driver one lap down or to not go a lap down. Martin Truex Jr. made a huge move in stage two, being the first driver onto pit lane. A couple of drivers followed him with this move. However, it truly paid off for Chase Elliott with a great pit stop that gave him the lead after the stops cycled through everyone. With Martin Truex Jr’s pit strategy he was able to be in top five with twenty-two laps left in stage two. We also are really getting to see what Alex Bowman has to offer after a huge finish in Talladega. Bowman is getting some amazing runs off the top groove in Dover. In the closing laps of stage two, we saw battles between Kevin Harvick and Alex Bowman. Then between Alex Bowman and Martin Truex Jr. Alex Bowman went a little to high and just did miss out on his first stage win. However, Martin Truex Jr was the driver to take the stage two checkered flag.
Martin Truex Jr. was then able to beat the rest of the drivers off of pit road. He took the green flag restart foe the last stage of Dover International Speedway. Denny Hamlin had an issue with a right front tire after scrapping the wall roughly ten laps earlier. Which ended up bring out our first caution in stage three. In stage three after the caution, we only had seventeen drivers on the lead lap after a driver obtained the lucky dog wave around. Martin Truex Jr, used a slightly different put strategy which cycled back around to him during green flag pig stops. From that point on, Martin Truex Jr. and Alex Bowman put on a great performance at the front of the field. Martin Truex Jr. was able to keep and maintain a solid lead to win at the Monster Mile. Follow up quickly by Alex Bowman with another great finish.
Saturday, May 11 at 7:30pm “Digital Ally 400” at Kansas Speedway