2007 NASCAR Fantasy Preview: Dover International Speedway

Autism Speaks 400

Back To The COT & Still The Same

After a crash filled race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway last week we head to Dover, Delaware and another COT race.

Jeff Gordon still has the series point lead by a comfortable 132 point margin over teammate, Jimmie Johnson, Michael Waltrip still hasn’t qualified for a race since the Daytona 500 and Mark Martin is only 31 points away from qualifying for the Chase after missing 3 races this season.

My Pick To Win Dover

I predict that this weekend will be the first COT race NOT won by a Hendrick Motorsports car.

I am going to pick Tony Stewart to break the streak at Dover this weekend. I am going to stretch it a little this week and say that with the COT Dover will run like a larger version of Bristol and Tony dominated there this year.

Frontrunners at Dover

So, Tony Stewart to win should mean that Denny Hamlin will have a great car this weekend also. Denny has been so close this year and hasn’t been able to seal the deal at the end of the race. This team has made a lot of changes with its pit crew recently in the hopes that they will not have a melt down late in the race.

Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch have done their job in all of the COT races this year and all should be strong again this weekend. Jimmie has 3 wins at Dover, Kyle has 3 top 5 finishes in 4 races here finishing 2nd in each of the first 2 races he ran but, Jeff Gordon has struggled recently at Dover. Jeff hasn’t won here since the spring of 2001 and has finished worse than 35th in 4 of his last 9 starts.

Kurt Busch and Ryan Newman have made dramatic gains in the COT races since Bristol. Ryan, like Jimmie Johnson has 3 wins at Dover in his 10-race career there. He has really looked good in recent weeks and could break out and surprise everyone this weekend. Kurt on the other hand only has 4 top 10 finishes at Dover and can’t seem to keep up with the track lately when making changes as the race goes on. This team could possibly make a crew chief change in the near future.

Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle have both won at Dover while their teammate, Carl Edwards finished 2nd here last fall. The Roush teams have seem to gained anything on the COT’s since opening up with decent cars at Bristol. Their cars are still good but haven’t been good enough to seriously compete for a win.

Mark Martin was going to be my pick this weekend before I found out it was going to be a COT race. Mark has been unbelievable all year in the old car but has struggled in the races he has run the COT. I still won’t put anything past him. Mark also announced last week that he will be the standby driver for Jeff Gordon in a few weeks if Jeff has to miss a race to be with his wife when she delivers the couple’s first child.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has also won at Dover but hasn’t done that well there since then. DEI is close on the Cot but like Roush Racing hasn’t made the significant improvement needed to compete with the Hendrick cars yet.

Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton have also done well in the COT races. Jeff won at Dover for his first win at RCR last year. If Dover does run like a larger Bristol this weekend, Jeff should be right there at the end. He just lost to Kyle Busch at Bristol this spring. Kevin Harvick also started at the back of the pack at Bristol and quickly made his way to the front. I think that both of these guys have a legitimate shot at visiting victory lane once again this weekend.

Yahoo! Fantasy Picks

Group A

  • Tony Stewart (starter)
  • Jeff Gordon

Group B

  • Kyle Busch (starter)
  • Ryan Newman (starter)
  • Mark Martin
  • Denny Hamlin

Group C

  • Jeff Green (starter)
  • Tony Raines

Darkhorse

  • Ryan Newman

Stay Away From

  • Kasey Kahne