Facts & Stats Friday: NASCAR Cup Series Würth 400 at Dover Motor Speedway
28 April 2023
By Bob Francis, Managing Editor
Go Full Throttle Racing News
DOVER, Delaware — After a wild race last Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway that saw Kyle Busch (Richard Childress Racing- Chevrolet) grab his second victory of the 2023 season, the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Dover Motor Speedway for this Sunday’s Würth 400 at 2 p.m. ET on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio at the always unique ‘Monster Mile’.
Nicknamed the Monster Mile, Dover Motor Speedway is a one-mile concrete paved oval located in Dover, Delaware. Dover Motor Speedway, originally known as Dover Downs International Speedway, has hosted 104 NASCAR Cup Series races dating back to the inaugural event on July 6, 1969.
The first Dover Cup Series race was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty driving a Petty Enterprises Ford (115.772 mph, 02:35:28). Petty actually won the first two Cup events at the track (1969, 1970).
In total, the 104 NASCAR Cup Series races at Dover Motor Speedway have produced 43 different pole winners and 39 different race winners. NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson leads the Cup Series in poles at Dover Motor Speedway with six (1969, 1973 sweep, 1974, 1975, 1981). Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin leads all active series drivers in poles at Dover with four (2012, 2013, 2015, 2019).
Eight of the 43 NASCAR Cup Series Dover Motor Speedway pole winners are active this weekend.
Legacy Motor Club’s Jimmie Johnson holds the NASCAR Cup Series record for the most wins at Dover Motor Speedway with 11 victories (2002 sweep, 2005 Playoffs, 2009 sweep, 2010 Playoffs, Spring of 2012, 2013 Playoffs, Spring of 2014, Spring of 2015, and Spring of 2017). Three drivers are tied for the most wins among active competitors at Dover Motor Speedway — Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch — each have three wins.
Of the 39 different NASCAR Cup Series winners at Dover Motor Speedway, eight are active this weekend.
NASCAR Cup Series Würth 400
Dover Motor Speedway
The Date: Sunday, April 30
The Time: 2 p.m. ET
The Purse: $7,629,649
TV: FS1, 1 p.m. ET
Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 400 miles (400 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 120)
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 250), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 400)
All the NASCAR Cup Series on-track action begins on Saturday, April 29 with practice from 10:30 a.m. ET directly followed by Busch Light Pole Qualifying at 11 a.m. ET. You can find practice on FS2 and qualifying will be televised on FS1.
Three teams have dominated Dover over last 18 Cup races (2013–2023)
In the last 18 NASCAR Cup Series races at Dover Motor Speedway (2013–2021) only three teams have visited Victory Lane — Hendrick Motorsports (nine wins during that time), Joe Gibbs Racing (five wins) and Stewart-Haas Racing (four wins).
The most recent to win at Dover Motor Speedway was Hendrick Motorsports, when Chase Elliott drove to the win last season. It was the organization’s, NASCAR Cup Series leading, 22nd victory among seven different drivers at Dover — Jimmie Johnson (11 wins), Jeff Gordon (five), Chase Elliott (two), Geoff Bodine (one), Ken Schrader (one), Ricky Rudd (one) and Alex Bowman (one). Nine of the 22 wins have come in the last 18 races (50%), half of the events from 2013–2022.
Not far behind HMS in wins at Dover is Joe Gibbs Racing with a total of nine NASCAR Cup Series Dover Motor Speedway victories; five of them coming in the last 18 events at the one-mile facility (2013–2022). The most recent Joe Gibbs Racing driver to win at Dover was Denny Hamlin in 2020; followed by Martin Truex Jr. (2019 and 2016), Kyle Busch (2017) and Matt Kenseth (2016).
The third organization to jump in on the wins at Dover Motor Speedway from 2013–2021 was Stewart-Haas Racing with four victories among two drivers — Tony Stewart (2013) and Kevin Harvick (2015, 2018, 2020).
“Dover is a racetrack that everything about it is unique,” said veteran Kevin Harvick. “The concrete, itself, all the way around the racetrack, is unique. Dover is a racetrack where you can get away with being aggressive every single lap. You have to drive the car as hard as it will go every single lap, and that’s hard to do there because there are all the little bumps that come with the concrete, the change of elevation as you go in and off the corners, and all the banking in the corners — it’s just a really, really fast racetrack. It’s also a very physical racetrack just because of all the G’s and the bouncing and everything that comes with driving around Dover. It’s a racetrack where you have to have your hands gripping on the steering wheel and gritting your teeth all at the same time in order to go fast every single lap. When your car’s off, there’s just nowhere to hide there. You wind up going a lap down, probably two laps down, because you pit early and then the caution comes out. It’s a beast of a racetrack and there’s a reason they call it the Monster Mile because you can get yourself in trouble really quick.”
This season, seven different drivers from six different organizations have won at least one race in the first 10 events; led by Kyle Busch, William Byron and Kyle Larson with two victories each. Hendrick Motorsports leads all organizations in wins this season with four victories; followed by Richard Childress Racing with two and JTG Daugherty Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, 23XI Racing and Team Penske each have one win on the year.
Defending Dover winner Chase Elliott is still looking for first win of 2023
Mired back in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings after being sidelined earlier this season due to a broken leg, the Cup Series’ Most Popular Driver and defending winner of last season’s race at Dover, Chase Elliott, heads to the Monster Mile this weekend looking to get his first win of the 2023 season; much like he did last season.
This year and last year for Elliott have been vastly different. In 2022, the Dawsonville, Georgia native was atop the point standings heading to Dover and rolled into the one-mile track fast off the hauler. He qualified fourth and led 73 laps en route to his first of five wins last season (Dover, Nashville, Atlanta, Pocono, Talladega).
Elliott returns to Monster Mile looking for his first win of the 2023 season, riding a winless streak that dates back to Talladega on Oct. 2, 2022–15 races ago (nine of which he has competed in).
Taming the concrete mile at Dover has come naturally for Elliott though, in 12 series starts at the Monster Mile, he has collected one pole, two wins (2018 and 2022) and nine top-five finishes. He has led 394 laps at Dover and has an average finish of 9.750 — one of just two active drivers with an average finish inside the top-10 along with his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Larson (6.929).
NASCAR Cup Series Notes:
Hendrick Motorsports announces Alex Bowman out 3–4 weeks due to injury — Alex Bowman, driver of the №48 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, will not compete in this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series event at Dover Motor Speedway due to a fractured vertebra. He is expected to miss 3–4 weeks.
Bowman, who leads the Cup Series in average finish through 10 points-paying races in 2023, suffered the compression fracture in an accident Tuesday evening while competing in a sprint car event at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, Iowa. The 30-year-old driver was treated locally last night and evaluated again this morning in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Josh Berry, 32, will fill in during Bowman’s recovery. Earlier this season, he was the substitute for Hendrick Motorsports driver Chase Elliott in five Cup events with a best finish of second on April 2 at Richmond Raceway. The Hendersonville, Tennessee, native competes full-time for Hendrick Motorsports affiliate JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, where he has five career wins.
Bell, Keselowski, Elliott comment on Goodyear Tire Test at New Hampshire — Christopher Bell, Brad Keselowski and Chase Elliott have made comments about the tire test they participated in at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this week ahead of the Crayon 301 on July 16.
Christopher Bell, driver of the №20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing — “For me, I’ve always felt like having a test at a racetrack has been extremely beneficial. Getting laps at Loudon is certainly beneficial for when we come back here in July, and I think all three of us should be pretty successful when we come back for the race.”
Brad Keselowski, driver of the №6 Ford for RFK Racing — “With New Hampshire being such a great track for me, having won races here and winning the lottery to get to test here, it was certainly a track for us to bring our A-game. We’re certainly making a lot of progress today, and looking forward to hopefully finding a little bit more tomorrow to be ready for the big race here in a few months.”
Chase Elliott, driver of the №9 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports — “This hasn’t been historically my best track. We had an okay run here last year. I think we were really fortunate to run second to Christopher, but at the end of the day, it’s always good to go test at a place that you don’t feel like you’ve done a very good job at, at least that’s the case for me.”
*NASCAR Wire Service contributed to this story