The NASCAR Sprint Cup series heads back this week to the track known as the Monster Mile for its tough high banked concrete mile, Dover International Speedway for Sunday’s AAA 400. The race is a milestone of sorts as it is the last race in the Challenger Round, and after the checkered flag falls, four drivers will be eliminated from the 16 driver Chase field. The race will be desperation for some, especially those in the bottom four. For others a win isn’t as important as a good finish. Here are the odds for five of our favorites for betting our your fantasy racing leagues current as of Wednesday morning, along with some others to watch in Sunday’s AAA 400 on October 4 (on NBCSN at 2:30 p.m. ET). The Driver Ratings are compiled from 2005-2015 races (21 total) among active drivers at Dover and are a NASCAR stat that combines others to determine the top drivers.
Jimmie Johnson (4-1) is the odds on favorite and with good reason. He leads all active drivers here with an astounding 10 wins at Dover. He won here in May, and two of the three races prior to that. He has the highest driver rating among the field by a concrete mile, 122.3, and is the safest bet of the year going into Sunday.
Kevin Harvick (9-2) will be in desperation mode. He came within three laps of winning last week at New Hampshire and needs a win in order to advance to the next round as a Chase contender. His stats at Dover aren’t the greatest; no wins and a driver rating of 88.5, 12th best. However, if anyone can overcome those poor stats and win Harvick can. He was second here in May and if he has it all together Sunday could be the driver to beat.
Jeff Gordon (25-1) is just inside the cutoff, but knows a win will safely advance him to the nest round. He is the defending winner of this race and has a total of five wins here. His driver rating, 96.1, is seventh best but Gordon will be looking for a season sweep and to leave Dover for the last time as a driver with a win.
Kyle Busch (7-1) is another of the desperate drivers who needs a win in order to advance. His is somewhat of a Cinderella story after he missed the first 11 races of the season and was forced to win and move into the top 30 in points in order to qualify for the Chase. He accomplished both but last week suffered a mighty blow to his championship hopes when he crashed out at New Hampshire. He was swept up in a crash here in May, just his second race back, but does have two wins and the third best driver rating, 105.0. Look for Busch to be at or near the front at the end of the day, that is if he can avoid trouble.
Martin Truex Jr.(12-1) loves Dover as he is from New Jersey and considers it his home track. He has the ninth best driver rating, 91.3, and won here in 2007 and has always run well at Dover. He finished sixth in May after leading a race high 131 laps, and has shown the strength lately to add another win to his Dover record.
Others: Brad Keselowski (8-1) has been hot and cold at Dover. He won here in 2012, but was 12th in May. Kyle Larson (30-1) is a non-Chase driver who could steal the show. Larson was second here in May and sixth in this race last year and has the fifth best driver rating, 97.6. Carl Edwards (10-1) has come close to winning the last several weeks. He has the fourth highest driver rating, 98.4, won here in 2007 but finished 11th and 12th in the last two races here. He could make a showing Sunday based on the last few weeks and will be looking to join his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates as a winner in the Contender round.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway can be seen live Sunday October 4 on the NBC Sports Network at 2:30 p.m. ET.