Welcome to the old Dover Downs International Speedway! Once an asphalt track but repaired in chalk white concrete in 1995. After the first race in 1995 they painted a stripe around the track on the bottom of the wall because drivers couldn’t tell where the white track ended and the white wall began. Thus created, “The Monster Mile” known for chewing up cars. Turns banked at 24 degrees and straights banked at 9 degrees, this is a miniature Daytona. High speeds, tall turns and a whole lotta wall inside and out will challenge every driver and funnel them all together as the physically drop into the turns.
Austin Dillon has a lifetime average of around 16th across all 3 series. While not a “stunning” result he does have a promising history here in the Xfinity series. Never finishing worse than 10th with 6 top 10’s in 6 starts, one could say he has this track figured out when the car and goal are both set to “win.”
While having never placed higher than 20th in Cup he averages a solid 13 in trucks. All this tells me he was just logging laps and gaining experience the last few years in Cup, which is exactly what rookies and young drivers need. So where does that leave us for this weekend?
My projection is 8th. With a lifetime average of 16th, Austin is also averaging 8 positions higher than career average this year. Barring some major incident I think the 3 team and Austin can finish inside the top 10 again. The more you run there, the more comfortable you are up there. Not to mention you race better drivers who are less likely to lose control or cause an accident.
If Freddy and his team hand over another car like they have been and they unload it with a setup like Greg and Slugger have been known for this year, look for top 15 speeds in practice right off the truck. I have a feeling this weekend is going to be a good one and help Austin build even more confidence, momentum, and comfort.
Finally, by my count, the crew gained 3 total positions on the slow road and had zero penalties. If you take that into count you can bet Austin will see a career high finish in Dover this weekend.
Remember to check out @RCRracing on Twitter for the recent unveiling of throwback paint schemes for Darlington this fall. Give the guys a shout and wish them well.
As always, I’ll see you in the box.