NASCAR National Series News and Notes - Dover

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

Dillon Wins First Race, Brings #3 Back To Victory Lane
Austin Dillon stretched his fuel to win the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway - the first victory of his career. His triumph also marked the first time the #3 Chevrolet reached Victory Lane since Dale Earnhardt won at Talladega on Oct. 15, 2000.

Dillon, 27, joins Ricky Stenhouse Jr. as the second first-time winner of the season. His victory gives him five playoff points.

Dillon will try to build off his win in Sunday's AAA 400 Drive for Autism at Dover International Speedway

The win was also the first in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for Justin Alexander, who took over crew chief duties for the #3 the week before the Coca-Cola 600.

A testament to NASCAR's development system, Dillon won the 2011 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship and 2013 NASCAR XFINITY Series title. He's the 28th driver to win a race in all three of NASCAR's national series.

Notable NASCAR stars who also captured their first victory in the Coca-Cola 600 include: NASCAR Hall of Famer David Pearson, four-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, 2000 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title-winner Bobby Labonte and 2003 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion Matt Kenseth.

Monster Masher: Johnson Looks To Add To Dover Track Wins Record
Any time the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Dover, any driver who wishes to go to Victory Lane must go through Jimmie Johnson.

The #48 Hendrick Motorsports driver boasts a track-record 10 wins in addition to 15 top fives, 21 top 10s and a 9.5 average finish. Johnson also claims the series-best driver rating (118.3) and average running position (7.8) at the Monster Mile.

If Johnson wins this weekend, he will join NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Darrell Waltrip as the only three MENCS drivers to win 11 or more races at a single track - Petty has done it four times (Martinsville 15, North Wilkesboro 15, Richmond 13 and Rockingham 11). Waltrip has done it twice (Bristol 12, Martinsville 11).

Johnson currently sits eighth in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points standings, 132 markers below leader Martin Truex Jr. He, Truex and Brad Keselowski pace the series with two wins each this season.

Truex Takes Points Lead, Can Earn Second Consecutive Monster Mile Win
Martin Truex Jr. couldn't reel in Austin Dillon for his third win of the season at Charlotte Motor Speedway last weekend, but he did take the points lead after finishing third and winning the Stage 2. And that's a big deal - remember, the regular season champion earns 15 additional playoff points (as opposed to second place, who earns 10).

The #78 Furniture Row Racing driver holds a five-point advantage over second-place Kyle Larson. He also leads the series with six stage wins (Ryan Blaney is next best with three) and 16 playoff points (Brad Keselowski is next best with 12).

Truex, is dominating the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Loop Data Statistics. He leads in average running position (7.3), driver rating (113.3), fastest laps run (403) and laps led (769).

A native of Mayetta, New Jersey, Truex won at his home track of Dover last fall. In Sunday's AAA Drive for Autism 400, he'll attempt to notch his second consecutive win at the one-mile track. In 22 starts at Dover, Truex claims two wins, two top fives, 11 top 10s and an average finish of 14.2.

On the season, Truex has two wins, four top fives and eight top 10s.

Sense Of Urgency For Winless Drivers?
There have already been nine different race winners through the first 12 races of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. A win essentially gets a driver into the playoffs and there are only eight automatic berths left.

Drivers who won multiple races last season, who have yet to visit Victory Lane in 2017 include: Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth.

If the season ended today the following drivers would make the playoffs: Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Jamie McMurray, Chase Elliott, Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman and Austin Dillon.

Kenseth Readies To Defend Dover Spring Victory
Matt Kenseth won last year's Dover spring race - one of the more exciting contests of the 2016 season. On old tires, Kenseth outlasted a charging Kyle Larson, leading the final 47 laps on his way to victory.

In 36 career starts at Dover, Kenseth has three wins, 17 top fives, 24 top 10s and a 12.8 average finish. He ranks second to Jimmie Johnson in Dover average running position (8.4) and driver rating (108.6).

Kenseth enters Sunday's AAA 400 Drive for Autism coming off a fourth-place finish at Charlotte.

Kyle Busch Closing In On 13,000 Laps Led Milestone
Kyle Busch has to lead a mere 59 laps to become the 11th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver to lead 13,000 or more laps.

It wouldn't be a bad bet to say Busch will achieve the feat this weekend at Dover International Speedway. He led 102 laps on his way to a runner-up showing at Dover last fall and has paced the field for 1,139 go-arounds there in his career.

Busch is winless on the season, but he's starting to heat up. He's finished second (Charlotte), fifth (Kansas) and third (Talladega) in his last three races, and has led at least 48 laps in each contest.

Larson Hopes To Seize Back Points Lead At Dover
Kyle Larson lost the points lead after wrecking at Charlotte, and now sits second in the standings, trailing Martin Truex Jr. by five markers.

He'll get the chance to seize it back at one of his better tracks - Dover International Speedway. In six career starts at the Monster Mile, the 24-year-old Larson owns two top fives, four top 10s and a 9.3 average finish.

In last year's spring race, Larson led 85 laps, but failed to clear Matt Kenseth at the end of the contest and finished runner-up.

Larson headlines a group of five drivers under the age of 30 who would make the playoffs if the season ended today: Larson, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Austin Dillon.


Show Me The Money: Dash 4 Cash Is Back For One Last Go Around
Dover International Speedway is the last chance this season NASCAR XFINITY Series championship contending drivers will have to battle it out for a Dash 4 Cash win, and the giant $100,000 check that comes with it.

JR Motorsport's driver Justin Allgaier snagged the first Dash 4 Cash win by visiting Victory Lane at Phoenix International Raceway. Then Richard Childress Racing's Daniel Hemric grabbed the second installment of the program and his first Dash 4 Cash win at Bristol Motor Speedway. But Allgaier enjoyed his first big check so much, he won a second at Richmond International Raceway in the third segment of the program. Now the series has reached the final call of the 2017 Dash 4 Cash program at Dover.

Dover International Speedway has been a part of the Dash 4 Cash program since 2011. Only two drivers have won the Dash 4 Cash at Dover - Regan Smith in 2015 and Erik Jones in 2016.

A Quick Reminder Of Dash 4 Cash Eligibility?
" The top two finishing NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers who have declared for series points in each of the two stages will make up the four-driver Dash 4 Cash field for the Final Stage. Once Stage 1 is complete, the two drivers who lock into the main field won't have their position counted against other Dash 4 Cash-eligible drivers following Stage 2 to ensure a four-driver field.
" The field will then begin the race with Stage 1, followed by Stage 2 and the Final Stage. At Dover International Speedway: Stage 1 (Ends on lap 60), Stage 2 (Ends on lap 120), Final Stage (Ends on lap 200)
" The highest finisher in the final stage among the four Dash 4 Cash drivers wins the Dash 4 Cash and a $100,000 prize.
" Plus, don't forget if a driver earns two Dash 4 Cash bonus wins over the four Dash 4 Cash races, that qualifies them for the NASCAR XFINITY Series playoffs - currently, Daniel Hemric is in position to complete this feat.

Points Tighten At The Top As Series Heads To Dover
With 10 races complete in the 2017 regular season, Justin Allgaier has reduced Elliott Sadler's NASCAR XFINITY Series driver standings points lead from 29 markers down to just six as the series heads to Dover International Speedway for the One Main Financial 200 at 1 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Allgaier capitalized on his JR Motorsports teammate's misfortune at Charlotte Motor Speedway last weekend by finishing 12th, after Sadler spun off Turn 4 late in the race hitting the inside wall ending his day early in the 35th position.

Now with Sadler in striking distance in the standings, Allgaier hopes to take the points lead at Dover - a track he has outperformed Sadler in the past. Sadler has made 24 series starts at Dover posting three top 10s and an average finish of 21.8. While Allgaier has made 12 series starts at Dover posting three top fives, six top 10s and an average finish of 13.8.

Youth Movement: Average Age Of Winning Drivers This Season - 25 Years Old
Each week young drivers are proving they belong in the highest ranks of NASCAR and the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series season is a great example of that. Through 10 races this season, the average age of the winning eight drivers is 25.6 years of age.

The youngest winner this season is Joe Gibbs Racing's Erik Jones at the age of 20. Jones has two wins this season at Texas and Bristol.

The eldest winner this season in the NXS is Aric Almirola at the age of 33. Almirola won at Talladega.

Five drivers under the age of 30 have won this season - Erik Jones (20), Ryan Reed (23), Ryan Blaney (23), Kyle Larson (24) and Joey Logano (26).

The youngest winner in series history at Dover International Speedway is Casey Atwood (1999 fall race winner) at the age of 19 years, 1 month.

Sunoco Rookie Update: Hemric Continues His Series Standings Ascension, Now Up To Fourth
Richard Childress Racing's Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Daniel Hemric has leapfrogged Roush Fenway Racing's Darrell Wallace Jr. in the NASCAR XFINITY Series driver standings to take the fourth-place spot following the race at Charlotte last weekend. Now Hemric is just 22 points back from third-place and fellow Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate William Byron.

Hemric has been climbing the standings since the season-opener at Daytona, where he finished 31st due to an accident, and was 26th in the series points. Since then he has moved up 22 spots in the points. In 10 starts this season, Hemric has posted two top fives and seven top-15 finishes. His average finish this season is a 16.2.

This weekend will be Hemric's series debut at Dover International Speedway.

Joe Gibbs Racing's Erik Jones Returns To Defend Last Season's Dover Win
Last season's NASCAR XFINITY Series Dover winner, Erik Jones, will return to the series this weekend to pilot the #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry with crew chief Chris Gabehart. Jones is not only looking to defend his win from last season and add to his win's total (two; Bristol and Texas) this season, but also extend the JGR wins streak at Dover to three consecutive wins - Erik Jones (spring race winner) and Daniel Suarez (fall race winner).

Jones has made three starts at Dover, posting one pole, one win, two top 10s and an average finish of 8.667.

Joe Gibbs Racing leads the series in wins at Dover International Speedway with 11 victories among five drivers - Daniel Suarez (Fall 2016), Erik Jones (Spring 2016), Kyle Busch (2014 sweep, 2010 sweep and Fall 2008), Joey Logano (2012 sweep) and Denny Hamlin (Spring 2008 and Fall 2007).

Team Penske's Ryan Blaney Looks To Make It Two In A Row
Ryan Blaney has the wind at his back lately as the 23-year-old superstar captured his first win of the season last weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and now the Team Penske standout will attempt to go for two in a row this weekend at Dover International Speedway.

Blaney will be strapping into the #22 Team Penske Ford Mustang with crew chief Greg Erwin on the pit box. Blaney has made five series starts this season posting one win (Charlotte), five top five and a stellar average finish of 2.4.

Blaney has made four series starts at Dover posting one pole, two top fives and an average finish of 13.8.

Team Penske has two series wins at Dover - both by Joey Logano when he swept the 2013 season.

XFINITY Series Teams To Support Autism Delaware With Decals This Weekend
A total of 23 drivers from the NASCAR XFINITY Series will be showing their support for Autism Delaware's mission this weekend at Dover International Speedway by displaying a special decal on their cars.

Autism Delaware, a leader in the First State on autism awareness since its founding in 1998, is working to raise funds and awareness during the June 2-4 NASCAR weekend.

This will be the 11th consecutive year that Dover International Speedway's spring events has had a tie-in with the cause of autism awareness.

Sieg And Chastain Are Going Racing Monster-Style: NASCAR XFINITY Series championship contenders Ross Chastain and Ryan Sieg will be attempting to compete this Sunday in the AAA 400 Drive For Autism Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway. Sieg will be driving the #83 BK Racing Toyota with crew chief Randy Cox and Ross Chastain will be driving the #15 Premium Motorsports Chevrolet with crew chief Mark Hillman.

Monster Drivers To Watch On Saturday: This week six Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers will be attempting to compete in the NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Saturday - Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon, Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones, Ryan Blaney and Kyle Larson.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series King Ron Hornaday Jr. Voted Into NASCAR Hall of Fame
Last Wednesday, Ron Hornaday Jr. was announced as one of the five icons voted into the 2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame class.

Hornaday is considered one of the forefathers of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The second-generation racer from Palmdale, California, boasts a record four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championships and 51 series wins. Hornaday also holds the all-time marks for top fives (158) and top 10s (234).

In 2009, Hornaday won five straight NCWTS races, a feat matched only three other times in NASCAR national series history.

Hornaday was overwhelmingly appreciative of being inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame but was quick to praise to the rest of his 2018 NASCAR Hall of Fame classmates.

"I think it was cool to be a part of this class, but I am happy for Evernham, Byron, Mr. Yates and Ken Squier. If wasn't for everyone who played a role in my career, I wouldn't haven't been able to be here."

Trucking Down Into Dover
Following a week off, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series hits the track this week at Dover International Speedway for the Bar Harbor 200 on Friday, June 2

Matt Crafton is the defending NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race winner at Dover, while Christopher Bell (third) and Johnny Sauter (fourth) both finished in the top five in last season's race.

Dover International Speedway Quick Facts
With the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series back in action this weekend for the Bar Harbor 200 at Dover International Speedway, below are some series quick facts at the Monster Mile:

Races: 17
Pole Winners: 13
Youngest Pole Winner: Darrell Wallace Jr (05/31/2013 - 19 years, 7 months, 23 days)
Oldest Pole Winner: Ron Hornaday Jr (05/30/2009 - 50 years, 11 months, 10 days)
Race Winners: 14
Youngest Winner: Tyler Reddick (05/29/2015 - 19 years, 4 months, 18 days)
Oldest Winner: Ron Hornaday Jr (06/01/2007 - 48 years, 11 months, 12 days)
Races Won from Pole (or 1st Starting Position): 3
Last Race Won from Pole (or 1st Starting Position): Kyle Busch (05/30/2014)

Turning The Tides
On his way to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship last season, the race at Dover changed everything for Johnny Sauter.

Following his season-opening win at Daytona, Sauter failed to score a top-15 finish over his next three races at Atlanta (28th), Martinsville (32nd) and Kansas (16th).

After starting 15th last spring at Dover International Speedway, Sauter finished fourth and went on to finish top-13 or better in every race for the remainder of the season - capturing the 2016 title.

Dover proved to change his luck last season and Sauter has driven well there in his career.

In eight career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Dover, Sauter has three top fives and five top 10s, including four-consecutive top 10s.

Sauter is having another championship-like season, as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series veteran currently leads the series points standings by 15 points.

Crafton Looking To Go Back-To-Back At Dover
ThorSport Racing driver Matt Crafton is looking to win back-to-back NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at Dover International Speedway.

Last season, Crafton captured his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win of the year at Dover.

He is looking to do the same this year, as he is winless through five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races this season.

Crafton holds a multitude of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series track records at Dover International Speedway, including:

Races: 16
Top Fives: 5
Top 10s: 10
Lead Lap Finishes: Tied, 11 (David Starr)
Laps Completed: 2,775

NASCAR Next Driver Todd Gilliland To Make Series Debut At Dover
NASCAR Next Driver Todd Gilliland will make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut in the #46 Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports in Friday's Bar Harbor 200 at Dover International Speedway.

NASCAR XFINITY Series Going Camping At Dover: The are three NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers slated to compete in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Dover. Brandon Jones, Ross Chastain and JJ Yeley. All three drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race this season.

-- NASCAR --