There are plenty of drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series who have found a way to tame the Monster Mile, and then there are some who just struggle to get around the very challenging concrete track. When the Cup Series heads to Dover Motor Speedway, there will be winners and losers, just like every other track on the schedule.
We've already given our predictions for who we think the winners will be at Sunday's Würth 400. Now for the losers.
Team Penske hasn't had much luck to speak of at Dover Motor Speedway in years, with the team's last win at the track coming in 2012. That's a pretty rough stretch for a team that seems capable of winning at any track at any time.
The 2022 race wasn't any better for Team Penske, as Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, and Austin Cindric all finished 26th or worse. Add in Penske affiliate Harrison Burton in the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford, who also had a bad race. The team better hope for a much better run this time around.
Joey Logano will be making his 27th start at the Dover, Delaware track, and has a career-best finish of third, three times. Though, more often than not, he has experienced some sort of issue at the Monster Mile. That includes a vicious crash during his rookie season in 2009 when Logano ended up flipping over several times on the backstretch of the track.
Logano does have 15 top-10 finishes in his 26 previous Dover starts. That could give him a little confidence, but the driver of the No. 22 has cooled off since winning at Atlanta earlier this season. Add in the fact that Dover is the only track in the Cup Series, where he's made over 10 starts at, that Logano hasn't led over 100 career laps. That's crazy to think, given he is a two-time Cup champion. Joey's chances of having a successful day on Sunday are thin, and he will need to avoid issues that have plagued him at the track to even contend for a top-10 finish.
Tyler Reddick has already shown how quickly he could adjust to a new ride since moving to 23XI Racing in 2023. After a rough first three races, he bagged a win in his No. 45 Toyota at Circuit of the Americas. He also has an additional three top-five finishes, placing third at Phoenix, fifth at Atlanta, and second at Bristol.
Still, he didn't quite have a good showing at Martinsville and had an up-and-down weekend at Talladega after spinning while coming to the pits at the first green flag pitstop. Now heading to Dover, Reddick will need to find some confidence as he hasn't had the best of finishes at the one-mile oval. He did have an eighth-place finish in the 2021 Dover race. Other than that, he has finished 13th or worse, including a disappointing 30th last year.
If he can't have a good start to the weekend in qualifying, then Reddick will have a rough day, as he has qualified 12th or worse in three of his four prior Dover starts. It seems his strong runs in the Xfinity Series at Dover haven't quite carried over to the Cup Series to this point. 23XI Racing had plenty of speed at Talladega, and have been running at the front throughout the season, but the team just hasn't capitalized with the finishes they are expecting to have. Dover is a tough track no matter who the driver is. Reddick is a driver to avoid at Dover.
Richard Childress Racing has been one of the top teams talked about thus far in 2023. Since Kyle Busch joined the organization, things have looked the strongest they have been in years for the team. Yet Busch's teammate Austin Dillion hasn't quite had the same fortunes as Busch, who has won twice this season. RCR got a much-needed confidence boost after Busch was able to win at Talladega. On top of that, both Busch and Dillon finished on the podium at the Busch Light Clash in Los Angeles to open the 2023 season.
Dillon hasn't had the same luck since then, with only two finishes inside the top 10. His best was a third-place finish at the Bristol Dirt Race. Looking at Dover Motor Speedway, Austin hasn't had much luck — he did lead 49 laps in the August 2020 Dover race, but didn't have the finish he was looking for, being relegated to 15th. Dillon has three top-10s at the Monster Mile in 17 starts. That doesn't match up well with his teammate Busch, who is a three-time winner. RCR has speed, but their short-track package hasn't quite lived up to the rest of the tracks. Dillon is in for a long day on Sunday.
MORE: NASCAR at Dover: 3 Drivers Who Can Tame the Monster Mile
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