Martin Truex Jr. has a chance to add another victory to his 2021 Cup Series campaign on Sunday at Dover International Speedway.
Truex, the only multi-race winner this season (in Phoenix, Martinsville and Darlington), is the clear favorite ahead of the Drydene 400. The three-time winner in Dover is second in the Cup series behind only Denny Hamlin. He also has top 2 finishes in each of his last four races on the Monster Mile. Add to this his dominant race at Darlington last week – he led 248 of 293 laps – and it makes sense that he is the betting favorite (7-2) in the 400-lap and 400-mile races.
Kyle Larson, who challenged Truex late in the Goodyear 400 and finished second in the race, is likely his best challenger on Sunday. He has the highest NASCAR average result of all time at Dover at 7.4. Of course, there is also Hamlin, who despite missing victories this season has an absurd nine top five positions to give him the lead in the overall standings.
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Sporting News is following live updates and highlights from the Drydene 400 at Dover International Raceway. Follow below.
NASCAR at Dover Live Updates, Drydene 400 Highlights
All times east
5:01 pm: Bowman must be mad about it; He had a pretty significant lead over Larson that he needs to build up again.
5 p.m. Caution 7 (lap 225). Caution should be exercised immediately on the front.
4:58 pm: Larson doesn’t play around and comes out of caution. It’s right on Bowman’s rear bumper.
4:57 pm: … Those rain clouds in the distance look somehow dark. …
4:56 pm: Good news: Almirola was examined and released at the Infield Care Center. He gave an interview on FS1 and seemed fine.
4:54 pm: Curious to see who pits with 83 laps in the race.
4:52 p.m .: Warning 6 (lap 315). Ricky Stenhouse Jr. kicks Alfredo into the back of Turn 2, causing the latter to spin against the wall. Keselowski also hit Stenhouse in the bumper, which didn’t help. Both Stenhosue and Alfredo pitted, but no other cars were affected.
4:50 pm: Bowman does his best to keep Larson off the lead. On lap 310 he has a lead of 0.41 seconds.
4:44 pm: An interesting development: Bowman came out of the pit lane first and gave him the lead that came out of caution.
4:41 p.m .: Warning 5 (lap 302). Aric Almirola immediately lost control and hit the wall towards Turn 4. He got out of his car and seems a little shaken. His car is on fire and that should be the end of his day in Dover.
“I had to catch my breath. It hurt,” he said to his team.
4:30 p.m .: Things are heating up! So behind Larson. …
4:28 pm: Larson is now more than 2 seconds ahead of Alex Bowman. Byron, Elliott, Kurt Busch, Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Hamlin, Austin Dillon and Tyler Reddick make up the top 10.
4:19 pm: On lap 249 we are again under green. Only 151 laps left.
4:09 p.m .: Caution 4 (destination stage 2, lap 240). And there is Larson’s second stage win; He led all but one lap in the second stage, which Hamlin led while Larson was in the pit lane.
Kyle Larson dominates the second stage, leading every lap but one (during a pit stop).
7. In the bush
– Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) May 16, 2021
4 pm: Is it good? (Remember, Elliott started the race from the back of the lineup).
3:55 pm: We’re checking in now that we’re halfway through the 400 lap race and … yes, Larson is still in the lead.
3:36 p.m .: Warning 3 (lap 171). Berry hit the wall and threw him off the beat; Because of his position on the track relative to everyone else, he couldn’t get into the row of pits without pulling the yellow flag.
3:28 pm: Briscoe is back in the pit row; It looks like his car has lost its pace due to the damage he sustained in an accident just before the end of the first stage.
3:22 pm: I’m not exactly sure this isn’t Kyle Busch.
3:20 pm: Berry and James Davison, who completed four and six laps respectively, were both hit for speeding up penalties in the pit lane.
3:09 pm: Larson was absolutely dominant in Phase 1, 11.3 seconds ahead of Hamlin, when caution waned. Here are the top 10 racers for the stage:
Kyle Larson won the first stage by 11.3 seconds after Harvick moved up from second to fifth on the last two laps and hit Chase Briscoe against the wall.
– Jeff Gluck (@jeff_gluck) May 16, 2021
3:07 p.m .: Caution 2 (lap 119). It looks like Chase Briscoe blew up his tire and hit the wall to stay ahead of Larson (and on the lead lap). That will cost him with caution. This completes stage 1 with caution.
2:57 pm: Yes, about Kyle Busch … these engine problems don’t go away. He is two laps ahead and 25 laps on the stage.
2:51 pm: Meanwhile, Larson continues his dominance with a comfortable 80 lap lead over the Drydene 400.
2:48 pm: Hard break for Corey LaJoie, who has to drive under green with a flat tire in the front right. He is three laps ahead.
2:46 pm: Truex appears to have a nose damage that has been affecting his ability to turn since hitting the track. This problem will only be exacerbated by rising car temperatures.
2:36 pm: Another note: Kyle Busch manages not to forego caution despite his engine problems.
2:35 pm: Truex Jr. comes out of caution in 12th place after a wheel nut fell out and disrupted a jack, causing him a slow pit. Incredible.
2:31 pm: Larson won a position at Byron to take the lead out of the caution of competition. Harvick remains in third place, which comes out of caution.
2.30: Oh oh.
2:29 p.m .: Warning 1 (competition, round 35)
2:25 pm: Lots of movement at the top of the lineup while Fox Sports 1 took a commercial break; Truex Jr. fell from first to fourth place behind William Byron (first), Larson (second) and Kevin Harvick (third). He is about 5 seconds from the lead.
2:19 pm: Elliott is up 12 positions from 36.11 laps in Phase 1.
2.15 p.m .: And let’s go!
2:12 pm: Also of note: Josh Berry will make his Cup series debut in the 77 car as a last minute replacement for Justin Haley (who cannot drive due to NASCAR’s COVID-19 protocols).
2:11 pm: Ryan Newman will join Chase Elliott (two failed pre-race inspections) at the end of the line-up due to unauthorized adjustments:
UPDATE: Car # 6 will start in the back of the field today due to unauthorized adjustments.
– NASCAR (@NASCAR) May 16, 2021
2:02 pm: Some key racing notes in Dover:
On FS1: Cup engines just fired here in Dover. Be careful with the round 35 competition. Stages 120-120-160 (400 laps, 400 miles). 9 sets tires. Fuel: 88-97 laps. Backwards: Elliott (2x technical error), Berry (driver change 77). NWS: Temps 70s, 20% chance of rain. @ NASCARONFOX
– Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) May 16, 2021
14 o’clock: The engines are revved up in Dover. Green flag incoming.
1:30 p.m .: It gets hot when grilling in the Fox Studio.
NASCAR line-up in Dover
Here is the complete starting grid for the Drydene 400 without qualification:
|Start pos.||driver||Car no.||team|
|1||Martin Truex Jr.||19th||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|2||Denny Hamlin||11||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|3||William Byron||24||Hendrick Motorsports|
|4th||Kyle Larson||5||Hendrick Motorsports|
|5||Kevin Harvick||4th||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|6th||Kyle Busch||18th||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|7th||Ryan Blaney||12th||Team Penske|
|8th||Joey Logano||22nd||Team Penske|
|9||Chris Buescher||17th||Roush Fenway Racing|
|10||Christopher Bell||20th||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|11||Tyler Reddick||8th||Richard Childress Racing|
|12th||Ryan Newman||6th||Roush Fenway Racing|
|13th||Austin Dillon||3||Richard Childress Racing|
|14th||Brad Keselowski||2||Team Penske|
|fifteen||Alex Bowman||48||Hendrick Motorsports|
|16||Chase Briscoe||14th||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|17th||Matt DiBenedetto||21||Wood Brothers Racing|
|18th||Ross Chastain||42||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|19th||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||47||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|20th||Michael McDowell||34||Motorsport in the front row|
|21||Bubba Wallace||23||23XI Racing|
|22nd||Erik Jones||43||Richard Petty Motorsports|
|23||Daniel Suarez||99||Trackhouse Racing Team|
|24||Ryan Preece||37||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|25th||Corey LaJoie||7th||Spire Motorsports|
|26th||Anthony Alfredo||38||Motorsport in the front row|
|27||Kurt Busch||1||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|28||Josh Berry||77||Spire Motorsports|
|29||Cole Custer||41||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|30th||BJ McLeod||78||Live motorsport fast|
|31||Aric Almirola||10||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|32||James Davison||fifteen||Rick Ware Racing|
|33||Cody ware||51||Petty Ware Racing|
|34||Quin Houff||00||StarCom Racing|
|35||Garrett Smithley||53||Rick Ware Racing|
|36||Josh Bilicki||52||Rick Ware Racing|
|37||Chase Elliott *||9||Hendrick Motorsports|
* Elliott, who would have started eighth in the lineup, will start at the back because he failed two pre-race inspections.