Gearing up for the Monster Mile
The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Dover International Speedway this weekend for the Drydene 200 on Saturday, May 15 at 1:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio for the 10th race of the season.
Last weekend, Justin Allgaier took home his second victory of 2021 at Darlington Raceway for Throwback Weekend, while his JR Motorsports teammate Noah Gragson grabbed the Dash 4 Cash prize; his third Dash 4 Cash $100,000 bonus in a row bringing his total to $300,000 this year.
As the series heads to Dover this weekend, look for Allgaier to keep the recent momentum on his side as he is the defending winner of this weekend’s race at the Monster Mile.
It was a doubleheader event last season at Dover for the Xfinity Series. With Allgaier winning the first race, Austin Cindric finished second, Ross Chastain finished third, Gragson fourth and Harrison Burton finished fifth.
The race had six cautions for 27 laps and an average speed of 110.142 mph. There were six lead changes and Allgaier led a race-high 120 laps.
Rolling into this weekend at Dover, Cindric has the best pre-race driver rating at the Monster Mile with a 114.2 and Allgaier has the third-best at 106.0. Hemric is fourth on the list at 103.8 and Gragson is fifth at 101.9.
Allgaier holds the top spot in fastest laps run at the track with 246 fastest laps run. Cindric is behind him in second with 116 fastest laps.
There have been 74 Xfinity Series races at Dover International Speedway with 48 different pole winners.
Bubba Wallace is the youngest pole winner at the track from 2012 when he was 18 years, 11 months, 21 days old. The oldest pole winner is Dick Trickle in 1999 at 57 years, 7 months and 9 days.
Of the 74 races at Dover, there have been 50 different race winners and only eight races have been won from the pole or first starting position. The last race won from the pole was in 2017 by Kyle Larson.
Joey Logano holds the race record at 131.219 mph in 2013 and Erik Jones holds the qualifying record at 158.318 mph in 2016.
Kyle Busch has the most Xfinity Series wins at Dover with five and the most top 10s at 15. Allgaier has the most lead lap finishes (16) and Kyle Busch has the most laps led (1,349).
Hemric will start on the pole this weekend at Dover for the Drydene 200 with Allgaier next to him on the front row. Gragson, Jones and Burton will round out the top five. Berry, AJ Allmendinger, Jeremy Clements, Justin Haley and Brett Moffitt will occupy the first 10 starting spots.
Show Me The Money: Noah Gragson goes for first ever Dash 4 Cash season sweep
For the first time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash program’s history a driver has a chance to sweep all four of the program’s rounds in a single season and win a total of $400,000 in bonus money. JR Motorsport’s Noah Gragson, from Las Vegas Nevada, has won the last three Dash 4 Cash awards this season banking $300,000 already and now heads to Dover International Speedway this weekend for the final round and a chance at getting the first ever Dash 4 Cash sweep.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash program was designed to add elements of unpredictability and drama leading up to and during four designated races, increase on-track competition, engage fans and reward and recognize NASCAR Xfinity Series regular competitors.
Since going to a multi-round format in 2011, no driver has swept every round in a single season. Prior to Gragson winning three Dash 4 Cash rounds (Martinsville, Talladega, Darlington) in one season this year, only seven drivers had won multiple rounds in a single season: Reed Sorenson (2011: Daytona, Iowa), Elliott Sadler (2013: Daytona, Chicago), Regan Smith (2015: Dover, Indianapolis), Erik Jones (2016: Bristol, Dover), Justin Allgaier (2017: Phoenix, Richmond), Christopher Bell (2019: Bristol, Dover) and Ross Chastain (2020: Atlanta, Pocono).
This year the NASCAR Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash is taking place at four tracks – Martinsville Speedway (April 9), Talladega Superspeedway (April 24), Darlington Raceway (May 8) and Dover International Speedway (May 15). This weekend at Dover will mark the final installment of the program.
Gragson and the three highest finishing full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers from Darlington Raceway – Justin Allgaier (1st), Josh Berry (2nd), Brandon Jones (3rd) will compete at Dover for the final prize.
Dash 4 Cash Qualifiers at Dover:
Noah Gragson will make his sixth start this weekend at the Monster Mile. He has one top-five finish and four top 10s to his name with an average start of 6.4 and average finish of 8.6. His best finish came at this exact race last season after starting second and finishing fourth. He’s led 38 laps at Dover.
This weekend will be Justin Allgaier’s 21st Xfinity Series career start at Dover. He has two wins (2018, 2020), nine top fives and 13 top 10s at the track. He has also led 353 laps.
Brandon Jones will make his 11th start at Dover on Saturday. He has one top five and four top 10s at the track and has led 45 laps. His best finish came at the second race at Dover last season in fourth.
Rookie Josh Berry will make his Xfinity Series debut at Dover this weekend.
Xfinity Sunoco Rookie Update
The NASCAR Xfinity Series Sunoco rookie standings saw a little shakeup after Darlington.
JR Motorsport’s Josh Berry took the lead in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings after Darlington Raceway. His second-place finish last weekend bumped him ahead of Joe Gibbs Racing’s Ty Gibbs, who had been in the lead since his win at the Daytona Road Course early in the season.
In eight starts so far this year, Berry got his first-ever Xfinity Series win at Martinsville has had two top fives and four top 10s to his name. He’s also led 103 laps this season and has an average start of 16.0 and average finish of 19.0.
Ty Gibbs is running a part-time schedule for Joe Gibbs Racing this season and in his first-ever start at the Daytona Road Course, he won after starting 15th. He’s made four starts so far in 2021 and has three top-five finishes and three top 10s. His average finish is 6.0 and average start is 21.8. Last weekend at Darlington marked Gibbs’ worst finish of 17th so far this season.
JD Motorsport’s Ryan Vargas is still sitting in third in the rookie standings with 79 points. In nine starts so far this season for JD Motorsports, Vargas has a best finish of 18th from the season-opener at Daytona.
Xfinity Playoff Bubble: Who stacks up where?
Justin Allgaier became the second driver to win multiple races this season, joining points leader Austin Cindric, with his win last weekend at Darlington Raceway. Thankfully for the rest of the Playoff bubble drivers, another new winner didn’t take one of the Playoff spots that they’re in search of.
Two drivers without wins yet this season, that are pretty comfortable in the points right now are Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Daniel Hemric and Harrison Burton. Hemric continues to be the highest ranked driver without a win in sixth with a 143-point cushion ahead of the Playoff cutoff. And Harrison Burton is behind him in seventh with 115 points ahead of the cutline.
The next five drivers in the Playoff outlook are all within 100 points of the postseason cutoff – Justin Haley (+88 points), Noah Gragson (+64), Jeremy Clements (+48), Brandon Jones (+28) and Michael Annett (+6)
Gragson’s rough start to the 2021 season has come full circle after a couple strong finishes in a row and winning the three Dash 4 Cash installments so far. Clements has been in the Playoff standings for the entire season, showcasing the consistency and talent of his small family-owned race team. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Brandon Jones has had a roller coaster of a season so far with three DNFs of 30th or worst but has tamed the flames of those poor finishes with five top-five finishes; including a third-place finish last weekend at Darlington.
Along the Playoff cutline you will find Brandon Brown and Michael Annett battling hard for the final Playoff spot. Annett currently grasps on to a six-point lead over Brown and sits in the final Playoff transfer spot (12th). Brown will have his work cut out for him this weekend to continue to close that points gap as Annett has a better average finish (12.2) than Brown at Dover (18.3).
NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.
JJ Yeley added to Our Motorsports driver lineup – Our Motorsports has announced that JJ Yeley will pilot the No. 23 Chevrolet for two races beginning this Saturday at Dover International Speedway.
Yeley made his NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in 2004 and has 339 starts in the Xfinity Series. Yeley, 44, will also pilot the No. 23 for Our Motorsports at the Charlotte ROVAL in October.
Saturday will be Yeley’s 22nd start at Dover. He has three top 10s to his name and a best finish of eighth in 2016. He made his first start at the Delaware track in 2004 starting 25th and finishing 26th for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Drydene sponsoring three JD Motorsports cars this weekend – JD Motorsports with Gary Keller announced that Drydene Performance Products will sponsor three cars in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Dover International Speedway on Saturday.
Based out of Warminster, Pennsylvania, Drydene is sponsoring both the NASCAR Cup Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Dover International Speedway. In addition, the Nos. 4, 6 and 15 Chevrolet’s will also sport the Drydene high performance oils and lubricants.
This marks the second consecutive year that Drydene has served as the primary sponsor for the JDM cars.
Kyle Sieg making Xfinity debut at Dover – DGM Racing announced that Kyle Sieg, brother of NASCAR Xfinity Series veteran driver Ryan Sieg, will make his series debut in the No. 90 Ford this weekend at Dover International Speedway.
Kyle Sieg has made four ARCA Menards Series starts and one ARCA Menards Series West start in 2021. Of his four ARCA starts this season, Sieg has a best finish of fourth at Phoenix Raceway in March. The 20-year-old also has finishes of eighth or better in all of his starts.
Independent Metal Scrap will sponsor Sieg in the No. 90 this weekend.
Sieg will also compete in Friday night’s ARCA Menards Series East event at Dover in the No. 28 with sponsorship from Drydene.
Comcast opens new Lift Zone in Dover prior to Xfinity race – In September, Comcast vowed to open 1,000 new high-speed Wi-Fi Lift Zones throughout the United States by the conclusion of 2021.
So far, the company has already opened over 50 new zones this year.
Dover isn’t the first NASCAR market that has a Lift Zone in it, either. At Martinsville Speedway on April 9, Comcast announced the opening of a Wi-Fi-Connected Lift Zone in the Martinsville area.
It’s important for the racetracks to have the Lift Zones but it also benefits the communities during times when the races aren’t in town.
Having this weekend’s race be a Dash 4 Cash race for the Xfinity Series as well as the opening of the new Lift Zone, there is a lot of excitement around the race.
“I think it shows that, even as a big racetrack in a small community we, too, like Comcast, we’re concerned with our own community,” Dover International Speedway President Mike Tatoian explained in an interview. “For one of [the Lift Zones] to be located here in our community – because I think a lot of us, you take things for granted. ‘Well of course you have internet at home.’ Well, not everybody does, especially with the pandemic and where we are and the importance of education and getting access.”
COURTESY NASCAR INTEGRATED MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS