Fedex 400 Picks – 28504

Race: FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks
Date: Sunday June 3rd, 2012
Track: Dover International Speedway
Time: 12:30 pm ET
by Virginia Vroom, NASCAR Racing Handicapper,

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So after the show at Charlotte, we are headed to the Monster Mile at Dover International Speedway. Charlotte is tame compared to the rowdiness that we see at Dover. In fact, If you watched Charlotte, you noticed that a good portion of the cautions were for debris. This weekend, the majority of cautions are going to be for wrecks. That’s plain and simple. Kasey Kahne may have taken the win at the Coca Cola 600, but he’s going to have to hold on tight to carry that momentum to victory lane at Dover. I really don’t see Kahne as the winner on Sunday, but then again, crazier things have happened.

Dover is essentially the perfect oval. It has 1076 feet on both the frontstretch and the backstretch. This 1-mile track boasts 24 degree banking in the turns and 9 degrees on the straights. The banking brings a bit of a short track mentality here. While the track isn’t that large to begin with, drivers seem to try and make it big because of the speed that they can get here. The banking makes the cars float out of the turns and come out with a large amount of speed that some of the straighter tracks do not have.

One of the biggest issues at Dover is going to be tires. Tire strategy plays a large role here and the drivers have to take care of them in order to get to the finish. Additionally, this track tends to eat tires alive for some reason. Other than tires, track position is key here as well. There are many drivers that will get lapped, but the leader will extend the gap between second place through those cars and then some. The key is not to allow the leader to get too far ahead.

When we take a look at the history of the winners here, we see great success from the Roush garage. Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, and Carl Edwards have done well here. Jimmie Jonson is also going to be a name to watch here as he has multiple wins. Despite these great drivers, I’m going to have to go with Martin Truex Jr. this weekend. This is his home track and one that he has a lot of success at. He’s had some good runs this season and I think that this weekend is going to be crucial in his success for the rest of the season. This is going to be his jumping block into a more consistent groove. He started out the year with very strong finishes, but he’s been fading.

Here’s a rundown of my picks for Dover this weekend:

My Prediction to Win: Martin Truex Jr.
Middle of the Road Pick: A.J. Allmendinger
Dark Horse Pick: Marcos Ambrose

A.J. Allmendinger is going to get a win. He’s strong every weekend at some point during qualifying and during the race. He’s just got to get it together at the end and be there for the charge. Marcos Ambrose proved last weekend that he is not one to be forgotten. It’s a matter of time for him also before he wins on an oval track.
Here’s a look at your current top 10 in points after Charlotte:

1. Greg Biffle
2. Matt Kenseth
3. Denny Hamlin
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
5. Jimmie Johnson
6. Martin Truex Jr.
7. Kevin Harvick
8. Kyle Busch
9. Tony Stewart
10. Carl Edwards

This weekend is going to be a great spectacle of racing. The Monster Mile will chew ’em up and spit ’em out if you’re not careful. Sit back and relax while these drivers try to conquer the Monster Mile!

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