CONCORD, N.C.— This weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race returns to Dover International Speedway.
And Sunday marks the final race in the Round of 16 of the Chase at the “Monster Mile”.
As it stands, both Chase Elliott and Jimmie Johnson are inside of the top 12 in the Chase standings and ready to take on the one-mile oval track.
Jeff Gordon, filling in for Dale Earnhardt Jr. while Earnhardt continues to recover from a concussion, will drive the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS this weekend at Dover in what will mark his second-to-last race as the substitute driver of the No. 88 Chevy.
“Alex (Bowman) has been doing a great job, and I’m just happy to do whatever I can to help the (No. 88) team,” Gordon said. “I’ve always loved Dover. It’s one of the tracks that I feel confident going to, so I’m looking forward to getting back in the car and working with (crew chief) Greg (Ives) and the No. 88 team again this weekend.”
Before you tune in to see where the drivers finish at the Dover track, check out some key notes to keep an eye on during this weekend’s race in Delaware.
BROADCAST INFORMATION: Sunday’s race will air live on NBC Sports Network at 2:00 p.m. ET. Can’t make it to the television? Listen to the race live on MRN and SiriusXM to catch the radio coverage. Here is the full broadcast schedule:
Friday, Sept. 30:
10:00 a.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Practice, NBC Sports Network
3:30 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Qualifying, NBC Sports Network
Saturday, Oct. 1:
10:30 a.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Practice, CNBC
1:30 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Final Practice, NBC Sports Network
Sunday, Oct. 2:
2:00 p.m. ET: Sprint Cup Series Race, NBC Sports Network
THIS WEEKEND’S PAINT SCHEMES: This weekend, Kasey Kahne will debut the No. 5 Panasonic Toughbook Chevrolet SS for the final time at Dover International Speedway. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year contender Elliott will pilot the No. 24 Mountain Dew Chevrolet SS. Johnson will race the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS and Gordon will race the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS this weekend at the “Monster Mile”.
HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS AT DOVER: At Dover International Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports has 18 wins, nine pole positions, 59 top-five finishes and 95 top-10s. Johnson most recently visited Victory Lane for the organization at the track in May 2015.
KAHNE AT DOVER: In Kahne’s 25 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Dover, he has led 90 laps over four races, which ranks him 18th among active drivers. While the Enumclaw, Washington, native is still searching for his first pole award at the “Monster Mile,” he’s earned the outside pole position three times in his career, most recently in May 2010. In his last 10 starts at the one-mile track, he has earned five top-10 finishes, including a fourth-place result in this year’s spring race.
CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENDER: Elliott’s bid for the 2016 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is marching on as the series heads to the Round of 16 finale at Dover International Speedway on Sunday. In Elliott’s Chase debut, he scored a sixth-place finish and followed that up with a 13th-place finish in the penultimate Round of 16 race. With 10 spots remaining as the series heads to the “Monster Mile,” Elliott is looking to secure his spot in the Round of 12 and continue his championship bid. The Dawsonville, Georgia, native would clinch on points with 31 points (10th and no laps led, 11th and led at least one lap, 12th and led most laps) and a new winner. If there is a repeat winner, he would clinch on points with 26 points (15th and no laps led, 16th and led at least one lap, 17th and led most laps). With a win, he would automatically clinch a spot in the Round of 12.
CHASE STATUS: After an eighth-place result in New Hampshire, Johnson is eighth in the point standings in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup heading into Dover, which is a cutoff event for the Round of 12. Performance-wise, Johnson can clinch on points with 29 points (12th and no laps led, 13th and led at least one lap, 14th and led most laps) and a new winner. If there is a repeat winner, he would clinch on points with 24 points (17th and no laps led, 18th and led at least one lap, 19th and led most laps). With a win, Johnson would automatically clinch a spot in the next round.
JOHNSON AND THE MONSTER: After his win in May 2015 at the one-mile concrete oval, Johnson has a total of 10 Sprint Cup wins at Dover International Speedway, which ranks first all-time ahead of NASCAR Hall of Famers Bobby Allison and Richard Petty, who recorded seven wins apiece.
JG AT DOVER: While Johnson has earned the most wins at the “Monster Mile,” Gordon leads active drivers in almost every other category – most top-five finishes (18), most top-10 finishes (26), most lead-lap finishes (32), most laps completed (18,389) and most poles (four, tied with Ryan Newman). Gordon also holds the record for being the youngest pole winner at Dover, earning the top spot in qualifying on June 4, 1995, when he was just 23 years and 10 months old. Gordon is tied for fourth on the all-time winners list with David Pearson at five wins apiece, which puts Gordon second among active drivers, behind only Johnson. He’s also second behind Johnson in the laps led category among active drivers with 2,389, putting him third on the all-time list behind Johnson and Bobby Allison.