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|John Hunter Nemechek||+800
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At one mile, Dover International Speedway may not be the longest of NASCAR’s tracks, but its high concrete banks give drivers a greater sensation of speed than at any other venue on the circuit. A two-story drop from the straightaways to the center of the corners only adds to the rush.
Saturday’s A-GAME 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series race, the 200th NASCAR event to be held at the Monster Mile, will be contested over 200 laps (200 miles) with stage breaks scheduled after 45 and 90 laps. Austin Cindric won last year’s Dover race but is not in the field this year, having graduated to a full-time ride in the Cup Series with Team Penske.
Ty Gibbs doesn’t have much experience at Dover Motor Speedway. He finished fifth last year in his only Xfinity Series start at the Monster Mile.
Admittedly, Gibbs won from the pole last year in the second of his two races there in the ARCA Menards East Series, but the ARCA field doesn’t compare top-to-bottom to the higher-level Xfinity competitors.
That said, Gibbs is favored to win Saturday’s A-GAME 200 at the Monster Mile. He’s available at +500 via DraftKings Sportsbook.
Yes, Gibbs has an outstanding car. The No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota has carried the 19-year-old to three victories in nine races this season.
But if Gibbs’ favorite is the same old song, we’re going to sing our version. We warned you against picking Gibbs at Talladega last week, and he crashed out in 35th place. We’re doing the same this week, because there are better choices. (See below.)
Interestingly, Justin Allgaier is the only former Dover winner in the field for the A-GAME 200. The driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet took the checkered flag at the Monster Mile in 2018 and 2020.
Allgaier leads a contingent of JR Motorsports drivers—Noah Gragson, Josh Berry and Sam Mayer—all of whom are likely to be factors in Saturday’s race. Gragson is fresh from his second victory of the season, not to mention a night of celebration in Talladega’s infield.
But Allgaier’s record at Dover is unparalleled. In his last 11 races “Little Gator ” has posted an average finish of 3.55, with only one result worse than seventh (an 11th in 2017). In his last eight Dover races, Allgaier has led a total of 428 laps, with two victories, three runner-up finishes and two third-place results.
Daniel Hemric has won exactly one race in NASCAR’s top three national divisions, but he couldn’t have picked a better event to get his maiden victory.
Last year, Hemric qualified for the Championship 4 race at Phoenix and edged favorite Austin Cindric .030 seconds to earn both the event trophy and the Xfinity Series title. Between seasons, Hemric changed teams—from Joe Gibbs Racing to Kaulig Racing—and has led laps in all nine races so far this season.
But 2022 has been a familiar story for the driver of the No. 11 Chevrolet. Despite good speed, Hemric hasn’t been able to finish. But Dover just might give him the opportunity to do just that.
Hemric’s Dover results are almost comparable to Allgaier’s. Hemric has posted three top fives and two top 10s in his last five starts at the Monster Mile, for an average finish of 5.6.
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|A-GAME 200 Information|
|Race||A-GAME 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series race|
|Location||Dover Motor Speedway|
|Time||Saturday, April 30, 1:30 p.m. ET|
|How to Watch||FS1|
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Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Email: [email protected]More info on Reid Spencer
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