Image for Reid Spencer Reid Spencer - October 14, 2022

Drydene 400 (Cup Series) Predictions, Odds & Picks

Drydene 400
  • Coming to his home track, Martin Truex Jr. hopes to sustain the roll he’s on.
  • Kyle Larson won the last time he raced at Dover—but that was back in 2019.
  • Kevin, Denny and Chase—can all three go another week without a win?

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This year, NASCAR Cup Series drivers get only one shot at Dover International Speedway, and that’s in Sunday’s Drydene 400 at the one-mile, high-banked concrete track.

A change in the schedule of NASCAR’s premier series has Dover giving up its traditional fall race in favor of a June 20 event at Nashville Superspeedway.

Sunday’s race at Dover will be contested over 400 laps (400 miles), with stage breaks planned after 120 and 240 laps.

Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick won the two Dover races last year when both events were run on the same weekend.

Justin Haley has been sidelined for this race because of COVID-19 protocols. Josh Berry will replace him in the No. 77 Spire Motorsports car and make his NASCAR Cup Series debut.

How to Watch Dydrene 400 Cup Series

Drydene 400  Information
Race Drydene 400 NASCAR Cup Series Race
Location Dover International Speedway
Time Sunday, May 16, 2 p.m. ET
How to Watch FS1

Martin Truex Jr. Is on a Major-League Roll Coming to His Home Track

When Martin Truex Jr. is hot, he’s very, very hot, and that should concern every other driver in the NASCAR Cup Series garage.

Last week at Darlington, Truex swept the first and second stages, led 248 of 293 laps and kept Kyle Larson at bay over the final green-flag run to win for the series-best third time this season.

Now Truex comes to Dover, the closest track to his childhood home in Mayetta, New Jersey. And that’s something else that bodes ill for the rest of the Cup competitors.

Truex picked up his first career Cup victory at the Monster Mile in 2007, winning by more than seven seconds. His two subsequent triumphs at the track exceeded the margin of the first.

Posted at +360 on PointsBet Sportsbook, Truex, who will start from the pole, is the clear favorite to win on Sunday. Just as clearly, he’s our first choice at a track he has dominated on three occasions.

After a Year’s Absence, Can Kyle Larson Capitalize on Return to Dover?

The last time Kyle Larson raced at Dover International Speedway, he won a Playoff event, but that was in 2019—before last year’s suspension for using a racial slur during a non-NASCAR-related virtual competition.

Despite his absence from Dover for more than a year, Larson is the second choice for Sunday’s Drydene 400 at +440, according to PointsBet Sportsbook.

There’s ample reason to favor Larson. In 12 starts at the Monster Mile, he has led 617 laps, finished in the top 10 nine times and posted an average result of 7.4.

Given the speed he has maintained throughout the first 12 races this season, don’t expect Larson to show any signs of rust at Dover.

The only real question is whether Larson is willing to be aggressive enough when the race is on the line. After last week’s second-place run at Darlington, that remains an open issue.

Will Harvick, Hamlin and Elliott Still Be Winless at Regular Season Midpoint?

It’s the same old song at a different race track. Last season’s top three winners—Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin and reigning champion Chase Elliott—collectively have zero victories this year.

That’s getting to be problematic, given that Sunday’s Drydene 400 at Dover International Speedway marks the midpoint of the NASCAR Cup Series’ 26-race regular season.

Harvick and Hamlin split the two races at Dover last year. Elliott picked up his only win at the Monster Mile in the fall race of 2018.

Of the three drivers, we consider Hamlin the best bet at +560. He starts second on Sunday, an auspicious omen given that five of the last nine Dover winners have come from that spot on the grid.

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Reid Spencer

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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]

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