Monster Energy Cup Series News

Monster Energy Cup Series News (16875)

Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 2 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-120):

● Daniel Suárez started Stage 1 from the 14th position and ended the stage 15th.

● Suárez was in the 14th spot when the competition caution came out on lap 40.

● After reporting the No. 41 Haas Automation Mustang was tight early in the run, Suárez came down pit road for fuel, four tires and adjustments. He restarted 17th on lap 45.

● The first caution came out on lap 105, and Suárez pitted for fuel, four tires and an air pressure adjustment to help his free-entry and tight-exit condition. He restarted from 15th on lap 110.

● The next caution came out on lap 116, and crew chief Billy Scott made the call for Suárez to stay out for the one-lap shootout to end the stage in 15th.

● Suárez began Stage 2 in 13th after not pitting during the stage break.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 121-240):

● The No. 41 driver started Stage 2 in 13th and completed it in 13th.

● Suárez came down pit road on lap 183 for a scheduled green-flag stop for four tires, fuel and adjustments. After pit stops cycled through he was in the 15th position.

● Suárez worked his way back up to 13th, where he ended the stage.

● Before the start of the final stage, the 27-year-old pitted for fuel, four tires and adjustments to help with his tight-handling Mustang.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 241-400):

● Suárez began the final stage in 16th and concluded it in 11th.

● The first caution of the final stage came out on lap 264, and the Mexico native pitted from 15th for fuel, four tires and adjustments. He restarted 14th on lap 268.

● Suárez took over the 11th spot on lap 316 and eventually took over the lead on lap 326 after staying out while almost all other competitors pitted.

● On lap 346 Suárez made a scheduled green-flag stop for fuel and four tires and returned to the track in the 12th position.

● The remainder of the stage ran under green and Suárez ultimately finished 11th.

 

Notes:

● Suárez earned his seventh top-15 of the season and his fifth top-15 in five career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Dover.

● Suárez has finished in the top-11 in each of his five career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Dover.

● Martin Truex Jr. won the Gander RV 400 to score his 21st career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his third at Dover. His margin of victory over second-place Alex Bowman was 9.501 seconds.

● There were six caution periods for a total of 31 laps.

● Only 11 of the 37 drivers in the Gander RV 400 finished on the lead lap.

● Kyle Busch remains the championship leader after Dover with a five-point advantage over second-place Joey Logano.

 

Daniel Suárez, Driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing:

“It was a tough day for us here at Dover. The cars were really fast at this track today. Last year they weren’t, but obviously it was a different rules package. I had very high expectations coming into this race because I’ve run so well here in the past, and Stewart-Haas Racing has, too. I just couldn’t get the Haas Automation Mustang to turn like I wanted it to. We probably had an eighth- to 12th-place car today and we finished 11th.”

 

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Digital Ally 400 on Saturday, May 11 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

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Race Winner:  Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Winner:  Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 2 Winner:  Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-120):

Aric Almirola started seventh, finished 14th.

● Almirola reported on lap 11 that his Smithfield Ford Mustang was handling “on the snug side” as he rode in the sixth position.

● At the lap-42 competition caution, Almirola said his No. 10 Ford Mustang was progressively getting tighter throughout the run. He pitted for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment, and restarted 15th after a slow stop from the Smithfield crew.

● Halfway through the first stage on lap 60 and running in the 17th position, the Florida native radioed that the handling had not improved, and the Smithfield Ford would not turn on throttle.

● Under caution on lap 107, Almirola pitted for four tires, fuel and air pressure and chassis adjustments for a very tight-handling Smithfield Ford Mustang. He restarted in the 17th position on lap 110.

● Almirola stayed on track during the third caution of the day on lap 117 and gained three positions on the lap-119 restart to move into 14th with one lap remaining in Stage 1.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 121-240):

Started 12th, finished 12th.

● The Smithfield team elected not to pit at the stage break and moved up to 12th for the start of Stage 2.

● On lap 175, while running 12th, Almirola said the Smithfield Ford still wasn’t turning in the corners.

● Almirola came to pit road under green on lap 184 for four tires, fuel and adjustments to the Smithfield Mustang and returned to the track in the 20th position, as the leaders hadn’t yet pitted.

● With 40 laps remaining in Stage 2, and back in the 12th position after the rest of the field completed their pit stops, Almirola told the No. 10 crew that he was still too tight in the corner, primarily on exit.

● Running 12th on lap 225, Almirola said he was having a hard time passing while making his way through lapped traffic.

● Almirola told the No. 10 team that the Smithfield Ford Mustang “couldn’t complete the turn in dirty air.” He pitted at the stage break for four tires, fuel and a trackbar adjustment.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 241-400):

Started 11th, finished 16th.

● The Smithfield team gained one position on pit road to restart 11th on lap 249.

● After falling back to the 13th position, Almirola pitted under the sixth caution of the day on lap 265 for four tires, fuel and additional adjustments after losing rear lateral early in the previous run. With most of the leaders staying on track, he restarted 11th on lap 269.

● After a lot of movement on the restart, Almirola dropped to the 15th position, but he was able to drive the Smithfield Mustang back up to 12th on lap 273.

● On lap 298, Almirola told the team the Smithfield Ford had lost more rear lateral, and he fell back to the 15th position.

● With the leaders beginning to make green-flag stops, Almirola stayed on track and advanced as high as third before bringing the Smithfield Ford to pit road on lap 337. The No. 10 team gave him four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment for the final 63 laps.

● As a result of staying out for an extended amount of time before pitting, Almirola returned to the track in the 20th position, two laps down.

● With 47 laps remaining in the race, Almirola moved up to the 17th position and was just one lap down to the leaders as the final cars made their green-flag pit stops.

● With the race going green to the end, Almirola was only able to advance his position by one spot to finish 16th.

 

Notes:

● Martin Truex Jr. won the Gander RV 400 to score his 21st career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his third at Dover. His margin of victory over second-place Alex Bowman was 9.501 seconds.

● There were six caution periods for a total of 31 laps.

● Only 11 of the 37 drivers in the Gander RV 400 finished on the lead lap.

● Kyle Busch remains the championship leader after Dover with a five-point advantage over second-place Joey Logano.

 

Aric Almirola, Driver of the No. 10 Smithfield Ford Mustang:

“We struggled today, to say the least. This is probably one of the most track position-dependent tracks we go to, and we started off the race running fifth and the next thing you know we’re running 13th. We just never could recover from that. It wasn't easy to make passes even when we were in the postion to do so, and it turned into a long day for us. But our Smithfield team is strong, and we’ve got another chance next week at Kansas to show everyone what we’ve got.”

 

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Digital Ally 400 on Saturday, May 11 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

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Start/Finish: 6th/4th (Running, completed 400 of 400 laps)

Point standings: 3rd (397 points, 63 out of first)

Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 2 Winner:  Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-120):

Kevin Harvick started sixth, finished fifth and earned six bonus points.

● No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang pitted on lap 43 for four tires and fuel. Harvick said the car was a bit tight.

● On lap 107, Harvick pitted for four tires and fuel. He came out in sixth place after Joey Logano and William Byron only took two tires.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 121-240):

Started fourth, finished third and earned eight bonus points.

● On lap 138, while in third place, Harvick said he might have a loose wheel.

● While fourth, Harvick pitted on lap 182 for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment and tape on the grille.

● Harvick battled with Martin Truex Jr. and Alex Bowman for the lead late in the stage, but he finished third.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 241-400):

Started fourth, finished fourth.

● No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang pitted on lap 244 for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. Harvick said his car was still tight.

● At the 300-lap mark, Harvick was one second behind leader Turex, but he said his car was “loose everywhere.”

● On lap 320, while running second, Harvick pitted for four tires and fuel.

● Harvick ended up finishing fourth.

 

Notes:

● Harvick earned his fifth top-five of 2019 and his seventh top-five in 37 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Dover.

● This is Harvick’s third consecutive top-10 finish at Dover.

● Harvick finished fifth in Stage 1 to earn six bonus points and third in Stage 2 to earn an additional eight bonus points.

● Harvick led once for one lap to increase his laps-led total at Dover to 1,443.

● Martin Truex Jr. won the Gander RV 400 to score his 21st career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his third at Dover. His margin of victory over second-place Alex Bowman was 9.501 seconds.

● There were six caution periods for a total of 31 laps.

● Only 11 of the 37 drivers in the Gander RV 400 finished on the lead lap.

● Kyle Busch remains the championship leader after Dover with a five-point advantage over second-place Joey Logano.

 

Kevin Harvick, Driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Mustang:

“As you look at the cars behind each other, especially there at the end, there was hardly anybody who could pass anybody. You lose so much downforce behind each other every week that, from a driver’s standpoint, it becomes frustration. It’s difficult to maneuver your car to make up positions, because they become so aero-bad behind each other. Our guys on our Jimmy John’s Ford did a good job today, we just got super tight the last run stuck behind the 42 (Kyle Larson). We just couldn’t go anywhere.”

 

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Digital Ally 400 on Saturday, May 11 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

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After a start to the 2019 season that produced no top-10 finishes in the first nine races, Alex Bowman is finally on a roll.

The successor to Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet scored his second straight runner-up finish in Monday’s rain-delayed Gander RV 400 at Dover International Speedway.

And until race winner Martin Truex Jr. took control of the event during the third stage and ran away from the rest of the field, it appeared Bowman might have the car to beat.

Late in Stage 2, Bowman used the top lane at the Monster Mile to his advantage and got past teammate Chase Elliott for the lead. He held it until the final lap of the stage when Truex, who had started in the rear, grabbed the top spot for the first time.

“We were in Martin's way,” Bowman said. “I wish I was in his way at the end of the race.  We at least had a shot at it. “That's really all you can ask for.

“So proud of (crew chief) Greg Ives, everybody on this 88 team. We had a miserable start to the season. We did a really good job resetting over the off week. We've come out strong since then.

“It would be better if we had a trophy, right? We needed this, for sure. Talladega (where Bowman posted the first of his two second-place runs) is a speedway. It's a lot of luck involved. To come here to, in my opinion, the hardest race track we go to, run like that from the back of all things, was pretty special.”

 

KYLE LARSON RELIEVED TO GET FIRST TOP FIVE OF 2019

For once, everything that could go wrong didn’t go wrong for Kyle Larson.

No, he didn’t have a race-winning car at Dover International Speedway, but the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet ran solidly in the top five throughout Monday’s rain-delayed Gander RV 400 and rolled across the finish line in third place.

Remarkably, the top five was Larson’s first of the season, and it came in the 11th Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event of the season.

“It was solid,” Larson said. “I thought we ran inside the top five all race long. Fought tight early on. Freed it up. That's where I feel like I was pretty good.

“The last run there after cycling through green flag stops, I was really loose. Got stuck in traffic. Was just looser in dirty air. Just made my tires pissed off. Had to just make sure I hit the bottom lap after lap to hold (Kevin) Harvick off.”

The handling may not have been perfect, but the result was satisfying.

“Yeah, it was good to finally have a clean race. I don't think we've had a clean weekend all year long. I don't know, what are we, 11 or 12 weeks into the season. It's good to finally get a clean day, like I said. Thanks to our race team. Our pit crew did a good job today, as well.

“Nice day.”

 

CHASE ELLIOTT RUNS FIFTH AFTER STRONG START AT DOVER

For more than a fourth of Sunday’s Gander RV 400 at Dover International Speedway, Chase Elliott seemed destined to win his second straight race.

Starting from the pole, Elliott led the first 107 laps, but two-tire calls by Joey Logano and William Byron near the end of Stage 1 dropped him to third.

And though Elliott regained the top spot in the second stage of the race, he surrendered it to teammate Alex Bowman on Lap 224 and was never a factor for the win after that.

“Yeah, we just fell off there at the end of that second stage,” Elliott said. “That was the time of the race that we needed to be controlling it and not falling back.

“Just a bad time to have a bad half of a run and that is kind of what happened. So, we were fast, just not fast enough when it really mattered.”

Austin Dillon Fights Tough-Handling No. 3 AAA Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Dover International Speedway
 

 19th 
 
 
 16th
 
 18th
"Our 19th-place finish at Dover today wasn't indicative of the fight this team showed all race long. The No. 3 AAA Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 started off the day tight on exit and stayed that way until the end of the Stage 1. My pit crew did a great job when we pitted on Lap 105 during the caution and gained us several spots in the process to help us with track position. After that first stop, our No. 3 AAA Chevy really took off and felt it was in the best shape it had been all weekend. However, a few laps later, it became really free and I battled loose entry and exit throughout the rest of Stage 2. Unfortunately, this caused us to go a lap down and finish the stage in the 19th spot. The final stage began with several wedge and trackbar adjustments to try and dial in the No. 3 AAA Chevrolet. This helped out quite a bit until after the final green flag pit stop. Our Chevrolet tightened up right after that stop and was tough to handle for the rest of the race. Even though The Monster Mile was a beast today, I look forward to conquering it later in the year. For now, we'll regroup as a team during this short week in order to get back on track for Kansas next weekend."
-Austin Dillon
Daniel Hemric Records 25th-Place Finish with Caterpillar Chevrolet in First Dover Start
 

25th
 
 
 
23rd
 
26th
"They call this place The Monster Mile for a reason, and it was a monster to us today. We fought the handling of the No. 8 Caterpillar Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 all weekend, but Luke Lambert and these guys didn't give up on it and kept working from the time we unloaded and all throughout the race. We never did get it to where we needed it to be and then on top of that, we had to pit with less than 20 laps to go for a loose wheel. We will take what we learned today and make sure we are in a better spot coming back here in the fall. I have to say thanks to all of the fans that came back today after yesterday's rain out. The crowd was impressive for a Monday race, and hopefully they enjoyed the show."
-Daniel Hemric

RCR PR

Race Winner:      Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 1 Winner:  Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)

Stage 2 Winner:  Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

 

Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-120):

Started 10th, finished 10th. Earned one bonus point.

Bowyer grabbed ninth right at the start and held that spot through the first caution on lap 42

● Despite running ninth, Bowyer said his No. 14 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang was “too tight up off (the corner).”

● Pitted under caution on lap 42 for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. Picked up two spots on pit road to restart in seventh.

● Climbed to sixth place by lap 63 but said his car was “chattering” badly.

● Caution on lap 107 allowed Bowyer to pit for four tires, fuel and a right-rear wedge adjustment.

● Slotted in 12th for lap-110 restart and rallied to grab 10th just before the end of the stage.

● Stayed out at the conclusion of the stage to maintain track position.

 

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 121-240):

Started eighth, finished ninth. Earned two bonus points.

Bowyer grabbed seventh on the restart.

On lap140, Bowyer keyed his mic to say, “Tight on the throttle. Car won’t rotate.” Nevertheless, he remained a solid seventh.

● By lap 177, Bowyer had dropped to ninth. “I’m plowing!” he said.

● Under green on lap 182, Bowyer brought the No. 14 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang to the pits for a scheduled, four-tires-and-fuel stop.

● After pit stops cycled through, Bowyer returned to ninth and stayed there through the end of the stage.

● Pitted for four tires and fuel with track bar and tire pressure adjustments at the conclusion of the stage.

 

Final Stage Recap (Laps 241-400):

Started ninth, finished ninth.

● Dropped to 10th on lap-249 restart. “Plowing!” is all Bowyer needed to say on lap 253.

● Caution on lap 266 sent some drivers to pit road. Bowyer stayed out and reclaimed ninth.

● Fell to 12th on lap-269 restart, but climbed back to 10th on the following lap.

● Passed 11-time Dover race winner Jimmie Johnson on lap 312 to retake ninth.

● Made scheduled, green-flag pit stop on lap 321 for four tires and fuel. Maintained ninth place after pit stops cycled through.

● Grabbed eighth place from William Byron with less than 50 laps to, but Byron earned the spot back on lap 377.

● Maintained ninth place for the final 23 laps.

 

Notes:

●  Bowyer earned his sixth top-10 of the season and his 15th top-10 in 27 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Dover.

●  This is Bowyer’s third top-10 at Dover since joining SHR in 2017.

●  Martin Truex Jr. won the Gander RV 400 to score his 21st career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his third at Dover. His margin of victory over second-place Alex Bowman was a commanding 9.501 seconds.

●  There were six caution periods for a total of 31 laps.

●  Only 11 of the 37 drivers in the Gander RV 400 finished on the lead lap.

●  Kyle Busch remains the championship leader after Dover with a five-point advantage over second-place Joey Logano.

 

Clint Bowyer, Driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang:

“It was kind of a frustrating day. We were OK. I think anyone who got in the top-five was going to stay there. We lost track position on the first pit stop and never really regained any of it. It was just really tough to pass today.”

 

Next Up:

The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Digital Ally 400 on Saturday, May 11 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. The race starts at 7:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

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If anyone loves a rainy day, it’s Martin Truex Jr.

The Mayetta, New Jersey driver won his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway after a rain delay pushed the event to Monday, June 4, 2007.

On Monday at the Monster Mile, Truex won for the 21st time in the rain-delayed Gander RV 400, beating runner-up Alex Bowman to the finish line by 9.501 seconds, topping the 7.355-second margin he achieved in his inaugural win 12 years ago.

The size of Truex’s second victory of the season—and third at Dover overall—was all the more impressive because the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota had to start at the rear of the field after two pre-race inspection failures.

“Man, it feels incredible,” said Truex, who led the last 53 laps and 132 overall, second only to pole winner and fifth-place finisher Chase Elliott’s 146. “I'm so thankful for this team. What a race car we had today.

“We have one hell of a team. We came here with a new set-up this time because we kind of had an older set-up that we won with in 2016, and we’d been good, but not good enough.

"Thanks to all these fans that came out today, on a Monday. It's just awesome.”

Truex had remarked before the race that coming through the field wouldn’t be easy. Even though he made it look that way, Truex had to put in a hard day’s work at one of NASCAR’s most physically demanding tracks.

“I promise it wasn't easy,” Truex said. “It was a lot of work. It was tough. This race car, man, it was just incredible.”

Kyle Larson ran third, scoring his first top five of the season, and Kevin Harvick finished fourth. Erik Jones, Joey Logano, William Byron, Clint Bowyer and Kyle Busch completed the top 10.

For Busch, the top 10 was his 11th straight to start the season, matching the record set by Morgan Shepherd in 1990. Busch will attempt to break the tie next Sunday at Kansas, where he has finished in the top 10 in his last eight starts.

Elliott dominated the race from the green flag, leading the first 107 laps, but a caution for Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s hard contact with the Turn 1 wall put strategy into play. Logano and Byron each took two tires under the yellow and led the field to a Lap 111 restart.

Logano was able to hold the top spot through the Lap 120 end of Stage 1, collecting his fifth stage win of the season in a one-lap shootout after Quin Houff’s accident between Turns 1 and 2. In need of fresh left-side tires, however, both Logano and Byron were forced to pit during the stage break, and they restarted 24th and 25th, respectively, on Lap 130.

It took Logano most of Stage 2 to break into the top 15, as the second 120 laps of the race evolved into a battle between Elliott, Bowman, Harvick and Truex. Elliott held the top spot after a cycle of green-flag pit stops ended on Lap 191, but he surrendered the lead to Bowman on Lap 224, when Bowman sustained a huge run through Turns 3 and 4 and crossed over on the frontstretch to take the point.

Bowman stayed out front until the final lap of the stage, when Truex shot past and took the green/checkered flag for his first stage win of the season. Coincidentally, both Truex and Bowman had started the race form the rear of the field after each of their cars failed pre-race inspection twice.

After pit stops, Truex and Bowman restarted 1-2 on Lap 250 and maintained those positions until Denny Hamlin cut a tire after scraping the wall and spun in Turn 2 on Lap 265. On the subsequent restart, Harvick charged from fourth to second, leaving Bowman and Larson in his wake.

In an exchange of green-flag pit stops with 50 laps left, however, Bowman regained the second position, and Larson overtook Harvick for third. Truex extended his advantage to more than four seconds with 44 laps left, and there was no change in the running order of the top four over the balance of the event.

NASCAR® today announced a new content partnership with The Action Network, the most trusted source for sports betting insights and analytics, as part of the sport’s continued push to educate and engage fans around legalized sports betting.

Each week, NASCAR.com will feature editorial content and analysis from The Action Network including expert PJ Walsh’s picks for NASCAR’s new props game, the NASCAR Props Challenge™. The Action Network will also share recommended picks and value bets for race winners and head-to-head driver matchups via race-day content published on NASCAR’s digital platform.

With the deal, NASCAR becomes the first sports league to partner with The Action Network around shared sports betting content.

"Sports betting presents a unique opportunity for NASCAR, so we want to immerse our fans in engaging and educational content around legalized gaming," said Scott Warfield, NASCAR managing director of gaming. "We’re focused on strengthening NASCAR gaming content across platforms and The Action Network and its team of experts represent an integral part of our strategy."

The NASCAR Props Challenge launched before the start of the 2019 race season as the sport’s first props-style game for fans. Leading up to each Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series™ race, The Action Network will share tips on NASCAR.com and ActionNetwork.com/NASCAR to help players as they attempt to earn points and win prizes in the 10-question game.

The Action Network content will also help fans strategize around NASCAR Fantasy Live, NASCAR’s fantasy game revamped in 2018 to allow players to engage live during races and adjust driver rosters in real-time.

"NASCAR has always been at the leading edge of innovation," said Chad Millman, Chief Content Officer, The Action Network. "We're thrilled to be their partner as they continue to engage their audience with new and forward-thinking ideas." 

Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of partnerships designed to prepare NASCAR, the industry and fans for the future of sports betting in the U.S.

Last week, NASCAR announced a landmark partnership with Genius Sports to develop an official NASCAR gaming offering for legal sportsbooks. With access to NASCAR’s official data feed, Genius Sports will create a real-time gaming platform that provides up-to-the-minute odds as well as a suite of traditional wagers and prop bets.

NASCAR signed an integrity deal with Sportradar in 2018 to develop a comprehensive sports gambling policy for the industry. In another key move, the sanctioning body granted all teams and tracks the ability to sell marketing sponsorships to sports-betting companies and licensed sportsbooks.

NASCAR PR

Persistent rain on Sunday foiled NASCAR’s attempts to start the Gander RV 400 at Dover International Speedway, forcing postponement of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race until noon Monday, to be broadcast on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

The cars started rolling before 4 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, but the rain, which had stopped long enough to dry the track, picked up again as the field took pace laps around the Monster Mile.

Accordingly, pole winner Chase Elliott and Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron, the second-place qualifier, will lead the field to the green flag on Monday.

Pre-race inspection issues, however, caused a shakeup within the field behind them.

The cars of fifth-place qualifier Alex Bowman, 13th-place Martin Truex Jr., 29th-place Ryan Preece and 32nd-place Matt Tifft all failed inspection twice and must drop to the rear for the start of the race.

Truex, from Mayetta, New Jersey, considers Dover his home track. It was at the Monster Mile in 2007 that the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion picked up his first Cup victory in a race delayed by rain. Truex won that Monday, June 4 race by a whopping 7.355 seconds. In 2016, Truex added a second win at the one-mile concrete track.

But trying to advance from the back of the field will be a challenging proposition.

“It’s going to be tough,” Truex acknowledged before driver introductions on Sunday. “We couldn’t have picked a worse place to start in the back, for sure. It’s going to be difficult because, generally, this is the toughest place to pass there is, because it’s so fast through the center of the corner. And now we’re faster than we’ve ever been.

“So, it’s going to be difficult, for sure. But if we’re good on long runs, we can make it happen.”

During Saturday’s practice, Truex and crew chief Cole Pearn tried to make their car as versatile as possible, given the importance of finding speed both on the bottom and the top of the track.

“Everybody is going to be in traffic, and that’s going to make you pick different options,” Truex said.

“We tried to work hard yesterday on having a car we could move around with, because we knew it was going to be hard to pass, and you were going to have to find some air somehow. We’ll have to wait and see, but it’s going to be tough.”

Elliott is the most recent winner at Dover, having broken through in last year’s fall race. Kevin Harvick, who will start sixth, is the defending race winner.

Jimmie Johnson was right where he was accustomed to be—at the top of the scoring pylon at Dover International Speedway.

OK, it was Saturday afternoon, not Sunday. And it was practice, not the Gander RV 400 (2 p.m. ET Sunday on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Nevertheless, the speed in practice—161.863 mph—and his ability to work the outside lane gave the seven-time champion cause for optimism as Sunday’s main event approaches.

Even though he’s the all-time victory leader with 11 wins at the Monster Mile, Johnson needs to find a positive outlook wherever he can. Johnson's 11th triumph at Dover was also his most recent in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

That was June 4, 2017, and since then, 69 races have passed since Johnson last visited Victory Lane. But that hasn’t diminished his fondness for Dover—or his conviction that he can win.

“Maybe I’m a fool, but just every time I come here, I feel like this,” Johnson said after final practice. “This is just one of those places that an athlete finds a bond with a facility or a venue that they connect with.

“I don’t care if I have only three wheels on that thing, I still feel like I would have a shot to win. I just love this place.”

Among the four Hendrick Motorsports drivers, Johnson was slowest in Friday’s qualifying session. Chase Elliott won the pole, and teammate William Byron will start beside him on the front row. Alex Bowman qualified fifth, with Johnson earning the 12th starting position.

But as dramatically as track conditions change at Dover, Johnson was encouraged by Saturday’s practice.

“One thing I did see that was really nice is that the outside lane seemed to have a bit more of an opportunity,” Johnson said. “With lower-downforce packages here you can’t commit to running a lot of wide-open throttle around the outside.

“Today in practice at least, with all this downforce (thanks to a taller rear spoiler introduced this year), I could climb in the throttle hard and carry a lot of speed off the corners. I saw some other cars out there doing it, too. So maybe this package will open up the groove and get us two or three lanes of great side-by-side racing.”

 

MARTIN TRUEX JR. ENCOURAGED BY STRONG FINAL PRACTICE

Martin Truex Jr. was particularly happy with his 13th-place qualifying effort on Friday.

In fact, Truex had the second fastest Toyota in time trials, behind only eighth-place Denny Hamlin. Saturday’s final practice—the only practice of the day, as it turned out, with the opening session canceled because of a wet race track—was a different story.

Truex was second fastest in the session behind only 11-time Dover winner Jimmie Johnson, and he was pleased with the progress.

“We gained on it some, for sure,” said the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion. “Yesterday in qualifying, I was a little disappointed with 13th, to be honest with you. I felt like we could do a better job than that, and we typically qualify better than that here. Again, a whole different rules package and a short practice and we just missed it a little.

“That’s part of the deal here. The field is so close, and you gain or lose a tenth (of a second), and you can go from top-five to 13th. That’s just the way it is. Missed it a little bit yesterday but made some improvements today, and I’m feeling really good about where the car is. It’s really comfortable to drive, and I think there’s some things we can do to make it better. Our speeds and our averages all look pretty good.

“Here, you get in the race and it’s all about having a car that drives the way you need it to, not so much about how fast it is. As the track goes that direction, it suits my style here, and that’s typically when I’ve been at my best. When the track gets rubbered in, it gets greasy and gets slick. That’s kind of when I’ve been able to do really well here. We’ll see what happens, but feeling good about it right now.”

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