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Fantasy Win Odds for the AAA 400 at Dover

Updated on August 31, 2014
Johnson and Knaus have mastered the high banks of Dover International Speedway
Johnson and Knaus have mastered the high banks of Dover International Speedway | Source

Another Chase race, another victory. That's been the path to a championship the past two years as both Tony Stewart and Brad Keselowski won multiple Chase races on their way to a title. This year it's Matt Kenseth who's gotten on a roll and looks likely to bowl over the competition all the way to Homestead. After all, it's hard to make up ground when the guy on top keeps finishing first. Even if Kenseth bombs out at the crapshoot that awaits at Talladega, he'll likely still have a healthy lead over the rest of the pack. The race to keep Kenseth from running away with the championship starts anew this week at Dover.

Who can beat him? Let's take a look at the contenders for this week. Before going any further, a quick note. We'll be looking at the statistics over the past ten races, all courtesy of Going any further back takes us into fourth generation cars and a completely different race environment in terms of competition on the track. We're also in no way advocating gambling in any way shape or form. These odds are purely for informational purposes only.

Johnson has won four of the last ten Dover races
Johnson has won four of the last ten Dover races | Source

The Favorites:

Driver: Jimmie Johnson

Team: Hendrick Motorsports

Odds of Winning: 5-1

Dover is Johnson's best chance to make a statement and win a race to break Kenseth's momentum. He's got four wins in the last ten Dover races (and seven top five finishes). His average finish of 5.7 is more than three spots ahead of the next highest driver. Finally, his Dover performances haven't been a lucky break or two near the end; he's led over 47% of the laps run during that timeframe. If Johnson doesn't win here, it may be time to start picking out JGR's theme for the Vegas celebration after Homestead.

Driver: Matt Kenseth

Team: Joe Gibbs Racing

Odds of Winning: 7-1

Last week I made the mistake of thinking that Kenseth wouldn't win in New Hampshire because he's traditionally struggled at the track. Kenseth made a mockery of his past performance on the way to a convincing victory. This week, he'll be at a track where he's had far more success in Dover. While he's no Johnson, he's got a win and seven top ten finishes over the past ten Dover races. He's also got a finishing spot that's roughly three places ahead of his starting position. There's no reason why he won't be in contention to win his third Chase race of 2013 at the Monster Mile.

Driver: Carl Edwards

Team: Roush Fenway Racing

Odds of Winning: 15-1

In a normal year, Carl Edwards would likely be among the favorites for the Sprint Cup title. Unfortunately this is no normal year and he'll need to make a statement this week if he wants to stay in the conversation. He has the second best average finish at Dover at 8.9 and that spot is over six places above his average start, a good sign. He's also got four top five and seven top ten finishes over the last ten races at the track. Ford's shortcomings in aero and horsepower will be less important than good strategy and execution- something the #99 team excels at. If Edwards can break the Toyota-Chevy logjam at the top, he'll have a chance to be in it all the way to the finale.

Edwards celebrated making the Chase. Can he now make some noise and win a race in it?
Edwards celebrated making the Chase. Can he now make some noise and win a race in it? | Source
Martin is the non-Chaser to watch at Dover
Martin is the non-Chaser to watch at Dover | Source

The Sleepers:

Driver: Mark Martin

Team: Stewart-Haas Racing

Odds of Winning: 25-1

No matter who he's driver for, Martin has done well at the high banked mile in Dover. While he has no wins in the last ten races here, he does have four top fives and six top tens along with a pole start. He also has the third highest average finish at ninth- or over seven slots ahead of his average start. Martin is likely in his last elite Sprint Cup ride and has a real chance to pull out a win and steal the spotlight from the Chasers in Dover.

Driver: Kevin Harvick

Team: Richard Childress Racing

Odds of Winning: 35-1

Harvick is another driver with zero wins but numerous top ten finishes over the last ten Dover races. His average finish is also a whopping ten spots above his average start, showing the #29 team has no trouble making passes and going to the front come race day. If the team can manage a good qualifying effort, Harvick may well have a chance to climb back into the Chase discussion with a win. Let the “lame duck” articles begin!

Driver: Kurt Busch

Team: Furniture Row Racing

Odds of Winning: 50-1

Like Harvick, “The Outlaw” is a Chaser who will call a different race team home come 2014. The difference here is that Busch is already playing with house money. No one realistically expected the #78 to compete for a championship in 2013 and making the Chase was something off almost everyone's radar. His past Dover results say that Busch may well take the checkered flag this week. He's got a win and four top five finishes over the last ten races and an average finish in the top half of the field. If he can avoid the big mistakes (by both driver and team) that have plagued Furniture Row of this year, he could put the Colorado team on the Chase map with a win.

The #78 is playing with house money at Dover Downs
The #78 is playing with house money at Dover Downs | Source
Hamlin hasn't had much to smile about in 2013
Hamlin hasn't had much to smile about in 2013 | Source

The Sucker's Bets:

Driver: Denny Hamlin

Team: Joe Gibbs Racing

Odds of Winning: 250-1

Dover hasn't been kind to Hamlin of late- and that's when his back was 100%. The high banks and G forces will make Sunday's effort even harder. He has little to run for and his average finish over the last ten Dover races is over ten spots behind his average start. He's led few laps and has only one top five finish during that timeframe. I doubt that any driver is looking forward to the 2014 speedweeks as much as Denny is right now.

Driver: Martin Truex Jr.

Team: Michael Waltrip Racing

Odds of Winning: 150-1

Truex is also someone who's struggled at Dover in the recent past. Despite the track being home to Martin's first Sprint Cup win (and nearby his actual hometown), Truex has zero top five finishes over the last ten races. His average finish is 11 full spots behind his average start and he's led only 11 laps during that timeframe. He's also coming off the double-barreled blast of losing his Chase spot and his 2014 sponsor over the last two weeks. He may be motivated to prove his detractors wrong but the odds are Dover isn't the track he'll do it at.

Driver: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Team: Hendrick Motorsports

Odds of Winning: 100-1

Despite sharing a team with Dover master Johnson, Earnhardt has had little to cheer for at the one mile track. He has led a grand total of two laps in the last ten Dover races and has an average finish deep in the field at 17th. He's also been running at the finish for all ten races- yet finished on the lead lap only four times. With his Chase hopes already flickering, Dover may turn out to be the track where the title light goes out completely for the #88. Anything in the top ten would be a moral victory for Steve Letarte and co. here.

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Who will win the AAA 400 in Dover?

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