The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season continues today with the DuraMAX Drydene 400 presented by Reladyne at Dover Motor Speedway. Read on below to see my prediction for who will win the race, as well as my top 10, dark horse, and driver to fade predictions.
Winner: Kyle Larson- The reigning Cup Series Champion, Larson has slowed down from his torrid winning rate of 2021, with just 1 win and 5 top 5’s in 10 races in 2022. With that being said, Larson returns to one of his best tracks on the schedule in Dover, where he has 1 win, 7 top 5’s, 10 top 10’s, and 880 laps led in 13 career starts. Larson has finished 2-1-3 at Dover dating back to 2019 and always seems to find his way to the front here. Larson is coming off of 2 straight 4th place finishes in 2022 and I predict he will pick up his second victory of the season today at Dover!
Top 10: Chase Elliott- The regular season points leader, Elliott has been consistent to start off the season, with 1 top 5 and 7 top 10’s across the first 10 races. Elliott has also had a ton of success at Dover in his career, with 1 win and 8 top 5’s in 11 Cup Series starts. Elliott showed pace in both Practice and Qualifying yesterday and will definitely be in the mix for the win all race long. A top 10 finish is a lock today for Chase Elliott.
Dark Horse: Cole Custer- 2022 has been a struggle for Custer, with just 4 top 20 finishes on the campaign so far. Dover has statistically been Custer’s best track in the Cup Series, with 2 10th place finishes and an 11th place finish in 3 starts. Custer also has a win here in the Xfinity Series, where he led 224 laps in 6 Xfinity starts at Dover. Custer seemed to lack speed in both Practice and Qualifying yesterday, but I predict that he will turn it around and bring home a top 15 finish today.
Driver to Fade: Corey LaJoie- LaJoie has had major struggles at Dover in his career, with just 1 top 25 finish in 8 career starts. LaJoie had had 5 top 20 finishes in his 2022 campaign, with 3 of them coming on the superspeedway-type tracks (Daytona, Atlanta, Talladega). LaJoie has always been a driver to maximize the most out of his equipment, but Dover is a track that simply doesn’t suit him. I don’t see his luck turning around today either, as I predict that LaJoie will finish outside the top 25 again.