NASCAR weekend preview Dover doubleheader

NASCAR weekend preview: Dover doubleheader

  • Dover International Speedway
  • Jimmie Johnson
  • Kyle Busch
  • NASCAR Cup Series
By Nick Starling August 20, 2020 0 Comment
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The Cup Series heads to Dover International Speedway for a doubleheader Saturday & Sunday, August 22-23. These are the penultimate races before the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.

Playoff cut line

After 23 point races during the regular season, the cutoff line is tight and filled with big names. Drivers including defending Cup Series champion Kyle Busch, seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson and Erik Jones who currently doesn’t have a ride locked in for 2021.

As the points standings sit currently, Aric Almirola, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Matt DiBenedetto and William Byron are all above the cutoff line. However, they are not locked in just yet.

Below the cutoff line is Jimmie Johnson (-25) and Erik Jones (-35). Rookies Tyler Reddick (-57) and Christopher Bell (-147) also find themselves on the outside looking in.

This weekend of racing at Dover will be even more important for these drivers due to the final regular-season race being at Daytona International Speedway next weekend. Daytona is always a wildcard race for drivers due to the superspeedway style of racing. This will increase the chances of adding another first-time winner that could lock themselves into the playoffs. So all drivers will make sure to maximize their points this weekend at Dover.

 Can seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson repeat history at Dover?

Johnson has 11 career race victories at the Monster Mile. He’s currently riding a 117-race winless streak. However, there isn’t a better track to finally end this winless streak than Dover International Speedway. His last Cup Series win came at Dover in June 2017.

Johnson is currently sitting as the first driver below the cutoff line at only 25 points below the line. However, a weekend doubleheader at Dover is the best situation seven-time champion could hope for.

Johnson put himself into this situation after a mistake-filled first half of the 2020 season. However, Johnson has come alive as of late including a fourth-place finish at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course last weekend.

That was his first top-10 finish since Martinsville Speedway in June and his first top-five since the race prior to Bristol Motor Speedway. Could the recent success be a sign that Johnson can pull it off this weekend and lock himself into the playoffs?

Tune in to NBCSN on Saturday and Sunday (4pm ET) for this weekend’s doubleheader at Dover International Speedway).

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