Pete Pistone distributes this week’s checkered and black flags following the weekend of racing at Dover International Speedway.
The 75-race winless drought is just a memory for Larson who found Victory Lane Sunday in Dover to put himself into the Round of 8. Larson has always run well at Dover but was never able to seal to deal until Sunday and it came at the perfect time in the playoffs.
Yet another top-three Dover finish for Bowman (that’s two this year) but more importantly Bowman knocked down a top-10 finish to keep his playoff run going strong. Bowman is quietly becoming a very solid contender for Hendrick Motorsports with his recent string of strong performances.
He’s playing out the string at Leavine Family Racing before his move to the Wood Brothers next year and doing so in very impressive fashion. DiBenedetto came from the 20th starting spot to put a seventh-place finish on the board at the “Monster Mile.”
He’s the all-time Dover winner with nine victories and in fact his last Cup race triumph came at the track back in 2017. Johnson might not have been a contender to win Sunday but he did keep his car at the front of the field most of the day and came home with a top-10 finish.
A seventh Xfinity Series win of the season for Custer came Saturday and gave “The General” a tie for the series lead with Christopher Bell. If you are discounting Custer as the potential series champion it’s a huge mistake. If he does get to the Homestead-Miami Speedway Championship 4 he’ll be a very strong candidate considering how well he runs at the 1.5-mile track.
A broken axle ended Logano’s day literally before the green flag flew on Sunday. The defending series champion was forced to pit road before heading to the garage for repairs. He came back out but could do no better than finish 34th.
His record at Dover was nearly impeccable until Sunday when an engine issue took Elliott out of contention. After winning last week at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Roval Elliott followed up with an extremely disappointing last-place finish.
Brake problems challenged Blaney and the Team Penske driver was never in contention Sunday because of the issue. A 35th-place finish is not the way Blaney had hoped to begin his Round of 12 Playoff run.
There is nothing a fan wants to hear less of than a driver complaining about having to get around slower cars. It was in play a lot on Sunday and has become a tired narrative. Passing slower cars has been a part of motorsports since day one and it’s not going to change. If you have the superior car than pass rather than asking someone to get out of your way.
A Quiet Place
Let’s face it, there wasn’t a lot going on Sunday at Dover. Three caution flags with two for stage breaks didn’t create many restart opportunities, which have been the most exciting parts of more than a few races this season. Passing was at a premium to be sure. Sunday’s race at Dover appeared to be an example of how this year’s rules package has helped the racing at some tracks and negatively impacted competition at others.
The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Motor Racing Network.