Several drivers accustomed to going to Victory Lane are surprisingly winless 10 races into the 2022 Cup Series season. These drivers include former series champions Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch. Other than Logano, all of these drivers are former Cup winners at Dover, and Logano is a four-time NASCAR Xfinity Series winner at the Monster Mile. So it wouldn’t be surprising to see any of these half dozen veterans pull into Victory Lane this weekend and in so doing put their current drought to bed.
“Dover is a racetrack that everything about it is unique,” Harvick, the 2014 Cup Series champion, said of the track where he’s a three-time winner. “The concrete, itself, all the way around the racetrack, is unique. Dover is a racetrack where you can get away with being aggressive every single lap. You have to drive the car as hard as it will go every single lap, and that’s hard to do there because there are all the little bumps that come with the concrete, the change of elevation as you go in and off the corners, and all the banking in the corners — it’s just a really, really fast racetrack. It’s also a very physical racetrack just because of all the G’s and the bouncing and everything that comes with driving around Dover.”
Harvick expects that physicality to continue this weekend, when this year’s new Next Generation Cup Series car will make its Dover debut. “It’s a racetrack where you have to have your hands gripping on the steering wheel and gritting your teeth all at the same time in order to go fast every single lap,” Harvick said. “When your car’s off, there’s just nowhere to hide there. You wind up going a lap down, probably two laps down, because you pit early and then the caution comes out. It’s a beast of a racetrack and there’s a reason they call it the Monster Mile because you can get yourself in trouble really quick.”