Dover’s not the easiest track to tame, thus the creative trophy the winner gets after conquering it ahead of the dozens of other NASCAR Cup Series drivers.
The trophy is a damned miniature monster with a stock car in its hand if that tells you anything. And this place has led to some struggles by certain drivers.
First of all, let’s point out that if David Ragan was in this race, he’d be No. 1 for the drivers that struggle most at Dover. In 27 races and 10,000+ laps run, he never had a top-10 finish and averaged a 25th-place finish. Dover was no “home” for David.
We were looking for current full-time drivers who have had success at certain styles of tracks in NASCAR, but not necessarily here. Who is worst among the full-time drivers in the Cup Series?
That’s up to you to decide, but here are the results of which current drivers have performed best (minimum 8 Cup starts):
The NASCAR Drivers Who May Not Love Dover
No. 5 Chris Buescher
Why?: Just one top 10 in 12 career starts.
The breakdown: Buescher is considered the true overachiever among his peers, making the NASCAR postseason because of clutch victories when he hasn’t run with the strongest teams, etc., etc. But this is one track that hasn’t helped him out much, averaging a 21.1 finishing spot.
No. 4 Bubba Wallace
Why?: He’s only raced here eight times, has no top 10s, and has never led a lap in 3,001 tries.
The breakdown: Wallace runs hot and cold when it comes to certain venues, and this is certainly one he struggles with. While he’s always been a threat at restrictor-plate races, he has an average finish here of 21.3 — among the lowest of the full-time racers in the Cup Series.
No. 3 A.J. Allmendinger
Why?: Three top 10s in 23 races.
The breakdown: The road-course superstar hasn’t found his groove at this Delaware venue. His average finish is 23.3, and he’s led only 152 of his 8,412 laps here. There’s no question he’s talented, but this track just doesn’t accentuate his skillset like certain others do.
No. 2 Austin Dillon
Why?: In 17 career races, he averages a 19.3 finish at Dover.
The breakdown: Dillon has tracks where he excels, but sadly for the Richard Children Racing driver — this isn’t one of them. In those 17 career races, his best finish is a seventh place, and he’s led only 49 laps in more than 6,500 laps completed.
No. 1 Ryan Blaney
Why?: In 12 career races, his best finish is an eighth place — and arguments could be made that this is his worst track when it comes to locales the Cup Series has raced consistently since the beginning of his career.
The breakdown: If you break down Blaney’s career, the numbers back up the claim that this may be one of his worst tracks — with Richmond being the other one he really struggles on. With only 45 laps led in nearly 4400 laps run at Dover, its clear he’d rather be somewhere else.
The rest of the pack
Who is just outside the top five?: Aric Almirola, Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Ross Chastain.
This isn’t the easiest track for certain drivers, and one can only imagine that some of these guys are thinking that they can’t wait to just get home on Sunday night and put this race in the rearview mirror.