THE LEFT TURN

NASCAR heads to Delaware for the Dover 400

Jerry Markland/Getty Images


This week, NASCAR heads for the monster mile in Dover Delaware for the first race in NASCAR's round of 12. Like we saw last time we were here, this race will feature NASCAR's 750 horsepower package and considering its length so we should see similar racing to what we have seen in years past. Back in May when the Cup series was here last, Martin Truex Jr went on to lead 132 laps and win by a blistering nine and a half seconds over Alex Bowman. As of late, the fall race here has either been really tame where one car dominates or fairly intriguing towards the end where the leader finds a way to mess up and someone we maybe didn't expect comes away with the win. Last season, we saw Kevin Harvick lead over 200 laps but after a bad pit-stop Harvick would have to settle for a sixth place finish. The winner of the race was Chase Elliott as he would only lead the final eleven laps and would move on to the next round. Look for this to come up as there is a lot on the line for the 12 drivers remaining in the playoffs. Another reason why it is important to try and run well here is what lies ahead next week at Talladega and as any NASCAR fan knows, anything can go wrong can at Talladega so it will be especially urgent for these drivers to eliminate any possibilities and put as much cushion between them and the cutline.

Last week, Chase Elliott made one of the most incredible comebacks in NASCAR history and went on to claim his sixth career victory. This came after he missed turn one completely and took a detour into the tire barrier. Amazingly he was able to come back from being a lap down to pass Kevin Harvick for the victory. While Elliott had the race covered in the final laps, the battle came down to the drivers who were trying to advance to the next round. While Alex Bowman and Ryan Newman were nearly 10 seconds apart on the track, in points it would come down to the final two laps as Newman was a single point to the good and looked to be in the driver's seat to continue his incredible season but after missing the backstretch chicane, Newman was assessed a drive-through penalty that would cost him everything and relegate him back to 32nd. This would provide a clear path for Alex Bowman to capture the 12th and final spot in the round of 12 after he would also bounce back from three accidents to finish second.

Unfortunately for Bowman, this comeback would be overshadowed by what took place on lap 43 when he decided he would intentionally wreck Darrell Wallace Jr exiting the backstretch chicane. Throughout the race, both Wallace and Bowman got together multiple times including on the opening lap. This caused Wallace to repeatedly flip Bowman off out the window and as we could all see, Alex was none to pleased by this gesture. After the race, Darrell met Alex who was slouched over his car being "attended to" by medical staff after a long race and would throw a full bottle of water in his face. This would send NASCAR's twitter into a frenzy. Many fans called for a fine for Wallace and even went as far as calling for him to be suspended. While I don't agree with Wallace's motives and think it was ridiculous to throw water on someone, thinking someone should be suspended for this is extremely stupid. This is coming from a fan-base where most long for the "good ole days" that week after week sit behind their twitter and ask where all the conflict and personality went but then when they finally see it, they want to sit here and complain about how "it wasn't the right time" for Wallace to go and confront Bowman. Was it the right time for Cale Yarborough to hit Bobby Allison in the face with his helmet back in 1979 at Daytona? No but that is what made NASCAR so entertaining and always will.

The favorite coming into this race has to be the guy who won here last and that's Martin Truex Jr. It's safe to anytime they go to Dover, Truex is easily the guy to watch for considering how well he always runs there. As I wrote earlier, the New Jersey native has won at this track three times and has 15 top 10 finishes here over his 27 races he has run. I look for Truex to be a contender come sunday.

The driver that I predict will win on Sunday is Daniel Suarez. While this may seem like a bold prediction to some, this has been a track that he has excelled at ever since his rookie season in 2017. In his five starts here, only once has he finished outside of the top 10 and even then he finished 11th. There has been much speculation as to what is next for Suarez and many wonder if he will return to Stewart-Haas Racing next season and while It he wasn't able to qualify for the playoffs, he has put together some of the best runs of his career including a fourth place finish at Michigan. I think that Suarez will surprise a lot of people and capture his first career win and erase any doubt that he belongs where he is in the Cup Series.


(All stats and information used in this article is brought to you by the good folks at driveraverages.com and Racing-Reference.com the best website for all NASCAR stats).

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Houston gets the best of the Dodgers

Astros behind McCullers Jr. get shutout win in hostile Dodger Stadium

Yordan Alvarez added some big insurance runs against the Dodgers on Tuesday night. Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Having dropped two of three in San Francisco against the league record-leading Giants over the weekend, the Astros exited an off day on Monday and entered a hostile environment at Dodger Stadium in the first of a two-game series on Tuesday night. With some timely hits and an excellent start from their starter, Houston would grab the win.

Final Score: Astros 3, Dodgers 0

Astros' Record: 65-42, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (9-2)

Losing Pitcher: Walker Buehler (11-2)

Houston scores first as McCullers Jr. out-duels Buehler

After nearly turning the game's very first pitch around for a home run but instead going foul, Jose Altuve still started the game with a single in the top of the first. A double play would erase him, though, as the game remained scoreless into the top of the third. Martin Maldonado led that inning off with a double, moved to third on a wild pitch by Walker Buehler, then scored on an RBI double by Michael Brantley, putting Houston ahead 1-0.

Houston threatened again in the top of the fourth, getting two on with two outs, bringing up Martin Maldonado with an empty base, which the Dodgers would use by intentionally walking him to get to Lance McCullers Jr., who grounded out to strand all three runners. He made up for it on the mound, though, out-dueling Buehler, who finished six innings while allowing a run by getting into the seventh scoreless. He would get two outs into that frame while giving up a single and a walk, leaving two on base for Blake Taylor, who came in to get the third out. McCullers Jr.'s final line: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 9 K, 110 P.

Alvarez adds insurance as Astros take the opener in LA

Clinging to the one-run lead in the top of the eighth, Carlos Correa worked a one-out walk to bring Yordan Alvarez to the plate, who demolished a 415-foot two-run homer to add two big insurance runs, extending the lead to 3-0. Kendall Graveman took over out of the bullpen in the bottom of the eighth and, despite allowing a leadoff single and hitting a batter, was able to finish a scoreless inning.

With Ryan Pressly on the paternity list, Houston handed the ball to Ryne Stanek to close things out in the bottom of the ninth. He would get the job done, earning the save by retiring the Dodgers in order, giving the Astros the win at the dismay of the fans in Los Angeles.

Up Next: This short series's second and final game will begin thirty minutes earlier on Wednesday at 8:40 PM Central. For the Dodgers, they will get the debut of Max Scherzer (8-4, 2.76 ERA), while Jake Odorizzi (4-5, 4.30 ERA) will take the mound for the Astros.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome