DOVER INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY (ONE-MILE OVAL)
LOCATION: DOVER, DELAWARE
EVENT: NASCAR CUP SERIES (RACE 11 OF 36)
TUNE IN: 2 P.M. ET, SUNDAY, MAY 5 (FS1/MRN/SIRIUSXM)
‘MONSTER MILE’ MERIT: Across his entire racing career, driver William Byron has made the trip to Dover International Speedway on six different occasions, his first being in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, where he started on the pole and led 57 laps before finishing in the ninth position. Graduating to the top three national tiers of NASCAR starting in 2016, Byron once again captured the top spot in qualifying at Dover, this time in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series, leading 80 laps and finishing 11th. The next season in the Xfinity Series, Byron would race at the concrete one-mile oval twice with the best of the two starts occurring in the fall when he qualified first, led 62 laps and finished third. Competing as a rookie in the Cup Series last year, Byron made two more starts at the track nicknamed the “Monster Mile,” with his best qualifying effort of 17th and finish of 14th both coming in the spring event.
AT IT AGAIN WITH AXALTA: With their corporate headquarters located less than two hours away from Dover International Speedway, Axalta Coating Systems will return as the primary sponsor of the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for this weekend’s race at the “Monster Mile.” It will be the final time that the No. 24 unloads the iconic Axalta flames paint scheme until the halfway point of the Cup Series season at Daytona International Speedway in July.
KNAUS’ DOVER DOMINATION: In his sophomore Cup Series season, Byron has a valuable asset in No. 24 team crew chief Chad Knaus. In 36 races as a Cup Series crew chief at Dover, Knaus has an impressive 11 wins, 17 top-five finishes and 24 top-10s. Knaus also leads all active crew chiefs in overall career wins at 81. The next closest crew chief, Paul Wolfe, has 28 Cup Series wins.
BYRON’S DAY IN DEGA: After qualifying 25th for last weekend’s race at Talladega Superspeedway, Byron had a strong run going throughout the 188-lap event, including finishing third in a one-two-three Hendrick Motorsports sweep of Stage 2. However, with a five-lap shootout to end the race, Byron initially got shuffled to the rear of the pack on the restart and was maneuvering his way back toward the front when he was involved in an on-track incident on the backstretch of the final lap, leaving him with a 21st-place finish.
DOVER VICTORY TOUR: Byron will visit Dover International Speedway a day early to participate in the NASCAR Foundation’s Speediatrics Fun Day Festival. The event showcases the importance of physical fitness and overall healthy living in youth. Byron will join approximately 150 youth from a local Dover YMCA after-school program to participate in various exercise routines and other fun activities. Later in the weekend, fans can check out Byron’s basketball skills when he joins the Harlem Globetrotters for their exhibition on Sunday, May 5, in the Dover Fanzone at 10:30 a.m. local time. Byron and a few fellow Cup Series drivers will join the Globetrotters to try their skills at some of the famous basketball team's most famous tricks.
WATCH US WATCH NASCAR: During Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Dover, Byron will join Jeff Gordon and the FOX Sports crew for a portion of Comcast’s “Watch Us Watch NASCAR” program. Offering a unique entertainment experience of the race, fans can watch a second-screen experience of the race live on Xfinity’s Twitter account while interacting through social media. The Twitter Live broadcast begins on the @Xfinity Twitter account in conjunction with the beginning of FS1’s Xfinity Series broadcast on Saturday, May 4, at 1:30 p.m. ET.
William Byron on Bristol compared to Dover:
“The difference in Dover and Bristol, I think, is that at Dover you almost fall down into the banking and then you pick up the banking in the corners. Where at Bristol you’re driving into the banking and almost constantly turning around there like you’re in a bowl. The only real similarity in the two tracks is how the tires feel because of the concrete surface and how the tires wear and pressure builds. Otherwise, they’re pretty different places.”
Byron on restarts and tires at Dover:
“I think the first initial restarts in the race are pretty normal, but as the rubber builds the longer the race goes and then gets picked back up, the first two lanes are really, really grippy for a few laps. Outside that second lane there isn’t a lot of grip, though, because that’s where the rubber and dust build up and never gets picked back up. It’s a very interesting racetrack in how the rubber builds up but never really sticks except sometimes towards the very end of the race.”