On Sunday, May 5th, NASCAR will be live from the Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware, for the Gander RV 400. This is the 11th race of the season and the first of two annual trips to Dover. Kyle Busch continues to lead the series as he sets a historic pace of finishing in the Top 10 for all 10 races so far. He does have some competition now as both Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin are right behind Busch in wins on the year.
Last week, Busch wasn’t a favorite to win at Talladega. This week, Busch returns to the top as the odds on favorite to win at Dover according to most NASCAR betting sites.
Dover International Speedway was first built in 1969 and became an annual fixture for NASCAR by the early 1970s. Since then, the track has undergone numerous changes including changing the surface from concrete to asphalt. Throughout NASCAR’s time at DIS, the track earned the popular nickname “The Monster Mile.” That beloved moniker is still going strong nearly two generations later.
Dover International Speedway is a one-mile oval track with four turns, a lengthy straight, and banking as high as 24 degrees. The Gander RV 400 race breaks down as follows:
Total Miles: 400 miles
Total Laps: 400
Stage 1: First 120 laps
Stage 2: Second 120 laps
Final Stage: Remaining 160 laps
The Gander RV 400 is set to begin at 2 PM ET and will air live on FS1.
What to Watch for at Dover
The following Gander RV 400 storylines are worth keeping an eye on this Sunday:
Can Harvick defend his crown from the 2018 Gander RV 400?
Will Hendrick Motorsports get its 11th all-time win of this race?
Can Chase Elliott win consecutive races on the season?
Will any young gun break through and win their first race at Dover?
Will we get a 6th different winner on the season in the last six races?
Previous Gander RV 400 Winners
The first race was run in 1969 and won by Richard Petty. He, along with many other greats like Bobby Allison, David Pearson, Benny Parsons, and Cale Yarborough dominated the early years at this track. Throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, Dover saw many different drivers pick up a few wins, but it wasn’t until Jimmie Johnson that we got another dominant force at The Monster Mile. Johnson has won this race six times including three out of the last five Gander RV 400 races. The following is a list of previous winners dating back to 2000:
Tony Stewart in 2000, 2013
Jeff Gordon in 2001
Jimmie Johnson in 2002, 2009, 2012, 2014-15, 2017
Ryan Newman in 2003
Mark Martin in 2004
Greg Biffle in 2005
Matt Kenseth in 2006, 2011, 2016
Martin Truex Jr. in 2007
Kyle Busch in 2008, 2010
Kevin Harvick in 2018
NASCAR Gander RV 400 Betting Odds
The following NASCAR betting odds for the Gander RV 400 are courtesy of BetOnline:
Kyle Busch +300
Kevin Harvick +400
Brad Keselowski +800
Joey Logano +850
Martin Truex Jr. +850
Chase Elliott +1200
Clint Bowyer +1200
Denny Hamlin +1500
Aric Almirola +1800
Kurt Busch +1800
Kyle Larson +1800
Ryan Blaney +1800
Jimmie Johnson +2200
Erik Jones +2500
Daniel Suarez +5000
Austin Dillon +8000
Alex Bowman +10000
Paul Menard +10000
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. +10000
Ryan Newman +10000
Matt DiBenedetto +20000
William Byron +20000
Chris Buescher +30000
Daniel Hemric +30000
Darrell Wallace Jr. +30000
Ryan Preece +50000
Bayley Currey +100000
Cody Ware +100000
Corey LaJoie +100000
Landon Cassill +100000
Matt Tifft +100000
Michael McDowell +100000
Quin Houff +100000
Reed Sorenson +100000
Ross Chastain +100000
Ty Dillon +100000
The Gander RV 400 Betting Favorites
According to most NASCAR betting sites, the following drivers are considered the odds on favorites to win this Sunday’s Gander RV 400:
Martin Truex Jr.
Kyle Busch (+300)
Kyle Busch has been the best driver in 2019 so far. His three wins lead the series and place him firmly on top of the driver standings. Busch also leads the series in Top 5’s, Top 10’s, Stage wins, and playoff points. He’s on a historic pace by finishing in the Top 10 for all 10 races this year. The next closest driver is Denny Hamlin, Kyle’s teammate, with eight Top 10’s. Kyle is 2nd with most laps led on the season. He’s 16 laps behind Brad Keselowski. Last weekend, Busch finished 10th and led four laps. However, he wasn’t a threat to win the race when it mattered most.
At Dover, Kyle Busch is second among active drivers with three career wins. He is tied with Ryan Newman. However, if you combine their win totals, they’re still way behind Jimmie Johnson. Kyle also has twelve Top 5’s, seventeen Top 10’s, an average finish of 14.8 and seven DNFs. The Monster Mile can be a hard track to survive, as evident by Kyle’s seven DNFs.
Busch has been hit or miss at Dover over the last four years. He’s finished 36th, 2nd, 30th, 2nd, 16th, 1st, 35th, and 8th. Those low numbers were all in the spring race at Dover.
Despite being the betting favorite for this race, I have a hard time putting my money and confidence into Kyle Busch this Sunday at Dover. He has more DNFs in this spring DIS race than the next four betting favorites combined.
Last weekend at Talladega, Harvick had his worst finish of the season. He was caught up in a wreck early on and finished 38th. He wasn’t even in the race long enough to matter. It broke a streak of eight straight Top 13 appearances. Harvick also didn’t finish at Daytona in Week 1 after getting caught up in a last lap wreck.
Despite not winning a race this season, Harvick still sits 4th in the driver standings with four Top 5’s, seven Top 10’s, and two Stage wins. He’s 7th in the playoff points. Harvick needs a strong running this weekend in order to get some momentum on his side. He’s also one of a handful of drivers that desperately needs a win.
Fortunately for Harvick, Dover has been a good race track for him. In 36 career starts, Harvick has two wins, six Top 5’s, seventeen Top 10’s, an average finish of 14.2 and just one DNF. Last year, Harvick won this spring race at Dover and finished 6th at this track in the fall. Over the last four years, Harvick has two wins, three Top 5’s, five Top 10’s, and completed every race. His one DNF in 36 tries is very impressive.
Will Harvick be able to turn his season around and capture his first checkered flag of 2019?
Brad Keselowski (+800)
As mentioned, Keselowski has led the most laps in 2019 so far. A large part of his total came at Martinsville where he led 446 laps in a dominating win. It was the second of these two wins on the year. Currently, Keselowski sits 5th in the driver standings and 4th in playoff points. He was a betting favorite last weekend at Talladega and even led 10 laps. Unfortunately, he was only able to muster up a 13th place result.
At Dover International Speedway, Keselowski has had some success in his 18 career races. He has one win, five Top 5’s, eight Top 10’s, an average finish of 13.2 and one DNF. However, his numbers would be even better if he didn’t have a few rough races at this track in the early portion of his career. Last year, Keselowski finished 6th in spring and 14th in the fall DIS race. He’s only had one Top 5 in the last four years at this track.
Like with Kyle Busch, I had a difficult time placing my confidence in Keselowski for this race. On the season, he’s still a legitimate threat to win the title, but at Dover, he’s lucky to crack the Top 10.
Joey Logano (+850)
I’m always surprised when we come to a track that Joey Logano hasn’t already won at. Unfortunately for the 2018 champ, he has never won at Dover in his 20 career tries. He did finish 3rd at Dover in the fall of last year, which is the highest finish at DIS for his career. He’s finished 3rd on three separate occasions. The last eight races at Dover, Logano has only finished in the Top 5 on one occasion and only twice in the Top 10. He does have a respectable 13.6 average finish but has only ever led 10 total laps at this track.
Joey has seven Top 10’s on the year, which is tied for third most with Harvick. He finished 4th at Talladega last weekend, which was his third straight Top 4 finish of the season. Logano has been a model of consistency like always. If it weren’t for Kyle Busch’s consistency, we might be talking more about Logano and possibly Denny Hamlin.
This weekend, Logano will most likely have a Top 10 car, but I don’t see him cracking the win column at Dover on Sunday. It’s a track where he just hasn’t been able to take control of over the last few years.
Martin Truex Jr (+850)
Truex has had a bumpy 2019 season so far. He started off on the wrong foot when he crashed at Daytona and finished 28th. However, since then, he’s had nine straight Top 20 finishes. Truex proved two weeks ago at Richmond that he is still a contender as he won the race after leading 186 laps. Unfortunately, he followed that up with a 20th place finish at Talladega. Martin currently sits 6th in the standings with one win but has yet to capture a stage. He’s the only driver in the Top 7 without a Stage win.
For Truex, his fortunes could change as he heads to a track on Sunday, where he’s raced well at over the last five years. Since 2014, Truex hasn’t finished outside of the Top 15. For his career, he has two wins, five Top 5’s, fourteen Top 10’s, an average finish of 13.0 and two DNFs. However, he has an average finish of 6.0 over the last six Dover races, which includes one win and four Top 5’s.
Other than Harvick, Truex Jr. is one of the betting favorites that has a solid shot at the checkered flag this Sunday. Can he get his second win on the season?
The Best Gander RV 500 Betting Value
The following NASCAR drivers offer betting value for this weekend’s Gander RV 400 at Dover due to their current betting odds, their past success at this track, and their 2019 season so far:
Chase Elliott (+1200)
Elliott comes into this weekend as one of the best betting options in my opinion. Last weekend, Elliott won his first race of the year by earning his first career victory at Talladega. The win moved him up to 7th in the driver standings and basically punched his ticket into the playoffs. For the season, he’s finished 19th or better in every race. Elliott is starting to get into a groove on the year, as he’s improved his overall standing and average finish in the last five races. To make things scarier for his opponents, Elliott has been a stud at Dover in his young career.
In six career starts, Elliott has one win, five Top 5’s and five Top 10’s. He also has a 4.3 average finish, which is the best among active drivers. Chase won the fall race at Dover last year and only led 11 laps in doing so. Elliott has averaged a finish of 6.3 in the three spring races at DIS.
I expect Elliott to keep the momentum going from last weekend and compete for the win this Sunday.
Kyle Larson (+1800)
Larson is another young gun driver who’s had some success at Dover in his short career. Although he hasn’t been as great as Elliott over the last 1 ½ seasons, Larson’s 8.5 average finish at Dover is 3rd best among active drivers. He has yet to win at DIS, but he does have four Top 5’s and seven Top 10’s in 10 career starts. In 2017, Larson had two Top 5 finishes. Last year, he finished 10th and 12th.
In addition to Harvick and maybe Clint Bowyer, Kyle Larson needs a win the most. In fact, one could make the argument that Larson is the most desperate of the field for a checkered flag. He’s crashed out of the last two races and has seen his position in the standings fall from 14th to 21st.
Jimmie Johnson (+2200)
Of active drivers, Jimmie Johnson is the king of Dover. In his 34 career starts, he has eleven wins, seventeen Top 5’s, twenty-four Top 10’s, an average finish of 9.9 and just two DNFs. Johnson is the all-time leader in wins with 11 and laps led with 3,105. He leads all active drivers in Top 5’s, Top 10’s, and lead-lap finishes with 21.
Johnson finished 36th in the fall race last year, which snapped a four-race streak of finishing in the Top 9. He won this race two years ago and finished 9th here last year. Keep in mind, JJ had a down year last year and still mustered up a 9th place finish. Over the last 16 Dover races, JJ has only finished outside of the Top 10 on four occasions.
This year has been an up and down one for Johnson. He started off with a 9th place at Daytona and then had a few middle of the pack results. Texas was his best race as he started on the pole and finished 5th overall. That’s the only race he led laps at other than four laps at Phoenix.
Dover is the perfect opportunity for JJ to bounce back from his 33rd place finish at Talladega last weekend. I expect JJ to be in the Top 10 at the least. With a little bit of luck, he could contend for a checkered flag.
Ryan Newman at +10000 odds returns this weekend as my top longshot pick to win the Gander RV 400. This is largely due to his career success at DIS. In 34 career starts, Newman has three wins, seven Top 5’s, fourteen Top 10’s, an average finish of 14.3 and just two DNFs. He’s tied with Kyle Busch for the second most Dover wins among active drivers.
Another reason why I like Newman as a longshot is that he’s finished in the Top 9 for the last three races on the season. Newman even scored a 7th place finish at Talladega last year. His worst showing was 24th at Las Vegas. He has seven Top 15 finishes in 2019, and I believe he could crack the Top 10 again this weekend. Like with JJ, a few well-timed caution flags could help Newman pull off the huge longshot win this weekend.
Gander RV 400 Prop Bets: Driver Matchups
The following NASCAR prop bets require bettors to pick the winning driver out of head-to-head matchups at the Dover International Superspeedway on Sunday, May 5th. These driver matchups and betting odds are courtesy of 5Dimes:
Aric Almirola (+100) vs Chase Elliott (-130)
We haven’t talked much about Aric Almirola this season. But, the 35-year-old driver is quietly putting together a solid season so far. In the first 10 races, Almirola has seven Top 10’s. That’s right up there with Joey Logano, Kurt Busch, and Kevin Harvick. He currently sits 11th in the standings and is coming off a 9th place finish at Talladega last weekend.
Almirola is certainly in a good position for a playoff spot this year, but I’m not confident in his chances of a Top 10 finish at Dover this weekend. Furthermore, I really don’t like his chances at finishing higher than Elliott at DIS on Sunday.
Almirola has had twice as many races in his career at DIS compared to Elliott. Yet, Chase has more wins, more Top 5’s, more Top 10’s, a better average start and finish, and no DNFs.
In the last six DIS races for Almirola, he’s averaged 16.83 compared to Elliott’s 4.3 average finish. In 2018, Almirola finished 11th and 13th, while Elliott finished 12th and 1st.
I’m taking Elliott over Almirola in this head to head driver matchup.
Winner: Chase Elliott (+130)
Kurt Busch (-115) vs Ryan Blaney (-115)
This matchup is a close one in many ways. For starters, NASCAR betting sites have listed these two drivers with identical betting odds. On the season, they sit 8th (Busch) and 9th (Blaney) in the driver standings. They flip positions when it comes to playoff points. Additionally, they have a similar number of Top 5’s so far. But, at Dover, things aren’t as close.
For starters, Busch has six times as many starts at Dover as Blaney does. Additionally, Kurt has a higher average finish of 17.9 to Blaney at 20th. Ryan has just two Top 10’s and Busch has 11. Kurt has more wins and Top 5’s as well.
Last year, Blaney had his best run at Dover with an 8th place finish in the spring and an 11th place finish in the fall. However, Kurt did better with two 5th place finishes. If you just compare Kurt’s last six DIS races to Blaney’s six career races, Kurt still comes out ahead. Kurt has an average of 14.5 to Ryan’s 20. Kurt also has three Top 5’s and three Top 10’s, which are both more than Blaney.
For this matchup, I like the veteran Kurt Busch to finish with a better result than Ryan Blaney.
Winner: Kurt Busch (-115)
The Gander RV 400 Checkered Flag
As mentioned above, I don’t see the favorites of Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, or Joey Logano winning this race. All three of them have had some struggles at Dover in recent years. However, I do think they will all finish in the Top 10. I also see Ryan Newman, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Larson, and Kurt Busch finishing in the Top 10.
With that said, I think the winner is going to come from Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr., or Chase Elliott. Both Truex and Chase have won this season. In fact, they won the last two races. I really believe it’s time for Harvick to step it up and get his first win of the season. At this point last year, Harvick won at Dover and earned his 4th win of the 2018 season.
I’m not all in on Harvick, but I do like his odds and his desperation for this weekend. If he fails to win, then I like Elliott or Truex to get the checkered flag.
My Top 5 Drivers
Martin Truex Jr.
Gander RV 400 Betting Recap
Kevin Harvick (+400)
Chase Elliott (+1200)
Kyle Larson (1800)
Jimmie Johnson (+2200)
Ryan Newman (+10000)
Kurt Busch (-115) over Ryan Blaney
Chase Elliott (-130) over Aric Almirola
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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