Saturday, June 1, 2013

2013 Dover FedEx 400 Practice Notes: Kenseth Looks Like the Driver to Beat

Kasey Kahne had a great day of practices at Dover
Kurt Busch had the fastest lap (153.224 mph) during Saturday's final practice session at Dover International Speedway in preparation for Sunday's FedEx 400, but it was Matt Kenseth who was the most impressive on the day. Kenseth, a two-time winner at Dover, was fastest in the early session (156.788 mph) and second fastest during happy hour (153.074).

The leaders of Saturday's two practice sessions looked almost like two completely different groups, with the one glaring difference being Kenseth high on each speed chart. In the early session, Kenseth had the fastest five-consecutive lap average, but he didn't run 10 straight laps. During happy hour, he had the 10th-best 10-consecutive lap average.

Based on the final practice session being run at relatively the same time at which Sunday's race will start, a case could be made that happy hour was the more important of the two sessions, but that might not be entirely true. Every team seemed to have different agenda's between the two 60-minute sessions, whether it was attempting different set-ups or running on used tires over long runs.

Because of Kenseth's outstanding history at Dover, which includes eight top-five finishes in his last 10 starts there, and being fast in both sessions, he becomes the race favorite. Seven-time Dover winner Jimmie Johnson and two-time Dover winner Kyle Busch opened as 5-to-1 favorites earlier in the week.

Johnson was very good in both of Saturday's sessions. He had the fastest 10-consecutive lap average among the 15 drivers that attempted that many in the early practice, and he was third best in that category during happy hour. Johnson has won four of the past eight races at Dover and will be attempting to pass NASCAR Hall of Famers Bobby Allison and Richard Petty for Dover's all-time lead in wins with eight.

Read More Here........Final Driver Ratings

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