Saturday, May 31, 2014

Harvick outstanding in Dover practices, Johnson still No. 1

Jimmie Johnson shows Austin Dillon how to roll at Dover
Kevin Harvick has never won at Dover International Speedway during his Sprint Cup career, but based on the display he put on during Saturday's final FedEx 400 practices, he might be in line to grab his first trophy in his 27th Monster Mile start on Sunday.

Harvick had the second fastest lap in Saturday's early session and was fifth fastest in the final session, but what makes him stand out over all the others was having the fastest 10-consecutive lap average during both sessions. Translation: Harvick is going to be faster than most on the long runs. When others start to slow near the end of a fuel run, Harvick will still be running strong.

So, why isn't Harvick rated No. 1 on our ratings? How about reason No. 48.

If we didn't have history involved and were just going off pure speed, Harvick would be considered the driver to beat. But Jimmie Johnson's Dover history is too strong to ignore, and to top it off, Johnson was just a notch below Harvick in the average speeds department and had the fastest lap in the final practice.

Harvick gets a mulligan for his Dover history because he's with a new team. Nothing against Richard Childress Racing, but Harvick was never really a contender in any past Dover races. His new Stewart-Haas Racing team has put him in fast cars every week. But Johnson doesn't just have good Dover history – he's the best all-time on the high-banked concrete track.

In 24 career starts, he's won eight times. That's one win out of every three starts, an insane ratio for the competitive Cup series. He's led 2,704 laps over those 24 starts, another sick number.

Because of Johnson's dominance on the track, finally getting a win on the season last week, and being fast in practice, he is the easy choice to be listed as the driver to beat.

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

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