DOVER, Del. – A sudden rain shower in the afternoon of an otherwise dry day soaked the concrete racing surface at Dover International Speedway and forced cancellation of Friday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series knockout qualifying session.
As a consequence, with the field set according to owner points, Kyle Busch will lead the 39 Cup drivers to the green flag in Sunday’s Gander Outdoors 400 at the Monster Mile, the opening race in the Round of 12 of the Playoffs.
Kevin Harvick will start on the outside of the front row, and the remaining 10 playoff contenders will line up in owner-points order on rows two through six.
Busch thought the rainout was a net positive for his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing team, in terms of potential spots gained.
“Probably six or eight spots or so, I believe,” Busch said. “It definitely bodes well for us. I thought we had a decent car in practice, the way that it felt – it felt pretty good. It just didn’t show the speed on the speed chart.
“But as practice was going on, and guys were making their second and third runs, they were kind of coming back to us in lap times, where our car was really consistent over the run and running the same lap times…
“It certainly better for us not to have to go out there and bust off a really fast lap. Speeds were way high here this morning (in practice). With cooler temperatures, it seemed like it was going to be way fast.”
Martin Truex, Jr. will start from the third spot next to Brad Keselowski. Only 15 points separate fifth place starter Clint Bowyer from 12th-place Alex Bowman, with the next three races set to determine the drivers who will advance to the Round of 8.
Busch, on the other hand, has a 47-point edge over ninth-place Chase Elliott, who was fourth fastest in Friday’s opening practice behind Kyle Larson (10th in the Playoff standings), Harvick and Kurt Busch (seventh).
NASCAR also postponed Friday afternoon’s scheduled K&N Pro Series East Race until 9 am Saturday.
WDUN will have live MRN Radio coverage of the NASCAR race weekend at Dover International Speedway, beginning with Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Bar Harbor 200 beginning at 2:30 pm on 102.9 FM, AM 550 and streaming live on AccessWDUN. On Sunday, it’s the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Gander Outdoors 400 beginning at 1 pm on 102.9 FM and streaming live on AccessWDUN.
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Dover International Speedway – Dover, DE
Gander Outdoors 400 – September 5, 2018
Sunday’s Starting Lineup
1. 18 Kyle Busch (P) Interstate Batteries Toyota Charter Team Owner
2. 4 Kevin Harvick (P) Busch Outdoors Ford Charter Team Owner
3. 78 Martin Truex, Jr. (P) 5-hour ENERGY/Bass Pro Shops Toyota Charter Team Owner
4. 2 Brad Keselowski (P) Wurth Ford Charter Team Owner
5. 14 Clint Bowyer (P) Haas VF1/Rush Truck Centers Ford Charter Team Owner
6. 22 Joey Logano (P) Shell Pennzoil Ford Charter Team Owner
7. 41 Kurt Busch (P) Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford Charter Team Owner
8. 12 Ryan Blaney (P) PPG Ford Charter Team Owner
9. 9 Chase Elliott (P) NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Charter Team Owner
10. 42 Kyle Larson (P) Credit One Bank Chevrolet Charter Team Owner
11. 10 Aric Almirola (P) Smithfield Ford Charter Team Owner
12. 88 Alex Bowman (P) Axalta Chevrolet Charter Team Owner
13. 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe’s for Pros Chevrolet Charter Team Owner
14. 3 Austin Dillon AAA Chevrolet Charter Team Owner
15. 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Express Toyota Charter Team Owner
16. 20 Erik Jones Craftsman Toyota Charter Team Owner
17. 31 Ryan Newman Waste Masters Solutions/22 in 22 Chevrolet Charter Team Owner
18. 21 Paul Menard Menards/Tarkett Ford Charter Team Owner
19. 19 Daniel Suarez ARRIS Toyota Charter Team Owner
20. 1 Jamie McMurray GEARWRENCH Chevrolet Charter Team Owner
21. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Fastenal Ford Charter Team Owner
22. 24 William Byron # Hendrick Autoguard Chevrolet Charter Team Owner
23. 37 Chris Buescher Scott Products Chevrolet Charter Team Owner
24. 47 A.J. Allmendinger Kroger ClickList Chevrolet Charter Team Owner
25. 95 Regan Smith Dumont JETS Chevrolet Charter Team Owner
26. 38 David Ragan MDS Transport Ford Charter Team Owner
27. 34 Michael McDowell Love’s Travel Stops Ford Charter Team Owner
28. 6 Matt Kenseth Wyndham Rewards Ford Charter Team Owner
29. 43 Darrell Wallace, Jr. # World Wide Technology Chevrolet Charter Team Owner
30. 13 Ty Dillon GEICO Chevrolet Charter Team Owner
31. 32 Matt DiBenedetto Can-Am/Wholey Ford Charter Team Owner
32. 15 Ross Chastain(i) Use Your Melon Drive Sober Chevrolet Charter Team Owner
33. 72 Corey LaJoie Factor One Source Chevrolet Charter Team Owner
34. 00 Landon Cassill(i) StarCom Fiber Chevrolet Charter Team Owner
35. 23 J.J. Yeley(i) Toyota Charter Team Owner
36. 51 B.J. McLeod(i) Jacob Companies Ford Charter Team Owner
37. 96 Jeffrey Earnhardt Xtreme Concepts/iK9 Toyota Open Team Owner Points
38. 66 Timmy Hill(i) Ternio Toyota Open Team Owner Points
39. 52 Harrison Rhodes The Medicine Shoppe Chevrolet Open Team Owner Points