NASCAR returns to Dover this weekend for the Bar Harbor 200 Camping World Truck Series Friday, the Xfinity Series OneMain Financial 200 Saturday and the AAA 400 Drive for Autism Sunday, part of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
To help you get revved up, here are top reasons to head to Dover International Speedway this weekend.
5. Come see Dover’s final June race weekend (for now)
For nearly 50 years, Dover International Speedway has been home to a June race with a few exceptions, but that will change in 2018. Next season, both of Dover’s NASCAR weekends will be moved, with the spring races about a month earlier and the fall race moving up a week.
The annual spring races will take place May 4-6. The fall races are scheduled for Oct. 5-7 . The fall Cup Series race also changes from an elimination race to the first race of round two.
4. Erik Jones looks for second straight spring Xfinity Series win
Heading into last weekend’s Xfinity Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the Hisense 4K TV 300, Erik Jones had won two of the season’s nine races.
The 2016 Xfinity Series Rookie of the Year, Jones put together two straight victories last month, becoming the first driver to win two this season - Kyle Larson later joined him with a Richmond win three weeks ago.
In Saturday’s OneMain Financial 200, Jones will be looking for his second straight spring race victory at Dover. He won the Xfinity Series Ollie’s Bargain Outlet 200 last June at the Monster Mile.
3. Closing in on Camping World Truck Series record, Kyle Busch aims for third straight season win
Coming into this weekend, Kyle Busch is four wins away from tying the all-time record for career truck series victories. Busch, already the career wins leader in the Xfinity Series, is five wins away from surpassing truck series win leader Ron Hornaday Jr.
The Camping World Truck Series season is just five races deep, but Busch has already flexed his muscle. He is looking for a third straight victory this weekend after taking the last two checkered flags in the truck series. Three weeks ago, Busch won at Kansas Motor Speedway in the Toyota Tundra 250 before tallying his record setting seventh victory at Charlotte in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 two weeks ago.
2. Can the AAA 400 live up to last year’s crazy finish?
Last year’s AAA 400 Drive for Autism had it all: breathtaking crashes, some unlikely standouts and a head-to-head duel down the stretch. Matt Kenseth came away with the win, holding off youngsters Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott to take the checkered flag.
With under 50 laps to go, a huge crash involved 18 cars and took out many race favorites, including the leader in all-time Dover victories, Jimmie Johnson, along with the likes of Martin Truex Jr., Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kevin Harvick. Just a few laps after the caution was lifted, Carl Edwards slammed into the wall, which brought on yet another caution, setting the stage for a duel between Larson and Kenseth down the home stretch.
1. Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s final laps here
Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced April 25 he will retire at the conclusion of the 2017 season after an 18-year career.
Sunday’s AAA 400 and October’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race will be the final times to see Earnhardt Jr. circle the Monster Mile in the No. 88 car.
He has 26 career Cup Series victories, many of them memorable. From his six career victories at Talladega, dramatic night-race win at Bristol in 2004, to his two Daytona 500 victories, Earnhardt Jr. has already placed himself among the greats.
While only one of his 26 victories was at Dover, the win provided images that will last a lifetime among iconic American sports moments.
Earnhardt Jr.’s win at the Monster Mile came in 2001, in the first NASCAR race after the attacks on the World Trade Center. After taking the checkered flag, Earnhardt Jr. grabbed an American flag, holding it high from his seat as he took a victory lap.