Dover International Speedway What to Expect Sunday

Expect opportunities for contenders and families with autism to be seized this weekend at Dover International Speewday.
Expect opportunities for contenders and families with autism to be seized this weekend at Dover International Speedway.

This Sunday, NASCAR will be in Delaware at Dover International Speedway for the Fed Ex 400, and many expect the Chase for the Cup field to begin to solidify following tomorrow’s race. This race is the halfway point in the Sprint Cup season, and drivers will be looking to emerge as legitimate contenders for this year’s title with a win Sunday.

The ‘Miracle Mile’ at Dover International Speedway in Delaware has been a staple on NASCAR’s schedule since opening its doors in 1969. Every year of its existence, the track has played host to at least two NASCAR races on top of its other events. Described by many as the most physical track in all of NASCAR, an exciting event has become the norm when a race take off in Dover, tomorrow’s Fed Ex 400 should be no different.

Expect to see Denny Hamlin’s name in the mix tomorrow, as he has taken the pole at Dover International Speedway. After taking a month off to recover from a lower back fracture, Hamlin has stormed back by taking the pole in back to back weeks. The Joe Gibbs’ driver appears to be peaking at the right time, coming off a second place finish in Darlington and a fourth place finish in Charlotte in his two races back. He currently needs to make up 53 points on the top 12 in order to qualify for the Chase for the Cup playoffs.

Toyota took all four top positions in qualifying, Martin Truex Jr. will be starting in second place. Kyle Busch will be in third, while Matt Kenseth will start in fourth place. 

The Fed Ex 400 at Dover marks the beginning of a grueling and diverse set of races. Drivers will have to conquer a track that is no walk in the park if they want to take home the trophy and see themselves in the winner’s circle after Sunday’s race. Veteran Jeff Burton of Richard Childress Racing described the track as  “definitely the most physical track we race.” He explained this was the case due to the concrete being angled to a steep 24 degrees, as well as being lightning-fast and having teeth-chattering concrete.

NASCAR is also hosting its second annual FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speak this coming Monday. The event provides an opportunity for its autistic fan base to spend a day at the races in a comfortable situation. Spectators will be able to view the event from an air conditioned, sound proof room at the track instead of dealing with the otherwise uncomfortable crowds and noise that come with attending a NASCAR event. Last year the event drew 135 autistic individuals, and officials hope the event continues to grow.

Recognizing the family bonding time a day at the races can bring, yet mindful of the sensory overload that can come with the chaos of race day, Artie Kemper, coordinating director of NASCAR and parent of a child on the autism spectrum had nothing but positive things to say about the event. “The thing that makes this opportunity so phenomenal is that it gives the kids and the parents a safe and anxiety-free chance to be together as a family.”

NASCAR is putting on what is expected to be a quality race this Sunday, as well as a family event to raise awareness for a good cause at Dover International Speedway. The Fed Ex 400 will provide drivers with a chance to solidify their position as a contender, while also providing many families with an opportunity to spend quality time together in a way they otherwise wouldn’t be able to. Talk about two birds with one stone.

Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille

The Guardian Express

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