Chase Elliott ran the fastest lap in Friday’s first practice for the Saturday, May 31 “Buckle Up 200 Presented by Click It or Ticket” NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Dover International Speedway, but he has a race favorite lurking just a few spots back.
Elliott, who enters the race third in the points standings, posted a speed of 157.618 mph that was a full two miles per hour faster than anybody else on a cool, cloudy Friday that probably won’t replicate the conditions for Saturday’s race. But Elliott is likely still pleased with what his team has figured out for the Monster Mile. He’ll need that type of speed consistently if he wants to stay ahead of Joey Logano, who is looking for a fifth consecutive Nationwide Series win at the Monster Mile.
Logano, who ran fifth fastest at 155.132 mph, is trying to become just the fourth-ever driver to win five consecutive races at the same track in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Only Dale Earnhardt, Kyle Busch and Jack Ingram have been able to do that. But Logano’s got a good shot if he can duplicate his recent success – he has led 510 of the 800 laps that make up those four wins.
“To be in that group of guys, it would be an honor to be there,” Logano said. “This is definitely my favorite track and it’s close to home for me. This is a neat place to run at.”
Cale Conley, who is in his rookie season as a NASCAR Nationwide Series driver, had an impressive session. He ran second-fastest at 155.602 mph and was at the head of a group behind Elliott that included Ty Dillon, Chris Buescher and Logano.
Points leader Regan Smith was ninth-fastest, while second-place driver Elliott Sadler was just ahead of him in eighth.
Qualifying for the “Buckle Up 200 Presented by Click It or Ticket” NASCAR Nationwide Series race is scheduled for 10:40 a.m. Saturday morning, with the race set for 2 p.m.
For tickets, call 800-441-RACE or purchase them right at the gate.