Dover Motor Speedway will host its annual NASCAR race this weekend featuring the NASCAR Xfinity and NASCAR Cup Series. The last Ford driver to reach Victory Lane at the Monster Mile was Kevin Harvick, who registered the manufacturer’s 700th all-time Cup Series win in 2020.


When Michael McDowell won the pole and Austin Cindric qualified second at Talladega, it marked the fourth time this season Ford has swept the front row in NASCAR Cup Series qualifying. The pole was McDowell’s second of the season and second of his career, and was Ford’s fifth pole overall. The four front row sweeps matches Ford’s total from each of the last two seasons.


Daytona – Joey Logano and Michael McDowell

Atlanta – Michael McDowell and Joey Logano

Bristol – Ryan Blaney and Josh Berry

Talladega – Michael McDowell and Austin Cindric


Josh Berry made his NASCAR Cup Series debut on May 16, 2021 at Dover Motor Speedway after he was tabbed to drive the No. 77 for Spire Motorsports. He filled in for Alex Bowman a year ago in the No. 48 and finished 10th, so this will mark his third start at the Monster Mile with his third different team. In addition to his two Cup starts, Berry was dominant in three NASCAR Xfinity Series races with one win (2022) and two runner-up finishes.


Chase Briscoe and Austin Cindric are looking to add a NASCAR Cup Series win at Dover to go with their NASCAR Xfinity Series victories. Briscoe won the second race of a weekend doubleheader in 2020 and eventually went on to win nine NXS races that season while Cindric won the only time the series visited the one-mile track in 2021.

RYAN BLANEY: “I feel like Dover is always, at least since I’ve been on the Cup side at Penske, a struggle racetrack for us and for our cars. Whatever we do as a group just doesn’t really suit that place as good, so we’ve been really trying a lot of things to try to figure out, ‘OK, what can we do differently?’ I know our three cars went with a pretty different mindset on each car, each team to try to figure out, ‘Alright, how can we run better at this racetrack and be more competitive,’ and our group just kind of hit it and had a pretty decent day. We were able to run in the top five pretty much the whole day, so hopefully we can take what we learned last year and apply it.”

JOEY LOGANO: “The atmosphere around Dover with the fans and everything is unique because the track itself is scary fast. It’s wicked, wicked fast to get around there. I like where it’s located because when I lived in Connecticut, Dover and Loudon were the two closest racetracks, so you get a good New England crowd in Delaware for that race. Everyone seems to have a good time there and with the casino right next to it, it seems like it’s a fun time for everybody.”

NOAH GRAGSON: “It’s a tough, challenging racetrack. I didn’t get too many laps there last year. Qualifying being rained out was tough to prepare for this year, but I feel like we’ve got a solid plan. Last year, I wrecked 30-40 laps into the race, so that was a challenge, but just being patient. I feel like I’ve been a lot more patient this year in general. Dover is a fun, fast racetrack and really challenging with these Next Gen cars.”


Kevin Harvick recorded Ford’s 700th all-time series victory when he won at the Monster Mile in 2020. Harvick dominated the second half of the weekend doubleheader, sweeping all three stages and leading 223-of-311 laps to win for the seventh time in 2020. The victory also clinched the regular season championship for Harvick, who went on to lead the series with nine victories.


Ford won the inaugural NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover International Raceway in 1969 when Richard Petty drove to victory lane on July 6. That marked the only year in which The King drove a Ford and was the fourth of nine wins for him that season, and it came in dominating fashion as he led half of the 300 laps, including the final 109. It was a Ford day all-around as the Blue Oval led every lap in the race with Lee Roy Yarbrough (124) and David Pearson (26) combining to lead the ones Petty didn’t, and had nine of the top 11 finishers.

FROM 500 TO 400

In 1997, Ford swept both Dover events, but it’s remembered for historical reasons because when Ricky Rudd won the spring event on June 1, 1997 it marked the speedway’s final 500-mile event. Rudd took advantage of being in the right place at the right time after leader Ernie Irvan was involved in an accident with 29 laps remaining. Rudd took over the lead and held off Mark Martin over the final few laps to lead a Ford sweep of the top four spots. Martin bounced back a few months later by winning the fall event, which marked the inaugural 400-mile race at the track. That started a streak that saw him win three straight fall events at the Monster Mile.


Dover proved to be magical for the late Junie Donlavey, who won the only NASCAR Cup Series race of his career at Dover on May 17, 1981 in the Mason-Dixon 500 when driver Jody Ridley took the checkered flag. Ridley had a good car that day, but it was even more reliable and that proved the difference. Neil Bonnett was the dominant driver as he led 404 of the first 459 laps, but he blew an engine that ended his day. Cale Yarborough appeared to be the main beneficiary as he inherited the lead, but the same fate befell him 20 laps from the finish and sent him to the garage. That left Ridley to assume the top spot and he held on from there to register his first and only Cup win. It also ended up being Donlavey’s only trip to victory lane. The Richmond native made 863 starts and fielded strictly Ford products from 1965-2002 in NASCAR’s top series that featured names like LeeRoy Yarbrough, Fred Lorenzen, Harry Gant, Ricky Rudd, Ken Schrader and Dick Trickle.


Hailie Deegan has 10 career NASCAR Xfinity Series and 69 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts, but none of them have taken place at Dover Motor Speedway. That will change this weekend when she tackles the Monster Mile in Saturday’s 200-mile race, which comes after her career-best 12th-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway. That marked Deegan’s third finish of 15th or better and second this season to go with her 15th-place run at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March.

Ford Performance PR