This Week in Auto Racing May 29 - 31

( - All three of NASCAR's national touring series are competing at Dover International Speedway, while the IndyCar Series is holding a doubleheader at the Raceway at Belle Isle Park in Detroit.


Sprint Cup Series

FedEx 400/Autism Speaks - Dover International Speedway - Dover Delaware

Last Sunday at Charlotte, Carl Edwards became the ninth driver to virtually guarantee himself a spot in this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship when he won the Coca-Cola 600 -- NASCAR's longest race of the season.

Martin Truex Jr. is hoping he will be the next driver to join the Chase party this weekend when the Sprint Cup Series competes at Dover International Speedway. Dover is Truex's home track.

Truex, who hails from Mayetta, New Jersey, is having the best start of his 10- year career in the series, as he currently sits second in the point standings (41 points behind leader and defending series champion Kevin Harvick). He has scored 11 top-10 finishes in 12 races this year, including a second-place run in the March 8 race at Las Vegas.

In the past two races, Truex has led the most laps but has come up short of winning. Earlier this month at Kansas, Truex ran in front for a total of 95 laps, but he took fuel only during his last pit stop and faded after the final restart in the closing laps to finish ninth. Jimmie Johnson won there.

At Charlotte, Truex led 131 laps but wound up finishing fifth.

"We had excellent opportunities to win the last two races in Kansas and Charlotte," Truex said. "We led the most laps in each race, but different pit strategies for fuel mileage bit us at the end. For the record, I've never ever liked fuel mileage races. Last week is last week. It's Dover that's on our minds right now. What we learned the past two races is that we can run up front and contend for the win. We keep on making progress, and that's always a good sign."

Truex is in his second season as driver of the No. 78 Chevrolet for Furniture Row Racing, a single-car team owned by Barney Visser and based in Denver, Colorado. Most Sprint Cup teams have their headquarters in the Charlotte area.

The first of Truex's two career Sprint Cup wins occurred at Dover on June 4, 2007. His most recent victory in the series happened 68 races ago on June 23, 2013 at the Sonoma, California road course. He drove for Michael Waltrip Racing two years ago.

Truex has recorded eight top-10 finishes in 18 Sprint Cup races at Dover. He placed in the top-10 in both races here last year.

"For me, Dover is special," he said. "I consider it my home track being a New Jersey native. Dover was the site of my first Sprint Cup win, and last year when we struggled in the (No.) 78 car, Dover was still good to me with finishes of sixth and seventh."

Dover, a one-mile, concrete-surfaced track, has 24 degrees of banking in all of its turns as well as 9 degrees of banking on the frontstretch and backstretch. This will be the 91st time NASCAR's top series will race at this track.

Truex has an average start of 14.2 and an average finish of 15.8 at Dover. He has led a total of 227 laps here, including 216 laps when he won the spring race in '07.

"If your car is off at Dover it can be the most miserable 400 laps of your life," Truex said. "But it's also a rewarding day when your car is running strong. There's a fine line of being good and horrible at Dover. I've experienced both."

Forty-five teams are on the entry list for the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks.

Nationwide Series

Buckle Up 200 - Dover International Speedway - Dover Delaware

The "Dash 4 Cash" is on in the Xfinity Series this weekend at Dover International Speedway.

The top-four finishing Xfinity regulars (points-eligible drivers in the series) in last Saturday's race at Charlotte qualified for the first round in this year's four-race bonus program from Comcast and its Xfinity brand, which is the new title sponsor of NASCAR's second-tier series this year. Nationwide Insurance had been the title sponsor of the series from 2008-14.

Those drivers who qualified for Dover based on their finishes at Charlotte include: Regan Smith (fourth-place finish), Darrell Wallace Jr. (fifth), Daniel Suarez (sixth) and Ty Dillon seventh. Wallace and Suarez are rookies in the series this year.

The highest finisher among those four at Dover will collect a $100,000 bonus. That person as well as the next three highest-finishing series regulars here will qualify for the second round, which is scheduled for July 25 at Indianapolis. The final two Dash 4 Cash races this season are Bristol (Aug. 21) and Darlington (Sept. 5).

Last year's Dash 4 Cash tracks were New Hampshire, Chicagoland, Indianapolis and Iowa. The top-four finishers from the July race at Daytona had qualified for New Hampshire.

If one driver wins the Dash 4 Cash bonus at Dover, Indianapolis and Bristol and then scores the victory in the Darlington race, that person will be awarded an additional $600,000, bringing the total payout to $1 million.

"The Dash 4 Cash is a great program that Xfinity puts on, and it's cool to see them change up the racetracks," said Smith, who won the $100,000 bonus at New Hampshire in 2014. "Obviously, Xfinity was paying attention when they did that, picking four really difficult tracks. There's nothing easy about any of those tracks.

"You give the guys who are running the series full-time a little added incentive. We already have a lot of incentive, but when you throw a little extra money on the line, we're certainly not going to argue with that. I appreciate the support that Xfinity has given us this year, and continuing programs like this one."

Smith, currently fifth in the point standings (41 points behind leader Chris Buescher), has finished 15th or better in his last four starts at Dover, while Dillon, who is just four points out of the lead, has placed eighth and 10th in his previous two races at this track. Wallace started on pole and finished 12th in his first Xfinity race here in September 2012. Suarez has yet to make a start at Dover.

Forty teams are on the entry list for the Buckle Up 200. Austin Dillon, Kasey Kahne and Matt Kenseth are those Sprint Cup Series regulars scheduled to compete in this race.

Camping World Truck Series

Lucas Oil 200 - Dover International Speedway - Dover Delaware

Erik Jones is hoping the third time's the charm for him in the Camping World Truck Series.

Jones had the dominant truck in the previous two truck races -- Kansas and Charlotte -- but did not drive it into victory lane at neither one of those tracks. Earlier this month at Kansas, he led 151 of the first 161 laps before running out of fuel with just six laps to go, which led to an 11th-place finish. Then two weeks ago at Charlotte, Jones finished only 0.005 seconds behind race winner Kasey Kahne after he had led a total of 88 laps.

The series is running its sixth race of the season on Friday at Dover International Speedway. On the following day, Jones will celebrate his 19th birthday. He's scheduled to compete in the Xfinity race at this track on Saturday.

Jones is in his first full season in trucks, driving the No. 4 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports. He is presently second in the point standings, 16 points behind leader and two-time defending series champion Matt Crafton.

Last year, Jones ran a partial schedule for KBM. He scored three victories in 12 starts during the 2014 season.

The truck race will be the first time Jones runs in a NASCAR national touring series event at Dover, which is a one-mile, concrete-surfaced track.

A driver from KBM has won the truck race at Dover in four of the last five years, including the previous two -- Aric Almirola (2010) and Kyle Busch (2011, '13 and '14).

For Jones, a victory at Dover would be a great way to break a string of heartbreaking defeats and would make for a nice early birthday present for him.

"Dover is going to be different," Jones said. "It's going to be the first technical place that I am going to where I've never raced at before. KBM has a really good package at Dover. They won there last year with Kyle, and that gives me a lot of confidence going into Friday's race."

During Thursday's 2 hour, 25 minute practice session at Dover, Jones posted the fastest lap at 155.885 mph.

Thirty-three teams are on the entry list for the Lucas Oil 200.


Chevrolet Dual in Detroit - Raceway at Belle Isle Park - Detroit, Michigan

The IndyCar Series will hold its first and only doubleheader of the season this weekend at Detroit's Bell Isle Park.

There were three doubleheader weekends in the series in 2014 -- Detroit, Toronto and Houston. This year, Toronto is just a single event, scheduled for June 14, while Houston has been dropped from the series calendar.

Indianapolis 500 winner Juan Pablo Montoya arrived in Detroit on Thursday after his media tour in New York City on Tuesday and then Wednesday's appearance in Fort Worth, Texas, where the series will race on June 6 at Texas Motor Speedway.

After beating his Team Penske teammate, Will Power, to the finish line by only 0.1 seconds, Montoya collected $2.45 million for his victory in the Indy 500. It's the second time he's won IndyCar's most prestigious race of the season. His first victory in it occurred in 2000.

The 15-year gap between Montoya's Indy 500 victories is the longest span between a pair of wins for a driver in that race.

With his Indy 500 victory tour now over, Montoya is looking forward to both races in Detroit this weekend. He now holds a 25-point lead over Power, the defending series champion. Scott Dixon from Chip Ganassi Racing is 61 points behind Montoya, while Penske driver Helio Castroneves trails by 66.

With six races competed in the 2015 IndyCar season, Montoya is the only driver with multiple victories. He won the season-opener in St. Petersburg, Florida two months ago.

"I'm just trying to win more here," Montoya said. "We've got two wins with four podiums out of six races. Right now that is what I've told my guys, 'At this point you've got to dig deeper because it's not going to be easy.' Nobody is going to make it easy for us. If you want something, you've got to take it for yourself."

The first 70-lap race on the 2.35-mile, 14-turn Belle Isle Park temporary street circuit is scheduled for Saturday at 3:50 p.m. ET, and the second event (also 70 laps) is slated for Sunday at the same time.

When the series ran a doubleheader in Detroit one year ago, Power won the first race after starting 16th, and Castroneves took the checkered flag for the second event, doing so from the third starting position.

Power is expected to make his 100th start with Team Penske in Sunday's race.

Detroit could be where Graham Rahal gets his long-awaited win. Rahal, the driver of the No. 15 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda, scored his first career IndyCar victory on April 6, 2008 in St. Petersburg, making him the youngest race winner in series history at age 19 years and 93 days, but he has been winless in his last 120 starts.

Rahal has finished second in the past two road/street course races -- Barber Motorsports Park and Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. He placed fifth in the Indy 500.

"I feel really good about Detroit," Rahal said. "I felt that if we could continue to stay close in points after Indy, we would have a pretty good opportunity ahead of us with as strong as we were in Detroit last year.

"Detroit is a very similar place to St. Pete, and obviously with it being a doubleheader, it's a huge weekend for the championship. We are right on Helio's heels in fifth place in the point standings and just a couple of points behind Dixon. We will just keep working hard, and we'll be there in the hunt."

In last year's doubleheader in Detroit, Rahal finished second in race 1 and 21st in race 2.

Twenty-three teams are on the entry list for the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit.