Did you know …
NASCAR promotes itself as a family sport, and nowhere is that more true than on the track.
Should Chase Elliott – who finished third in each of his 2016 appearances at Dover – conquer the Monster Mile this Sunday, he will join an exclusive club of father and son combinations who have notched victories.
Richard Petty and Kyle Petty, Bobby Allison and the late Davey Allison, and the late Dale Earnhardt Sr. and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are the other father/son winners at Dover. In each case, the fathers amassed more victories than their offspring. The elder Petty won seven times at Dover while Kyle notched his only victory in 1995; Bobby Allison earned seven Dover victories while Davey won once, in 1987; and Earnhardt Sr. claimed three Monster Mile victories while Earnhardt Jr.’s one came in 2001.
Bill Elliott went to victory lane four times, so Chase has some work to do to catch his father.
More Dover trivia:
Richard Petty won the first NASCAR race at Dover, July 6, 1969. Petty took the checkered flag six laps ahead of the second place finisher in that inaugural Mason-Dixon 300 race.
Petty won again the 1970 race, but when the track began hosting two races in 1971 and went to 500 miles, he won only one of the two. Bobby Allison won the other race that year.
With such a strong start, you’d think Petty would have a pretty good record at Dover, and the 7-time champion does, but Allison also notched seven victories at the track. The best driver at Dover is a different 7-time champion: Jimmie Johnson. Johnson has won 10 times, including a sweep of both races in 2002 and 2009.
In addition to Johnson, eight other drivers have swept both Dover races: David Pearson (1973), Bobby Allison (1983), Bill Elliott (1988), Dale Earnhardt Sr. (1989), Rusty Wallace (1994), Jeff Gordon (1996), Tony Stewart (2000) and Ryan Newman (2003).
Johnson and Newman are the only active drivers to sweep both races. They are among only nine active drivers with Dover wins. The others are Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex Jr., Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Kurt Busch. Kurt and Kyle have the distinction of being the only brothers to each score victories at the track.
Jimmie Johnson is just one pole away from tying David Pearson for the most. Pearson started on the pole six times. Johnson has five poles. The driver on the pole has won the race only 12 times in Dover’s history. Pearson did it three times and Johnson twice. Mark Martin won from the pole twice, and Cale Yarborough, Bill Elliott, Rusty Wallace, Bobby Labonte and Ryan Newman scored victories after starting from the pole.