NASCAR at Dover 2014: Race Schedule, Live Stream Info and Drivers to Watch

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistSeptember 28, 2014

DOVER, DE - SEPTEMBER 27: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

When the 43-car field gets the AAA 400 started Sunday afternoon, tensions will be high and there will be plenty on the line. 

Specifically, the ability to extend the Chase for the Sprint Cup for four drivers, as the Chase field will narrow from 16 to 12 at the conclusion of the race at Dover International Speedway. As it stands, the four drivers on the outside looking in are Denny Hamlin, Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch and Aric Almirola. 

However, as Jeff Gluck of USA Today notes, things are far from settled heading into this weekend:

Here's a look at everything you need to know to make sure you don't miss out on the action.

Race Info

Where: Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware

When: Sunday, Sept. 28, at 2 p.m. ET

Watch: ESPN

Live SteamWatchESPN

RadioMotor Racing Network

Qualifying Order

AAA 400 Starting Lineup
Pos.Car No.DriverSpeed
14Kevin Harvick162.933
218Kyle Busch162.404
311Denny Hamlin162.250
42Brad Keselowski162.140
51Jamie McMurray161.936
624Jeff Gordon161.573
742Kyle Larson161.457
848Jimmie Johnson161.298
915Clint Bowyer160.643
103Austin Dillon160.506
1155Brian Vickers160.492
125Kasey Kahne160.192
1310Danica Patrick161.196
1420Matt Kenseth161.132
1514Tony Stewart161.016
1622Joey Logano160.879
179Marcos Ambrose160.808
1899Carl Edwards160.707
1927Paul Menard160.635
2031Ryan Newman160.621
2143Aric Almirola160.585
2241Kurt Busch160.528
2351Justin Allgaier160.449
2417Ricky Stenhouse Jr.160.421
2588Dale Earnhardt Jr.160.399
2678Martin Truex Jr.160.142
2716Greg Biffle159.929
2847AJ Allmendinger159.865
2926Cole Whitt159.716
3013Casey Mears159.200
3138David Gilliland159.123
3298Josh Wise158.249
3336Reed Sorenson158.172
3423Alex Bowman158.089
357Michael Annett157.971
3640Landon Cassill157.137
3734David Ragan157.054
3833David Stremme156.359
3932J.J. Yeley156.169
4037Mike Bliss156.040
4166Mike Wallace156.020
4283Travis Kvapil153.479
4344Timmy Hill152.355
NASCAR.com

Drivers to Watch

Denny Hamlin

DOVER, DE - SEPTEMBER 27:  Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, stands in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo by Jared
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

It's already been mentioned that this is a huge race for Hamlin. But it's worth mentioning that the importance hasn't been lost on him. The 33-year-old told Gluck of USA Today that this race is "the most important of my career."

Sitting at No. 13 in the points standings, Hamlin knows that he's just within striking distance of avoiding elimination and believes a top-five finish will stave off elimination, per Gluck:

I can't scoreboard watch because I'm not going to be able to control what the other guys do. Even though my fate is not in my hands if I don't win, I can't be concerned about what they do and let that affect me at all. I believe if I run top five, I'll put myself in. If I don't, I won't.

Unfortunately for Hamlin, this isn't a track that bodes well for a top-five finish for him. According to DriverAverages.com, he has just one top-five finish at the track since February 2012 and ranks 15th among current drivers with an average finish of 17th in the last five races. 

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver may understand the stakes going in to the race, but that doesn't mean he'll magically turn things around. 

Prediction: Finishes outside of top 15

Jimmie Johnson

Sep 26, 2014; Dover, DE, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Jimmie Johnson (48) during practice for the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

One driver who isn't in danger of being eliminated Sunday is Jimmie Johnson. He currently sits at No. 4 in the standings and is 17 points behind leader Brad Keselowski heading into Dover. 

However, just because the points reset after every three races and he doesn't need a win to advance, it doesn't mean he isn't in line for one. As NASCAR Stats points out, Johnson is among the best all time at Dover:

According to DriverAverages.com, Johnson's dominance at Dover isn't just historical. It extends to recent races too. Out of five starts since February 2012, he's won three times and hasn't finished lower than 17th. 

Prediction: Finishes in top three

Clint Bowyer

Sep 20, 2014; Loudon, NH, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Clint Bowyer sits in his car during practice for the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

If there's one driver who could ruin someone's day at Dover, it's Clint Bowyer. That's because the 35-year-old is not in the Chase, but he will still be a dangerous driver Sunday. If there's anyone who can match the recent dominance of Johnson at Dover, it's Bowyer. 

The Michael Waltrip Racing driver has five top-10 finishes in his last five starts at Dover. He even took to Twitter to let fans know just how much he loves the Monster Mile:

With all the pressure that's sure to be on many drivers Sunday, Bowyer's ability to relax and focus on this race could be the thing that allows him to get the win. 

Prediction: Finishes in top three

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