A monster is on the loose, and his name is Miles. The writers know that this monster has a big bite.
Tricky Triangle...the Bull Ring...the Lady in Black. Tracks with nicknames tend to be remembered a lot easier than ones that don't.
But, no other track seems to have a more fitting nickname, aside from Darlington, than the one that was built in the first U.S. state. With 24 degrees of banking in the corner, plus nine on each straightaway, and concrete that will get blacker as the laps click away, it stands apart as a track that truly is a monster.
That must explain why there's a huge concrete statue at the entrance holding a full-size stock car in his hand.
Miles is ready, because NASCAR has hit the "Monster Mile." The one-mile speedway is ready to either be beaten by the best, or have it's difficulty eat up some of the best racers in the country.
Hopefully the writers are up for the challenge, because their picks are locked in.
Here's who they have chosen to win the FedEx 400:
Misan Akuya: Matt Kenseth
What more can you say about Matt Kenseth's season? It may become his best yet. And that is saying a lot for a series champion and two time Daytona 500 champion.
Kenseth has two wins at Dover and with these JGR cars he just seems to be a threat every week.
Rob Blount: Matt Kenseth
He’s always been strong at Dover, as has Joe Gibbs Racing. Add the two together and you have a potent combination.
That 20 will be tough to beat on Sunday.
James Broomhead: Matt Kenseth
Kelly Crandall: Jimmie Johnson
He's Mr. Dover, pretty safe choice.
Billy Fellin: Denny Hamlin
Michael Hirshbein: Kyle Busch
Christopher Leone: Denny Hamlin
I'd say Kyle Busch deserves karmic retribution after last week, but I doubt it'll happen. Sticking with the Gibbs camp though.
Hamlin gets that first win on the way to an underdog Chase run.
Kara Martin: Kyle Busch
Ryan O'Hara: Jeff Gordon
Dustin Parks: Jimmie Johnson
I needed a safe pick this week considering the races afterward are known for fuel mileage, so that is when I gotta gamble. For the second straight year, Johnson is running a special paint job honoring an animated movie, this time being Monsters University.
One guarantee is that if he wins, he won't wear that crazy wig...but how he'll celebrate if he does is yet to be seen.
Patti Rodisch: Jimmie Johnson
Nobody is as good at Dover as Jimmie Johnson. After a rough finish at Charlotte, expect this team to rebound at Dover.
Sal Sigala Jr: Denny Hamlin
Rob Tiongson: Kyle Busch
I'm gonna take a page from MPH and just go with Rowdy. Hopefully I don't jinx him - he's won twice there (2008 and 2010 spring races) so why not?
Standings following Charlotte:
Patti Rodisch (446) Jimmie Johnson finished 22nd (0)
Billy Fellin (427) Joey Logano finished 5th (1)
Rob Tiongson (419) Jimmie Johnson finished 22nd (1)
Rob Blount (412) Kasey Kahne finished 2nd (1)
Dustin Parks (392) Kasey Kahne finished 2nd (0)
Kelly Crandall (381) Kasey Kahne finished 2nd (0)
Sal Sigala Jr. (377) Jimmie Johnson finished 22nd (0)
Ryan O'Hara (367) Jimmie Johnson finished 22nd (0)
James Broomhead (365) Jimmie Johnson finished 22nd (1)
Kara Martin (341) Jimmie Johnson finished 22nd (0)
Michael Hirshbein (332) Kyle Busch finished 38th (2)
Misan Akuya (318) Jamie McMurray finished 19th (0)
Christopher Leone (293) NO PICK SENT (0)
Final Thoughts: It's no surprise that there is a consistency in the picks for this track, because the top drivers seem to repeat success on the concrete. That's not to say someone else can't tame this monster, but it will be a difficult task.
We all will eventually find out after 400 laps.
It is the final broadcast of the year for the FOX crew, as they will hit the airwaves one last time for 2013 beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET, with the green flag waving shortly after 1:00.
Summary of picks: