Date: Saturday, June 2, 2012
Location: Dover International Speedway, Dover Del.
Time: 2 p.m. EST
Distance: 200 miles/ 200 laps
Broadcast: TV– ESPN with broadcast starting at 1:30 p.m. EST
Dover has been described as “Bristol on steroids,” and for Elliott Sadler that might be the best news his team has had in a month.
Sure Sadler has won a pole at Iowa and finished with a top-five and top-10 the last two weeks, he even managed to tighten up the points lead, but since his last win, things haven’t gone Sadler’s way.
He was penalized for being too low in post race inspection at Iowa, a penalty that still allows Stenhouse Jr. to maintain a 13 point lead, rather than a seven point lead.
It looked like Sadler was going win, or at least get a strong finish at Darlington, but he was taken out of the race while leading. Really, since Sadler won last things have been mostly down hill.
The good news is that Sadler’s last win was Bristol Motor Speedway.
Bristol and Dover are very similar tracks, both are high banked concrete tracks and both tracks are among the toughest tracks on the NASCAR circuit.
If Sadler wants to continue his success on the high banked concrete tracks then he might want to set up a strong car for qualifying. The reason why is because in the seven of the last nine races, the race winner has come from the top two rows.
However going into Dover the most recent advantage might go to Stenhouse Jr. The reason is because Carl Edwards won both of the Dover races last year.
All season long, except for last week due to a car malfunction, Stenhouse has either been matching or improving on the position that he finished at in that same race last year.
If Stenhouse finishes any higher than the fourth position then he will continue that trend, and that is very likely, since the notes that Edwards and his team developed last year have paid off for the defending points champion.
Of note in the race on Saturday will be two brothers, Ty and Austin Dillon. Austin has been racing in the Nationwide series all year and finds himself in third place in the season points.
Ty is running in his first season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. This will be Ty’s first start as he’ll drive the No. 33 Chevrolet of Richard Childress Racing.
One thing for sure is that Ty is probably hoping that his first career start goes a little better than Clint Bowyer’s ride at Dover did last year. Bowyer was involved in a scary looking crash on the last lap coming out of turn four, when he and Joey Logano got together, Logano’s car hit Bowyers at such an angle that Bowyer’s car was launched in the air and crashed into the inside wall that separates pit road from the track.
Another thing to watch for this weekend is if any penalties will be handed out. Every week since Talladega, at least one car in the NASCAR Nationwide series has occured some sort of pre or post race rule infraction. Last week it was the No. 43 and No. 41 cars of Michael Annett and Timmy Hill respectively.
Annett’s car was found to have an illegal nose, while Hill’s machine was found to be too low in post race inspection. Both teams were fined for their penalties at Charlotte.
It seems that the question is not when will the next rule penalty be, but who?
By the numbers:
- 36th–the furthest a driver has started the spring race to go on to win. (Jeff Burton 2006)
- 13–the number of wins a Chevrolet has at Dover, to lead all manufactures.
- 9th–the average starting position for a winner in the spring race at Dover.
- 3–the number of times a race winner has won from the pole in the spring race at Dover, including last May.
- 0–the number of times that a Dodge has won a race in the spring at Dover.
- Mike Wallace
- Elliott Sadler
- Austin Dillon
- Brad Teague
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
- Danica Patrick
- Tim Andrews
- Jeff Green
- Brian Scott
- Sam Hornish Jr.
- Eric McClure
- Blake Koch
- Joey Logano
- Tayler Malsam
- Ryan Truex
- Parker Kligerman
- Jamie Dick
- Tim Bainey Jr.
- James Buescher
- Justin Allgaier
- Ty Dillon
- Brad Sweet
- Josh Richards
- Erik Darnell
- Timmy Hill
- Josh Wise
- Michael Annett
- Mike Bliss
- Chase Miller
- Scott Speed
- T.J. Bell
- Jeremy Clements
- Kevin Lepage
- Kurt Busch
- Tony Raines
- Carl Long
- Mike Harmon
- Jason Bowles
- Joe Nemechek
- Cole Whitt
- Morgan Shepherd
- John Wes Townley