Dover International Speedway Data
Season Race #: 28 of 36
Chase Race #: 3
Race Length: 400 laps / 400 miles
Track Size: 1-mile
Banking/Turn 1 & 2: 24 degrees
Banking/Turn 3 & 4: 24 degrees
Banking/Frontstretch: 9 degree
Banking/Backstretch: 9 degree
Frontstretch Length: 1,076 feet
Backstretch Length: 1,076 feet
2012 pole winner: Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 159.299 mph, 22.599 secs. 9-28-12
2012 race winner: Brad Keselowski, 125.076 mph, (03:11:53), 9-30-12
Track qualifying record: Jeremy Mayfield, Dodge, 161.522 mph, 22.288 secs. 6-4-04
Track race record: Mark Martin, Ford, 132.719 mph, (03:00:50), 9-21-97
· The official opening of Dover International Speedway, then called Dover Downs International Speedway, was in 1969.
· The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on July 6, 1969 – won by Richard Petty.
· The first two races at Dover were 300 miles. The race length was changed to 500 miles in 1971.
· The track surface was changed to concrete in 1995.
· The race length was changed to 400 miles beginning with the second race in 1997.
· The track name was changed to Dover International Speedway in 2002.
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES – AAA 400, SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2 P.M. ET ON ESPN
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Next Race: AAA 400
The Place: Dover International Speedway
The Date: Sunday, Sept. 29
The Time: 2 p.m. (ET)
TV: ESPN, 1 p.m. (ET)
Radio: MRN, Sirius XM Ch. 90
Distance: 400 miles (400 laps)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, heads to Dover International Speedway for Sunday’s AAA 400 (2 p.m. ET ESPN, MRN Radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio) bidding to become the first driver to win the opening three races of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup™.
The season’s top winner with seven victories – a career best – Kenseth twice has won at Dover’s “Monster Mile.” His first trip to the track with his current team, however, was less than successful. Kenseth finished 40th in June, the victim of engine failure.
Seven-time Dover winner Jimmie Johnson likely is the greatest road block to Kenseth and Chase history. In two of Johnson’s five NASCAR Sprint Cup title seasons – 2009 and 2010 – the Californian captured Dover’s Chase race.
Tony Stewart was the most recent competitor to open the Chase with back-to-back victories in 2011. He finished 25th at Dover but rebounded to win his third NASCAR Sprint Cup championship.
Kenseth Pursues Record Third Victory To Open Chase
Matt Kenseth goes to Dover International Speedway bidding to become the first driver to open the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup™ with three consecutive victories. Unlike Chicagoland and New Hampshire Motor Speedway, where the 2003 champion won for the first time, Kenseth has two victories on Dover’s “Monster Mile,” in 2011 and 2006. Engine failure knocked Kenseth out of Dover’s June race.
Kyle Busch Grooves Best Chase Start
With consecutive second-place finishes, Kyle Busch is off to his best Chase start. He ranks second in the standings, 14 points behind Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth. Busch was fourth in Dover’s June event and led 302 laps en route to a seventh-place finish in last September’s AAA 400. Busch’s two Dover wins came in 2010 and 2008.
Johnson Latter-Day Master Of Dover’s ‘Monster Mile’
No Chase driver has performed better at Dover than five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, whose seven victories – most among active drivers – include Chase wins in 2009-10. Johnson, who trails leader Matt Kenseth by 17 points, has led his last 12 Dover starts with top-10 finishes in nine of his most recent 10 races on the concrete-surfaced track.
Harvick, Gordon and Busch Looking for ‘Monster’ Comeback
Three drivers with legitimate championship hopes leaving Chicagoland Speedway stumbled in Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race No. 2 at New Hampshire. But hope is not lost.
Kevin Harvick’s title aspirations took a major blow, thanks to a 20th-place finish that knocked him from fourth to sixth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings.
At Chicagoland, Kurt Busch chipped in his third consecutive top five finish, only to stumble at NHMS with a 13th to fall from sixth to seventh.
And Jeff Gordon finished 15th at New Hampshire to drop from seventh to eighth.
All three drivers finished in the top six in Chicago to open the Chase, but saw their championship hopes deflate on the flat one miler in Loudon.
But, none of the three need to fret … yet. Harvick is 39 points behind standings leader Matt Kenseth; Busch is 40 points back; Gordon is 42 points out.
Daunting? Yes. Impossible to overcome? Not yet. The mulligans, however, are over. Wins are paramount.
And Gordon and Busch know exactly how. Gordon has four wins – the last of which came in 2001. Busch has one Dover victory, while racing for Penske Racing in 2011. Harvick is still looking for his first Dover win, but has scored three top 10s in the last four races at the one-mile concrete oval.
Dover Chase Winners Claim Three of Past Four Sprint Cup Titles
A Dover Chase victory is no guarantee of a NASCAR Sprint Cup championship but recent history leans in that direction. The Dover winner has gone on to claim the title three times: Brad Keselowski in 2012 and Jimmie Johnson in 2009-10. On the flip side, Tony Stewart overcame a 25th-place finish to win his third title in 2011.
Biffle Says It’s Far From Being Three-Driver Chase Shootout
Matt Kenseth has opened a wide lead over 10 of his 12 Chase rivals. Greg Biffle, who finished third in New Hampshire, predicts it’s far from being a three-driver shoot-out. Roush Fenway Racing partners Carl Edwards and Biffle rank fourth and fifth, 36 and 38 points behind Kenseth. In 2006, Jimmie Johnson rebounded from eighth after two races – erasing a 136-point deficit that roughly translates to 32 markers under the current format.
Biffle: Fast Start Doesn’t Always Mean Championship
With two victories, a pair of seconds and four top-five finishes, top Chase seeds Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson have confirmed their status of NASCAR’s postseason elite.
But is this year’s Chase already a three-driver shootout?
Roush Fenway Racing veterans Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle – both with runner-up championship finishes on their resumes – say absolutely not.
Edwards stands fourth, 36 points behind Kenseth. Biffle, who finished a solid third last weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, is two points further back in fifth. The top-five teams represent all three NASCAR Sprint Cup Gen-6 manufacturers: two Toyota Camrys, a pair of Ford Fusions and a Chevrolet SS.
Kenseth’s advantage over the Roush Fenway pair is nearly a race worth of points. But the ebb and flow of past Chases suggest the lead is hardly a safe one. Example: In 2006, Johnson trailed by 136 points after the Chase’s second race – roughly a 32-point deficit under the current system – and rallied to win his first of five consecutive championships.
Biffle can speak to that. He’s been there and – unfortunately – done that.
"I've won the first two Chase races before and then didn't win the championship," he said, referencing the 2008 season in which he ultimately finished third. "Anything can happen."
Biffle, a NASCAR Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck champion, continues his pursuit of an unprecedented sweep of NASCAR’s three national series.
Edwards, who failed to qualify for last year’s Chase, finished second in 2008 and lost the 2011 title to Tony Stewart on the first championship tie-breaker in NASCAR premier series history. He won the regular season finale at Richmond and finished ninth in New Hampshire, 11th in the Chase opener.
RFR co-owner Jack Roush is optimistic the team’s Fords can challenge the current leaders – especially if they dodge some of the uncontrollable issues the team has faced in 2013. “I think there’s a very good chance that the kind of things that have happened to us in the recent past with bad luck that we couldn’t control, if those things visit the 18 (Busch) and the 20 (Kenseth) in one race, then we could be right back in it,” Roush said.
McMurray Appears Ready To Repeat Chase ‘Spoiler’ Role
Jamie McMurray didn’t qualify for this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup™ but his New Hampshire performance – a fifth-place finish in a car damaged in an early-race accident – suggests he could repeat a “spoiler” role he enjoyed twice previously at Charlotte in 2010 and Talladega in 2009. Kasey Kahne is the most recent non-qualifier to win a Chase race at Phoenix in 2011.
Chase Time Is Go Time For Johnson, Knaus
Have Jimmie Johnson and Chad Knaus flipped the switch to “go?”
Back-to-back top-five performances to begin the Chase certainly point in that direction. Johnson’s finishes of fifth at Chicagoland and fourth in New Hampshire mark only the third time this season the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet has fashioned consecutive top fives.
The five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion had ended the regular season with four consecutive finishes of 28th or worse.
Johnson, the Chase’s No. 2 seed, trails two-race leader Matt Kenseth by 18 points and current runner up Kyle Busch by four markers. As the modern-day master of Dover International Speedway’s 24-degree concrete canyon, Johnson can erase much of the deficit on Sunday.
A victory – his eighth at the “Monster Mile” – will make the 38-year-old Johnson Dover’s all-time winner, breaking the track record he shares with NASCAR Hall of Fame members Bobby Allison and Richard Petty.
It also will swing the Chase conversation back in a familiar direction.
Johnson capped his five-season championship reign with Dover Chase victories in 2009-10. He’s led each of his past dozen starts at the track and headed 2,066 laps – 30.4% - of the track’s most recent 17 races. Johnson’s average finish, 7.1, is two positions better than his closest rival Kenseth. Johnson’s Driver Rating of 119.6 is 12 and 14 points higher, respectively than that of Kenseth and Busch.
“We’re in a good spot and we’re going to one of my best tracks,” said Johnson, who finished 17th in June’s Dover race after being assessed a restart penalty with 19 laps remaining. “I certainly hope to have (us) in Victory Lane over there.”
Who Is The Best Pick To Spoil The Chase Party?
Since the inaugural 2004 Chase, championship contending drivers typically have won the final 10 races. In fact, Chase drivers won the entire 10-race Chase last season. Kasey Kahne’s victory at Phoenix in 2011 was the last time a driver outside the Chase saw victory lane in a Chase race. The question is who will break that Chase driver dominance this year?
Heading into Dover, Brad Keselowski would appear to be the best pick. The 2012 champ won the fall Dover race in last year’s Chase and scored a top-five at The Monster Mile this spring in the new Gen-6 car. Jamie McMurray is another driver to watch down the stretch. His Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing team has shown strength in recent weeks and McMurray was the only non-Chase driver to finish inside the top five this past week at New Hampshire. McMurray is always one to watch at Charlotte Motor Speedway, with two previous wins at the track in the fall race.
A few less obvious picks to play spoiler in this year’s Chase would be Brian Vickers and rookie Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Vickers quietly finished seventh at New Hampshire, despite not qualifying or practicing on Friday and starting the race from the rear of the field. Dover will be a place to watch Vickers. The driver of the No.55 car has already played spoiler once this year, winning the July New Hampshire race as a part-time driver. Stenhouse Jr. and his Roush Fenway Racing team have shown potential, especially recently, scoring two top 10s in the last three races.
Top 13 Driver Rating at Dover
Jimmie Johnson................. 119.6
Matt Kenseth...................... 107.3
Kurt Busch.......................... 105.6
Carl Edwards..................... 102.9
Greg Biffle.......................... 101.4
Mark Martin.......................... 97.3
Kurt Busch............................ 93.6
Jeff Gordon.......................... 92.7
Clint Bowyer......................... 91.1
Martin Truex Jr..................... 89.9
Ryan Newman...................... 88.4
Jeff Burton............................ 86.4
Brad Keselowski................. 85.3
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races (17 total) among active drivers at Dover Motor Speedway.
NASCAR Nationwide Series
Next Race: 5-Hour Energy 200 Benefiting Living Beyond Breast Cancer
The Place: Dover International Speedway
The Date: Saturday, Sept. 28
The Time: 3:30 p.m. (ET)
TV: ESPN, 3:30 p.m. (ET)
Radio: MRN, Sirius XM Ch. 90
Distance: 200 miles (200 laps)
NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES – 5-HOUR ENERGY 200 LIVING BEYOND BREAST CANCER, SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 28, 3:30 P.M. ET ON ESPN2
Sam Hornish and Austin Dillon take their red-hot NASCAR Nationwide Series championship battle to Dover on Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET ESPN2, MRN Radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio); a track on which Dillon owns a statistical edge over the points leader. Joey Logano seeks his fourth consecutive Nationwide victory at the track in hopes of extending the owners championship lead for Penske Racing’s No. 22 Ford.
Dillon Edges Closer, Hornish Still In Command
Sam Hornish Jr. continues to lead the NASCAR Nationwide Series standings with six races remaining by 15 points over Austin Dillon. However, the concrete surface at Dover has proven to be a challenge for Hornish. In his four previous starts at the speedway, he has one top-10 and an average finishing position of 15.2. Dillon, who made up three points in the championship hunt with a second place finish last weekend, has three top-10 finishes, one pole and an average finishing position of 8.0 in three starts.
Logano Looking For His Fourth Consecutive Win at Dover
The No. 22 Discount Tire Ford team for Penske Racing is on a roll this season with 10 series wins with four different drivers behind the wheel. Statistics show this weekend could add another “W” to the victory column for the team. Joey Logano, driving the No. 22 Ford at Dover, is chasing his fourth consecutive Nationwide Series win at the one-mile oval. Penske Racing holds a 23-point lead over Joe Gibbs Racing in the owners championship battle.
Pastrana Hopes to Rebound at Dover
With three consecutive finishes outside the top-20, Travis Pastrana is happy to be headed home. The Annapolis, Md. native will make his second career start at Dover on Saturday. In 27 starts this season, Pastrana has four top-10 finishes including a 15th place finish at Dover earlier this season.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Next Race: Smith’s 350
The Place: Las Vegas Motor Speedway
The Date: Saturday, Sept. 28
The Time: 8:30 p.m. (ET)
TV: FOX Sports 1, 8 p.m. (ET)
Radio: MRN, Sirius XM Ch. 90
Distance: 350 kilometers (150 laps)
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES – SMITH’S 350, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 8:30 P.M. ET, ON FOX SPORTS 1
It’s homecoming week for Las Vegas native Brendan Gaughan, the 2003 winner of Saturday Smith’s 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (8:30 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, MRN Radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio). Five members of the current top 20 – including last week’s NASCAR Nationwide Series winner Ryan Blaney – will be making their first series appearance at the 1.5-mile track.
Gaughan Returns Home With Drive To Win
Brendan Gaughan always looks forward to returning home to race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The track has been good to the Las Vegas native and he hopes to end a decade-long winless streak this weekend.
Plenty Of Las Vegas ‘First-Timers’ This Weekend
Drivers ranked among the top 20 in points who will make their first series starts in Las Vegas: Jeb Burton (fourth), Ryan Blaney (seventh), Darrell Wallace Jr. (ninth), Dakoda Armstrong (13th) and German Quiroga (14th). Burton’s crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. won the 2005 Las Vegas race with Todd Bodine.
History Could Be Made At Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Potential first-time series winners at Las Vegas Motor Speedway: Dakoda Armstrong, Ross Chastain, Miguel Paludo, German Quiroga and Darrell Wallace Jr. Paludo’s crew chief Jeff Hensley won the 2006 Las Vegas race with Mike Skinner. Armstrong’s crew chief Joe Shear Jr. won the 2009 Las Vegas race with Johnny Sauter.
· There have been 87 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Dover International Speedway, one race in 1969 and 1970, two races per year since 1971.
· 373 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway; 270 in more than one.
· Ricky Rudd leads the series in starts at Dover with 56. Mark Martin leads all active drivers with 54 starts; followed by Terry Labonte with 52.
· David Pearson won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Dover in 1969 with a speed of 130.430 mph.
· 36 drivers have Coors Light poles at Dover, led by David Pearson with six. Mark Martin leads all active drivers in poles, with five, followed by Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman with four each.
· Nine drivers have won consecutive Coors Light poles at Dover. David Pearson holds the record for most consecutive poles at Dover with three; from 1973 to the spring race of 1974.
· Four active drivers have posted consecutive Coors Light poles at Dover: Mark Martin (fall 1988 and spring 1989), Bobby Labonte (fall 1996 and spring 1997), Ryan Newman (fall 2005 and spring 2006), and Denny Hamlin (fall 2012 and spring 2013).
· Youngest Dover pole winner: Jeff Gordon (6/4/1995 – 23 years, 10 months, 0 days).
· Oldest Dover pole winner: Mark Martin (6/1/2012 – 53 years, 4 months, 23 days).
· 34 different drivers have won at Dover International Speedway, led by Richard Petty, Bobby Allison and Jimmie Johnson with seven wins each.
· 12 drivers have posted consecutive wins at Dover International Speedway, including three consecutive by David Pearson (fall 1972 and 1973 sweep), Rusty Wallace (fall 1993 and 1994 sweep) and Jeff Gordon (fall 1995 and 1996 sweep).
· Youngest Dover winner: Kyle Busch (6/1/2008 – 23 years, 0 months, 30 days).
· Oldest Dover winner: Harry Gant (5/31/1992 – 52 years, 4 months, 21 days).
· Hendrick Motorsportshas the most wins at Dover in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with 14: Jimmie Johnson (seven), Jeff Gordon (four), Geoff Bodine (one), Ken Schrader (one) and Ricky Rudd (one).
· Nine different manufacturers have won in the NSCS at Dover; led by Chevrolet with 33 victories; followed by Ford with 25.
· 13 of the 87 (14.9%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Dover have been won from the Coors Light pole; the two most recent were Jimmie Johnson in 2009 and 2010.
· The second-place starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners (15) than any other starting position at Dover International Speedway.
· 28 of the 87 (32.1%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Dover have been won from the front row: 13 from the pole and 15 from second-place.
· 68 of the 87 (78.1%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Dover have been won from a top-10 starting position.
· Five of the 87 (5.7%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Dover have been won from a starting position outside the top 20 – most recently: Tony Stewart, spring2013(22nd-place starting position).
· The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Dover was 37th, by Kyle Petty in the spring of 1995.
· Mark Martin leads the series in runner-up finishes at Dover with eight; followed by Dale Earnhardt with five.
· Mark Martin leads the series in top-five finishes at Dover with 24; followed by Dale Earnhardt with 19.
· Mark Martin leads the series in top-10 finishes at Dover with 33; followed by Richard Petty and Ricky Rudd with 26 each.
· Ryan Newman leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Dover with a 9.304.
· Carl Edwards leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average finishing position at Dover with an 8.611; Jimmie Johnson (9.000) is the only other active driver with an average finish in the top 10.
· 15 of the 16 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners at Dover International Speedway participated in at least one or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Jimmie Johnson won at Dover in his first two appearances.
· Jeff Burton competed at Dover International Speedway 25 times before winning in the fall of 2006; the longest span of any the 16 active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
· Among the 16 active NSCS Dover winners Jeff Burton (25), Kurt Busch (22), Mark Martin (22), Matt Kenseth (14), Bobby Labonte (13) and Ken Schrader (12) all made 10 or more attempts before their first win.
· Joe Nemechek leads the series among active drivers with the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Dover without visiting Victory Lane at 38; followed by Kevin Harvick with 25.
· Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory (MOV) in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Dover International Speedway was the September 25, 2005 race won by Jimmie Johnson over Kyle Busch with a MOV of 0.08 second.
· There has been one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race resulting with a green-white-checkered finish at Dover International Speedway (Scheduled No. of Laps/Actual No. of Laps): fall of 2005 (400/404).
· Not one of the 87 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Dover International Speedway has been shortened due to weather conditions.
· Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Dover International Speedway five times: fall of 1984, spring of 2001, fall of 2003, spring of 2005 and spring of 2011.
· Four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series active drivers have made their first career start at Dover International Speedway: Bobby Labonte (6/3/91), Matt Kenseth (9/20/98), Kurt Busch (9/24/00) and David Ragan (9/24/06).
· Two active drivers have posted their first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light pole at Dover International Speedway: Matt Kenseth (06/02/02) and Michael Waltrip (6/3/1991).
· One active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver has posted his first career win at Dover International Speedway: Martin Truex Jr. (6/4/07).
· Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in laps led at Dover with 2,461 laps led in 23 starts.
· Two female drivers have competed at Dover International Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series: Janet Guthrie and Danica Patrick.
all info provided by NASCAR MEDIA statistics
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