Dover Quotes & Notes
Denny Hamlin Quotes
How important have these last couple weeks been for the team?
“We always knew we were a team capable of running up front and competing for wins, and we usually start a little slow, but this year it was just moved back a week or two. Usually, we turn it on when we get to Martinsville, and when we didn’t this year, people started to ask questions. The runs we had at Richmond and Darlington were good to gain some points on the guys in front of us. I knew it was only a matter of time before we started moving up, and hopefully we continue that at Dover this weekend. We just need to continue to put solid weeks together and everything will take care of itself.”
Do you feel a little more pressure knowing that FedEx will donate $100,000 to Autism Speaks if you win at Dover?
“I think that’s a cool thing they’re doing and for me, I’ll definitely be going for the win. FedEx does so much for a lot of different organizations, and has taught me a lot about how to give back. Autism Speaks has been a part of NASCAR for a few years now, and you always see guys with the blue puzzle pieces on their helmet or car. We’ll have a special scheme this weekend on the #11 car, and hopefully we’ll be running up front to raise awareness for them.”
FedEx Express Notes
Darlington Recap: Denny Hamlin and the FedEx Racing team posted its second-straight top-10 finish Saturday night at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway with a sixth-place result. Hamlin started third in the #11 Toyota and ran among the leaders throughout the 370-lap event on the historic 1.366-mile, egg-shaped oval. Hamlin never led a lap during the race won by Regan Smith, but improved his average finishing position at Darlington to 6.5 in six starts — best among active Sprint Cup Series drivers. The result moved Hamlin up one spot in the NASCAR point standings to 16th following Darlington, 102 points behind leader Carl Edwards. Hamlin sits just 19 points out of 10th place in the standings and a guaranteed spot in the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup after 10 of 26 ‘regular season’ races.
Dover Bound: The Series shifts north for Sunday’s 400-lap race on the one-mile Dover (Del.) International Speedway. The event — the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks — marks the first time FedEx has sponsored a race since joining NASCAR in 2005. Hamlin has four career top-10 finishes in 10 Dover starts, including a fourth (spring) and ninth (fall) in the two races at the ‘Monster Mile’ in 2010. The fourth-place result one year ago matched the 30-year-old driver’s best finish at Dover, set in the spring 2007 event. Hamlin has started third in two Dover events — the fall races in 2007 and 2008 — and has led a total of 61 laps at the high-banked oval.
Kyle Busch Quotes
What does it take to be successful at Dover?
“Dover, being a concrete track, is challenging. They are all a challenge, but Dover is especially so, just because of the way you have to run around that place. The way tires sometimes wear out. The way the rubber gets put down there. You’ve got to be fast through the corner. Two-thirds of your lap time is through the turn rather than down the straightaway, so you definitely have to make sure you have a good-handling race car – one that’s good in the beginning of the run on low air pressures and one that’s good at the end of the run on high air pressures, and even through traffic, too. Some of the most challenging times are when you’re trying to get through traffic with guys. We were able to win last spring with our M&M’s Camry and hope we can keep the momentum going there again this weekend.”
Does it frustrate you that you’ve experienced bad luck in the Truck Series at Dover, even though you’ve run well there?
“I should’ve won the past five races in a row at Dover, I just haven’t been able to do it. I like running the Trucks at Dover. They’re fun. Nationwide cars are the same way, and the Cup cars. Dover is a good place for me. I like going to the ‘Monster’ and, hopefully, it’s another good one for us this time around, where we can try to go for another sweep. I feel pretty good about that, and knowing that we run well there and hoping to keep that streak of running well there.”
Do you approach the upcoming tracks differently because they’re Chase tracks?
“You don’t really approach them any differently. The biggest thing you do is just try to make really good notes. Write down everything that you’re doing, write down the changes you’re making – all of that kind of stuff – better than you typically would. With Chase tracks being run in the regular season, it sort of helps us be able to build a better notebook for when we go back, and just having a better idea of understanding some things, but that’s about it.”
Have you noticed your meetings aren’t as points-driven at this point in the season, especially since you have two wins?
“No, our talks are all just to try to do everything that we’ve been doing. Just keep the momentum going, keep the good finishes coming, keep trying to run well and all of that kind of stuff. It’s not necessarily that we’re not racing for points or anything. We want to be the points leader. We want to be the points leader and winning races. That would be the best ticket.”
Do you enjoy racing at Dover?
“It’s definitely a fast racetrack. It’s a fun racetrack, too. It makes it interesting when you get to traffic, when you have to pass guys, when you’re kind of falling down into the hole and jumping back up out of the hole to the straightaways. It’s a good place to race. It’s a competitive racetrack and, when the rubber gets laid down, it definitely changes the whole atmosphere and the whole way you run around that place.”
Does going from concrete to asphalt change the way the car handles?
“We don’t run on an asphalt race track that’s banked like that or shaped like that. The mile tracks we go to that are asphalt are Phoenix and Loudon, and they are relatively flat. The concrete just changes the feel a little bit, of course, and changes the way you approach the racetrack, too.”
Kyle Busch: King of the Concrete
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (May 11, 2011) – Over the course of the past three seasons, there hasn’t been a driver more dominant on NASCAR’s concrete surfaces than Kyle Busch. In fact, he could easily be called the “King of the Concrete,” for the talented 26-year-old has 17 wins at concrete-clad ovals dating back to 2008 – a run that includes drives in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Dover (Del.) International Speedway, site of Sunday’s FedEx 400 benefitting Autism Speaks Sprint Cup race, is one of three concrete tracks that hosts NASCAR’s top-three divisions. Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway is the other, while Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway, hosts only Nationwide and Truck Series races.
Busch’s cumulative track record at these venues is impressive. Consider…
At Dover, he has two Sprint Cup wins, three Nationwide Series wins and one Truck Series win. All but the Truck Series win (2005) came in the last three years.
At Bristol, Busch has five Sprint Cup wins, three Nationwide Series wins and three Truck Series wins. All but two – a Sprint Cup win in March 2007 and a Nationwide Series win in March 2006 – have been earned in the last three years.
And at Nashville, Busch has a Nationwide Series win and two Truck Series wins – all in the last two years.
That gives Busch 20 victories across these concrete tracks. And now Busch, the winner of two Sprint Cup races already this season, is hungry for more.
The driver of the No. 18 M&M’s Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) is ready to feast at Dover, where in the lead-up to Sunday’s Sprint Cup race, he’ll begin the weekend with Friday’s Truck Series race and Saturday’s Nationwide Series race. But the main focus is on the FedEx 400, where Busch plans on delivering his 22nd career Sprint Cup victory and his third at the aptly named “Monster Mile.”
Should Busch end up in the winner’s circle after successfully slaying the Monster, plan on a feast fit for a king – the “King of the Concrete.”
Do you enjoy racing at Dover?
“I love it – I love Dover, it’s probably one of my top two tracks on the circuit. It’s one of the places that I’ve done really well at, and fell victim to the Monster. I think a lot people think I’d hate Dover after I crashed there so big in the Home Depot Toyota, but I’m cool with it. It’s a fun race track for me. It may have something to do with the fact that I run well at it. I’ve ran good in a Cup car there and I’ve come really close to winning it in the Nationwide car there a couple times. It’s also the track where I made my first big NASCAR start, so it means quite a bit to me.
Is Dover a unique track?
“It’s a neat track. It’s one of the few tracks you go to where you feel like you’re really hauling the mail. A lot places you get used to the speed. There, you feel the speed. It’s just a big Bristol. The way that you drop into the turns, the way the car loads – all that. It has a long turn where you’re carrying a lot of speed all the way through the turns. It’s cool – it’s a lot of fun. I always look forward to going there.”
The Home Depot Team Notes of Interest
- The Monster Mile is the next foe Joey Logano and The Home Depot Team face. The Dover International Speedway has been one of Logano’s best tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit, despite the dramatic wreck in 2009. Logano posted top-10 finishes, including a third-place effort in the fall, in both events to take place at the Delaware track last season.
- Logano will participate in the 10th Annual Drive for Autism Celebrity-Am Golf Outing on Thursday, May 12 at the world-class DuPont Country Club in Wilmington, Del. Logano and several of his NASCAR counterparts will take to the links before heading to Dover International Speedway. Over the last nine years the tournament has raised over $3 million dollars for autism research and programs.
- Dover was the site of Logano’s first-career NASCAR start shortly after his 18th birthday in 2008. He started from the ninth position in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race and earned his first-career top-10 finish when he took the checkered flag in the sixth position.
- About the last race: Darlington Raceway showed its dark side to Logano and he No. 20 Home Depot Toyota Team in the Southern 500 on Saturday night as Logano fell victim to the “Lady in Black” during the second half of the 367-lap race. While running in the top 15, damage from a lap 240 accident sent Logano to the garage for repairs. The Home Depot Toyota would eventually return to the race and Logano was scored with a 35th-place finish.
- The Home Depot Team and Logano slipped to 25th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings following the event at Darlington Raceway. Logano is now 24 points out of the top 20 behind Martin Truex Jr. and just four behind Jeff Burton and Bobby Labonte who are tied for 23rd.
- Welcome aboard The Home Depot associates from store #6834 in Apple Valley, Calif. The store number will ride along with Logano on the rear quarter panel of The Home Depot Toyota as he races at The Monster Mile this weekend.
- The No. 20 Home Depot Team is taking chassis #297 to Dover International Speedway this weekend. Logano drove this chassis at Texas Motor Speedway in April and at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. A late-race tire violation with 25 laps to go dropped the team out of the top 10 and into the 23rd position at the Nevada track, and he was hit on pit road by the No. 00 car in Texas to finish 24th. The back-up chassis is #278 which Logano drove earlier this year at Bristol, to a fourth-place finish at Richmond last fall and to a 17th-place finish at Kansas Speedway.
- To access information on The Home Depot Team visit: www.joegibbsracing.com and follow twitter.com/homedepotracing, twitter.com/joegibbsracing and twitter.com/jlogano.
Brian Scott Quotes
Discussing his Affinity for Dover:
“I think for one thing I just have good history at Dover. I finished well there last year in both Nationwide Series races and then I won the year before in the Truck Series race. It’s a place that I just like. I like going to the track. It’s a neat race track and it’s fun to have the Dover Downs casino there. And then two, I just like Dover. It’s a fun track – everything about it is fun to me. I like that we fly into a big Air Force base where they operate the big military planes. That’s a race where we seem to always have a big military salute because of all of the armed services personnel based there too. Then I guess you could kind of consider it a home track for Joe Gibbs given how close the track is to Washington D.C. and Joe’s relationship with the area having been with the Washington Redskins for so long and hopefully we can pull from some of the support the team has there.”
Discussing the tough start to the season:
“No matter what we do this year we seem to catch a bad break. We qualify well and then something happens. We qualify bad, start going good and then something happens. We can’t seem to just avoid trouble this year. It’s tough. A series of bad runs takes its toll on anybody. You want so badly to just to have a good run. You just want to have a top five or a top-10 finish and just be like yes, I feel like my bad luck is over with. The one thing though is that it’s easier this year to keep your head up. We have a really strong race team. Kevin Kidd (crew chief), the guys and everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing. They do such a great job and you know that if you could just not have bad luck then it’s going to be a good race and that makes it easier to move on and get ready for the next race.
“I think the big thing is to just get that one good run. And it just takes a good run in anything. It doesn’t matter if it is a truck or whatever. I remember listening to Kasey Kahne talk about how it was so nice to run that truck race at Darlington for Kyle (Busch) and win and he said ‘man, I just needed that win.’ It helped him turn around so hopefully we can get that for this No. 11 Shore Lodge Team.”
No.11 Shore Lodge Team Notes of Interest
- Brian Scott and the No. 11 Shore Lodge Toyota hope to get back on track this weekend at a track of which Scott is very fond in Dover International Speedway. Scott will be looking for his first career victory in NASCAR Nationwide Series competition in Saturday’s 5-hour Energy 200.
- The one-mile Monster Mile of Dover is Scott’s personal favorite track visited by NASCAR’s top touring series. Coincidentally, it is also where Scott scored the first win of his NASCAR touring career. Scott cruised to a win at Dover while competing in the Camping World Truck Series event there in May of 2009. He started the race from the third position and led 14 laps in route to the win.
- Scott has made two starts in Nationwide Series competition at Dover. He earned a ninth-place finish during the spring race in 2010 and finished 13th when the series returned to the track in September of last year for an average Dover finishing position of 11th.
- Additionally, he finished on the lead lap in both of the two Nationwide Series events in which he has competed.
- Last Race: Scott and the No. 11 Shore Lodge Toyota scored their first DNF of the 2011 NASCAR season last week at Darlington Raceway when Scott was caught up in an accident that sent him hard into the inside retaining wall along the Darlington backstretch. Scott was OK but the No. 11 Shore Lodge Toyota was beyond repair and the team was forced to retire from the race. Scott was scored with a 29th-place finish once the race was complete.
- Scott remains in eighth place in the NASCAR Nationwide Series driver point standings after 10 races in 2011. He is 74 points behind current point leader Justin Allgaier, and is 50 points out of the top five in the point standings.
- Chassis #119 is the car Scott will race this weekend at Dover International Speedway. This will mark just the second race of the 2011 NASCAR season for Chassis #119. Scott scored a 13th-place finish in Chassis #119 at Auto Club Speedway earlier this year. Chassis #106 will serve as the backup. This car has not yet been raced in 2011.
- To access information on Brian Scott and No. 11 Team visit: www.joegibbsracing.com and follow twitter.com/bscottracing and twitter.com/joegibbsracing.