Dover Quotes and Notes
Denny Hamlin Quotes
How is your mindset heading into Dover this weekend?
“Well, I’m going to be optimistic when I go there. Darian (Grubb) and the team have been working on that race track for quite a long time the last few weeks, working on a setup that would make me comfortable on that race track. The car is going to be good. I just have to have an open mind when I get out there for the first green flag run and have faith that I can do it. I’ll be leaning on my teammates quite a bit this weekend. Obviously they are both very good at that track.”
FedEx Express Notes
Loudon Recap: Denny Hamlin was dominant in Sunday’s NASCAR race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, leading 193 of 300 laps in the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota en route to a series-leading fifth victory of the 2012 season in Round 2 of the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. The Virginia native sliced through the field from his 32nd-place starting position to take the lead for the first time on Lap 94, and could not be challenged on a late-race restart to pull away from runner-up Jimmie Johnson to the checkered flag.
Hamlin and the #11 team were the class of the field throughout the weekend at the one-mile oval, leading all three practice sessions. However, a miscue in tire pressures for qualifying put Hamlin deep in the field on the starting grid. It didn’t take long for Hamlin to work his way to the front, driving all the way to 12th by the first caution at Lap 40. Once he took the lead, the only scare came when a piece of plastic stuck to the grille of the #11 machine, causing water and oil temperatures to rise. Hamlin was able to clear the debris by pulling up behind Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) teammate Kyle Busch. The victory is the 22nd of Hamlin’s career and 100th for JGR, and moved Hamlin up one spot to third in the Chase standings following New Hampshire, seven markers behind leader Johnson after two of 10 playoff races.
Dover Preview The Series heads to Dover International Speedway for Sunday’s 400-lap event at the ‘Monster Mile.’ Hamlin is making his 14th-career start at Dover this weekend, and he started 10th and finished 18th at the track in June’s FedEx 400 benefitting Autism Speaks. Hamlin holds a pair of top-five finishes at Dover, fourth-place results in June 2007 and May 2010. Hamlin was victorious in NASCAR’s most recent race on a concrete surface, at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in August.
Kyle Busch Quotes
What does it take to be successful at Dover?
“Dover, being a concrete track, is challenging. They’re 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 racecar – 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.”
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 racetrack 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.”
You have two Sprint Cup wins and a competitive history at Dover. What is your outlook with your history there?
“I love that place. It’s fun to race there and it’s a place I’m looking forward to going to with our Interstate Batteries Camry. I went there when I was 18 to race in the Nationwide Series for my first time. It will scare you the first time you race there. You carry so much speed at this racetrack and, for it to be a mile in length and for it to be concrete – concrete surfaces that we race on, anyway, are a little bit slick. It’s definitely a roller-coaster ride and you need to treat it like it’s fun and not to be scared of the place, I think, because you can get so much out of that place. There are two ways about it – you can probably be really, really good there, or really, really bad there. Some days you’re going to be better than others, obviously, with how you can get your car set up compared to the competition.”
Kyle Busch: Horsepower at Dover
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Sept. 25, 2012) – When Kyle Busch and his No. 18 Interstate Batteries team look at the remaining eight races on the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series calendar, there are several they have circled that take place on racetracks where they feel they have their best chances of bringing home victories.
One of those tracks happens to be Dover (Del.) International Speedway, site of Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400. In addition to Dover’s concrete mile oval used two weekends a year for stock car racing, the venue is also a multi-use facility that also plays host to horsepower of a completely different kind from November through April – live harness racing on its .625-mile horse track that is situated inside the NASCAR high-banked oval.
Busch, driver of the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), knows that a good run at a facility that is known as much for its four-legged competitors as it is for its competition of the four-wheel variety will be the order of the day come Sunday. His history of success on the concrete oval backs up that notion in every respect.
Dover has been as strong racetrack for Busch and the Interstate Batteries team as the Las Vegas native has posted two Sprint Cup wins, three NASCAR Nationwide Series wins and four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wins there.
Busch will not only try to keep that momentum going this weekend, when he’ll shoot for his fifth top-10 finish in his last six races at the racetrack known as the “Monster Mile,” he’ll also try to recreate the magic of his May 2010 race that saw him lead 131 laps en route to his second career Sprint Cup victory at the track.
Despite barely missing out on this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship, Busch started off the final 10-race playoff stretch with a solid fourth-place run at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet. Ill. He was well on his way toward following that up with another strong run at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon this past weekend. But while running second after leading 48 of the opening 93 laps of the 300-lap race, Busch’s engine began to sour, which led to a disappointing 28th-place finish.
Busch and his Interstate Batteries team look to rebound from their weekend in New Hampshire, for certain, and they know they won’t have time to horse around in their effort to get the “white-hot” Interstate Batteries Camry back to victory lane on the Delmarva Peninsula.
Joey Logano Quotes
“I’m pretty excited to go back to Dover. It is one of my favorite tracks on the schedule. I feel like right now, we as a team are running really well. There is really something to be said about finally going back to some of these tracks a second time with Jason (Ratcliff) as my crew chief. I think it gives him some added confidence and being able to use some of his own notes and have a better place to start with really helps us out. We ran pretty well at Dover in July and I think this time around we will be even better.”
“I’ve always really enjoyed Dover. I feel like I’ve run better there over the years than our finishes have shown, but you can always say that about a certain track. I like these high-banked concrete tracks. We ran really good at Bristol a few weeks ago and led the most laps in that race. That was our second time back there and I think we could have the same about of success this weekend. I’d love to go out there and run up front all day long. I know we are capable of it.”
No. 20 Home Depot Toyota News & Notes:
- BACK-TO-BACK TOP-10s TO START THE CHASE: Last weekend in New Hampshire, Joey Logano picked up his second-straight top-10 finish and his 10th top-10 of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Logano raced around 15th for the first half of the race fighting a tight racecar before a great pit call by crew chief Jason Ratcliff got Logano track position and a better handling No. 20 Home Depot Toyota. Logano then raced his way in the top-10 and stayed out during a late-race caution and held off several drivers with fresher tires to grab an eighth-place finish. Logano also finished in the top-10, coming home seventh, two weekends ago at Chicagoland Speedway.
- MONSTER MILE MEMORIES: Dover International Speedway, conveniently nicknamed the “Monster Mile,” holds a bunch of memories for Logano, both good and bad. Logano wrapped up his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Championship at Dover International Speedway in 2007, capping off a remarkable and record-breaking K&N Pro Series East that saw him win seven races over the course of the season. Logano then made his NASCAR Nationwide Series debut on May 31, 2008 at Dover International Speedway, where he came home with a ninth-place start and a sixth-place finish. The 22-year-old also won July’s NASCAR Nationwide Series event at the track, his first Dover win. Logano also suffered one of the biggest accidents of his career at Dover in 2009, when he barrel-rolled his No. 20 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series machine a total of seven times down the banking of turns three and four and was involved in another hair-raising accident after just missing the win in last year’s summer NASCAR Nationwide Series event at the mile-track.
- 2010 CHASE ALL OVER AGAIN? While the 2010 season didn’t result in a win or a Chase birth for Logano, the season was one of his most memorable, especially considering his strong end-of-the-season finish. Logano’s results in the 2010 Chase had a lot of people voting Joey a sure lock for the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup. In those final 10 races of 2010, Logano earned four top-five and six top-10 finishes including a run of finishes of seventh, sixth, fifth, fourth and third. When all was said and done, even though Logano wasn’t in the Chase that season, he scored the fourth most points of any driver over the final 10 races of the season. With two top-10s already this year in the first two Chase races, Logano is already looking at matching that feat.
- DOVER RESULTS IMPROVING FOR LOGANO: In seven-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Dover International Speedway, Logano’s best race came in the fall event of 2010. That day, Logano started the race 19th but spent little time back there, getting his Home Depot Toyota into the top-10 and riding there for much of the afternoon, coming home with a fifth-place finish. Logano had a solid day at Dover earlier this year, starting 11th and coming home eighth. Logano has one other top-10, a 10th-place finish, to his credit at Dover, coming in the summer event at Dover that same season. His career-best start at Dover came in early 2011, when he qualified fifth.
- WEEKEND APPEARANCES: Joey will make several appearances during the Dover weekend. Logano’s only “public” appearance will come Friday night following the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East event when he will participate in a special edition of “Dialed In with Claire B. Lang,” live from the Rollins Center at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. The special show benefits USO Delaware. Logano will also make hospitality appearances for Sport Clips, Toyota and Sprint during the weekend for those guests in attendance. All of Logano’s weekend and public appearances can be found on his official website, www.joeylogano.com.