Monday, May 28, 2012

2012 FedEx 400 Dover Storylines

Kyle Busch is the 'Concrete King'; two wins at Dover over career (Getty)
Dover International Speedway’s Monster Mile awaits this weekend, ready to greet a growing monster – Hendrick Motorsports – and the rest of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Hendrick has played the role of the Incredible Hulk, growing larger than life after a 16-race wins drought. Competitors don’t like them when they get angry. When they get angry, they win three of NASCAR’s biggest races in succession – the Southern 500 (Jimmie Johnson), the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race (Johnson, again) and the Coca-Cola 600 (Kasey Kahne).

And there’s no sign of a let-up, with Johnson winning three of the last six Dover races and boasting an average Dover finish of 9.3. Another win at Dover would tie NASCAR Hall of Famers Bobby Allison and Richard Petty for most all-time at the one-mile track.

Sunday’s race, the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks, starts at 1 p.m. on Sunday on FOX.

The monster race weekend begins with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ Luca Oil 200 on Friday afternoon at 4:50 p.m. on SPEED.

The triple-header weekend continues Saturday with the NASCAR Nationwide Series 5-hour Energy 200 on ESPN at 2 p.m.


Kahne Finds His Bearings With New TeamKasey Kahne, the ever adaptable newest member of Hendrick Motorsports, nabbed his first win with his new squad in one of NASCAR’s crown jewels – the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It marked his third win in NASCAR’s longest race, and the third different manufacturer with which Kahne has won: Dodge, Ford, Chevrolet.

But more importantly, after a wretched start to 2012, Kahne now finds himself in prime position to land a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

His string of six consecutive top 10s (after starting the season with finishes outside the top 25 in four of the first six races) has moved him to 15th in points, 42 points outside the top 10. Sunday’s victory also put him the Wild Card hunt. Kahne currently sits third in the Wild Card Standings, behind Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman.

Junior’s Stellar Season ContinuesWith yet another top-10 finish, at Charlotte – his seventh in the previous eight races – Dale Earnhardt Jr. now has nine top 10s in 2012. That’s more than any driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Earnhardt boasts another "most" statistic. He has completed all 3,888 laps this season, the only driver to do so.

Can the trend continue? Well…

Earnhardt has struggled at Dover of late, having failed to finish in the top 10 in each of the last eight Dover races. His last one, last October, he finished two laps down.

Truex Comes Home In Search Of Second WinSouthern New Jersey native Martin Truex Jr. has one win in his NASCAR Sprint Cup career, and it came five years ago at Dover in a race scheduled for June 3 but run on June 4 because of rain.

Could this be a happy anniversary?Truex has resided firmly inside the top 10 since the second race of the season and has excelled at Dover in recent races. Truex Jr. has won two of the last three Coors Light qualifying sessions run at the track (last spring's qualifying was rained out). He finished eighth in last year’s spring Dover race.

Roush Crew Led By ‘Concrete Carl’ At DoverOnly one team has placed three divers in the top 10 through 12 races: Roush Fenway Racing.

In points leader Greg Biffle, second-place Matt Kenseth and 10th-place Carl Edwards, RFR is charging toward a possible third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship.

Edwards, with an apt nickname of ‘Concrete Carl,’ should contend this weekend at the high-banked one-mile concrete oval. He owns the series’ top average finish (7.3), the third-best Driver Rating (106.5) and has one Dover win (9/23/07).

Race Weekend Raises Awareness Of Autism
In what has become tradition at Dover International Speedway in the six years the track has partnered with Autism Speaks, drivers will again help create autism awareness during the June 1-3, 2012 race weekend by showing their support with a decal on their respective cars.

Drivers across all three series have stepped up to raise awareness for the cause during the Dover race weekend by featuring a decal of the Autism Speaks puzzle piece logo on their cars in the June 1 "Lucas Oil 200" NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, the June 2 "5-hour ENERGY 200" NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the June 3 "FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks" NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.

The all-inclusive event marks the first-ever autism friendly NASCAR race and gives families an opportunity to experience a NASCAR race in an environment specifically designed for the enjoyment of children with autism. Autism Speaks Day at the Races will be held in Dover’s air-conditioned grandstand, offering a great view of the Monster Mile from the backstretch and will feature brief presentations by educational speakers in the morning, special appearances by NASCAR personalities, food and drink and much more.

In addition, the area will offer a dedicated quiet zone, set inside special rooms within the air-conditioned grandstands, where parents can bring their kids to get away from the crowd if necessary. The quiet zone will be sensory friendly, with muted lighting in a calmer environment, while also featuring video screens to keep up with the action on the track.

- NASCAR Media Services

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