Monday, September 30, 2013

LVH 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup odds updated following Dover

Jimmie Johnson jumps into second behind Kenseth with Dover win


LVH Super Book odds to win 2013 Korean Grand Prix



Johnson wins for record eighth time at Dover

Jimmie Johnson thought he was in trouble when he saw teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. lined up behind him with four fresh tires for the final restart Sunday at Dover International Speedway.

Johnson had taken just two new tires on his final pit stop while Earnhardt took four, giving Earnhardt what looked like a big advantage over the final 26 laps.

But as he is prone to do on one of his best tracks, Johnson drove away from Earnhardt on the final restart and then held him off to win for a record eighth time at the 1-mile oval. Earnhardt, who is winless this year, finished a disappointing second.

Read More Here......Sporting News

AAA 400 Results

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Dover Practice Notes and Final Driver Ratings

Johnson looks primed for eighth Dover win 
Jimmie Johnson wasn't fastest in either of the two final practice sessions Saturday at Dover International Speedway, but on the first 10 laps of the final session he showed why he was posted as the 7-to-2 favorite to win Sunday's AAA 400.

Johnson came out blazing with the second fastest lap (156.182 mph) of the 50-minute session on his third lap, and he continued to be fast for seven more laps, which was good enough to give him the best 10-consecutive lap average among the 23 drivers that ran as many continuously.

Just because a driver leads this category doesn't necessarily mean they are going to win the race, but when it's a champion like Johnson, who has seven wins on the high-banked concrete surface of Dover, it goes a long way to at least saying he's the favorite and is going to be tough to beat.

Because Johnson hasn't fared his best on 1.5-mile tracks this season, and four more of those tracks remain on the Chase schedule, Dover becomes one of those tracks that he has to do well at in an attempt to win his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup title. He's won at Dover three times during Chase races, including his last two Championship seasons.

With the way Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch have started out the Chase -- finishing 1-2 in the first two races -- and combining to win six of the seven races on 1.5-mile tracks this season, Johnson needs to be better than them this week.

However, Kenseth isn't exactly a slouch at Dover himself, and he was just a notch below Johnson with the second best 10-consecutive lap average. Kenseth will be attempting to win his third straight race of the Chase and eighth overall on the season. He's a two-time winner at Dover and has a 13.6 average finish in 29 career starts, the first start of which was his first in the Cup series in 1998.

While Johnson, Kenseth and Busch jockey for point position, Brad Keselowski is racing just to get his first win of the season. The reigning champ doesn't get to defend his title, but he looks to be in good shape to defend his Dover fall race crown. He won this race last season and also finished fifth in the spring. During happy hour, he laid down the fastest lap (156.338 mph) and had the fourth best 10-consecutive average. He may present the best value on the odds board this week.

In the morning practice session, Kasey Kahne had the fastest single lap (157.288 mph) and also the fastest 10-consecutive lap average. Just like Johnson, Kenseth and Keselowski, expect Kahne to be very good on long runs and be a contender to notch his first career win around the 1-mile oval.

Another reason to like Kahne this week, beyond his practice times, is that he's using his winning chassis from the March Bristol race. Since Bristol's concrete layout was altered in the fall of 2007 to feature multiple grooves, the track has run very similar to Dover.

Read More Here....Final Driver Ratings

Friday, September 27, 2013

Earnhardt Jr. on Dover pole, Kenseth fastest during first practice session

Dale Earnhardt Jr. sets track record during qualifying at 161.849 mph 
DOVER, Del.—Dale Earnhardt Jr. isn’t the biggest fan of Dover International Speedway just because he is kind of an asphalt guy.

He likes the feel of racing on asphalt. He believes previous race data from tracks with asphalt is more reliable than with concrete.

But he loved the 1-mile concrete track Friday afternoon.

Earnhardt posted a track-record qualifying speed of 161.849 mph Friday to earn the pole for the AAA 400 on Sunday.

“The car has been excellent all day long,” Earnhardt said. “The car has been a whole lot of fun to drive.

“If we just follow our instinct and keep up with the racetrack as it’s changing throughout the weekend, we’ve got a good shot at it.”

The Hendrick Motorsports driver will be joined on the front row by Sprint Cup Series points leader Matt Kenseth (161.805 mph).

Earnhardt feels good about the race, the third of the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup. After an engine failure to open the Chase, Earnhardt is 11th in the standings, 62 points behind Kenseth.“The last two weeks, we’ve unloaded some really competitive cars right off the trailer,” Earnhardt said. “It’s been a blast. … We’re doing a real good job in preparation leading up to the race.”

“This track, being concrete, you just don’t have tons of reliable (information) —we’ve got a lot data, we’ve got information but you’ve got to make a lot of gut decisions and you don’t have a lot of reliable gut decisions to go off of,” Earnhardt said.

“But when the car is good, you can make a few mistakes on the way you set the car up. You can miss a few marks and still be pretty good.”

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Driver Chassis Selections for 2013 Dover AAA 400

Kasey Kahne is using winning Bristol chassis this week at Dover

#2-Brad Keselowski: Primary Chassis for Dover is PRS-866 which is a brand new chassis. The Backup Chassis is PRS-838 which last raced at Darlington and finished 32.

#5-Kasey Kahne: Crew chief Kenny Francis has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-769 for Sunday s Dover race. Kahne has raced this car six times this season, notably reaching Victory Lane at Bristol on March 17. During those six starts, he has averaged a 5.67 starting spot on the strength of outside pole positions at Phoenix and Bristol and a fourth-place start at Richmond. Kahne also lined up eighth in this car on July 14 at New Hampshire. Most recently, he finished second driving this car at Bristol in August. Kahne has one top-five finish, five top-10s and has led 90 laps in 19 Sprint Cup starts at Dover. He earned his best finish of fourth at the track in October 2011. Kahne has eight starts inside the top 10 at the one-mile concrete oval.

#9-Marcos Ambrose: The #9 Stanley team will bring chassis No. 848 this weekend. The team raced this chassis at Phoenix earlier this year.

#14-Mark Martin: Chassis No. 14-722 debuted in June 2012 at Pocono as Tony Stewart took Chassis No. 14-722 from its 22nd-place starting spot to finish third in the Pocono 400. It returned to Pocono in August for the series second visit to the quirky, 2.5-mile triangle where it had a similar outing, as Stewart rallied it from its 28th-place starting spot to finish fifth in the rain-shortened race. While Chassis No. 14-722 didn t race again in 2012, it was tested extensively in the wind tunnel and on the track. It tested at Nashville Superspeedway Sept. 25-26 and at Kansas Oct. 17-18. With 2013 Chevrolet SS bodywork covering it, Chassis No. 14-722 returned to racing in March at Bristol for the Food City 500. After qualifying eighth and practicing well, Stewart declared he had the best car he d had in years at Bristol. But just nine laps into the 500-lap race around the .533-mile oval, Stewart s left-rear tire deflated. Stewart spun and impacted the SAFER Barrier on the outside of turn one with the left side of his racecar. Stewart was OK, but his racecar was not. After lengthy repairs, Stewart returned to the track and finished 31st. Chassis No. 14-722 was rebuilt and saw track time at Dover during a test May 14-15. That test paid off when the car returned to Dover in June, where in its fourth career start and second of 2013, Chassis No. 14-722 won after rallying from its 22nd-place starting spot. The car returned to the concrete for a third straight time when it raced at Bristol in August. There, Mark Martin began his interim driving duties with the #14 team, qualifying 11th and finishing 20th. Martin and Chassis No. 14-722 are together on the concrete again with this weekend s race at Dover.

#15-Clint Bowyer: Primary chassis 777 made it s MWR debut at Indianapolis and finished 20th. It also ran at Atlanta where it led 48 laps before an engine issue ended the night prematurely. In 15 Sprint Cup starts at Dover, Bowyer has one top-five and eight top-10s. He has an average start of 17th and average finish of 13th. He has led 34 laps. He has five consecutive top 10 finishes, including one top-five, at the Monster Mile.

#16-Greg Biffle: and the Matt Puccia led #16 3M Filtrete Ford Fusion team will bring primary chassis RK-844 which last ran at Atlanta and finished 15th. Backup chassis RK-859 last ran at Indy and finished 24th. In his 22 Sprint Cup career starts at Dover, Biffle has earned two wins, six top-five and 10 top-10 finishes. Filtrete was on board the #16 in Texas last year when Biffle picked up his first win of the 2012 season. This is the second race this season with Filtrete on Biffle s Ford, the first was the All-Star race in Charlotte.

#17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: and the #17 Ford EcoBoost team will be using primary chassis RK-815 which last ran at Darlington finishing 18th. The backup Chassis RK-827 last ran at Charlotte and finished 14th in May. Stenhouse Jr. has two Sprint Cup starts at the Monster Mile, both of which he has finished 13th or better.

#22-Joey Logano: Primary Chassis is PRS-865 which is a brand new chassis. The Backup Chassis is PRS-839 which has been a backup at several races but never raced

#27-Paul Menard will pilot chassis No. 414 at Dover International Speedway this weekend. This #27 CertainTeed/Menards Chevrolet SS previously ran this season at Auto Club, Darlington, Kentucky and Bristol, with a best finish of sixth coming at Bristol. Menard has 12 starts at Dover International Speedway. His best start of third came in 2011 and best finish of seventh came in 2010. The Wisconsin native has completed 4,742 of 4,800 laps attempted (98.8 percent) at the Delaware track.

#29-Kevin Harvick: will pilot chassis No. 425 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable in the AAA 400. Harvick drove this Budweiser Chevrolet to Victory Lane after the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May, and most recently picked up a 10th-place result with the RCR-prepared machine at Kentucky Speedway in June. Since the 2001 season, Harvick has made 25 Sprint Cup Series starts at Dover International Speedway. Throughout the years, the California native has collected three top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. He has an average starting position of 19.7, an average finishing position of 15.6, has completed 98.6 percent (9,861 of 10,004) of the laps contested and has 145 laps led to his credit.

#31-Jeff Burton will race chassis No. 429 this weekend at Dover International Speedway. This #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS is a new addition to the Richard Childress Racing stable and will turn its first laps this weekend at the one-mile facility. This weekend's 400-mile event marks Burton's 40th start at the Dover, Del. facility and 684th-career Sprint Cup Series entry. Burton has garnered one win, eight top-five and 15 top-10 finishes at the one-mile track and has led 136 laps. Foley CAT and Cleveland Brothers will be featured on the deck lid of the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet SS for Dover International Speedway's weekend event.

#39-Ryan Newman will pilot Chassis No. 39-682 at Dover. This chassis last raced at Darlington in May 2012, when Newman fought an ill-handling racecar for much of the evening but was still in pursuit of a top-15 result with five laps to go. However, a late-race incident pushed Newman back to 23rd once the checkered flag fell. Since then, Chassis No. 39-682 was outfitted with a new front clip and a Chevrolet SS body, and then was utilized for a test session at Texas in April. Chassis 39-682 will see its first laps of the season this weekend at Dover. Sunday s AAA 400 will mark Newman s 24th Sprint Cup start at Dover. Newman has three wins (June 2003, September 2003 and 2004), six top-five finishes and 11 top-10s at the Monster Mile. Additionally, the 35-year-old driver has led 842 laps, has an average starting position of 9.3 and an average finish of 13.1 at the high-banked, concrete mile oval..

#43-Aric Almirola:: The #43 Smithfield team has prepared chassis No. 855 for Dover. The team competed with this chassis at Kentucky Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway this season.

#48-Jimmie Johnson: will drive chassis No. 797 at Dover, which last raced at Michigan in August finishing 40th and at Dover in June finishing 17th. Chassis No. 784 serves as the backup.

#55-Brian Vickers: Primary chassis is 778, which has not raced. Vickers owns one top-five and two top-10 finishes in 14 starts. He has led seven laps on the mile oval. His highest finish came in May 2011 when he started 15th and finished fifth..

#88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.: crew chief Steve Letarte and the #88 team will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-745 this weekend at Dover. Earnhardt has averaged an 8.75 finish running this chassis this season. Most recently, he recorded 10th-place results at Bristol in August and Dover in June. Prior to that, he raced this car to a ninth-place finish at Darlington in May and a sixth-place finish at Bristol in March. In 27 Cup starts at Dover, Earnhardt has one win, five top-five finishes and nine top-10s. He has led 368 laps and completed 99.1 percent of all laps he's attempted (10,705 of 10,804 total) at the Monster Mile.

#99-Carl Edwards the #99 Fastenal blue team will bring RK 808 to Dover, which last ran in Pocono in August where it came to an 11th-place finish. The backup chassis is RK-821, which last ran at Atlanta. In 18 starts at Dover, Edwards has one win, eight top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. Edwards scored his only Cup win there in Sept. 07. He has an average start of 15.2 and an average finish of 8.6. Fastenal returns to the track with supplier brands BlackStone, WIDIA, Fluke and Holo-Krome on the hood, TV panel, deck lid and B-post.

- compiled by

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Martin Truex Jr. going for second win on home track at Dover

Martin Truex Jr is 18/1 to win at Dover Sunday
CORNELIUS, N.C. — The No. 56 NAPA SHOCKS Toyota driver Martin Truex Jr. is heading home before this weekend’s AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway.

As he’s done for the past six seasons, Truex travels to Mayetta, N.J., just 131 miles away from Dover, to host two days of fundraising initiatives organized by his Martin Truex Jr. Foundation. On Wednesday, he’ll celebrate the dedication of the Martin Truex Jr. Pediatric Care Center at Southern Ocean Medical Center. After touring the facility, he’ll greet fans and sign autographs at the MTJF Fan Event and Benefit at Manahawkin Lake Park at 4 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by visiting

“It’s one of my favorite weeks of the year. I can’t wait to see the Pediatric Care Center. It’s been four years in the making and it’s open. My hometown now has a section in the medical center dedicated to children. I can attest to the need. I had to go there as a kid when I broke my leg and my foot. An emergency room is scary. Now kids can go to a friendly place during a not so fun time. I am so proud of it.”

He’ll tee off Thursday in his annual Golf Tournament Presented by NAPA at Sea Oaks Country Club. The 19th Hole Celebration Dinner that evening culminates with the presentation of the MTJ Humanitarian of the Year Award. A large portion of the proceeds from the week’s activities will go towards the Martin Truex Jr. Pediatric Care Center at Southern Ocean Medical Center. Since 2007, the foundation has raised nearly $1.5 million for community programs in N.J. and N.C.

“I want to thank everyone for their support as my golf tournament and dinner are sold out. The Fan Event in Manahawkin is a lot different this year and extremely family friendly. With Hurricane Sandy devastating our area, we wanted to do something where families could get together and help raise a little money to benefit the community.”

Martin Truex Jr. Thoughts Heading Into Dover: “I like my chances. Last week we persevered through a challenging time as a team to bring the best NAPA Toyota I have ever had to New Hampshire. We led a third of the race. If we can do that, I really like my chances at Dover where we have always run well. We were in the running in the spring before I experienced an engine issue. A tremendous potential is there to get us a second win this year. I am just so proud of what Chad, the NAPA team and the 300 employees at MWR have accomplished together. Nothing would help us more than a win at this point and time. It’s nice to see our hard work paying off. It goes a long way.”

NAPA Shocks: Truex will be driving the No. 56 NAPA Shocks Toyota at Dover to promote NAPA’s latest promotion. Now throughOctober 31 at participating NAPA AUTO PARTS stores, NAPA AutoCare Centers or participating repair shops, fans can get 4 NAPA Shocks and Struts for the price of 3 after a mail-in offer. Plus, they can also get back a $25 Car Care Cash Service Card via mail in offer good for repairs at a NAPA AutoCare Center or participating repair shop.
Truex at Dover: He has won three times — once in Cup (2007) and twice in the Nationwide Series(2004, 2005).

- Michael Waltrip Racing

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Transcript from Tuesday Teleconference

Dale Earnhardt Jr. is 25/1 to win Sunday at Dover


Good afternoon, and welcome to today’s NASCAR CAM teleconference. We are joined by Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 88 National Guard Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Earnhardt is currently 11th in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings. He has one win and five top 5 finishes at Dover International Speedway, the site of Sunday’s AAA 400.

Dale, your crew chief, Steve Letarte, said you need wins to get back into the championship hunt. What do you think your chances are starting your run this Sunday at Dover?
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: Well, just going to have to work hard. Our chances aren’t looking that great because the guys ahead of us are winning races. They’ve had a pretty strong couple weeks to chase off.

But don’t give up, keep working. If we can win a couple races, no matter what happens in the championship, that will improve the results of our season and give us a lot to be happy about.

So it would be great to go ahead and go to Dover and get that done. But we’re trying every week. I thought we were pretty aggressive this weekend trying to get ourselves in position to win. Ended up with a pretty good result. Couple things go a little bit different, and I think we get a shot at Matt and give ourselves a better opportunity to get the win.

It’s good to be able to look back on Sunday and feel like we had potential. If we can be as aggressive as we were this past Sunday on pit strategy and many different things, just going after the set‑up of the car and working real hard on Saturday trying to prepare the car for the race, I think we can put ourselves in position more often with just a few races left.

Q. What would wins here over the last eight races mean for you as far as momentum going into next year? Are you a big believer in the way you finish one year has a big impact on how you start the next?
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: Well, not really. There are so many changes in the off‑season. We’re always looking with the new car, you’re looking at higher potential that there will be changes in the off‑season and lot of new things to learn, lot of new things to sort of science out. Really, if we just win races, it just vindicates the work we do and gives yourself confidence that you can do the job. Helps you understand where your team is and what things you can fix and change to get better before the next year.

So I think as far as it carrying over to next year, I think we’re going to really see some changes in the off‑season on how the rules are with the car, maybe some things might happen ‑‑ I think enough is going to change in the off‑season that it will be almost like kind of having to start over a little bit next year as far as learning what works and what doesn’t work.

Either way I feel pretty good with that. We have a good organization that can start from scratch and make some things happen.

Q. Do you feel like ‑‑ I know you talked earlier in the year about feeling that you were close to being a winning team and competing for wins. Do you feel like you’re at that same spot? Do you feel like you’re any better? Do you feel like you’ve fallen behind at all?
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: Yeah, we started the year out strong. I mean, if we could have beaten Carl Edwards out in that last pit stop in Phoenix, we thought we could have won that race. We had a string of good finishes and we were leading the points in the first five or six races of the year. I feel like we really applied ourselves and adapted to the new car pretty quickly.

Now that everybody else has sort of caught up, and even surged ahead in some areas ‑‑ you’re seeing Matt have an awesome year, and it looks like Gibbs is having a better year performance‑wise all around. Some teams at Roush are starting to find some competitiveness just as the season has gone on things have evened out a whole lot more.

So I think we’ll have to work in the off‑season to try to put ‑‑ all the teams are working in the off‑season to try to start the year off with an advantage over everybody, and we’ll just have to do that. Work really hard in the off‑season to see what we can learn.

Q. You kind of hit on the fact that you guys can kind of go all out with the front and the top three running so strong already in the Chase, does that kind of change your strategy a little bit? Like maybe the rest of the field feels like, hey, we’ll just go for all we can get because we just hope that they don’t? Does that change your strategy?
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: I guess. I wouldn’t say it changes the strategy. You know, I think it just changes the way you appreciate. You look at your position in the Chase and you see, all right, we’re way behind. We’ve got ourselves off to a terrible start in Chicago. So we don’t really need to try to string together decent finishes. That’s not going to do much for us. We’re behind so far that trying to be consistent and just rattle off top 10s if we can, there is no moral victory there. We can gamble on tire strategy and get off sequence in the race and try to make it work for you and get to victory lane.

Now we do that all year long, really. The regular season is long enough to where you can be pretty risky and have a couple go your way and couple go against you and still be okay points‑wise and not really work your way out of the Chase by getting too crazy on the strategy.

But in the Chase, you know, obviously you want to win all the races like Matt’s doing. But if you just run smart and run as hard as you can, obviously, and try to finish as good as you can, like Kyle, for example. He’s hanging around, and that’s going to pay off. If Matt makes a mistake or has trouble similar to the way me and the 22 had in Chicago, Kyle’s consistency and Jimmie’s as well will bode well for them and that will put them in position to take advantage of Matt’s bad luck.

So you want to be consistent if you can, but if you start off like we did, you just kind of throw it all out the window and try to get a trophy or two before the season’s out.

Q. Dale, do you know, a lot of crew chiefs are starting to talk about, like you did, feeling that changes are coming and pretty widespread. Do you know anything about that area that you feel like will be changed? We heard about the Fords maybe. Have you heard anything about what part of the cars will be changed or what they’re looking at?
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: I don’t. I don’t really know. I know there are always ongoing discussions to improve the sport, improve how the cars race each other. We’ve been working really much harder, I think, in the past five to ten years on trying to put a better product and better race car on the track than they ever have, but that’s just something that’s happened in the sport every year. It’s always been a process that’s ongoing in the sport and it will happen again through this off‑season.

With more information, more technology, more ways to gather data, understand data and understand what the cars are doing and how the cars are talking back to us about what’s working and what’s not working, I think you’ll see more of that. More conversation, more ideas moving around on what can improve things.

So, yeah. I don’t know what changes we’ll see in the off‑season. I don’t think that it’s uncharacteristic that there is conversation, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see something happening. It happens every year. I don’t think it’s something that’s new or unique.

Usually, it’s aerodynamics, involves aerodynamics or involves the way ‑‑ they’re always trying to improve, obviously, on how much air and down force the guys in second and so forth get as opposed to the lead car. That’s an area we’ve always wanted to work in and wanted to improve, and I think that’s probably going to be ongoing.

Q. On the analyst side of it, you’re talking about what might happen in the Chase. Obviously, Matt Kenseth has been so strong, but Greg Biffle said he too has come out strong at the front of the Chase and then dropped off the face of the earth. Do you expect it to shift a lot? Do you think the points will shift around quite a bit yet for some?
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: Oh, absolutely. There is a lot of racing left. There are eight races ‑‑ that’s a lot of racing and a lot of potential for good luck and bad luck to be shared by everybody. I’m certain Matt and his team are going to try real hard to be smart and continue on the success that they’ve had. But nobody’s immune to someone else’s mistake or something reaching out and altering the way the race is going for them.

Even Matt, as strong as they’ve been, something could happen to those guys and it may not be something of their own doing. That’s why everybody in the series just continues to work hard because you don’t know what’s going to happen. Fortune or misfortune could be around the corner.

Q. With the way the first couple of races have gone and Gibbs being up there and Jimmie, Dale, is there anybody that you think people might be overlooking? Somebody that you think might be hanging back there four, five, six, seven that shouldn’t be overlooked yet, as you mentioned, with so much racing to go?
DALE EARNHARDT JR.: Well, I don’t really know anybody in particular, but anything could happen. There is a lot of racing left. Just as Matt won a couple races, any one of us could hit on a streak, get real competitive and launch themselves right back into the heat of the battle. Just as easily as someone can get behind, someone can rebound and win a race or two and have a couple great finishes and the competition have some difficulty and things can be reversed rather quickly.

We’re only two races into this thing and a lot of tough competition in the Chase, and nobody’s going to make it very easy on Matt. I think the more ‑‑ especially the larger his lead gets, I think more of a bullseye the guy gets on him, and the tougher competition tends to race you. He can expect things to be pretty competitive going forward. He’s been in this situation before. He’s obviously got a strong competitor, one of the strongest competitors in Kyle and Jimmie both right on his heels and Carl Edwards and a couple guys lurking back there in the shadows.

About Chevrolet:
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- Team Chevy

Mark Martin looking for fifth win on 'favorite track' at Dover

Stewart won the June Dover race; Martin is 75/1 to win Sunday
KANNAPOLIS, N.C., (Sept. 24, 2013) – Mark Martin is ready to get physical, but don’t expect him to wear a headband and legwarmers. The ultra-fit Martin will leave those to Olivia Newton-John.

Instead, Martin will don the attire he’s worn for what seems like all of his 54 years – a firesuit and a helmet – for what is considered one of the most physical races on the already demanding NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule.

Dover (Del.) International Speedway is next up on the Sprint Cup calendar. The 1-mile, concrete bullring is known as the “Monster Mile” for its ability to chew up and spit out the toughest of the tough. It’s an appropriate nickname considering the speeds carried through its high banks and short straightaways allows little to no room for error.

Martin, however, embraces the challenge Dover offers. In fact, it’s his favorite track. And throughout 54 Sprint Cup starts dating back to 1982, Martin’s mindset has been shaped by his performance.

Since finishing fifth in his Dover debut in the 1982 Mason-Dixon 500, Martin’s presence at Dover has been prodigious. His four Sprint Cup victories belie just how good Martin has been at Dover for the better part of three decades. Consider…

· Martin leads all active Sprint Cup drivers in poles at Dover with five. Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon trail Martin with four poles apiece at Dover.

· Martin leads the Sprint Cup Series in runner-up finishes at Dover with eight. Dale Earnhardt is second with five.

· Martin leads the Sprint Cup Series in top-five finishes at Dover with 24. Dale Earnhardt is second with 19.

· Martin leads the Sprint Cup Series in top-10 finishes at Dover with 33. Richard Petty and Ricky Rudd are tied for second with 26 top-10s apiece.

On Sunday in the AAA 400, Martin will make his 55th Sprint Cup start at Dover, and he’ll do it with the same team and the same car Tony Stewart used to win at Dover when the series made its first stop there in June.

Stewart, out of his signature No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS as he continues to recover from a broken right leg sustained in a sprint car crash Aug. 5, tabbed the venerable Martin to complete the majority of the 2013 Sprint Cup season in his absence.

With 40 Sprint Cup victories amassed over 875 career starts, Martin brings plenty to the table of Stewart-Haas Racing, the team that fields the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet for driver-owner Stewart.

One of Martin’s many skill sets is physical fitness. He is arguably the fittest driver in NASCAR, and has been for years. The training regimen he outlined in his 1994 book, “Strength Training for Performance Driving”, is a regimen he has updated in the two decades since and follows religiously.

That such a demanding track in Dover is Martin’s favorite is a testament to Martin’s constant preparedness. With a team that carried the track’s most recent Sprint Cup race winner in Stewart, Martin is ready for the rigors of Dover. And behind the wheel of the very same car Stewart drove to victory June 2 at Dover, Martin is well aware of the opportunity this Sunday brings.

MARK MARTIN, Interim Driver of the No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing:

You’ve said that Dover is your favorite track. Why?

“It’s been good to me ever since the first time I went there. I’ve just always seemed to run well there, and when you run well at a place, you like racing there. The place has been a blast for me. I love the way you can attack the racetrack. I like the banking. I like the shape of it. I’ve just always enjoyed it.”

How physical is Dover?
“For the size of the racetrack, the speeds are really high at Dover. The grip level is really high. And because of the banking, the G-forces are pretty high on you. The nature of the racetrack allows you to drive aggressively and slip and slide some. The concrete, specifically, the seams in the concrete, cause the car to kind of snap around here and there. All of that makes Dover a more physical racetrack because you have to put so much work into each lap. In fact, you can overdrive the car at Dover and not pay a price for it.”

How much does the No. 14 team’s success at Dover back in June buoy your confidence for the team’s return trip this weekend?
“It gives us our best opportunity for a good showing. The No. 14 Mobil 1/Bass Pro Shops team has a good history there and I have a really good history there as well. We can only hope that things play out the way they seem like they should. Dover is a racetrack I have a really good feel for, and I’m certainly looking forward to it.”

You raced at Dover when the races were 500 miles. How hard were those last 100 laps, or did you even notice it?
“You just got used to it pretty quickly. It was a 500-miler for the longest time, and that’s just what it was. Back in the day, it was a four-and-a-half-hour race. Now it’s at 400 miles, and it’s still a pretty long race.”

As soon as they lopped 100 miles from the Dover races and made them 400 milers, you started winning. Happenstance?
“The timing was just right for us. We had always run good enough to win races there, and we ran second there a lot, but we also had a lot of tire trouble there in the early years. It was a real challenge for Goodyear to make a tire for Dover that could hold up under the conditions that we put them under. We had a lot of tire trouble in races that we might’ve won.”

Explain a lap around Dover.
“On the beginning of your lap, leaving the start/finish line, when you go into turn one, you actually go downhill. The straightaway is one elevation, and when you go into turn one you go down, so the car lifts up. Then when it lands in the banking and loads up, it loads up extra hard because it’s gone from being lifted up to being slammed down into the banking. The concrete is a little choppy. I wouldn’t call it rough, but it’s borderline rough. You bounce around a little bit with the bumps there in the first part of the corner. Then as you start the exit of turn two, you climb uphill to the back straightaway and it’s a pretty awesome exit. You’re carrying a lot of G-forces and there’s a lot of banking. Then as you exit turn two, your car kind of lifts up again because it’s been going uphill and then it levels out. The straightaways at the speeds we’re going are really short, so the next thing you know, you’re setting up your entry for turn three, which is really rough on turn-in there. But overall, turn three and turn four – they don’t feel as banked and they don’t seem quite as grippy, so you have a little more trouble slipping and sliding coming up out of turn four. And as you come out of the corner and get just about up to the wall, the car lifts up and it’ll actually lose traction right there because it’s as if it’s cresting a hill.”

- True Speed Communication for Stewart-Haas Racing

Kurt Busch says entire team needs to step it up at Dover

Kurt Busch is 18/1 to win Sunday at Dover
DENVER (Sept. 24, 2013) – As the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship enters its third week of competition Kurt Busch feels his Furniture Row Racing team needs to step up the pace in Sunday’s AAA 400 race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

Busch scored a solid fourth-place result in the Chase opener at Chicagoland Speedway, but then slipped to 13th in New Hampshire for an average finish of 8.5 in the first two playoff races. He is currently seventh in the Chase standings, only four points out of fourth.

“I’ve said all along the (10-race) Chase is about top-fives,” said Busch. “We didn’t have the speed in New Hampshire to be in the top-five and had to battle hard just to bring home a 13th-place finish in our Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Chevrolet.”

If there’s a silver lining for Busch at the Monster Mile, it’s the performance level the single-car team displayed at the June race in Dover, where Busch was in position to post a top-five or better result. But due to a race strategy not panning out Busch settled for a 12th-place finish.

“Back in June Dover was a good race for us,” noted Busch. “We had speed and ran up front. However, we convinced ourselves to stick to a strategy that we thought would deliver the best finish and we ended up putting ourselves in a box. We didn’t roll with the way the yellows were unfolding. We just stuck with a game plan and it ended up biting us and finished 12th.

“We know what we have to do there. It’s a matter of execution and making the right strategy decisions as the race unfolds. We’re coming off a so-so race at New Hampshire and feel we need to pick up the pace and show more muscle. There’s still a long ways to go in this Chase. Avoiding trouble and mechanical issues in the next eight races are vital if you want to be a contender.”

Busch, the 2004 NASCAR champion, has had past success at Dover. He won there in the 2011 fall race and has career totals of one win, six top-fives, eight top-10s and 426 laps led in 26 career starts. His average starting position at Dover is 11.2 and average finish is 18.1.

- DMF Communications for Furniture Row Racing

Jimmie Johnson 'looking forward' to Dover, a place he's won at seven times

Jimmie Johnson is the 7/2 favorite to win Sunday at Dover
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Sept. 24, 2013) – “They did the Mash. They did the Monster Mash.” Jimmie Johnson has done the Monster Mash seven times from victory lane at Dover (Del.) International Speedway. He is the winningest active driver at the track known as the “Monster Mile” and is currently tied with two of the sport’s greats – Richard Petty and Bobby Allison – with that win total. So, it’s safe to say, no other active driver has performed better at Dover than Johnson.

The five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion heads to Dover for round three of this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup trailing leader Matt Kenseth by 18 points. While Johnson has managed top-five finishes in the first two Chase races (fifth at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., and fourth at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon), Kenseth has been slightly better, notching wins in both events.

Still, Johnson has some monster stats on his side this weekend at Dover. He narrowly missed becoming the all-time winningest driver when the series visited the concrete oval in June. He led an astounding 143 of 400 laps before he was penalized for jumping the final restart of the race. He ended up 17th, a finish not indicative of the speed in his car that day.

His No. 48 Kobalt Tools Chevrolet is expected to be equally potent this weekend, and Johnson’s recent finishes seem to foreshadow that prediction. Since 2008, Johnson has finished outside the top-10 only twice, the aforementioned June race and June 2010. He has led multiple laps in every one of those events, however.

Perhaps even more monstrous: The last two times Johnson won a Dover Chase race? He went on to win the title in 2009 and 2010.

Dover Notes of Interest:
· Seven wins (June and September 2002, September 2005, June and September 2009, September 2010 and June 2012).
· Three poles (September 2009 and 2010, June 2011).
· 11 top-five finishes (47.8 percent) and 16 top-10s (69.6 percent) in 23 starts.
· Two DNFs (did not finish – June 2003 and 2004).
· Average start of 10.3 and average finish of 9.0.
· Completed 9,018 of 9,204 laps (98.0 percent) and led 2,461.
· Sprint Cup’s best driver rating (119.6 average of a possible 150 points).
· Sprint Cup’s best average running position (7.1).
· Sprint Cup’s best in fastest laps run (923).
· Sprint Cup’s most laps in the top-15 with 5,862 (86.2 percent).
· Sprint Cup’s best average green-flag speed at 144.091 mph.

2013 Season Notes of Interest:
· Currently third in points, 18 behind leader Matt Kenseth in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
· Four wins (February and July Daytona, April Martinsville, June Pocono).
· Two poles (Martinsville, August Pocono).
· 11 top-five finishes and 17 top-10s.
· Sprint-Cup’s second-best in laps led (16 races for 1,180 laps).


What’s your outlook going into Dover?

“I’m really looking forward to Dover. It is one of my favorite tracks. We were close there last time, led a bunch of laps and were in position there toward the end for a win. Unfortunately, we got penalized on that final restart and weren’t able to pull it off. I think we’ve clarified things a little bit with the new restart rule and are headed in the right direction. This Lowe’s team has had a consistent start to the Chase and I expect more of the same this weekend in Dover.”

Is there a sense of relief heading to Dover?
“Yes, to open (the Chase) with a five-four (finishing positions) is great. One-one, like Matt (Kenseth) has, is a lot better, but we’re in a good spot. We haven’t given up too many points, and we’re going to one of my best racetracks in Dover. So, I certainly hope to have this Lowe’s Chevrolet in victory lane up there.”

- True Speed Communication for Team Lowe’s Racing

Johnson favored to win 2013 AAA 400 at Dover, Kenseth and Busch close behind

Is it a three horse race, or just a one horse race for the Chase?
LAS VEGAS -- Jimmie Johnson has been installed as the 7-to-2 favorite by the LVH SuperBook to win Sunday’s AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway. Should Johnson meet expectations with a win, it would be his eighth career victory on the one-mile high-banked oval.

It would also give him a boost in confidence, as he won at Dover en route to his last two Sprint Cup championships, in 2009 and 2010. His ninth-place average finish over 23 career starts on the track is second only to Carl Edwards (8.6) among active drivers.

Johnson certainly needs some kind of boost this week because the Joe Gibbs freight train doesn’t look like it’s slowing anytime soon. While Johnson has bounced back from a horrific final four races before the Chase with two straight top-five finishes, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch finished 1-2 at both Chicagoland and New Hampshire.

Kenseth has moved to the 6-to-5 favorite to win the Sprint Cup, with Johnson and Busch each at 2-to-1. The only other driver to have won the first two races of a Chase was Tony Stewart in 2011 by, and he went on to win three more time during the Chase and grab his third Cup title.

Johnson should be the overwhelming favorite at Dover, but because of the run Kenseth and Busch are on, as well as their past success on the track, they both come in at 9-to-2 odds to win the race.

Kenseth made his first career Cup start at Dover in 1998 and has won two times on the concrete track known as the Monster Mile. At one point from 2008-12, Kenseth finished fifth or better in eight of nine starts. In the June race, Kenseth led twice for 23 laps, but blew an engine just before 159 of the 400 laps had been completed. It’s apparent that the lengthy testing Toyota and JGR did with their engines during the season has set them up perfectly for the Chase.

Busch led five times for a race-high 150 laps in the June race before settling for fourth behind eventual winner Stewart, Juan Pablo Montoya and Jeff Gordon. Busch took an immediate liking to Dover, when, as a rookie, he finished second in both 2005 events. He’s got two wins there, the last coming in 2010.

When betting these races, you should always look at who won the previous race, but in this case, Stewart is out due to injury. Mark Martin will drive the No. 14 car, and is being offered at 75-to-1 odds to win this week. Martin is a four-time Dover winner, and although his last win came in 2004, he has maintained a high level of excellence over his past 20 starts there with a ninth-place average. Only Johnson (8.4) and Edwards (8.6) have been better over the same duration.

Brad Keselowski won this race last year, and like it did with Johnson, Dover served as a gateway for his Sprint Cup title. Keselowski is still looking for his first win of the season, but his low odds of 12-to-1 show how much respect the sports books still have for him. He finished fifth in the June Dover race.

Another winless driver the books show plenty of respect to is Gordon, also listed at 12-to-1. In 42 career starts at the Mile, Gordon has four wins and an amazing 11.3 average finish. His last two runs at Dover, third in June and runner-up last fall, were his best finishes at the track sine his last win there, in 2001. It’s not hard to respect a driver with 87 career wins who still drives for an elite team.

Edwards is listed at 15-to-1 and will be looking for his first Dover win since 2007. In 18 career starts, he has eight top-five finishes. They don’t call him “Concrete Carl” because he’s just okay on concrete tracks.

Read More Here.........LVH Dover and Sprint Cup odds

Kyle Busch goes for third career Dover win

Kyle Busch is 9/2 to win Sunday
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (Sept. 24, 2013) – With two races completed in the 2013 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, one thing is for certain: Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) teammates Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch have been “Outrageously Dependable.”

So it’s only appropriate as the Sprint Cup competitors head to the third Chase race – Sunday’s AAA 400 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway – that Busch will have the Outrageously Dependable colors of Interstate Batteries along for the ride on his No. 18 Toyota.

In both the Chase opener two weekends ago at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., and the second Chase race last Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, JGR teammates have started NASCAR’s version of the playoffs with the hot hands. Kenseth and Busch posted back-to-back 1-2 finishes with Kenseth winning both.

While satisfied with his strong start to the Chase, Busch will head to Dover, statistically one of his better tracks, in hopes of being the JGR driver who wins in week three of the playoffs.

The Dover stats for Busch and his Interstate Batteries team are impressive – two Sprint Cup wins, three NASCAR Nationwide Series wins and three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series wins.

But this weekend, Busch will not only try to keep the early Chase momentum going, he’ll shoot for his sixth top-10 finish in his last seven events at the racetrack known as the “Monster Mile.” Busch has led an impressive 900 laps in his previous 17 starts at Dover. Even more impressive is that, while wins have eluded Busch in the past two Sprint Cup races there, he has led a staggering 452 of a possible 800 laps completed in those races.

So as Busch and his Interstate Batteries team look to continue their white-hot start to the Chase, they will look to build on strong recent runs at Dover in hopes of closing the deal with their Interstate Batteries Camry Sunday afternoon on the Delmarva Peninsula.


Is this the fast start to the Chase you were hoping for?

“Yeah, but there’s somebody faster, so it doesn’t matter how fast I am. I’ve said it for years – if I could finish second in every single Chase race, I’d take it and win a championship over winning a single Chase race that doesn’t mean as much as a championship would. It’s all about the prize at the end. It’s only two races, and you certainly would like to get off to a good start, but it’s early. This team will keep working hard each week and hope we’ll be in the hunt toward the end.”

Is Joe Gibbs Racing the top organization in the garage today?
“I don’t know. That’s a tough question to ask. I think this sport goes in circles all the time. You see a lot of teams that prosper and do really well and then they sort of go back on their down swing, and sometimes you see them hit bottom or whatnot. If it’s a circle graph or if it’s a line graph, you can always see it going up and down like a rollercoaster. I think it happens to every team and, whether or not we’re on top, I don’t think that’s an answer that can be written until after Homestead (Miami-Speedway, site of the Chase finale).”

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.”

- True Speed Communication for Kyle Busch Motorsports

Kevin Harvick using wining Coca-Cola chassis in hopes of notching first Dover win

Kevin Harvick is 18/1 to win Sunday at Dover
Kevin Harvick
No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS

Event Preview Fact Sheet

This Week’s Budweiser Chevrolet SS at Dover International Speedway
… Kevin Harvick will pilot chassis No. 425 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable in the AAA 400. Harvick drove this Chevrolet to Victory Lane after the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May, and most recently picked up a 10th-place result with the RCR-prepared machine at Kentucky Speedway in June.

Racing at the “Monster Mile” … Since the 2001 season, Harvick has made 25 Sprint Cup Series starts at Dover International Speedway. Throughout the years, the California native has collected three top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. He has an average starting position of 19.7, an average finishing position of 15.6, has completed 98.6 percent (9,861 of 10,004) of the laps contested and has 145 laps led to his credit.

Visiting the Hall of Fame … Harvick will visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Tuesday, Sept. 24 in celebration of his involvement in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The 21-time Sprint Cup Series race winner will be available to members of the media during the NASCAR teleconference from 3:15 to 3:45 p.m. Eastern Time and again at the Hall of Fame from 4:30 to 4:45 p.m. He will participate in a fan event in the High Octane Theater from 4:50 to 5:20 p.m. ET.

Here’s Harvick … Harvick is scheduled to make a guest appearance on “Dialed In with Claire B. Lang, live from the Monster Mile” on Friday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. ET at the Rollins Center in Dover Downs. Admission for the event is a $5 donation to the USO Delaware and the show will be broadcast on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90. Tickets to attend the show must be purchased in advance as they will not be sold at the door. The RCR driver is also scheduled to participate in a fan question-and-answer session on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 9 a.m. ET on the frontstretch of the “Monster Mile”, followed by a stop at the Monster Mile Club at 11 a.m. For more information on these events and to purchase tickets, visit or call 800-441-RACE.

Seeing Double … In addition to driving the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet SS in Sunday afternoon’s race, Harvick will pilot the No. 33 Steak-EZE Chevrolet Camaro in the NASCAR Nationwide Series event on Saturday, Sept. 28. This race is scheduled to air live on ESPN at 3:30 p.m. ET, along with the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

A Lil’ Something Extra for the Fans … Dover International Speedway invites fans to the NASCAR Hauler and Showcase at Blue Hen Corporate Center, located at 655 S. Bay Road just four miles south of the Monster Mile on Route 113 on Thursday, Sept. 26 from 4 to 6 p.m. ET, to see the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series haulers before they take off at 6 p.m. on a parade route through Downtown Dover. The trucks will be lined up in order based on the current NASCAR point standings.

Race Rewind … After starting from the 13th position, Harvick and the No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet team salvaged a 13th-place finish in the 2012 edition of the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway after a caution, in the midst of the first round of green-flag pit stops, caught most of the field two laps down to the leader.


What have you learned from past races at Dover International Speedway that you can apply to this weekend?

“I don’t remember much of what happened during the race at Dover (International Speedway) back in June. I’m a one week at a time, keep it current kind of guy. I don’t like to think back on the past. But, Dover is always a fun track to go to. You can be very aggressive in your driving style there compared to most other places. We’ll go there this weekend, and run as hard as we can just like we do every other weekend.”

There were quite a few green-flag runs during the race at Dover International Speedway back in June. Does that surprise you?
“Green-flag runs don’t surprise me anywhere. I think Dover (International Speedway) is one of those places where if your car is off a bit and you get one of those green-flag runs, you can be in a lot of trouble. You can go a couple of laps down there pretty fast.”

- Richard Childress Racing

Brian Vickers on Dover: "Our plan is to qualify up front and then stay there'

Brian Vickers is at 25/1 odds to win Sunday at Dover
CORNELIUS, N.C. — When a new season begins at Daytona in February it will be interesting to see how many of the sport’s experts pick Brian Vickers as a favorite to secure a place in NASCAR’s 2014 Chase for the Sprint Cup.

In August, Michael Waltrip Racing and Aaron’s Inc. named Vickers the team’s fulltime driver beginning in 2014. He’s already taken over a majority of the driving duties in 2013 and showing why he’s a legitimate Chase contender next season. Only Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon’s four top-10 finishes exceed Vickers’ three top-10s in the last five races.

It continues a string of strong performances by Vickers and the No. 55 crew since joining together on a part time schedule last year. In 19 races with MWR over the last two seasons, Vickers owns a victory, five top-fives, and 10 top-10s. Mechanical failures while racing at the front of the field skew the numbers, but the No. 55 is often one of the best cars on the track.

Vickers’ plans to add to MWR’s recent success this weekend in the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway. In June, Clint Bowyer and Mark Martin finished in the top 10 while Martin Truex raced in the top three before mechanical issues ended his race early.

VICKERS ON DOVER: “Dover is a fun track, it’s fast and you can move around a lot. It’s high-banked which makes it fun too. I think it’s a great track for our cars. MWR has historically run really well at Dover. The company has a pretty good setup and race package. We’ve been pretty good everywhere we have raced since I came over here. There’s a lot of hard work that goes into that back at the shop. Throw in some strong engines from TRD (Toyota Racing Development) and I’m confident we’ll have a good package for Dover.

“I think we had a winning car last weekend at New Hampshire. We had to start at the back on a track that’s as tough to pass as any on the schedule. We had a really good pit strategy. But a debris caution came just at the wrong time or I think we could have been up there trying to win again. Dover is a bit easier in that if you have a fast car you can get to the front. Obviously, our plan is to qualify up front and then stay there.”

VICKERS ON 2014: “Sure we plan to contend for the Chase in 2014. Everyone at MWR and Aaron’s believes we’ll be in it. We have the resources, expertise and backing from our partners that we need to win a championship. I’ll be disappointed with anything less than a Chase berth and a few more trips to victory lane.”


778 has not raced.

· VICKERS AT DOVER: Vickers owns one top-five and two top-10 finishes in 14 starts. He has led seven laps on the mile oval. His highest finish came in May 2011 when he started 15th and finished fifth.

· VICKERS AT MWR: In 19 races Vickers owns a victory, five top-fives, and 10 top-10s driving MWR’s No. 55 Toyota.

· CAREER STATS: Vickers owns three Sprint Cup, three Nationwide and a Sprint Open victory. He’s led 1,189 laps in Sprint Cup competition. He’s won 11 Sprint Cup poles. Vickers has started 277 Sprint Cup races and 145 Nationwide. He is the 2003 Nationwide Series Champion.

· NO. 55 in 2014:
Aaron’s, Inc. announced Aug. 13 it had reached a multi-year agreement to sponsor Vickers in the No. 55. Vickers has raced the No. 55 on a part-time basis the last two seasons for MWR posting several impressive performances including his third career victory at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 14. Beginning in 2014, he’ll pilot the No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine with a fresh new paint scheme. Aaron’s will sponsor each race during the length of the agreement.

· AARON’S: Aaron’s carries only the best brand names in furniture electronics appliances and computers. It’s really easy to get started owning at Aaron’s – you are preapproved for up to $2000 in merchandise without needing credit. Aaron’s is having a great promotion – you get 50% off any mattress set when you lease or purchase any bedroom group.

· INSIDER PROGRAM: MWR launched its Insider Program in 2013 that offers all race fans sponsor discounts, specials on merchandise, exclusive pictures and video content plus fan giveaways throughout the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Fans can access the MWR Insider Program through the CardStar application available on most smartphones. MWR will work on behalf of the fans to expand the offerings beyond just its current sponsor line-up, aggregating industry-wide deals and discounts. Fans can text MWR to 42828 to get the card for free. Offers include free headset with rental of a FanVision unit ($19.99 value) and 25% off Toyota Racing merchandise at Toyota

- Michael Waltrip Racing

Jeff Gordon 'focused on getting as many points' as possible at Dover

Jeff Gordon has four Dover wins
DOVER, Del. (September 23, 2013) - With finishes of second and third in the last two events at Dover International Speedway, Jeff Gordon has come close recently to securing another win at the one-mile track. If the four-time track winner visits Victory Lane for a fifth time here Sunday in the AAA 400, it could go Miles toward Gordon’s goal of a fifth championship.

Last weekend at New Hampshire, a pit road miscue – sliding through his pit stall while leading – resulted in Gordon finishing 15th in the 300-lap event. The 87-time race winner dropped one place to eighth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings and is now 42 markers behind points leader Matt Kenseth.

“I’m disappointed in myself (for that mistake), but I’ll learn from it and we’ll move on from it this weekend,” said Gordon, driver of the No. 24 Axalta Racing Chevrolet SS. “Currently we’re only a couple points out of fourth, so that’s a realistic goal for us right now.

“But we’re only two races into the ‘Chase’ and a lot of races remain, and a lot of things can happen between now and the final race of the season. A lot can happen in one race. We’ll just focus on getting as many points as we can this weekend and see what happens.”

Along with his four wins at the “Monster Mile,” Gordon has four poles, 16 top-fives and 23 top-10′s in 41 starts. In his quest to better those numbers, Gordon may need to search the track.

“I enjoy racing here because of the high speeds and the high-banked corners and the high-banked straightaways,” said Gordon. “But you are constantly on the edge and you can find yourself in trouble quickly – whether it be by yourself or in a group of cars.

“It seems like the groove can widen out here where we can run low, middle or high. You may have to search for a line or a groove that works best for your car.

“But another tricky aspect is the balance of the car can be different from one end of the track to the other.”

Find the right balance and Gordon could be racing for a fifth.

- Performance PR Plus

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dover Storylines: 2013 AAA 400

Three of last four Dover fall winners have won Sprint Cup 
NASCAR Storylines for Week of Sept. 23, 2013

Call Matt Kenseth untouchable; at least, so far.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.


Dover Track Facts: 2013 AAA 400

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2013 Top 13 at Dover International Speedway
RankDriverRacesPolesWinsTop FivesTop 10sDNFsAverage FinishDriver Rating
1Matt Kenseth29121318513.6107.3
2Kyle Busch1702811313.3105.6
3Jimmie Johnson2337111629.0119.6
4Carl Edwards180181208.6102.9
5Greg Biffle2212610112.5101.4
6Kevin Harvick2500311115.683.1
7Kurt Busch260168618.193.6
8Jeff Gordon41441623511.892.7
9Ryan Newman2343611213.188.4
10Clint Bowyer150018012.791.1
11Dale Earnhardt Jr.270159117.078.7
12Joey Logano90015116.876.2
13Kasey Kahne190015621.580.2

Dover International Speedway:
·        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.
Dover International Speedway Data
Season Race #: 28 of 36 (9-29-13)
Chase Race #: 3
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
Race Length: 400 laps / 400 miles
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.
Qualifying/Race Data
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
·        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 Fordwith 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.
Starting Position
Finishing Position
Janet Guthrie
Janet Guthrie
Danica Patrick
Danica Patrick
NASCAR in Delaware
·        There have been 87 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Delaware all at Dover International Speedway.
Track Name
Dover International Speedway
·       Eight drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Delaware; none of the eight have recorded a victory in NASCAR national series competition.
Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup: Dover International Speedway
·        Dover International Speedway has been one of the 10 tracks of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup since the playoff’s inception in 2004.
·        Dover International Speedwayhosted the second race of the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup from 2004 – 2010. 2011 marked the first season Dover has hosted the third race of the Chase.
·        Three times the winner of the Dover International Speedway Chase race has gone on to win the championship. Twice when Dover was the second Chase race: Jimmie Johnson (2009, 2010); and also when it has hosted the third Chase race: Brad Keselowski (2012).
·        Jimmie Johnson has won the most Chase races (three) at Dover International Speedway: 2005, 2009 and 2010.
·        The worst finish by the eventual champion at Dover International Speedway was Tony Stewart in 2011 (25th).
·        Chase Contenders have won eight of the nine Chase races at Dover International Speedway. The only Chase race not won by a Chase Contender at Dover was the 2006 event won by Jeff Burton.
·        Chase Contenders have won eight of the nine Coors Light poles for the Chase races at Dover. The only Coors Light pole not won by Chase Contender during a Chase event at Dover was 2011 when Martin Truex Jr. won the pole.
·        Nine of the 2013 Chase Contenders are former NASCAR Sprint Cup race winners at Dover International Speedway: Jimmie Johnson (7), Jeff Gordon (4), Ryan Newman (3), Greg Biffle (2), Matt Kenseth (2), Kyle Busch (2), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (1), Carl Edwards (1) and Kurt Busch (1). 
·        Chevrolet leads the series in Chase wins at Dover International Speedway with four followed by Dodge with three and Ford with two.
·        Three times drivers have won the first two races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup: Greg Biffle (2008),Tony Stewart (2011) and Matt Kenseth (2013). Biffle went on to finish third in the final 2008 Chase standings; Stewart won the 2011 championship.
Chase For The NASCAR Sprint Cup:
Eventual champion’s points position and point deficit to the standings leader following the second Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race:
Points Back From Leader
Points Position Following Second Chase Race
Kurt Busch
Tony Stewart
Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie Johnson
Tony Stewart
Brad Keselowski
*Note: 2011 and 2012 are under the current points per finish system