ONE MILE OF PURE MEAN An old veteran of NASCAR who's as in shape as they come, Mark Martin once challenged any stick-and-ball athlete to pay Dover a visit. Before lumping auto racers into the "non-athlete" category, Martin wanted naysayers to ...
ONE MILE OF PURE MEAN
An old veteran of NASCAR who's as in shape as they come, Mark Martin once challenged any stick-and-ball athlete to pay Dover a visit. Before lumping auto racers into the "non-athlete" category, Martin wanted naysayers to feel how difficult it was to log 400 laps around a track that's so daunting and intimidating it has the post-P90X Stay Puft Marshmallow Man for a mascot. For NASCAR drivers, Dover's a measuring stick. Win there, and you've slayed the Monster Mile.
82. SCOTT SPEED
THAT SICKLY FEELING: After shaking off a pesky illness throughout Saturday, Scott Speed strapped in for the Sylvania 300 one day later. For Speed, however, his race essentially ended 25 laps in, as the No. 82 Red Bull Toyota sustained enough damage during contact with the No. 09 that the team spent 80-plus laps in the garage. He returned and gained seventh positions, finishing 36th.
CRAVING CONCRETE: Dover earned its way into Speed's circle of trust when, in May 2008, he won a Camping World Truck Series race in impressive fashion, dominating the final 51 laps against the likes of veterans Jack Sprague and Ron Hornaday Jr. (That was only his sixth NASCAR race, for the record.) A year later, he finished seventh and eighth in two Nationwide Series races, with two top-five starts. His best Sprint Cup showing (23rd) came last May.
VITAL SIGNS: Ranks 28th in the driver standings 61 points behind Sam Hornish Jr. for 27th.
TIME OUT FOR THE GREATER GOOD: Speed, along with fellow NASCAR drivers, will visit with recovering and rehabilitating soldiers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. This will be the final year the NASCAR contingent will be able to visit military heroes at this historic Washington, D.C., campus, as the facility will join Bethesda Naval Hospital in 2011 to form the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
83. REED SORENSON
LEAVING LOUDON: Not much to say here. Reed Sorenson endured his own tale of woe in the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota, only his Sylvania 300 was spent chasing speed and the right handling combination around the flat, 1.058-mile track. He finished 27th - one of four cars scored one lap down.
DOUBLE DUTY AT DOVER: Sorenson returns to the No. 83 for Dover. In eight previous Sprint Cup starts there, he has led 45 laps. But that has translated into only three top-20 finishes. He'll also drive Braun Racing's No. 32 Toyota in the Nationwide Series, where he's earned four top fives and seven top 10s with an average finish of 8.7.
VITAL SIGNS: The No. 83 ranks 27th in the car owner standings 79 points behind the No. 12 in 26th place.
DOOMS DAY IN MAY: You may remember that the season's first trip to Dover was the first race that Brian Vickers was out of the No. 83. Four days earlier, on May 12, Vickers found out about the blood clots that sidelined him for the rest of the season. Once again Monday, Vickers, while running the media gauntlet that is ESPN, reiterated that he has every intention of being back in the car for the 2011 season.