A different deal at Dover. HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (May 28, 2002) - With a track constructed of merciless concrete, banked like a roller coaster at Six Flags, Dover Downs International Raceway (Dover, Del.) offers the NASCAR Winston Cup field ...
A different deal at Dover.
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (May 28, 2002) - With a track constructed of merciless concrete, banked like a roller coaster at Six Flags, Dover Downs International Raceway (Dover, Del.) offers the NASCAR Winston Cup field a different animal to tame. The No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service team has done just that, having scored two top-10's there last year.
As Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet Monte Carlo, enters this weekend, the whole NASCAR community enters what is the preliminary round to the middle of the unconstrained Winston Cup schedule. Things will drastically change for the whole field, or surprise everyone and remain the same.
Harvick, the 2001 NASCAR Busch Series champion, offers his insight to racing at Dover and what the middle of the season will behold:
Racing the Roller Coaster for the First Time
"I got my first NASCAR Busch Series pole at Dover. Before that weekend in 2000, I had only raced the track on a computer game. And believe me, that's the only track on that computer game I spent a large amount of time on during that week. It's always intimidating as a rookie to go to a place you've never been, but that one turned out pretty good. Who can complain about getting the pole the first time out at a place?"
The Different Deal
"Racing at Dover is kinda cool because it's a different type of racing with the concrete (track surface). Especially when the racing groove widens out, you go into the corner and one guy goes to the bottom and another will go to the middle, and another will go all the way up against the wall. If he's lucky, that guy won't end up in it. So, you can race in the corners, but you kinda have to funnel it down to get through the corner when you're coming off.
"Tire wear is big there, and so is your gear choice and engine. Concrete is concrete and I don't care where you are and what you're driving, rubber and concrete just don't get along. A lot of 'under the hood' stuff comes into play at Dover more so than other places where your aero-package is absolutely needed to be on point to get to Victory Lane. The turns are banked like no other place, and you're going up and down and up and down like a roller coaster."
Looking into the Crystal Ball
"We'll probably see a big change now that we're getting to the middle of the season. You know, it's just getting to the racetrack. We're going to a lot of racetracks that not a lot of people have been to (tested at). So, usually in the middle of the year is when the (NASCAR Winston Cup Driver's) points take the biggest swing.
"There will be somebody who gets on a roll. Usually when you get on a roll, it's like a snowball. It just keeps getting bigger and bigger with the right momentum behind it. The season is long, there's like 38 weekends a year that you have to be at a racetrack. That's a lot of days, plus you have seven tests - which usually consist of two days at a racetrack during the week. It just sets the position that nothing is over until we race that last race at Homestead (Fla.)"