Dover Wally Dallenbach, Bud Team Preview

Dallenbach determined to deliver at Dover Cracking the top 10 on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit isn't easy, and winning becomes more and more difficult for new teams in NASCAR's premiere division. Wally Dallenbach, driver of the...

Dallenbach determined to deliver at Dover

Cracking the top 10 on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit isn't easy, and winning becomes more and more difficult for new teams in NASCAR's premiere division. Wally Dallenbach, driver of the No. 25 Budweiser Chevrolet Monte Carlo, has one top-10 finish in nine career starts at Dover Downs International Speedway, but the 36-year-old New Jersey native plans to improve on that mark in Sunday's MBNA Platinum 400 NASCAR Winston Cup race at the Monster Mile. "I've had good runs at Dover. It's not like I can't run good there, but it's another one of those places that's a one-groove race track," said Dallenbach, in his first full season behind the wheel of the No. 25 Hendrick Motorsports Monte Carlo. "If you move up a lane, 30 cars can go by you. You've got to qualify up front and stay out of the wrecks, and that's a pretty tall order to begin with. If there's a wreck on the backstretch, you really don't know where to go no matter where you are on the track. "It's like a pinball machine with cars bouncing in and out, but everybody is being more careful and doing better on those wrecks and stuff." Currently ranked 20th in the NASCAR Winston Cup standings, Dallenbach and the Bud Brigade are only 67 points out of the No. 15 position. "We need to get some top five finishes and move back up into the top 10 in the standings," Dallenbach said. "This is only the 13th race of the season, so we've got 21 to go and that's plenty of time to make up lots of ground. "Everybody is working hard, and we're not going to give up -- especially with the tracks we've got coming up. Once we get through Dover, I'm really looking forward to the rest of the tracks we'll be going to in June and July." Winless in 173 starts on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit, the former SCCA Trams-Am champion says he and the Budweiser Monte Carlo are more than capable of taking the checkered flag in NASCAR's premiere division. "I think if we get the first one we'll get more," Dallenbach said. "I hope June and July can be Wally Dallenbach's months. We've got Michigan and Pocono and Sears Point and Daytona coming up. Those are all strong tracks for us. "I really feel we can do it. I wasn't real happy with our Sears Point test. We've got a lot of work to do based on that, but we can win races. Everything has to go right all day long, and we haven't been able to do that yet, but our day will come." And will that day be Sunday at Dover Downs International Speedway? "I'm not sure," Dallenbach said. "You can toss a coin at Dover. It's anybody's race. We're going pretty fast there, but we're going pretty fast everywhere. Guys start cutting tires down, and they'll crash pretty hard. What are you going to do? It's a crap shoot, and I'm not a gambler. I only gamble if I can cheat." Dallenbach could "cheat" a little with a good qualifying run on Friday at the Monster Mile. He finished 25th in last year's MBNA Gold 400 at Dover after starting 39th. "It's definitely easier if you can start up front," Dallenbach said. "It's really hard to pass on the track, and it's tough to make up a lot of ground in the pits, so qualifying up front would really help. "We've been putting more emphasis on qualifying, and I know we'll be trying real hard to make it in the first round on Friday. Maybe all three Hendrick Chevrolets can qualify in the top 10 like we did this year at California. That would be a great start for the weekend."

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Wally Dallenbach
Teams Hendrick Motorsports