(Spartanburg, S.C.)--- For Buckshot Jones, Dover Downs may be just the right place to gain some momentum as the 2000 NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National division season heads down the homestretch. The driver of the No. 00 Cheez-It Chevrolet...
(Spartanburg, S.C.)--- For Buckshot Jones, Dover Downs may be just the right place to gain some momentum as the 2000 NASCAR Busch Series, Grand National division season heads down the homestretch.
The driver of the No. 00 Cheez-It Chevrolet loves the fast paced excitement that racing at Dover Downs brings. He likes the fact there are two grooves in which to race. What he doesn't like is that he has posted just one Busch Series top-10 finish in 10 starts at the 'Monster Mile'.
But Jones knows that on paper at his Dover finishes, are not a fair representation as to how well he has run at the concrete oval. After all, Jones' strong suit is one-mile race tracks just like Dover. His only two career Busch Series wins have come at the one-mile tracks of The Milwaukee Mile in 1996 and New Hampshire International Speedway in 1998.
"I don't think it's any secret my partiality to one-mile tracks," Jones said. "It's something I can't explain, but the one-mile tracks really seem to suit my driving style, particularly Dover."
"Add to that the fact I posted my Winston Cup career best eighth-place finish at Dover in May of 1998 while driving the No. 8 Chevrolet of the Stavola Brothers and I can't help but looking forward to getting back to Dover.
With 10 starts, Jones has taken more green flags at Dover Downs International Speedway than any other track on the NASCAR Busch Series circuit. No Dover race may be as memorable as the 1997 MBNA 200 for Jones. With just 15 laps remaining in the race and Jones in the lead, he and Joe Bessey were racing for the lead when their two cars made contact, sending Jones into the backstretch wall. Bessey went on to win the race while Jones finished 23rd.
"We were racing pretty hard there at the end," said Jones. "You hear the cliche all of the time, but it was just one of those racing deals. If we didn't crash, I don't know if we would have won the race, but we definitely had second-place nailed down."
As the Buckshot Racing team prepares for the MBNA.COM 200, Jones is looking to return to that same form displayed during the 1997 MBNA 200. So far this year, the 2000 Busch Series season has not lived up to any of the team's expectations. After 26 starts, Jones and the Buckshot Racing team have managed to post just one top-five finish, two top-10s and a pole at Michigan International Speedway just last month.
Last year, when Jones and the Buckshot Racing team came to Dover in September, they were in a similar situation. The team was looking for some consistency and hoping for a top-10 finish. At the end of the race weekend, Jones and the team had accomplished their goal. The Buckshot Racing team posted their first top-10 since Buckshot returned to the Busch Series full-time, midway through the 1999 season after putting his Winston Cup plans on hold.
"A good run at Dover would really do a lot for this team with just six races remaining," explained Jones. "If we can step up our qualifying efforts each and every week, I think the good finishes will follow. It's just too hard to run up front when you qualify like we have all season. "This has been a tough season for us, especially because I know this team is much better than what we've been showing."
The Buckshot Racing team has the capability to go out there and win the MBNA.COM 200. With the team's preparation and a little bit of luck, you never know what might happen.