MBNA Gold 200 Saturday Notebook By Dave Rodman DOVER, Del. (Sept. 19, 1998) Notes and quotes following Saturday's MBNA Gold 200 at Dover Downs International Speedway: Dale Jarrett had a much shorter day than he anticipated, ...
MBNA Gold 200 Saturday Notebook By Dave Rodman
DOVER, Del. (Sept. 19, 1998) Notes and quotes following Saturday's MBNA Gold 200 at Dover Downs International Speedway:
Dale Jarrett had a much shorter day than he anticipated, completing less than one lap under racing conditions before his White Rain Ford was involved in an accident with Dick Trickle's Schneider National Chevrolet.
"It looked like Dick Trickle spun out up ahead of me, and I saw that, slowed down and thought I could get through there," Jarrett said after bringing his car through the garage area's back gate. "Then, somebody got into the back of me and turned me down to the bottom of the race track. Dick was spinning down the (racing) surface and there was no way to miss him, and he got into the side of me."
Buckshot Jones continued his slide out of the top-10 in the NASCAR Busch Series points with a 41st place finish in the Bayer/Alka-Seltzer Pontiac.
"I just got underneath the 52 car (Kevin Grubb) and, I don't know, I guess I got the air taken off my spoiler," Jones said. "There wasn't any contact. That kinda surprised me, because my car was pretty tight there the first couple laps. It just got loose and that ended my day."
Grubb pretty much confirmed Jones' assessment when he said "I think he just got loose when he got up underneath me. I hope he doesn't think I done nothing, because I gave him the whole bottom lane."
Car owner Robbie Reiser, who is looking forward to announcing a full season sponsorship for his team and driver Matt Kenseth for the 1999 NASCAR Busch Series season in about two weeks in Charlotte, N.C., was singing the praises of his talented pilot -- and his equally talented crew -- after the MBNA Gold 200.
"Matt is just an awesome race car driver and he does us a great job every week," Reiser said. "We preach to the crew every week not to make no mistakes -- that's how you win races and today they were flawless."
Matt Kenseth gained 43 points on Dale Earnhardt Jr., who finished eighth. "That's a lot of points, but you never know what's going to happen," Kenseth said. "They're an awesome race team, so the only way we're going to beat them is to do it this way."
Todd Bodine was pretty well pleased to cap a day in which he led Bud Beer Second-Round Qualifying for Sunday's MBNA Gold 400 by finishing fifth in the NBS 200-miler, despite losing a lap and getting it back in the face of a dominant performance by Matt Kenseth.
"Well, the car was a little too tight, and then we cut a tire down under green and lost a lap," Bodine said. "But then we got it back and came back for another top-five finish. Man, we're on a roll. I'm going to be here next year, we're getting ready to announce a new sponsor for next season pretty soon and having runs like this is the perfect way to get ready for making a run at the Busch championship next season."
David Green never had a chance to find out if his Stanley Pontiac was going to hang in for a top-10 finish. He said he was hooked by Ricky Craven following a restart at lap 34 and resultant backwards trip into the wall effectively ended his day, which ended with the yellow Pontiac in 40th.
"Our car wasn't bad," Green said. "Me and Ricky Craven were racing pretty hard coming off a restart, and I signalled him to cool it a little bit. Then, coming off the corner the next thing I know he's in the back of me and I'm in the wall.
"Whose fault it was, I don't know... I feel like we had a top-10 car, although that's not to say we had anything for those boys out front."
Michael Waltrip finished 10th in his Band-Aid Ford but found little to be thrilled about in that effort, which was dulled by a cut rear tire.
"We thought yesterday afternoon we had a pretty good car," Waltrip said. "The they started the race and we went straight to the back -- the thing was so loose I couldn't drive it. We took four (tires) ... and started last. We worked our way back up there and led the race, for a while, but maybe we should have pitted earlier."
Young Casey Atwood managed to keep his nose clean all day in the face of a number of wall-banging mishaps and was pretty thrilled at running 197 laps around Dover Downs' "Monster Mile" to a 24th place finish in the Lysol Chevrolet. He said he was looking ahead to the balance of the season even more.
"I feel comfortable driving a Chevrolet, but I haven't raced on a lot of the big tracks like Charlotte, Atlanta and Homestead," Atwood said. "I need the experience, and I'm glad that I get this chance with Hensley Racing."
Tracy Leslie started the MBNA Gold 200 in Hal Browning's No. 46 Chevrolet in order to maintain his position in the point standings. The move gained Leslie very little in the way of points, along with the stain of having an "accident" affixed to his record when Browning, of nearby Georgetown, Del., was involved in an wreck at lap 173 with Jeff Krogh and Hermie Sadler. All three were eliminated on the spot.
Browning not only celebrated his 61st birthday on race day, but he had some help in running the MBNA Gold 200. A number of Delaware- and Maryland-based businesses have come together to back Browning's No. 46 Chevrolet in the race, with Race Track Auto Body, an automobile body repair company with shops in Selbyville, Del., Ocean City, Md., and Berlin, Md., acting as the primary sponsor. Also sponsoring Browning were Moxley's Auto of Felton, Del.; Marty's Homes of Dover; Millsboro (Del.) Shell; Rob-El Trucking of Seaford, Del.; and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Source: NASCAR Online