BNS: Dover: Round 11 preview

VETERANS & YOUNGSTERS AGREE DOVER DEMANDS RESPECT; BUSCH NORTH SERIES TITLE CONTEST HEADS TO MBNA RACEPOINTS 150, FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (September 17, 2005) -- To the newcomer, Dover International Speedway is impressive...

VETERANS & YOUNGSTERS AGREE DOVER DEMANDS RESPECT; BUSCH NORTH SERIES TITLE CONTEST HEADS TO MBNA RACEPOINTS 150, FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 23

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (September 17, 2005) -- To the newcomer, Dover International Speedway is impressive from the outside, with its massive grandstands rising from the flat Delaware coastal plain. >From inside, the perspective is even more awe-inspiring, as the concrete high banks funnel into narrow, banked straightaways. In the words of a famous song from Motown, there's nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.

The red-hot NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series title race comes to Dover on Friday, September 23, for the MBNA RacePoints 150. It marks the second time in as many weeks that the Busch North Series will serve as the kickoff event for a weekend featuring the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series. The MBNA RacePoints 150 will be telecast live in high definition by HDNet, spotlighting championship contenders Andy Santerre, Mike Stefanik, and Ryan Moore, who head for Dover covered by 58 points with three races to go.

While the Busch North Series has only raced at Dover four times, that's enough for both the seasoned veterans and the series' young guns to develop a healthy respect for the track nicknamed the "Monster Mile".

Dale Shaw first raced at Dover in 1985 with another series. "I was just a kid then and it was kind of intimidating," said the fourth-leading career Busch North winner. He overcame his early inhibitions well enough to win in 2001 when the current September date at Dover was inaugurated. "It can be rough, but it's the kind of track where our series needs to race," he added.

By contrast, Eddie MacDonald was intrigued with Dover since the first time he saw the track as a rookie in 2001. "When I first walked in, it looked like a neat place. It looked like it would be a lot of fun," he recalled, adding, "I guess it can be a little intimidating the first time out, but after you've run a race there, you find it's probably easier to run than Loudon (N.H.)"

While it is by far the fastest track the Busch North Series visits, Dover's banking makes it a handling track as well as a power track. On most high-banked ovals, the racing groove sweeps up onto the banking in turns one and three, and down onto the straights from turns two and four. At Dover, the opposite is true: cars dive from the outside of the banked straights to the lowest point of the turn, then slingshot back toward the wall coming out. "You need all of it together," explained Eddie MacDonald. "You definitely need horsepower to get down the straight and then you need handling to get it deep in the turn."

"Coming off four is really tight, the car is really dancing around coming off there," MacDonald concluded. "On the last lap last year (Mike) Stefanik and I got into it because it tightened up there. But it is a lot of fun." MacDonald came away from Dover in 2004 with a third place finish, the best of his superspeedway career.

The MBNA RacePoints 150 opens the Dover weekend with practice on Thursday, September 22 starting at 11:30 a.m., and Busch Pole Qualifying at 5:10 p.m. Race time is set for 4:45 p.m. on Friday, September 23. In addition to HDNet's live telecast, SPEED Channel is scheduled to present an enhanced replay on Saturday, November 4, at 2:30 p.m. Local listings should be checked for exact broadcast times.

NEWS OF NOTE

* The 2004 MBNA RacePoints 150 was won by Dale Quarterley, who changed his Dover strategy with spectacular results. In the past Quarterley had twice shown himself fastest at Dover, but once his engine starved for fuel and once he lost two laps under green. This time he paced himself while Paul Wolfe led 105 laps, but once in front on lap 121 he was unchallenged. Wolfe held on for second, with Eddie MacDonald taking third on the last lap over Mike Stefanik and Andy Santerre. Two late caution flags extended the race to 160 laps.

* Tim Andrews won his first Busch Pole Award at 147.710 miles per hour, but an engine change relegated him to the back of the grid. He worked his way into a challenging position but retired with engine problems after 96 laps to place 22nd.

* The track record of 24.215 seconds at 148.057 mph, set by Paul Wolfe in 2002, makes Dover by far the fastest track the Busch North Series visits.

* Previous Dover Busch North Series winners include Jimmy Spencer (1998), Dale Shaw (2001), and Matt Kobyluck (2002). No events were scheduled in 1999 or 2000, while the 2003 race was cancelled due to the travel restrictions imposed by the close passage of Hurricane Isabel.

* None of the Dover Busch North winners has recorded another top-five finish. The best overall record belongs to Paul Wolfe, second in 2002 and again in 2004. Jamie Aube was second in 1998 and fourth in 2001, while Bryan Wall scored a second in 2001 following a fifth in 1998.

* Dover International Speedway, originally called Dover Downs, opened in 1969 as a combined auto racing and horse racing facility, and both sports still co-exist today. Dover joined the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series the same year as Michigan and Talladega and has hosted two Cup races annually since 1971. It was paved with concrete for the 1995 season.

FAST FACTS

What: MBNA RacePoints 150, 11th race of the 2005 NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series season

Where: Dover International Speedway, Dover, Del.

When: Friday, September 23, 2005, 4:45 p.m.

Track layout: 1.00 mile concrete oval
Race distance: 150 laps, 150 miles

Television:
HDNet live
SPEED Channel enhanced replay Saturday, November 4, 2:30 p.m.

2004 MBNA RacePoints 150 race winner: Dale Quarterley
2004 MBNA RacePoints 150 Busch Pole winner: Tim Andrews

2004 MBNA RacePoints 150 top ten: 1. Dale Quarterley, 2. Paul Wolfe, 3. Eddie MacDonald, 4. Mike Stefanik, 5. Andy Santerre, 6. Mike Gallo, 7. Jamie Aube, 8. Tracy Gordon, 9. Mike Olsen, 10. Ryan Seaman

Schedule: Thursday, Sept. 22- Practice 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. & 1:00 to 1:45 p.m., Busch Pole Qualifying 5:10 p.m.; Friday, Sept. 23 -- MBNA RacePoints 150 4:45 p.m.

-nascar-

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Jimmy Spencer , Bryan Wall , Dale Quarterley , Paul Wolfe , Matt Kobyluck , Ryan Moore , Tim Andrews , Eddie MacDonald