NASCAR Camping World Series East News & Notes - Dover * Truex, MacDonald Battle For Series Title * Owners Championship On The Line * Next Up: NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown Down To The Wire: 'Monster Mile' To Decide Title Eddie MacDonald...
NASCAR Camping World Series East News & Notes - Dover
* Truex, MacDonald Battle For Series Title * Owners Championship On The Line * Next Up: NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown
Down To The Wire: 'Monster Mile' To Decide Title
Eddie MacDonald did what he needed to do at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The Rowley, Mass., native drove the No. 71 Grimm Construction Chevrolet to the win at the 'Magic Mile.' It was his third win at his home track in the last four races there, and was just about the best he could have done.
Unfortunately for MacDonald, the driver he's chasing in the NASCAR Camping World Series East points race, Ryan Truex, brought his No. 00 NAPA Toyota home in third.
So while MacDonald was able to slice 20 points off the lead, Truex still brings a 30-point cushion into Friday's season finale, the Sunoco 150 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.
Over the previous two seasons, the 'Monster Mile' has crowned two first-time NASCAR champions--Joey Logano in 2007 and Matt Kobyluck in 2008. Truex and MacDonald guarantee that trend will continue.
By starting the race, they will eliminate all but third-place Joey Lavender from the championship race. Lavender needs to win or finish second and lead the most laps, and hope both Truex and MacDonald finish in the back of the field to lay claim to the title.
Truex can win the championship by finishing fourth or better, by finishing fifth or better and leading a lap, or by finishing sixth or better and leading the most laps.
The 17-year-old development driver for Michael Waltrip Racing, has finished third or better in each of the last seven races, including three victories.
Dover holds a special meaning for Truex, who is from nearby Mayetta, N.J. His older brother, Martin Truex Jr., won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the one-mile high banked oval.
The series practices Thursday with qualifying set to take place Friday in advance of the green flag for the Sunoco 150, which is scheduled for 4:45 p.m.
The Race: Sunoco 150
The Place: Dover (Del.) International Speedway
The Date: Friday, Sept. 25
The Time: 5:10 p.m. ET
TV Schedule: SPEED, Oct. 1, 3 p.m. ET
Track Layout: 1-mile concrete oval
Race Purse: $218,298
2008 Winner: Aric Almirola
2008 Polesitter: Brian Ickler
Thursday: Practice 2-3: p.m., Practice 3:50-5 p.m.
Friday: Qualifying 12:40 p.m.
The Race ... The Sunoco 150 at Dover International Speedway is the final event in an 11-race 2009 schedule for the NASCAR Camping World Series East. This will be the eighth all-time non-combination race for the series at DIS.
The Procedure ... The starting field is 30 cars, including provisionals. The first 26 cars will have secured starting positions based on two-lap qualifying. The remaining four spots will be awarded through the provisional process. The race will be 150 laps (150 miles).
The Track ... DIS is a one-mile concrete oval with banking of nine degrees on the straightaways and 24 degrees in the turns.
Race Winners ... In the seven previous NCWSE races at DIS there has yet to be a driver record more than one victory. Matt Kobyluck is the only previous winner (2002) that is entered for this year's race.
Pole Winners ... As with race winners, there has yet to be a driver that has earned multiple poles at DIS. No previous pole winner is entered for this race so the trend of first-timers will continue in 2009. Sean Caisse has the qualifying record at 23.563 seconds (152.782 mph).
Prior History ... The NCWSE competed in 10 races at DIS from 1987-1992 when it was called the Busch North Series. These were combination races with the NASCAR Nationwide Series (then known as the Busch Series) in which competitors designated the series they wished to earn points for at the time of entry.
Owner Points Also On The Line At Dover
The driver's championship won't be the only NASCAR title decided at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.
Ryan Truex's late-season surge -- seven straight finishes of third or better -- has pushed the Rob Kaufmann and the No. 00 NAPA Toyota to the top of the owner's standings. Truex's third-place finish last Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway gave the Michael Waltrip Racing organization the lead for the first time all season.
While Truex battles Eddie MacDonald for the driver championship, J.D. Gibbs and the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Driven Toyota are also in the mix for the owner's title.
Kaufmann leads Gibbs by just 15 points and Rob Grimm, the owner of MacDonald's No. 71 Grimm Construction Chevrolet, by 30 points.
Gibbs, who won the owner's title in 2007 with Joey Logano, has held the owner's lead since the second race of the season when then 17-year-old Matt DiBenedetto earned the victory at Tri-County Motor Speedway in Hudson, N.C.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Kyle Busch jumped in the car for the combination event with the NASCAR Camping World Series West at Iowa Speedway and made it back-to-back wins.
Max Gresham, 16, made his first start at South Boston (Va.) Speedway and turned in a fifth-place performance. DiBenedetto kept the No. 18 in the lead with a fifth at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International and a win at New Hampshire.
Gresham was 16th at Adirondack International Speedway in Beaver Falls, N.Y., and then DiBenedetto took a hit when he was involved in an accident while leading on the road course at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn., by nearly nine seconds. He wound up finishing 16th.
Gresham was back in the car at New Hampshire, finishing ninth after qualifying second and running up front most of the day. This, combined with the third-place finish by Truex, allowed Kaufmann to take over the owner's lead heading into the finale.
DiBenedetto will be back in the car for the Sunoco 150.
In the first two years in the series, Gibbs' cars have fared well at the 'Monster Mile.' Logano was second in 2007 as was Marc Davis in last year's race.
Toyota Claims First Manufacturers Title
While there is no official manufacturer's championship awarded in the NASCAR Camping World Series, the 2009 season has been an historic one for Toyota.
Matt DiBenedetto drove the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota to Victory Lane for the first time in the NCWS East earlier this year, and between that team and the No. 00 of Michael Waltrip racing and driver Ryan Truex, Toyota has six wins -- the first time a manufacturer other than Chevrolet has led the series in wins wince Pontiac accomplished the feat in 1995.
The No. 00 -- owned by Rob Kaufmann -- is currently the points leader entering the final race of the season with 1,577.
If Truex wins captures the title, it would mark the first time that the championship-winning car was a Toyota. If Truex falters, Toyota could also get a series championship through the owner's side as the No. 18 owned by J.D. Gibbs trails the No. 00 by just 15 points entering the season finale.
Last Year's Event
Matt Kobyluck (No. 40 Mohegan Sun Chevrolet) won his first NASCAR championship at Dover International Speedway, while Aric Almirola (No. 8 Dale Earnhardt Foundation Chevrolet) earned the win in his first appearance in the NASCAR Camping World Series East.
Kobyluck, the 38-year-old driver from Uncasville, Conn., clinched the NASCAR Camping World Series East title with his third-place finish in the Sunoco 150.
With one race remaining on the 2008 schedule, Kobyluck left Dover with a 224-point lead over second-place Austin Dillon. Dillon finished ninth.
Kobyluck also became the first Native American to win a NASCAR Camping World Series championship. He is a member of the Mohegan Tribal Nation.
The 23-year-old Almirola, a Cuban-American, ran the No. 8 DEI Chevrolet as a one-race substitute for Jeffrey Earnhardt.
Marc Davis (No. 18 WHUR 96.3/Slim Jim Toyota), an 18-year-old African-American, finished second. Steve Park and Bobby Hamilton Jr. rounded out the top five.
Davis led three times for a race-high 45 laps, but a caution on lap 131 erased his lead. Almirola drove by Davis following the restart en route to the win.
Final Notes From New Hampshire
Award-Winning Effort for MacDonald ... Eddie MacDonald is becoming more and more home at his "home track," New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The driver from Rowley, Mass. - located 75 miles from Loudon, N.H. - earned the Coors Light Pole Award during Thursday qualifying. The win on Friday made him the Camping World Happy Camper Award winner for the third time in his last four trips to the 'Magic Mile.'
Moffitt Recovers Nicely ... Brett Moffitt's first trip to NHMS in June concluded with an accident on Lap 40, but his second chance proved more successful as he crossed the line second on Friday to earn the Sunoco Rookie of the Race Award.
Hernandez on the Move ... Jesus Hernandez turned in a fifth-place effort - after starting 34th - to earn the Coca-Cola Move of the Race Award. In eight starts this year he has six top 10s.
Kobyluck Has Strong Run ... Reigning NCWS East Champion Matt Kobyluck will not repeat in 2009, but that didn't prevent him from competing for the win at NHMS. The veteran led a race-high 38 laps to earn the Wix Filters Lap Leader Award and his fourth place finish was also good enough to bring home the Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award.
Swindell, Richards Impress ... Kevin Swindell and Josh Richards turned some heads Friday in NASCAR Camping World Series East cars at NHMS. Swindell - a USAC regular - led 10 laps and was a contender for the win before problems on a late-race restart shuffled him back to 10th while Richards - a World of Outlaws standout - was running third with less than 20 laps remaining before finishing 18th.
DiBenedetto, MacDonald to Run Memphis ... NASCAR Camping World Series East drivers Matt DiBenedetto and MacDonald both have their sights set on at least one more start after their current season closes out this week. DiBenedetto will compete for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park on Oct. 24. MacDonald will also attempt to start the same race for Go Green Racing. It will be the NNS debut for DiBenedetto while MacDonald has one previous NNS start at New Hampshire in 2007.
Up Next: Toyota All-Star Showdown
The Sunoco 150 ad Dover (Del.) International Speedway will be the season finale for the NASCAR Camping World Series East, but another marquee event will see many of the series' competitors return to the track before the green flag drops on the 2010 season.
The seventh edition of the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown is scheduled for Jan. 29-30, 2010 in Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (Calif.).
The Showdown features secured starting positions for each 2009 season winner from both the NCWS East and NCWS West. With one week remaining on the schedule for both series there are currently 14 drivers locked in. NCWS East winners include: Kyle Busch, Matt DiBenedetto, Brian Ickler, Eddie MacDonald, Brett Moffitt, Steve Park and Ryan Truex. NCWS West winners include: Jason Bowles, Paulie Harraka, Eric Holmes, Jim Inglebright, Patrick Long, David Mayhew and Greg Pursley.
The champions from the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, Whelen Southern Modified Tour, Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1, Mexico Series and Whelen All-American Series will also have secured starting positions.