Dale Earnhardt Inc. Optimistic Heading into Monster Mile DEI hoping for a repeat of history at Dover this weekend MOORESVILLE, N.C. (May 28, 2008) -- Dale Earnhardt Inc. rolls into the Monster Mile of Dover (Del.) International Speedway...
Dale Earnhardt Inc. Optimistic Heading into Monster Mile
DEI hoping for a repeat of history at Dover this weekend
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (May 28, 2008) -- Dale Earnhardt Inc. rolls into the Monster Mile of Dover (Del.) International Speedway excited about its chances in this weekend's Best Buy 400. DEI had three cars run the majority of the race inside the top five last fall at Dover, with and all four of its cars finishing inside the top 21 and the four-car operation boasts a wealth of experience at taming the 1.0-mile track known for wreaking havoc on its competition.
While youngsters Paul Menard and Regan Smith are relatively new at cutting their teeth in the Sprint Cup Series at Dover International Speedway, they will have an abundance of knowledge and experience to lean on in Dale Earnhardt Inc. veterans Martin Truex Jr. and Mark Martin.
Truex is the defending winner of the event, having slain the track in a dominating performance a year ago that saw the young driver lead 216 laps in a runaway performance. The win catapulted Truex to three top fives in the next four races, moving the No. 1 car from 16th to sixth in points and placing Truex in the 'Chase' for the Nextel Cup. Truex finished 13th in the fall follow-up at Dover after getting in an accident while running fifth late in the race and he boasts a pair of Nationwide wins at Dover as well.
In addition to Truex's accolades at Dover, Mark Martin, driver of the No. 8 U.S. Army Chevrolet, has the distinction of being the only driver to have bested Dover in all three of NASCAR's major series.
Martin collected the first of his 90 NASCAR wins at Dover via the Nationwide Series in 1987, when Menard and Truex were only seven-years old. He has followed that up with four wins in the Cup Series (the most recent coming in 2004) and a 2006 win in the Truck Series. Martin finished in the top 10 in both Dover events last season, including a fourth-place finish in the fall. In addition, the No. 8 team finished third there last fall, one place ahead of Martin and his No. 01 car.
Paul Menard moves into Dover fresh off a strong run at Lowe's Motor Speedway in the Coca-Cola 600. The team was encouraged by the performance, despite the fact Menard's night ended early due to a punctured radiator. Menard finished just outside the top 20 (21st) in his only Cup start at Dover last fall, and he had a top-10 finish there in the Nationwide Series in 2005 and a pair of top-10 qualifying efforts in the Nationwide Series in 2006.
Regan Smith, who continues to lead the rookie-of-the-year standings, is coming off one of his best runs of the season -- a 19th-place finish in the 600. He will be teamed with new crew chief Dan Stillman. Smith, who has finished inside the top 21 in three of his last four starts, will make his first Cup start at Dover. He does have six starts in the Nationwide Series at Dover, where he has started to 10 in three of the six starts.