Five for Five. HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (September 16, 2002) - The "Big Bristol," or Dover (Del.) Downs International Speedway, of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series regime marks the fifth in a succession of five consecutive short track events. In ...
Five for Five.
HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. (September 16, 2002) - The "Big Bristol," or Dover (Del.) Downs International Speedway, of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series regime marks the fifth in a succession of five consecutive short track events. In this make-it or break-it stint in the 36-race schedule, Kevin Harvick and the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service team have not jumped leaps and bounds in the point standings, but have not fallen either - an accomplishment in itself.
The one-mile Dover Downs International Speedway boasts many challenges, from tire conservation to gear choice, the Big Bristol drives like a roller coaster gone amuck. The wideness of the track offers a speedway-feel to an intense short track race. Rolling out of the short track stretch and into the speedway stretch (Kansas, Talladega, Lowe's, Atlanta), Dover operates as the perfect transition.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet Monte Carlo, comments on Five-for-Five and Dover International Speedway:
"We've gotten into other people's stuff in the last few races. You'll have that with short track racing. There's not often a lot of room to get away from someone else's bad day. We were awesome in Bristol. But Darlington really killed us when we slid in the (No.) 43's oil and hit the wall - big. In New Hampshire we cut down two tires. So while we haven't brought home the top-fives in the past three races, it's not like our momentum has been hurt or damaged. We're all still really clicking and we know what we have is good. It's just a matter of getting out from under everyone else's bad luck.
"I think if you make it through this part of the season and haven't taken a major blow or dump in points, you've faired really well. This is when you get to see what teams are made of. We haven't been shuffled to the back and have stood our ground. Considering where we came from since June, that's impressive.
"I've always run pretty well at Dover. My first time out there with the Busch car, I won the pole. I still haven't won there and I'd like to. It's just a big Bristol, which is my favorite place. So you get all the action off of the turns and have more room on the straight-aways. Hopefully it'll be good to us like Bristol was."
"Racing at Dover is kinda cool because it's a different type of racing with the concrete (track surface). Especially when the racing groove widens out, you go into the corner and one guy goes to the bottom and another will go to the middle, and another will go all the way up against the wall. If he's lucky, that guy won't end up in it. So, you can race in the corners, but you kinda have to funnel it down to get through the corner when you're coming off.
"Tire wear is big there. Some like to run too much camber, more than you're advised to. It makes you turn better in the corner, but after 30-laps to 40-laps, you're most likely going to blow the front right and go into the wall. And that's no good. Concrete's another issue. I don't care where you are and what you're driving, rubber and concrete just don't get along. A lot of 'under the hood' stuff comes into play at Dover more so than other places where your aero-package is absolutely needed to be on-point to get to Victory Lane. The turns are banked like no other place, and you're going up and down and up and down like a roller coaster."