NEWS & NOTES, Part II Bring out the Brooms ... Pulling off season sweeps at NASCAR NEXTEL Cup tracks seems to be en vogue of late. Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet) won both the June and August event at Pocono and Kurt Busch (No. 97 ...
NEWS & NOTES, Part II
Bring out the Brooms ... Pulling off season sweeps at NASCAR NEXTEL Cup tracks seems to be en vogue of late. Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet) won both the June and August event at Pocono and Kurt Busch (No. 97 Sharpie Ford) pulled off the latest sweep by winning at New Hampshire Sunday. There have been three sweeps in the last four seasons at Dover International Speedway. Ryan Newman (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge) swept the 2003 events, Johnson in 2002 and Tony Stewart (No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet) in 2000. Mark Martin (No. 6 Viagra Ford) will try to pull off the 10th sweep in track history. Among the 23 tracks the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series competes on, only Bristol Motor Speedway (13) has seen more season sweeps by drivers.
Beauty and the Beast ... Deidre Downs, the newly crowned Miss America 2005, will meet "The Monster Mile" this weekend as she visits Dover International Speedway to serve as the Grand Marshal and sing the National Anthem for Sunday's MBNA America 400. Downs, 24, of Birmingham, Ala., is an aspiring doctor who put off medical school to compete for the 2005 Miss America crown. Downs won a $50,000 scholarship to continue her education.
Racing for Charity ... Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet) has announced a pair of charity initiatives which will highlight the Charlotte race week. The fourth annual Jeff Gordon Go-Kart Challenge and "An Evening with Jeff Gordon" dinner will take place Wednesday, Oct. 13 and will benefit The Jeff Gordon Foundation and the Hendrick Marrow Program of The Marrow Foundation. NASCAR SpeedPark will host the go-kart challenge from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. followed by a dinner at 7 p.m. at The Westin Hotel in Charlotte. Sponsorship opportunities for both events are still available. For more information, contact The Jeff Gordon Foundation at (704) 455-7424.
Contingency Corner ... Kurt Busch became the 15th different driver to win the MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award during the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season by leading Sunday's Sylvania 300 at the half-way mark. Busch scored his third victory of the season and collected the $5,000 MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award race-win bonus. This is the seventh consecutive week the award has been won. Tony Stewart narrowly leads Jeff Gordon, 12-11, in the race for the $75,000 MBNA Mid-Race Leader Award championship handed out at the conclusion of the season.
Chevrolet-Ford-Dodge in Manufacturers standings ... Kurt Busch's win at New Hampshire gave Ford its ninth victory of the season. Chevrolet retains the lead in the Manufacturers Championship standings with 193 points, followed by Ford's 171 and Dodge's 149. Chevrolet has a series-high 15 victories while Dodge has three. All three manufacturers have at least one win over the past four races at Dover.
Ward Burton (No. 0 NetZero Chevrolet) and Joe Nemechek (No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet) will be attempting their 350th career starts at Dover International Speedway on Sunday. Johnson, Jeremy Mayfield (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge), and Newman are also expected to make their 100th consecutive starts. ... Tony Stewart has an average finish of 4.09 in 11 races at Dover, the best among all drivers with more than two starts. Stewart has amassed nine top fives, including four consecutive, and has only one finish outside the top 10 at Dover (11th -- June 2002). ... Rusty Wallace (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge) leads all active drivers with five Bud Poles at Dover, while Martin leads all drivers with 16 top-five finishes. Ricky Rudd (No. 21 Motorcraft Ford) leads all active drivers with 26 top-10 finishes.
"There is not much room for error. It's one of those places where you have to get up off the corner right every time, and if you miss your mark even a little bit, you are going to have a flat right side." -- Kevin Harvick, on racing at Dover.
"While it's still disappointing not to part of the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, I feel like we're showing that this is a Top 10 team and we definitely should have been in the Chase had it not been for some bad racing luck." -- Jamie McMurray.
"We had a stretch in the late 90's where we always ran really, really good at Dover. It'd be nice to get back in that form, especially with the way we've been running lately." -- Bobby Labonte.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
The 1975 Delaware 500 at Dover International Speedway was the setting for one of the most amazing runs in NASCAR history. Richard Petty came back from a six-lap deficit to win the race. He started the event in fourth position and took the lead from pole-sitter David Pearson on Lap 46. Petty was leading the field by nearly two laps when he ran over a piece of debris left by Elmo Langley's blown engine on Lap 348. It took the STP team six laps to fix the broken suspension part and get Petty back in the race. Lennie Pond took over the lead from Petty but soon dropped out with engine problems. Cale Yarborough then took over the point and was leading by four laps until he, too, suffered engine troubles. By this time, Petty had made up five of the six laps as he moved past leaders Dick Brooks and Benny Parsons to get back on the lead lap with 20 to go. Buddy Arrington brought out the fifth and final caution flag when his car stopped on the track on Lap 486. Petty took the lead for good with eight laps remaining, scored his 174th career win and went on to win his sixth NASCAR premier series championship that year.
What: MBNA America 400 (Race No. 28 of the 36-race NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season).
Where: Dover International Speedway, Dover, Del.
When: Sunday, Sept. 26, 1 p.m. (ET).
TV: TNT, 12:30 p.m. (ET).
Radio: MRN/XM Satellite.
Posted awards: $4,966,610.
Race length: 400 laps/400 miles.
Track layout: 1-mile concrete oval.