Immense challenge ahead for "Chase" racers this weekend at the Monster Mile DOVER, Del. -- With one race down in the "Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup," all eyes are now on the Monster Mile, a track that is historically known to be one of the ...
Immense challenge ahead for "Chase" racers this weekend at the Monster Mile
DOVER, Del. -- With one race down in the "Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup," all eyes are now on the Monster Mile, a track that is historically known to be one of the toughest challenges in the 10-race Chase. Just ask defending "Chase" champion Jimmie Johnson.
"It's a race where you have to be on your toes from the start of practice on Friday all the way through the event," said the two-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion and driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet, at a press conference last week at New Hampshire. "It's a pretty intense track."
No driver has ever won a Dover September Chase race and gone on to win the championship, and the last time a driver won the September Dover race and the championship in the same season was Jeff Gordon in 1995.
The 12 Chase drivers have a combined total of 15 wins at Dover International Speedway (Gordon 4, Johnson 3, Stewart 2, Edwards 1, Biffle 1, Earnhardt Jr. 1, Burton 1, Ky. Busch 1 and Kenseth 1). Of the top-12 drivers, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick have never won a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Dover. Hamlin and Bowyer, however, recently won in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Dover (Hamlin Sept. 2007 & June 2008, Bowyer Sept. 2006).
Dover has hosted four races since the inception of the Chase, each with its own memorable outcome, that have established the track as one of the biggest challenges in the 10-race Chase. In Dover's first Chase event on Sept. 26, 2004, Ryan Newman built an eight second lead over the final 130 laps to win for the third time at the Monster Mile, the one and only time a driver has ever been able to dominate a Chase race at Dover.
The following year, on Sept. 25, 2005, after 400 grueling miles, the field needed a green-white-checkered finish to determine the outcome of this race. In the end, Jimmie Johnson scored the victory by a slim .080-second margin over Kyle Busch as he also took the lead in the Chase standings.
In the Sept. 24, 2006 event, a thrilling 20-lap duel between 2003 champion Matt Kenseth and a determined Jeff Burton kept fans on their feet as Burton would make a late-race pass to secure his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win in more than five years as Kenseth's gas tank ran dry.
Last year, on Sept. 23, 2007, Carl Edwards, always a threat to win on concrete race tracks, pulled off his first Dover NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win by getting several good jumps on late-race restarts to edge Greg Biffle to the checkered flag.
NASCAR returns to Dover International Speedway on Sept. 19-21, 2008. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 800-441-RACE or visit DoverSpeedway.com.
About Dover International Speedway
Dover International Speedway is owned by Dover Motorsports, Inc. (NYSE: DVD), a leading promoter of motorsports events in the United States. DVD subsidiaries operate four tracks in three states, and present more than 500 motorsports events each year. This includes 16 major, national events which operate under the auspices of three of the premier sanctioning bodies in the U.S. -- NASCAR, NHRA, and IRL. Dover Motorsports, Inc. also owns and operates Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis, Mo., Memphis Motorsports Park in Memphis, Tenn., and Nashville Superspeedway near Nashville, Tenn.