Dover: News of note

NEWS OF NOTE * High-speed commemoration... DuPont headquarters are located in nearby Wilmington, Del., and in honor of the company's 200th anniversary, Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet) will be drive a car with a celebratory paint...


* High-speed commemoration... DuPont headquarters are located in nearby Wilmington, Del., and in honor of the company's 200th anniversary, Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet) will be drive a car with a celebratory paint scheme that signifies DuPont as a leader in science for 200 years. It is the same paint scheme that the No. 24 team debuted earlier this season.

* Swap meet... Richard Childress Racing crew chief Kevin Hamlin and several crew members of the No. 29 Goodwrench Service Chevrolet (driven by Kevin Harvick) will swap places with fellow RCR crew chief Gil Martin and members of the No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet (driven by Robby Gordon), beginning with next weekend's Pocono 500 at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway. "We're making this move to help the GM Goodwrench Service and Cingular Wireless teams and all of RCR," team owner Richard Childress said."The results of our performances this season have not been up to expectations. Jeff Green and the [No. 30] America Online Chevrolet team have had the best results so far and are showing a lot of promise for the second half of the year so we're not going to change what they have been building on. But the 29 and 31 teams are down enough in the points right now that it makes the most sense to make some changes between the two. Kevin (Hamlin), Gil (Martin) and all of the guys in the shop haven't forgotten how to build and prepare race cars and Kevin (Harvick) and Robby (Gordon) still know how to win races so it's just a matter of getting the right people in the right places. We've made changes like this before and it's worked out and we're confident that it will again." Heading into this weekend's MBNA Platinum 400, Green (No. 30 America Online Chevrolet) is 23rd in points, Gordon (No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet) is 29th and Harvick (No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet) is 33rd.

* Nadeau back for Benson again... Jerry Nadeau (No. 10 Valvoline Pontiac) is set to substitute again for injured Johnny Benson in the MBNA Platinum 400. Nadeau subbed for Benson at Charlotte, where he finished 28th. He returns to Dover, where he finished second in the September event last season."I'm just helping out Johnny and the team," Nadeau said."My job is just to come in here and wheel this thing as hard as I can and try to get these guys a win. That's all I think about. This is Johnny's ride and I'm not here to impress anybody else. I just want to do a good job for them." Benson, who has been performing therapy including water aerobics, is expected back at next week's Pocono 500 after sustaining a broken rib and two cracked ribs from a May 3 accident in the NASCAR Busch Series race at Richmond." This watching isn't a whole lot of fun," Benson said."I think I could run Dover but that is a pretty tough track on your body plus at the speeds we run there you just don't crash easy. The last thing I want to do is get caught up in a wreck there and make this injury worse and miss even more time. Pocono is a bit easier on the body and I think that's where the doctors feel my return would be best."

* Etc.... Mark Martin became the ninth different win in 12 events this season following his triumph at last week's Coca-Cola Racing Family 600. Sterling Marlin (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge), Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DeWalt Power Tools Ford) and Tony Stewart (No. 20 Home Depot Pontiac) are the only multiple winners, with two each.


* Looks like this might be a good week for Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Dupont Chevrolet) to snap his 2002 winless streak. In last year's MNBA Platinum 400 at Dover International Speedway, he led 381 of 400 laps en route to his fourth career NASCAR Winston Cup victory at Dover. However, last year wasn't his first dominating performance at the 1-mile, high- banked concrete oval track. In the fall of 1995, Gordon led 400 of 500 laps to record his first victory at Dover. In the spring of 1996, Gordon continued his dominance by leading 307 of 500 laps for his second of three straight victories at Dover. Two years later in 1998, Gordon led 375 of 400 laps but finished third after pitting for gas with only a few laps remaining. Of his 18 career NASCAR Winston Cup races at Dover, he has finished outside of the top 11 only five times. Overall he has four wins, two poles, nine top-five and 12 top-10 finishes.


* "Last year at Dover was just embarrassing. We struggled at both races, and had no idea why we ran so bad. I love Dover because of the high banking and fast speeds. It's a hard track to tame. Also, I like it because that is where I made my first start in a Winston Cup car in 1998. We finished third and second at the races in Charlotte. Maybe this weekend it will be first. We learned a lot in the test session and hope to have it all figured out when we unload there this weekend."-- Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DeWalt Power Tools Ford), currently second in the NASCAR Winston Cup point race.

* "Looking at my Busch Series history at Dover, you wouldn't think it would be one of my favorite race tracks, but it is. I enjoy racing the one-mile oval and I think it fits really well into my driving style. My teammate, Jeff Gordon, has had a tremendous amount of success at Dover, winning four races there, including last season's MBNA Platinum 400. So, I know we'll have good notes heading into the weekend and the Lowe's Monte Carlo will have a solid setup for the race."-- Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet), the Raybestos Rookie of the Year point leader who is fifth in the NASCAR Winston Cup point race.


Ken Schrader won the 1991 MBNA Platinum 400. That was the fourth NASCAR Winston Cup victory of his career and to date, his last one.


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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Ken Schrader , Kevin Harvick , Sterling Marlin , Robby Gordon , Jerry Nadeau , Johnny Benson , Kevin Hamlin , Mark Martin
Teams Richard Childress Racing