Dover: News of note, schedule

NEWS AND NOTES * TV timeout ... The 1.0 rating for the May 16 Hardee's 200 on SPEED Channel matched the season's highest number generated by events at Daytona International and Martinsville speedways, according to Nielsen Media Research. That...


* TV timeout ... The 1.0 rating for the May 16 Hardee's 200 on SPEED Channel matched the season's highest number generated by events at Daytona International and Martinsville speedways, according to Nielsen Media Research. That was 100 percent higher than last year's ESPN2 coverage of the race at Pikes Peak International Raceway. The Lowe's Motor Speedway event saw 603,000 households tuned in with an average of 889,000 viewers, both records for a series broadcast on SPEED Channel.

* Bickle tapped at Ballew Motorsports ... Veteran Rich Bickle has been named permanent driver of the No. 15 Bill Ballew Motorsports Ford, replacing Andy Houston. Team owner Ballew made the decision after Bickle finished 10th in the Hardee's 200. "I think this team has turned the corner," said Ballew. "This team has never had two straight top-10 finishes and now with these guys I have gotten to where I expect to finish up front." Bickle's last series victory came at Martinsville Speedway in 1997.

* Craftsman/NASCAR welcome UYRS students to Dover ... Fourteen students from Philadelphia's Urban Youth Racing School will get a special behind-the-scenes look at the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Friday. The students from the non-profit organization will be paired with mentors representing all facets of the sport, from competition to officiating, in order to gain understanding about career opportunities in the motorsports industry. Craftsman, NASCAR and Dover International Speedway are sponsoring the event.

* Etc. ... Travis and Jennifer Kvapil welcomed new son Carson Wade on May 22. ... Two veteran competitors celebrate birthdays on Thursday: Bobby Hamilton (No. 4 Square D Dodge) his 46th and Ken Schrader (No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet) his 48th. ... Dave Quay, transport driver for Bill Lester's No. 8 Dodge Motorsports Dodge team, has been elected president of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Truck Drivers Association. ... A number of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers will be at Dover Air Force Base from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday to visit military families, tour a C-5 Galaxy transport aircraft and sign autographs.


* Crawford is 'Mr. Perfection' at Dover ... In three starts, Rick Crawford (No. 14 Circle Bar Motel & RV Park Ford) has completed all 602 laps/miles run at Dover International Speedway. Crawford has a Bud Pole and two third-place finishes to show for his efforts at The Monster Mile. Crawford is the only driver to have led more than one race at the track -- two of three.

* Three and counting ... There have been no repeat Bud Pole or race winners at Dover International Speedway. Musgrave is the only former winner expected to enter this year's race. His average speed in 2002 was a track record -- 104.545 mph.

* Lots of veterans on track at Dover ... Here are the top-five drivers expected to compete in combined NASCAR Winston Cup/Busch Series starts at Dover International Speedway: Schrader (46 -- NASCAR Winston Cup win in 1991); Morgan Shepherd (No. 21 Racing for Jesus/Red Line Oil Ford) (42, NASCAR Busch Series win 1986); Hamilton (29, second in 1995 NASCAR Winston Cup); Robert Pressley (No. 59 Harris Trucking Dodge) (24, NASCAR Busch Series win in 1992) and Musgrave (20).


* "It is a Winston Cup racer's track. If there is anywhere that a Winston Cup driver has been that would benefit them, this is the place." -- Jon Wood, No. 50 Roush Racing Ford.

* "You have to be up on the wheel from start to finish. Because of the concrete you can drive in deeper than you ever thought possible [but] it requires you to totally concentrate every second." -- Brendan Gaughan, No. 62 Orleans Dodge.

* "Racing at Dover is actually breathtaking. It's like holding your breath for 200 laps. You're exhausted by the end of the race." -- David Starr, No. 75 Spears Manufacturing Chevrolet.


* Dover International Speedway has provided valuable points toward each season's champion since the venue was added to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule in 2000. Greg Biffle and Jack Sprague logged second-place finishes in 2000 and 2001, respectively, while last year's champion Mike Bliss finished fifth.

Fast Facts
MBNA Armed Forces Family 200 (No. 6 of 25).
Dover International Speedway, Dover, Del.

Race:  4:30 p.m. ET, Friday, May 30.

TV: SPEED Channel, 4: 30 p.m. ET.

Pre-race schedule (all times local): Thursday -- Practice, 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. & 1:15 to 1:45 p.m. Qualifying, 3:15 p.m. Final practice to follow, time permitting.


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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rich Bickle , Bobby Hamilton , Ken Schrader , David Starr , Greg Biffle , Andy Houston , Robert Pressley , Jack Sprague , Rick Crawford , Jon Wood , Bill Lester , Brendan Gaughan , Mike Bliss , Morgan Shepherd