THIS RACE: The MBNA 200 will be the sixth NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) race at Dover International Speedway. LAST RACE: In the most recent NCTS race at Lowe's Motor Speedway (May 20), a pair of Tundras for Bill Davis Racing -- for...
THIS RACE: The MBNA 200 will be the sixth NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) race at Dover International Speedway.
LAST RACE: In the most recent NCTS race at Lowe's Motor Speedway (May 20), a pair of Tundras for Bill Davis Racing -- for drivers Johnny Benson and Bill Lester -- led the Toyota contingent to the finish line. Benson, driver of the No.23 Toyota Certified Tundra, crossed the finish line fourth, his best result of the season. Lester finished sixth in his No.22 Checkers Tundra, the best outcome of his NCTS career.
SKINNER SAYS: In Charlotte, Mike Skinner was cruising toward his first NCTS win in a Toyota when he was involved in an accident less than 20 laps from the checkered flag. "My Tundra was awfully strong and we had a four or five second lead," explained Skinner, after the race. "A lapped truck just didn't cut the leader any slack -- although the leader is supposed to be smart enough to know who isn't going to give any room. I don't blame anyone but myself -- I know the experience level of everyone ouththere and I'm supposed to be smarter than that." Skinner led the second most laps in the race (40) and finished 26t .
MIKE'S MARK: Mike Skinner became the first NCTS driver to win two poles in 2005 when he qualified first at Charlotte. The second pole of the season for the Daytona Beach, FL-driver was his fourth pole position in a Toyota Tundra. Skinner now has 19 poles in his NCTS career and sits second in the NCTS record books in that category.
BILL'S BEST: In addition to registering his best NCTS finish in 85 series starts at Lowe's with a sixth-place finish, Bill Lester also recorded his first ttop-10 result of the season. In addition, he gained seven positions in the championship standings and now sits 15 h, just 91 points outside the top-10.
POINTS PACE: After the first seven races of the 2005 season, two Toyota drivers are among the top-10 in the NCTS championship standings. Johnny Benson is seventh in the standings with 897 points, 191 points behind leader Ted Musgrave. Todd Bodine (863 points) is ninth in the standings.
LAST YEAR AT DOVER: Last season, two Toyota Tundra drivers recorded top-five finishes at the Dover one- mile oval. Hank Parker Jr. crossed the finish line third in his Innovative Motorsports Tundra and Mike Skinner ended up fourth. Skinner also led the field for 85 laps.
WIN NUMBER ONE: Chad Chaffin earned his first career win in the NCTS race at Dover one year ago. The Tennessee native, who was driving for Bobby Hamilton's team, started ninth and led the final 52 laps en route to the checkered flag. "I've been racing for a long, long time and have won a lot of races in the past," says Chaffin. "But, that win at Dover was the biggest win of my career, thus far. It was really special and there was a lot of emotion. It made me think about all the people who helped me along the way to get to where I am."
BENEFITS OF WIN: "I think that win at Dover, and my second win of the year at IRP, played a big part in me getting the opportunity I now have with Germain/Arnold Racing and Toyota," says Chaffin. "The residual effect of my Dover win is now I'm in the best ride of my career -- and a lot of that I can contribute to my win at Dover."
DOVER DOUBLE: "I really do like Dover," explains Chaffin. "As a matter of fact, before I won there last year I had run well at Dover the year before (2003) -- when we had a top-10 run (seventh). I am looking forward to going back to Dover and I see no reason we can't go there and run really well. Although, just because you've won at a track it doesn't mean very much the next time you return. Things are different this year -- I'm with a different team, we have different trucks and I have a new crew chief."
DOVER DESCRIPTION: How does Robert Huffman, driver of the No.12 Darrell Waltrip Motorsports Toyota Tundra, describe Dover? "The best way I can think to describe Dover is that it's similar to a really `stretched-out' Bristol -- only with less banking."
TODD'S TAKE ON TRACK: "Dover is a pretty special place -- one that's close to my heart," says Todd Bodine, driver of the No.66 Fiddle Back Racing Tundra. "My first NASCAR speedway race was at Dover in the Busch Series in 1990. Then, my first NASCAR Busch win came at Dover in 1991. A couple of years after that (1993), I won both Busch races at the track. So, I have some pretty fond memories from Dover. It's a place where I have quite a bit of experience and where I've run well."
DOVER TRUCK DEBUT: "This will be my first Craftsman Truck Series race at Dover, but I feel pretty good about going there," explains Bodine. "Tony (Furr, crew chief) and I have plenty of experience at Dover, which will be beneficial even though we've never run a truck there. I think when we get to the track, between Tony and myself, we'll have a pretty good starting point, as far as the springs and shocks we want to run. And, we'll rely on the TRD engineers -- who ran here a year ago -- to help us, too."
BEEN HERE BEFORE: Although this will be Johnny Benson's first NCTS race at Dover, the Grand Rapids, MI-native has plenty of experience at the track. Benson has competed in 15 NASCAR Cup and 6 Busch Series events at the Delaware track. He has one Busch Series win at Dover.
TOYOTA TOTALS: Toyota Tundra drivers have registered four victories, seven pole positions and 29 top-five finishes in 32 NCTS races since the beginning of the 2004 season. Todd Bodine (California and Texas) and Travis Kvapil (Michigan and New Hampshire) each have two wins driving Tundras. Mike Sinner has started from the pole four times in his Toyota, including two times in 2005 (California and Charlotte). Bodine and Johnny Benson each have recorded six top-five finishes, and Skinner has five top-fives.
BROADCAST TIME: SPEED Channel coverage of the NCTS race at Dover International Speedway will begin at 4:30 PM (Eastern) on Friday, June 3. The race is scheduled to start at 4:45 PM (Eastern).