* Suzy Kolber Makes Debut As Host Of NASCAR Countdown On ESPN2 At Dover NBS ETC. Time To Walk The Walk: Track activity will be far from over following Saturday's Dover 200. The fourth annual NASCAR Foundation Track Walk returns, offering fans...
* Suzy Kolber Makes Debut As Host Of NASCAR Countdown On ESPN2 At Dover
Time To Walk The Walk: Track activity will be far from over following Saturday's Dover 200. The fourth annual NASCAR Foundation Track Walk returns, offering fans the opportunity to walk The Monster Mile while raising money for The NASCAR Foundation and its Family of Charities organizations that participate in the event.
Over 1,200 participants including fans -- and drivers -- joined the walk last year. Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge), Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford), Ward Burton (No. 27 Kleenex Ford) and J.J. Yeley (No. 1 Miccosukee Resorts Chevrolet) are among the NASCAR Busch Series drivers scheduled to walk following the Dover 200.
"With over 1,200 people participating in the 2006 event, we hope that the 2007 walk can provide even more support for all the charities that are participating," said Mike Helton, president of NASCAR and The NASCAR Foundation.
Fans can register online by accessing the NASCAR Foundation website at www.foundation.nascar.com.
Also Of Note:
Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Wisk Dodge) goes for back-to-back wins this weekend. He captured last Saturday's race in Charlotte. Jeff Burton and Carl Edwards have won consecutive races this season.
Jason Keller (No. 11 CJM Racing Chevrolet) goes for start No. 404 at Dover. He's chasing the all-time record of 417 set by Tommy Houston.
Shane Huffman (No. 88 U.S. NAVY Chevrolet) is scheduled to visit Bethesda Naval Hospital and the Navy Investigative Services headquarters in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday prior to arriving in Dover.
Keep an eye on Steve Wallace (No. 66 HomeLife Communities Dodge). The 19-year-old now has his uncle, NASCAR Busch Series veteran Kenny Wallace, spotting for him and the RWI team has traditionally done well at Dover. ... James Hylton (No. 01 RACEGIRL Chevrolet), 72, and Morgan Shepherd (No. 89 Victory in Jesus Racing Dodge), 65, are entered at Dover. Shepherd won at Dover from the Busch Pole in 1986.
In addition to Shepherd, there are five other former winners at Dover entered in the field including two-time victors and Roush Fenway teammates Greg Biffle and Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Arby's Ford). Kenseth's win in 1998 came one day before his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup debut. His seven top-five finishes are the most among all drivers in NASCAR Busch Series competition at the track and his 637 laps led are the most among active drivers at The Monster Mile.
The Director's Take: Dover
WHAT TO WATCH FOR AT DOVER: THOUGHTS FROM JOE BALASH,NASCAR BUSCH SERIES DIRECTOR
"Dover lives up to its "Monster Mile" nickname due to the loads that are placed on all of the chassis parts. The high banking and high speeds also place a lot of stress on all of the suspension parts.
"The concrete surface will be a factor, too. Teams will need to manage their tires since Dover is one of four tracks we go to this year where only five sets of tires can be used. The majority of our events utilize six sets for practice, qualifying and the race.
"Pit strategy plays a big part at this race. Pit road at Dover is tight with concrete boxes, so drivers need to have their cars under control and not slide the tires. This is key especially if they're making a two-tire stop.
Lastly, teams may gamble on taking fuel only to gain track position."
Rookie Spotlight: Ambrose Righting The Ship
* High Five: Ragan Ups Lead Over Montoya: increased his lead from two to five points over Juan Pablo Montoya following last Saturday night's race in Charlotte. Ragan's finish wasn't sharp -- 25th -- but it was enough to pad his lead after Montoya's 40th-place result due to an accident. That finish was his worst since the start of the season at Daytona when he was also saddled with 40th.
* Ambrose Regains Some Footing: Early-season surprise Marcos Ambrose (No. 59 Kingsford Ford) led the standings as recently as after Talladega but has lacked consistency since Atlanta where he finished 28th. Ambrose had four top-20 finishes in his first seven races -- including two top 10s -- but averaged a forgetful 26th over his next four events. But he's picked up his performance over the last two races with finishes of 19th and 20th, respectively.
* Richardson Returns: Robert Richardson Jr. is scheduled to drive the No. 28 U.S. Border Patrol Chevrolet for Haas/CNC Racing at Dover. Richardson's last race was at Talladega Superspeedway in April where he posted his career-best finish (19th).
ESPN / ABC
Suzy Kolber will make her debut as host of NASCAR Countdown on Saturday from Dover. The pre-race show will air on ESPN2 beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET, with race coverage of the Dover 200 starting at 3 p.m. ET. She'll be joined in the ESPN pit studio by analyst Brad Daugherty with Tim Brewer at the ESPN Chevy Cutaway Car.
Dr. Jerry Punch will be the lead announcer for the race telecast, with Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree in the ESPN booth handling analysis. Jarrett is filling in for ESPN's lead auto racing analyst, Rusty Wallace, who will rejoin NASCAR coverage next week when the series heads to Nashville Superspeedway for its third stand-alone event of the season. Allen Bestwick, Dave Burns, Jamie Little and Mike Massaro will serve as pit reporters.
In addition to the telecast on ESPN2, ESPN's signature broadband service, ESPN360.com, will deliver a live online simulcast of the event, and a Spanish-language version of the race will be televised on ESPN Deportes, ESPN's domestic Spanish-language network.
Chevrolet Rules In Manufacturer Standings And At Dover, But Dodge Could Factor In
Chevrolet remains solidly in the lead in the Bill France Performance Cup standings as the NASCAR Busch Series moves on to Dover. Chevy is also the leader in victories at The Monster Mile, having won 20 times at the track, including two in a row and six of the last eight races there.
Ford -- second in the standings -- broke into that streak with a Greg Biffle victory in this race in 2004. But it's Dodge (third in the rankings) that snapped Chevy's string most recently with a victory by Ryan Newman in the fall race in 2005, and it's Dodge that may have an upper hand in once again challenging Chevrolet this weekend.
Kasey Kahne captured the manufacturer's second win of the season last Saturday at Lowe's Motor Speedway and first since Juan Pablo Montoya won in Mexico City in March. Dodge also had two cars in the top 10 in this event last year at Dover.
Toyota, 11 points behind Dodge in the standings, will make its debut at Dover.
Up Next: Federated Auto Parts 300 Presented By Dollar General At Nashville Superspeedway
The first portion of the summer's "stand-alone" season begins June 9 at Nashville Superspeedway when the NASCAR Busch Series makes its second visit of the year to the 1.333-mile track for a Saturday night event.
Standings leader Carl Edwards won this race last year while Roush Fenway teammate Todd Kluever captured his first career Busch Pole. Edwards will seek his second consecutive victory at Nashville after also winning arguably the most coveted trophy in the series -- the Gibson guitar custom-painted by famed NASCAR artist Sam Bass -- this past April.
The Federated Auto Parts 300 presented by Dollar General is the first of three consecutive stand-alone events for the NASCAR Busch Series in the month of June; solo races at Kentucky Speedway (June 16) and The Milwaukee Mile (June 23) follow.
The Race: Dover 200
The Place: Dover International Speedway
The Date: June 2, 20071
The Time: 3:00 p.m. (ET)
TV: ESPN2, 2:30 p.m. (ET)
Track Layout: 1-mile oval
Race Purse: $1,127,483
2006 Winner: Jeff Burton
2006 Pole: None - weather
Schedule: Fri. 9--10:20 a.m. -- Practice; 1:20--2:45 p.m. -- Rookie Practice; 2--3:00 p.m. -- Final Practice. Sat. 11:05 a.m. -- Qualifying (Impound).