* Truex hoping to make ground on point leaders at his home track * Keller goes for his 250th consecutive start NEWS & NOTES Truex looking to make a move at Dover ... 2004 NASCAR Busch Series champion Martin Truex Jr. has had more than his...
* Truex hoping to make ground on point leaders at his home track
* Keller goes for his 250th consecutive start
NEWS & NOTES
Truex looking to make a move at Dover ... 2004 NASCAR Busch Series champion Martin Truex Jr. has had more than his fair share of lumps while trying to defend his title this season. In 2004, his worst finish was 30th and he did not suffer a single DNF. In 2005, although he has not fallen out of the Top 10, he has suffered four finishes of 30th or worse and has posted three DNFs through the first 13 races. He jumped to fourth in the standings following his win at Talladega four races ago, and is hoping to make up more ground this weekend at what is essentially his home track. Truex, from Mayetta, N.J., won last September at Dover and scored a runner-up finish in May of 2004. Truex is currently 230 points behind leader Carl Edwards and 56 behind third-place Reed Sorenson (No. 41 Discount Tire Co. Dodge). "I feel confident that we can gain some points this weekend," said Truex, who made his NASCAR Busch Series debut at Dover in September of 2001. "Last weekend we gained close to 80 points on the leader. Last year we were very consistent in the summer races and that really took the pressure off of us toward the end of the season. Currently we are pretty far back in the points, but we are not out of it by any means."
Green looking for a boost on Dover's concrete ... Considering David Green's (No. 27 Kleenex Ford) success at Dover and his struggles this season, Dover's white concrete surface should be a comforting sight. Green finished 31st last Saturday at Charlotte -- his third finish of 30th or worse this season -- but has been knocking on the door of the Top 10. While his latest setback put him back one spot to 12th in the point standings, Green will be hoping to make up ground at Dover, where he finished in the top 10 in both races in 2004. In this race last year he scored a season-best third-place finish after setting the track record in qualifying. He came back in September to finish 10th and was one of only three drivers to post top 10s in both races. Green has eight top-10 finishes, including three of the last four races, in 22 career starts at Dover.
Keller set to reach milestone at Dover ... Jason Keller (No. 35 McDonald's Ford) will be attempting his 250th consecutive start in Saturday's MBNA RacePoints 200 at Dover. Keller began his streak at Richmond International Raceway in September of 1997. Keller remains in second place in the record books to Tommy Houston, who had 360 consecutive starts in the series. Houston's streak included the first 360 NASCAR Busch Series races from Daytona in February of 1982 through the 1994 Daytona race. Keller, who won the first race at Dover in 2000, has nine top 10s in 22 starts at Dover. "It's hard to believe it's been 250 straight starts," Keller said. "I think that's a testament to the great team owners and crews that I have worked with. They always gave me the equipment it takes to be successful. I thought back in December that my streak would come to an end, and then I got the phone call from Sam Rensi to drive the McDonald's Ford. I really am thankful that Sam, and everyone at Team Rensi Motorsports believed in my abilities and gave me the chance to continue the streak."
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Greg Biffle (No. 66 Duraflame Ford) and Randy LaJoie (No. 34 Dollar General Chevrolet) are tied for the most wins at Dover among drivers entered in the MBNA RacePoints 200. Biffle also has the best average finish (8.2) of any driver with four or more starts. Dale Jarrett (No. 90 citifinancial Ford) has six top fives, the most among drivers entered, while LaJoie, Jason Keller and David Green each have five. Kasey Kahne (No. 38 Great Clips Dodge) has four consecutive top 10s at Dover. Kevin Harvick (No. 21 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Chevrolet) has recorded three consecutive top 10s and five top 10s in his seven career starts at Dover.
J.J. Yeley (No. 18 Vigoro/Home Depot Chevrolet) and his wife, Kristen, are the proud parents of a new baby girl. Faith Anne Yeley was born May 31 in Indianapolis. ... Tim Fedewa (No. 12 Hot Tamales Dodge), who finished ninth at Dover in last year's MBNA RacePoints 200, should have high hopes for Dover. His new crew chief, Mike Greci, was the car chief for Martin Truex Jr. when Truex won the fall race last year. This will be Greci's second race with the team. ... David Stremme (No. 14 U.S. NAVY Dodge) has recorded two top fives and four top-10 finishes in his last six starts. ... Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender Reed Sorenson finished fifth last Saturday at Charlotte and was the top finishing rookie for the seventh time this season. He gained 12 points on rookie leader Carl Edwards and now trails 193-169 in the rookie standings.
"Everyone compares Dover to Bristol, but Dover is a lot smoother and a ton faster." -- Greg Biffle
"I grew up about two hours from Dover, so a lot of my family and friends came to the race last year when we won. It was really cool because they came to Victory Lane and we got our picture taken with the trophy. I think we wore the photographers out." -- Martin Truex Jr.
"One of the neatest things about the season has been learning more about the Marine Corps and spending time with them. The more Marines I meet, the more I realize that we as Americans are in great hands with the Marines working hard to protect our freedoms." -- Ashton Lewis Jr.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Of the 13 first-time NASCAR Busch Series winners at Dover, the spring event has produced seven. Joe Ruttman grabbed his only series win in 1982, Dover's inaugural series race. Ricky Rudd won in 1984 for his only series win. The series' winningest driver, Mark Martin, began his march into racing history with a spring win at Dover in 1987.
Bobby Hillin took his first career win in 1988 and Todd Bodine won for the first time in the 1991 edition of this race. Mike Wallace first visited Victory Lane here in 1994 and that was backed up by Mike McLaughlin's first win in the 1995 race.
ON DECK: NASHVILLE SUPERSPEEDWAY
The NASCAR Busch Series heads back to Nashville Superspeedway for the second time this season next Saturday, June 11, for the Federated Auto Parts 300. Raybestos Rookie Reed Sorenson dominated in March, leading 197 of 225 laps before scoring his first career win.
What: MBNA RacePoints 200 (Race No. 14 of 35 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
Where: Dover International Speedway, Dover, Del.
When: 1:35 p.m. ET, Saturday, June 4.
Track Layout: 1-mile oval.
Race Length: 200 miles/200 laps.
Posted Awards: $1,045,792.
TV: FX, 1 p.m. ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2004 Winner: Greg Biffle.
2004 Polesitter: David Green.
NASCAR Busch Series Top 10: 1. Carl Edwards 1,855. 2. Clint Bowyer 1,684. 3. Reed Sorenson 1,681. 4. Martin Truex Jr. 1,625. 5. Ashton Lewis Jr. 1,577. 6. Kenny Wallace 1,562. 7. Greg Biffle 1,544. 8. David Stremme 1,528. 9. Denny Hamlin 1,527. 10. Kevin Harvick 1,411.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Thu., June 2: Practice -- 2 -- 3 p.m. and 4 -- 5 p.m. Fri., June 3: Qualifying -- 1:35 p.m. Cars impounded after qualifying.