BUSCH: Hall looks toward Dover

Hall has two views of Dover Shawn A. Akers DOVER, Del. (May 26, 1998) There are two ways NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division driver Shane Hall looks at Dover Downs International Speedway. Either really good things or really bad things...

Hall has two views of Dover Shawn A. Akers

DOVER, Del. (May 26, 1998) There are two ways NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division driver Shane Hall looks at Dover Downs International Speedway. Either really good things or really bad things can happen to you.

As far as Hall is concerned, there isn't really much of a gray area at the "Monster Mile," heading into Saturday's MBNA Platinum 200 at Dover.

"Dover is either a really good place to go needing a good run, or a really bad place," said Hall, who has gotten caught up in accidents the last two weeks in NASCAR Busch Series races at Nazareth, Pa., and Charlotte, N.C., that have relegated him to from mid- to back-of-the-pack finishes. "So much can happen to you there. The place is really fast and a lot happens in a hurry.

"You can have a pretty good day going and, next thing you know, it's over. If you can avoid that, you can usually finish pretty well if you have a good car. And things can happen to other people just as quickly. There have been some races won at Dover over the years, Busch and Winston Cup, where the guy winning it stayed out of trouble, had a fairly decent car and that's what put him in Victory Lane."

Last year, Hall finished 31st in the spring event at Dover, 17 laps behind eventual winner Bobby Labonte. He fared a bit better in the fall, finishing 19th, two laps behind first-time winner Joe Bessey.

"Dover is the kind of track you either love or hate," the driver of the No. 85 Big A Auto Parts Chevrolet said. "If you took a poll, I'd definitely be in the minority because I'm right in the middle. I haven't always had great finishes at Dover, but I keep thinking we're right on the verge of having some really good finishes there. I've always run pretty well at Bristol, and Dover is really just a big Bristol, concrete and all.

"The track shows off your problems more than a lot of others, and it hides you when you are running pretty well. In other words, what makes it so tough is it punishes your weaknesses on setup but never really rewards your strengths."

Currently 17th in the NASCAR Busch Series point standings, Hall said he plans to spend a lot of time during practice sessions this weekend watching the drivers with a lot of experience at Dover, especially the NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers, like Dick Trickle, Jeff Burton and Mark Martin, who will also run the NASCAR Busch Series MBNA Platinum 200 on Saturday.

"Happy Hour is going to be really important for us, just like it's going to be for a lot of teams," Hall said. "For us, we're looking to use it to make a few long runs and see if we can't get a little ahead of the game on setup.

"The guys who have been successful at Dover are the ones who don't try to attack the track or beat it, but let the track come to them. I'm planning on spending time on top of the truck and running behind them to get a better feel for the place."

Source: NASCAR Online

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jeff Burton , Bobby Labonte , Dick Trickle , Shane Hall