NASCAR Camping World Series East News & Notes, Sunoco 150 at Dover International Speedway Matt Kobyluck Brings 192 Point Lead To Dover Different Drivers Bring Different Victory Lane Keys Jimmy Spencer Inaugural Dover East Winner in...
NASCAR Camping World Series East News & Notes, Sunoco 150 at Dover International Speedway
Matt Kobyluck Brings 192 Point Lead To Dover
Different Drivers Bring Different Victory Lane Keys
Jimmy Spencer Inaugural Dover East Winner in 1998
NASCAR Camping World Series East Set For Monster Weekend
NASCAR Camping World Series East teams are ready for a Monster Weekend at Dover International Speedway Friday.
Dover's "Monster Mile," fronted by the new Monster Monument, will host the series' Sunoco 150 Sept. 19. The 150-lap event on the 1-mile banked concrete oval is the second-to-last race on the 2008 series schedule, but by the end of the race, the 2008 series champion could be crowned.
If series point leader Matt Kobyluck (No. 40 Mohegan Sun Chevrolet) has a lead of at least 190 points lead over second place, all he'll need to do to clinch the title is take the green flag for the finale event of the season the following week. Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Conn., hosts the series in the 150-lap CarQuest Fall Final Sept. 28.
As the series helps the speedway mark its 40th anniversary season, Kobyluck carries a 192-point lead over Austin Dillon upon arrival.
"I love Dover," Kobyluck said. "My relationship with the Monster Mile has been great."
Kobyluck's track record at Dover includes a win in 2002 and a fourth place in 2004. But the luck of the Monster can be fickle. In last year's event, for which he qualified 13th, he was in contention for the lead when, in a bizarre accident under caution, his car was eliminated from the event and finished 21st.
While he has yet to win a Dover Coors Light Pole Award, Kobyluck's 2006 win set the record average speed for a 150-lap series race at the track: 116.179 mph.
The Sunoco 150 starts at 4:45 p.m. Friday.
News & Notes
The Race ... The Sunoco 150 is the 12th of 13 races on the 2008 NASCAR Camping World Series East schedule. It marks the eighth Dover appearance for the series.
The Procedure ... The starting field is a maximum of 30 cars including provisionals. Starting positions 1-26 will be determined by time trials. The remaining spots will be determined through the provisional process. The race's scheduled distance is 150 laps (150 miles).
The Track ... With its 24 degrees of banking in the turns, Dover is the highest-banked track on which the series competes. It is also the only concrete- surfaced track to host the series. Dover hosted its first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event in 1969, and it's first NASCAR Camping World Series East event in 1998.
The Records ... Qualifying: Sean Caisse, Sept. 22, 2006, 152.782 mph, 23.563 seconds. 150-lap race: Matt Kobyluck, 116.179 mph, 1 hour, 17 minutes, 28 seconds.
The History ... Jimmy Spencer won the first NASCAR Camping World Series race at Dover in 1998. Jamie Aube finished second followed by Brad Leighton, Jerry Marquis and Bryan Wall. The series has appeared at Dover annually since 2001. Race winners include Dale Shaw, Matt Kobyluck, Dale Quarterly, Andy Santerre, Tim Andrews, and Sean Caisse. Previous pole winners include Andrews, Caisse, Ryan Moore, Paul Wolfe and Jeffrey Earnhardt. To date, there has not been a repeat race winner or pole winner in the series at Dover.
Kobyluck Brings 192-Point Lead To Dover's Sunoco 150
The 2008 season may be the year Matt Kobyluck (No. 40 Mohegan Sun Chevrolet) finally breaks through with his first NASCAR title.
While there is a possibility the 38-year-old driver could uncork the championship champagne following the Sunoco 150 at Dover, Kobyluck goes into the weekend looking forward to the green flag, not the checkered.
Kobyluck, in his 10th full season in the NASCAR Camping World Series East, brings a 192-point lead over second-place Austin Dillon with two races remaining. Kobyluck is coming off his second third-place finish of the season at New Hampshire.
"Going into Dover, I really look forward to that event because it's one of those races where you can really get up on the wheel and make a lot of things up if you need to," Kobyluck said. "I love Dover."
Kobyluck has a win (2002) and a fourth-place finish (2006) at Dover. He quickly added that the "Monster" in the place can quickly appear and wreck your day, too.
"Who would have ever thought we would get wrecked under caution?" Kobyluck said, still intoning disbelief from his 2007 finish.
"We were in position for a top-three or top-five finish, and running in second, but that's racing luck."
Kobyluck did not participate in an open test session at Dover on September 2.
However, DEI teammates Jeffrey Earnhardt, Jesus Hernandez and Trevor Bayne, along with Austin Dillon, Ricky Carmichael, Brian Ickler and Ryan Duff all did take advantage of the session.
The DEI teams are said to have been fast, and seemingly tuned in triplicate.
"Dover is one of my favorite oval tracks, although I've come to like the road courses, too," Hernandez said. "The way you can drive it at Dover-- the grip is unreal."
Earnhardt and Hernandez finished third and fourth, respectively, behind winner Sean Caisse and Joey Logano in 2007, both of whom have moved on to other racing ventures.
Kobyluck and Tim Andrews (2006) are the previous Dover NASCAR Camping World Series East winners entered in the event.
Eddie MacDonald (No. 71 Grimm Construction Chevrolet), who completed the sweep of both 2008 races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sept. 13, could contend at Dover as well. His best Dover finish is third in 2004. MacDonald qualified sixth-fastest at The Monster Mile last year, but finished 18th.
Some Drivers May Have Found Keys To Dover's Sunoco 150 Victory Lane
Through studies and maybe a secret or two, several drivers and teams may hold differing keys, one of which may unlock the gates to victory at Dover International Speedway.
Marc Davis (No. 18 Slim Jim Toyota) will be driving a "remodeled" race car, one that Tony Stewart discarded. Joey Logano and his crew chief, Mike Sibley, took a liking to the cast-off car. In five starts, the car went to Victory Lane four times. (Both races at Loudon, N.H., Iowa Speedway and a NASCAR Camping World Series West race at Phoenix.) The one that got away: Dover, where Logano finished second to Sean Caisse in a physical battle for the win.
The old chassis was remade into a Toyota when Joe Gibbs Racing switched to the name-plate for the 2008 season. But the car is just as racy, Davis said.
"We're running that car and it's looking pretty stout," Davis said. "We're looking forward to having a good finish at Dover."
Davis has been quietly enjoying a great season. He's fifth in series points, and has been knocking on Victory Lane's door with two second-place finishes to far.
"The whole Slim Jim Toyota team has been working very hard this year," Davis said. "We've worked especially hard for the Dover race. Our big track package has been good this year."
No one in the NASCAR Camping World Series East has run more laps more successfully than Steve Park (No. 35 Waste Management/Recycle America Dodge).
He has competed at Dover in all three NASCAR national series. In the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, his best finish is second (to Jeff Gordon) in 2001. The bigger picture is in his 10 Dover starts in the top division. He's completed 3,855 of 4,000 possible laps, for a 96.4 completion percentage. In the NASCAR Nationwide series, he has a 94.6% completion rate.
More telling facts of his abilities in the Dover Sunoco 150 are a second-place finish to Tim Andrews in 2006 and eighth-place finish last year.
"I look forward to going to Dover," Park said. "It's a great race track. It's cement. And it's white lightning.
Park approves of the concrete surface.
"What that concrete surface has is pretty good consistency. From hot to cold to rain to day to night, the surface doesn't change.
"The track may be white when we get there, but once we get some rubber down into the surface, it's consistent whether it's sunny or cloudy."
Park is enjoying his first full season in the NASCAR Camping World Series East, after racing a partial schedule of 11 events in 1996 that resulted in two wins (Loudon and Nazareth), five top-fives and six top-10s
"Our Waste Management team manager, Steve Hibbard, and I raced together in the old Busch North Series, and we did pretty good. This year, we wanted to run the full schedule and have fun doing it, and that's what we're doing.
"I hope we have a sunny day at Dover this week and we can put the Waste Management car in Victory Lane."
All three Dale Earnhardt, Inc. teams tested at Dover recently, and Jeffrey Earnhardt (No. 8 Dale Earnhardt Foundation Chevrolet) is anticipating Friday's event. He won his first career Coors Light Pole Award in the 2007, and finished third while contending for the win.
"I'm pretty excited about going back to Dover," Earnhardt said. "We tested there recently, and we're going back with the same car as last year.
"That car has a lot of speed in it. We showed that last year. It's strictly our Dover car. That's my girl and we keep her just for there.
"I think all three DEI teams have a good chance of winning this year. The series has great competition, but DEI could finish 1-2-3. All three of us were happy with our cars after the test session. We're ready for Dover."
The Race: Sunoco 150
The Place: Dover International Speedway, Dover, Del.
The Date: Friday, Sept. 19
The Time: 4:45 p.m. ET
TV Schedule: HDNet (Live)
SPEED (enhanced replay) Sept. 24, 12:00 p.m. ET
Track Layout: 1-mile banked concrete
Race Purse: $223,708
2007 Winner: Sean Caisse
2007 Pole: Jeffrey Earnhardt