This week, NASCAR heads to Delaware to get around the challenging track they call the “Monster Mile”. Editor’s note: This is my favorite track because of the challenge of the surface and endless strategy it provides a race team. Plus, it has character – a real one in Miles the Monster.
What are the drivers saying about my favorite track – Dover International International Speedway? Look and see what your favorite driver is saying.
Matt Kenseth, driver of the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NSCS:
“I think that things are definitely going to be different this weekend at Dover. We’ve see track records being set, the pace of the races has been extremely fast, and tires have been a concern since we’ve had them overloaded. It’s just going to be a lot different with the set-ups and the new aero package we have in place. I think that all the cars are going to be so incredibly fast that it’s going to be even harder to pass and track position will be even more important than ever at Dover. I think that keeping the right-front tires from blowing out is also going to be important this weekend, so we’ll see how all these new changes come into play, but Dover is my favorite track and I’m excited to get there.”
Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 43 Smithfield Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports in the NSCS:
“I really enjoy running at Dover. It feels like a roller coaster. I get excited going there because I have a lot of good memories of running well there. I got my first truck series win there, so I show up with a lot of confidence. Dover is probably one of the more physical race tracks we go to, just because of the high g-forces. The concrete has so much grip, and the banked corners really give you a lot of speed. Your body takes a bit of a beating there because of it.
“This weekend is just a little more special because there is a big focus on autism awareness. Trent (Owens) and I are going in a day early to participate in an Autism Awareness golf tournament. Building awareness is very important to Trent, and I’m glad that I can help out in a small way.”
Marcos Ambrose, driver of the No. 9 DEWALT Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports in the NSCS:
“We need to get back into the rhythm that we had earlier in the year. We have slipped a bit the past three or four races and haven’t had the finishes that we need or are capable of. Dover is a unique track, just a little larger than Bristol, and we’ve had some really good runs there. It’s a track that not only can we run well at but also contend for a win.
“We just need to climb back where we were. This sport is full of ups-and-downs, but we know that we should be running higher in the field. We want to be in the Top-15 weekly to get To-10 finishes and so on. We were making that progression, but have slipped. I really think Dover is a good chance to run really well, and even compete for the win, but at least get our footing back.”
Austin Dillon, driver of the No. 3 American Ethanol Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing on Dover simulating a roller coaster in the NSCS:
“That’s definitely an accurate assessment. With the new rules it’s going to be so fast. I’m looking forward to getting there. As drivers, we can really get after it behind the wheel. Dover is just a fun place to race.”
Paul Menard, driver of the No. 27 Pittsburgh Paints/Menards Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing in the NSCS:
“Dover is probably one of the toughest places. My top three would probably be Dover, Darlington and some of the 1.5-mile tracks. Dover is very physical since it’s usually pretty hot and muggy. It’s the humidity that gets you more than anything, you know, for whatever reason the helmet blowers always seem to stop working when it’s nice and humid out. Dover is one of the most demanding tracks, but also very fun to drive. You definitely get a big sensation for speed out of all the tracks and you can move around a lot, which makes it interesting.”
Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing in the NSCS:
“Dover is one of my favorite race tracks on the circuit. It doesn’t seem to change a whole lot year-to-year. It is just a fun place that you can drop down in the corners and pull up through the straightaways. It’s a fun track and a great place to race. I always look forward to it and it’s a place where I feel the No. 31 Caterpillar team can contend for the race win.”
Brian Vickers, driver of the No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry for Michael Waltrip Racing in the NSCS:
“I enjoy Dover a lot — it’s a great race track. It’s really fun — it’s like a high speed Bristol — one-mile, high-banked and just a lot of fun. It’s so fast though — everything happens fast there. The way the cars react, the way the speeds are — even though we go faster on mile-and-a-half tracks, it just seems to happen faster there for some reason. It’s always a lot of fun and it’s a challenge. It’s such a completely different type of race track and I think we will have a good car there.”
Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 15 Cherry 5-HOUR Energy Toyota Camry for Michael Waltrip Racing in the NSCS:
“…It’s just a good race track for me — it always has been even in the Nationwide Series. I never won there in the Cup Series, but I’ve gotten close there a few times last year. There was a debris caution there at the end and we were one of the only cars that could have made it on fuel if I remember right. It’s such a demanding race track. It’s just so intense. There are certain race tracks — all of them are intense obviously, but some it is just complete chaos the whole time. Dover is one of the tracks that you leave there pretty well spent.”
David Ragan, driver of the No. 34 Dockside Logistics Ford for Front Row Motorsports in the NSCS:
“Dover is a very fun track to drive, but 400 miles there is as tough as 600 at Charlotte. It’s a tough track and it’s usually pretty warm there in Dover, too. But it’s a thrill to drive. If you’re a race fan and you just want to pick a race to go watch in person, Dover’s a fun place and a good choice.
“Dover can crunch a lot of your other issues because there’s a lot of banking that helps you overcome some handling issues. We have run well at the ‘Monster Mile’ in the past, but it’s still kind of a new animal because we really haven’t been to that type of a racetrack yet with the rule configuration that we have this year. I know some guys did a tire test there and hopefully we can get some information from Ford on what they learned and get our Dockside Logistics Ford on good terms with the ‘Monster.'”
Justin Allgaier, driver of the No. 51 AccuDoc Solutions Chevrolet for HScott Motorsports in the NSCS:
“I’m looking forward to Dover [International Speedway]. It’s a concrete track, and I always enjoy racing on concrete. There’s not a lot of grip, and it’s really easy to mess up a lap there and get freight trained by the other cars. We’ve been making gains each week but just don’t have the results to show for it. I’m really hoping we can shake some of the bad luck we’ve had the past couple weeks.”
Dakota Armstrong, driver of the No. 43 WinField Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports in the NNS:
“Dover is a tough track for me. I think it’s tougher than Darlington. Unlike most drivers, Darlington was a fun place for me. I don’t know if it’s the concrete surface, but Dover is a very tough track to get a hold of. You’re going so fast, and it’s only a mile long. You can definitely feel the transition going into Turn One, so you have to really be on your toes throughout the whole race. It’s fun, but it’s definitely tricky.
“The team has a pretty good record at Dover, so it makes me feel pretty confident going into the weekend. They’ve never finished outside of the Top-15 here, so I think Philippe (Lopez) and the team have the track figured out. I think we’ll unload well and be able to take advantage of the practice time.”
James Buescher, driver of the No. 99 Rheem Toyota Camry for RAB Racing in the NNS:
“Dover is a roller coaster — it’s like a big Bristol. I think Bristol and Dover are a lot alike — they’re both concrete, both high-banked, both have a lot of load when you get down in the corners. The biggest curveball that Dover has is the banked straightaways. It changes the way the car acts entering and exiting the corners so you kind of jump in and off the straightaways — the straightaways are higher up than the corners. When you go into the corner it seems like you’re jumping off the straightaway into the corner and then you climb back out of the corner. It’s an interesting race track and it’s a lot of fun and high speed. If you have your car handling right then it’s a driver’s race track. You have to be handling right or you have a really long day. It’s probably the coolest trophy and would be a great one to add to the collection for sure.”
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NNS:
“This is a favorite track for most in the garage because it’s so unique with the concrete and high banking. It’s fast and fun to maneuver, but challenging too – – you have to keep up with it. JGR has obviously run well here, sweeping both events in 2012, so we have good notes to return with. I have high expectations for this one since I feel I know the track pretty well, and I know Adam (Stevens, crew chief) has been successful here in the past. We didn’t finish where we wanted last year, though, so I want another stab at it and hopefully with a better result.”
Regan Smith, driver of the No. 7 Breyers Chevrolet for JR Motorsports in the NNS:
“I like seeing Dover coming up on the schedule because it’s one of my favorite tracks. With that said, it’s still a challenge for the drivers. There is a lot going on there and any time you have a narrow, self-cleaning track, you really have to be aware of your surroundings. Someone else’s mistake can ruin your day pretty quickly. Getting into a rhythm is key. Dover is a rhythm track and you need a car that is working well through the corners because you spend so much time through there.”
Chase Elliott, driver of the No. 9 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet for JR Motorsports in the NNS:
“It’s been a great experience being around my NAPA AUTO PARTS team at JRM the past week. Seeing firsthand how much hard work goes into building a single race car gives me a serious appreciation for what the shop guys do. These guys work so hard day in and day out. I feel closer to the race track now that I’m a part of the weekly competition meetings with Greg, Ryan and Ernie. This is something I’ve been waiting to experience first-hand for quite some time.
“I’m looking forward to going to Dover this weekend and getting back on the race track. I had some success there last year in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and look to build on that.”
Ryan Blaney, driver of the No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford for Brad Keselowski Racing in the NCWTS:
“Dover is one of my favorite racetracks. We qualified fourth there last year and ran top five all day and ended up third. It’s very hard to pass at Dover so hopefully we’ll get a good qualifying effort and just stay up front all day. It’s a long race and a lot of things can happen and the track changes a lot. Judging from the tire test and how we ran last year I’m really looking forward to it. We’ve had really fast trucks all year. We just need to start getting good finishes here and start getting that points lead back.”
Tyler Reddick, driver of the No. 19 Reese Towpower Ford for Brad Keselowski Racing in the NCWTS:
“Everybody talks about the transitions into Turn 1 and into Turn 3, the elevation changes and how it’s so severe you feel like you’re losing your stomach going into the corners. I was expecting to have a feeling like I’m on a rollercoaster and really it didn’t feel that bad at all. I think being a dirt racer you’re kind of used to that type of feeling. The test helped a lot, helped me understand the track a lot better. The track (groove) was not as wide as it’s going to be for our race but still it was a good test and definitely learned a lot for the race that’s going to help me.”
Tyler Young, driver of the No. 02 Randco Industries/Young’s Building Systems for Young’s Motorsports in the NCWTS:
“The Truck Series, in my opinion, is one of the most competitive series in NASCAR and I believe Dover is one of the most challenging tracks we will visit all year. Its high banked, produces high speeds and it’s a tough little track for both driver and equipment. I feel like if I can manage my tires and equipment, I may have a chance to survive the Monster Mile and claim one of the coolest trophies in all of NASCAR – a Miles the Monster.”
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 51 Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award/ToyotaCare Tundra in the NCWTS:
“I’ve been very successful in all three series at Dover, so this spring race is one that I look at as a possible triple-win weekend. The concrete surface is very slick and some drivers don’t like the concrete feel one bit, while other drivers like it. For me, I enjoy going to Dover and Bristol. They are fun places to race because they are challenging and other drivers don’t necessarily get it. The race tracks are slick and having the right mindset going into those races can give you an advantage over the guys that aren’t looking forward to racing there.”
John Wes Townley, driver of the No. 5 Zaxby’s for Wauters Motorsports in the NCWTS:
“Dover is a challenging little track; it’s called the Monster Mile for a reason,” John Wes Townley said. “The concrete track is high banked and is somewhere you really rely on your spotter to be looking ahead and help you avoid the accidents. Your driving style at Dover is a lot more aggressive compared to other tracks and it makes it fun racing for both the drivers and the fans. Hopefully, we’ll have a good start, keep track position and bring home another top finish. I know that Richie (Wauters) and all the guys on this team have been working hard to have the trucks ready for our back to back race streak. I’m going to do everything I can to get the best finish possible.”
Ron Hornaday, driver of the No. 30 Rheem Comfort Products Silverado for Turner Scott Motorsports in the NCWTS:
“Dover is a very fast one-mile oval and I really enjoy racing there. The guys at Turner Scott Motorsports have prepared me with another great Rheem Comfort Products Silverado for this weekend. We got caught up in an accident a few weeks ago in Charlotte, and that kept us from having another solid finish, so hopefully we can get back on track this week. I am looking forward to working with Doug George and hopefully getting this Rheem Comfort Products Silverado in victory lane. ”
Timothy Peters, driver of the No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota in the NCWTS:
“I love Dover (International Speedway) and can’t wait to go racing there. The concrete race track really suits my driving style; you have to be patiently aggressive. It should be a great race for us and for the fans.”
German Quiroga, driver of the No. 77 NET10 Wireless Toyota for Red Horse Racing in the NCWTS on his second career race at Dover:
“Obviously things are always better when you race at a track that you’ve already been to. We did well at Dover (International Speedway) last season, we had great speed and were good in practice and qualifying but we got too loose at the end of the race. I think it’s one of the tracks I feel comfortable at, and I’m excited to go back.”
Ben Kennedy, driver of the No. 31 Click It Or Ticket Chevrolet for Turner Scott Motorsports in the NCWTS:
“I don’t think there’s a track on the schedule that I’d like to win at more than Dover. That’s one place where I’ve been really close a couple times in the K&N Series, but it just never quite worked out. It’s also, by far, one of the coolest trophies you can get in the sport. I don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t want Miles the Monster on their shelf. I’m also really excited to be partnering with the Delaware Office of Highway Safety this weekend. I enjoyed working with them last year and I’m hoping this time I can bring the Click It Or Ticket Chevrolet to victory lane.”
Joey Coulter, driver of the No. 21 Allegiant Travel Chevrolet for GMS racing in the NCWTS:
“I am fired up for this weekend. I always love racing at Dover International Speedway because the track is insane. For the size that it is, the track makes you feel like you are going faster than we do anywhere else on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule. We have done a lot of work back at the GMS Racing shop since Charlotte Motor Speedway, and I think we are going to turn our season around this weekend.”