Race Day: Chasers Could Be In For Rough Time
By Jim Pedley | Managing Editor
Before Clint Bowyer was handed the death penalty in the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship for use of an illegal car, much of the post-race talk about New Hampshire concerned aggressive driving in the playoff opener.
The Chase continues today at Dover International Speedway in Delaware and some are wondering if the aggressive driving will continue as well.
Here is what a select group of drivers had to say about the subject:
Tony Stewart, No. 14 Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet: “I’d say guys are going to be pretty aggressive. It’s not going to be any different than it normally is. Last week’s race wasn’t a different race than what we normally see because people were paying attention more to the guys because it was a Chase race. The race itself wasn’t different. The guys didn’t race any different. They raced just as hard as they always do.”
Kevin Harvick, No. 33 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet: “I think because the speeds are so much higher and the fact that Loudon is really hard to pass and you have to kind of forcethe issue sometimes and things happen and people run into each other there. I think everybody will race hard but I don’t think you can have as much beating and banging as you did last week.”
Carl Edwards, No. 99 Roush Fenway Racing Ford: “Dover has more grip. The tire seems to grip a little bit more. There at New Hampshire, the problem on the restarts was everyone’s cars were so loose, there was no grip in the track. That’s part of what makes it fun, but also makes it really dangerous on the restarts. I think that’s why you saw each time we had a restart there would be chaos.”
Kurt Busch, No. 2 Penske Racing Dodge: “It was an amazing race with all the Chase drivers running each other the way that they were and acting as if they needed every five, four or three points as far as positions go. Dover, you have to race the race track more here. This is a little bit of a Darlington mentality. That’s where I need to go back to race the race track, don’t worry about other Chase guys. If we finish seventh and there are a few Chasers ahead of us, hey, we’ve got eight more after that.”
Kyle Busch is looking to sweep Dover in 2010 today. Jimmie Johnson swept the place last year. Prior to that, who was the last driver to win twice in one season at the Monster Mile?
What: AAA 400
Where: Dover (Del.) International Speedway
Track: 1-mile oval
Banking: 24 degrees in corners
When: Sunday, 1:15 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN, 1 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN/Sirius Satellite Ch. 128
Race distance: 400 laps/400 miles
Estimated pit window: 75-80 laps
2009 winner: Jimmie Johnson
2009 polesitter: Jimmie Johnson
Today’s polesitter: Jimmie Johnson
Next weekend’s race is at Kansas. Not that drivers this week were thinking about that or wanting to talk about that.
Asked about Kansas Speedway:
Tony Stewart said – “They copied it from Chicago or Chicago copied off of them; it’s no different than most of the 1.5-miles we go to, it’s a copied race track.”
Kevin Harvick said – “I am worried about Dover right now.”
Most victories: 7, by Bobby Allison and Richard Petty
Most poles: 6, by David Pearson
Most top-fives: 22 by Mark Martin
Most leaders in a race: 13, twice (most recently in 2000)
Most cautions: 16, in 1993
Fewest cautions: 0, in 1971
Most cars on lead lap: 21, in 2006
Fewest on lead lap: 1, 11 times (most recently in 1991)
Fewest running at finish: 13, in 1981
Closest margin of victory: .08 seconds
Largest margin of victory: 22.071 seconds
Jimmie Johnson on the 150-point penalty to Clint Bowyer after the No. 33 car was taken to the R and D center and inspected.
“I just saw something where he was holding up a quarter. Man, I don’t know what goes on through tech, I didn’t even know our car was in question or had to go through the sticks twice. But, I don’t care. I just drive the car. Show up with my helmet and go. I have been nailed plenty of time. Let’s just stir things up…NASCAR gave the No. 11 and the No. 48 a little slack and let us roll through and wanted to nail the No. 33…we’ll just take that angle and have some fun with it.. Let’s just play into it because regardless of what I say, people are going to believe that. So, the hell with it, let’s just ride it.”
Ryan Newman swept Dover in 2003 when he was driving for Penske Racing.
The Price Chopper 400 presented by Kraft at Kansas Speedway.
Mark Martin won the pole and Tony Stewart won the race last year. Stewart and Jeff Gordon are the only two-time winners at Kansas. Toyota has never won at the 1.5-mile tri-oval. Matt Kenseth hold the qualifying record – 180.856 mph, set in 2005.
– Jim Pedley can be reached at email@example.comNo Comment