Dover, DE. Weekend
Welcome Race Fans to Dover, De. Normally, I would be reviewing the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. This week’s review will also be an “in my opinion” kind of thing. The Cup race in my opinion was quite boring. So this week I’m going to talk about the whole weekend. We go to Dover every year for the June 1 weekend. Several years ago, I purchased tickets from a coworker. And liked the track so much, we’ve been coming back every year.
My Dover adventures are something I’d like to share with you sometime, but today I’d just like to tell you about the weekend. We get there in our RV on Wed. We have reserve RV parking in Lot 2, but there are also many other lots. Some fans come the weekend before the race weekend. I guess as a vacation. But we have the same spot every year. So it won’t matter when we get there. We still get the same spot.
The weekend starts when the Gates open on Thursday. The Grandstand Gate opens at 2:00, and Craftsman Truck practice is at 2:30. Final Truck practice is at 4:15. That’s pretty much it for Thursday. Most people don’t arrive until Friday. On Friday the Grandstand Gates open at 9:00 am, and Nationwide practice begins at that time. At 10:10 am Pole qualifying starts for the AAA Insurance 200 for the Craftsman Trucks. There were 36 Trucks entered, so they all got to race. Team mates 5 Mike Skinner and 23 Johnny Benson start first and second.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice came next at 11:30, with Nationwide Final Practice at 1:15. Pole qualifying for NSCS started at 3:10 p.m. 16 Greg Biffle and 2 Kurt Busch will start on Sunday on the front row. And the AAA Insurance 200 starts at 5:00. 51 Kyle Busch leads the first lap, but is the fourth caution when his truck blows up. He fixes the transmission and comes back onto the track, but is not a factor in the race. 22 Scott Speed, a Rookie wins the race. This is the third week in a row that a Truck driver wins for the first time. Two weeks ago, it was Matt Crafton in the 88, his 178th start. Last week it was Rookie Donnie Lia in the 71. He is a Rookie this year and it was his first win.
On Saturday the Gates open again at 9:00. We went to register for the NASCAR Foundation Walk that takes place after the Nationwide race. We got our wrist band and our t-shirt. Pole qualifying for the Nationwide Heluva Good! 200 is at 10:35. The front row is 60 Carl Edwards and 18 Denny Hamlin. Joey Logano makes his debut and will start 9th. There was a dedication for Bobby Allyson, followed by an autograph session with him. You older NASCAR fans know who he is. Final Cup practice was shortened by rain. And the Nationwide Heluva Good! 200 started three hours late.
18 and 32 Kyle Busch take off, leaving pole sitter 60 behind. The first caution comes out when 5 Landon Cassill gets into the wall. The second caution comes out when 24 Larry McClure gets into the wall. The third caution comes out when 27 Brad Coleman gets into the wall. The fourth caution comes out when 59 Marcos Ambrose gets into the wall. The fifth caution comes out when 11 Jason Keller and 6 David Ragan get together. The sixth caution comes out when 48 Jason Leffler gets into 32, and they both get into the wall. 18 Denny Hamlin wins the race.
The NASCAR Foundation Walk is a great thing. Several Drivers walk for their favorite Charities. Each person walking gets into one of these groups. And everyone walking can collect all of the signatures. I personally got the signatures of Michael Waltrip, Aric Almirola, Regan Smith, Ryan Newman and reporter, Wendy Venturini. I got J P Montoya last year, so I didn’t get his this year. It costs $30 to walk. It’s fun. And for a good cause. They gave us each a plastic bag with NASCAR popcorn and a bottle of water as we were leaving.
Now comes the race on Sunday. Best Buy Autism Speaks 400. 40 is Jeremy Mayfield. 21 is Bill Elliott. 70 this week was Jason Leffler from the Nationwide Series, but failed to qualify. As did Chad McCumbee in the 45 (Kyle Petty was at his daughter’s wedding). For some reason they didn’t say, Matt Crafton, fron the Trucks qualified the 7 for Robby Gordon. But Robby ran the race. 16 leads from the pole. 96 J.J. Yeley gets into the wall between turns one and two. 44 David Reutimann gets into the wall. The first caution involves twelve cars. 38 david Gilliland gets into 19 Elliott Sadler to spin him. Everyone is coming off turn two and straight into 19. 20 Tony Stewart rams into 19 and everyone gets into everyone else. 9 Kasey Kahne isn’t fast enough to escape as 11 Denny Hamlin slams into him as he is trying to get between 88 Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and 19. Also involved were 21, 43 Bobby Labonte, 15 Paul Menard, 07 Clint Bowyer, 29 Kevin Harvick, and 66 Scott Riggs. This happens on lap 20. 00 Michael McDowell leads a lap and then pits with everyone else.
The second caution comes out on lap 65 when 34 Tony Raines missed pitting and gets stuck on the top of the track. He is penalized for causing the caution. 19 and 11 are both out. 20, 29,66 and 88 come out after many laps in the garage. 9, 15, 21,07, 43 loose laps making repairs. 9 Kasey Kahne is the Lucky Dog. The third caution comes out on lap 75 when 78 Joe Nemechek gets into the wall. 96 J J Yeley is the Lucky Dog. There is Green Flag Pitting. 18 Kyle Busch leads when leader 99 Carl Edwards pits. 48 Jimmy Johnson leads when 18 pits.
The fourth caution comes out when 84 A J Allmendinger comes out of the pits and gets stuck on the apron. A wrecker has to push him around. 48 got caught for speeding on pit road. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya is the Lucky Dog. Then it gets really boring, with another round of Green Flag Pitting. 24 Jeff Gordon led. The fifth caution comes out on lap 243 for debris. 42 is again the Lucky Dog. 17 Matt Kenseth leads during another round of Green Flag Pitting. The race is very confusing. There are so many cars between lead lap cars. It’s hard to keep track of everyone. 26 Jamie McMurray led a lap, as did 12 Ryan Newman. at the end of the race, there were seven cars on the lead lap.
I won’t go into who passed who, because it was confusing as to who was on the lead lap and who got by someone on the lead lap. Boring is my word for it, and I was there! And Dover is never boring. But 18 Kyle Busch won the race. Enough said. The rest of the weekend was good. I’m still glad I came to Dover. And will be back next year. I just hope it’s a little more exciting.
Brought to you by Sheila Hawley
Visit my website: