Miles the Monster beckons - NASCAR teams heat up Dover
HMS is a very successful operation, with two of the drivers sharing 9 championships. Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson have proved their status, and Dale Earnhardt Jr is so consistent lately, he is the only driver this season to have completed every lap run in every race. Kasey's win last week was important for HMS, according to NASCAR.com, Because this is less about the present than it is the future, and Kahne putting himself in position to one day emerge as the on-track leader of NASCAR's best organization.
I understand that thinking. HMS wants to be top dog. They want all their drivers to win the championship. Obviously that can't happen, so a 1-4 finish in the points would be just fine, thank you very much. Will it happen? Unlikely, but the potential is now there.
This week the teams go back to short track racing. The one mile concrete track features 24 degree banking in the corners, and has been the site of more than a few skirmishes and "disagreements". Miles the Monster was erected during the "Monster Makeover" between 2006 and 2009 and now he is seen on all tickets, posters, trophies and memorabilia at the track.
Kyle Busch, winless this season, has been successful at the track, as has Matt Kenseth. In fact, the Roush cars seem to do very well at Dover. Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards have both won here as well. However, they aren't the only drivers with success. Jimmie Johnson has won here numerous times, as has Mark Martin, and even Dale Jr won here in 2001.
What does that mean for this Sunday's race? Well, any driver with the proper setup and a good qualifying position has a great chance to move to the front and stay there. That is, if he can get in and out of the pits in a timely fashion. The pits at Dover are a challenge. Crews are required to be in absolute top form, particularly with tire changes, as the concrete surface is tough on tires.
With this abbreviated This Week in NASCAR, I must sign off, as work and dentist appointments beckon. My pick?? Well, it will be Matt Kenseth. As usual, Matt's quiet, methodical, under the radar personality quietly goes about just getting the job done.
My dark horse? Well, Martin Truex Jr isn't really a dark horse, as successful as Michael Waltrip Racing has been this year, but he likely won't be one of the drivers in the bright spotlights, and that just might be what helps him grab the checkers first.