Thursday, September 29th
8:30 PM NNS HAULERS ENTER
Friday, September 30h
6:30 AM NNS GARAGE & REGISTRATION OPENS
11:35 AM NNS ROOKIE & SPOTTER MEETINGS & RANDOM DRAWING
12:35 PM-2:30 PM NNS FINAL PRACTICE
5:00 PM NNS GARAGE & REGISTRATION CLOSES
Saturday, October 1st
9:00 AM NNS GARAGE & REGISTRATION OPENS
12:05 PM NNS QUALIFYING (TWO LAPS, ALL POSITIONS)
1:20 PM NNS DRIVER/CREW CHIEF MEETING (TENT)
3:00 PM NNS DRIVER INTRODUCTION
3:30 PM NNS RACE (200 LAPS, 300 MILES)
Pressure Builds For Contenders As Final Stretch Approaches
The pressure cooker is whistling, which means with six races to go on the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule, time is running out for the top three championship contenders. Only 14 points separate series standings leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and second place Elliott Sadler; while 47 markers stand between third-place Reed Sorenson and the standings lead.
Consistency and the acquisition of bonus points have been the keys to Stenhouse’s success this season. He has accumulated a series’ high 22 bonus points and has posted two wins (Iowa sweep), 12 top fives, 20 top 10s and three Coors Light poles.
Stenhouse’s late season dominance is backed up by his season-to-date Loop Data stats. He leads all championship contenders in five major Loop categories: Driver Rating (107.1), Average Running Position (8.296), Laps in the Top 15 (4,790 laps), Fastest Lap Run (526) and Laps Led (424 laps).
If recent history is any indication, Stenhouse’s outlook is bright. Of the three championship contenders – Stenhouse, Sadler, Sorenson – Stenhouse has the best average finish at the upcoming six tracks with an 11.6 compared to Sorenson’s 14.7 and Sadler’s 22.0.
Dover is the first of the remaining six races of the season and Stenhouse has improved each time out at the one-mile speedway. He was 18th in his track debut in the 2010 spring race, finished 11th in this event last year and jumped to fourth in May. His average finish at Dover is 11.0 and his pre-race Driver Rating 91.4.
Saturday’s event is sponsored by the same company – OneMain Financial – that adorns the hood of Elliott Sadler’s No. 2 Chevrolet. Sadler finished sixth at Dover in May, his first top-10 at the track since a sixth-place finish in this race in 1997. Driving for JR Motorsports last fall, he was relegated to 31st due to an accident. His average finish at Dover is 15.0 and his pre-race Driver Rating is 83.3 – both are the worst among the top three championship contenders.
Dover Provides Great Stepping Stone In Sorenson’s Championship Hopes
There is nothing like a great comeback.
Reed Sorenson, currently third in the standings 47 points back from Ricky Stenhouse Jr., has the opportunity to kick off his own comeback and make a run at the NASCAR Nationwide Series championship this weekend at Dover.
In 10 career races at Dover, Sorenson has six top fives and nine top 10s. His only hiccup was a 27th-place finish in 2007 when an accident took him out of contention. His average finish in five fall races is 5.2, including a fourth-place result in this race last year. He was third at Dover in May.
Sorenson leads Stenhouse and Sadler in pre-race Driver Rating (100.9), Average Running Position (9.240), and Laps in the Top 15 (1,722 laps) 85.4% at Dover.
A lot of Sorenson’s success this season is due to his ability to move through the field and his season-to-date Loop Data stats back that up. He leads all championship contenders in Quality Passes (1,013) and Green Flag Passes (1,531).
In three of the last six tracks on the schedule, Sorenson has the best average finish amongst Stenhouse and Sadler – Dover, Charlotte and Texas.
Ryan Truex Comes Home As Rookie Standings Remain Close
In 2010 Ryan Truex, a native of Mayetta, N.J., won his second consecutive NASCAR K&N Pro Series East title and was officially awarded the crown at Dover International Speedway, his home track.
Truex, 19, brother of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr., began the 2011 season driving for Pastrana-Waltrip Racing, the team with which he won his K&N championships (then Michael Waltrip Racing). However after 10 races, that opportunity shifted, gearing more toward the preparation for team co-owner and action sports superstar Travis Pastrana to make his way into NASCAR.
Truex was given the green light to look for other options. In early August, Truex signed a six-race deal with Joe Gibbs Racing to drive the No. 20 Toyota. Halfway through that schedule, he seems to have found his groove.
Truex was 11th at Atlanta in his first race since June at Chicagoland. He backed that up with his career-best finish – fourth – in Richmond’s fall race. In his fall return to Chicago he was 13th. Each of those results was better than all but one of his finishes in those first 10 events (eighth at Richmond in May).
He finished 18th at Dover earlier this season and has a pre-race Driver Rating heading into this weekend of 83.1.
Timmy Hill continues to hold a slight edge in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings over his nearest competitor – and good friend – Blake Koch. Hill has a two-point lead over Koch with six races remaining. Koch needs a good result at Dover – where he finished a season-worst 43rd in May after an incident on the first lap – in order to put more pressure on Hill. Although he’s cut into Hill’s lead considerably over the summer months, Koch has finished better than Hill only once in the last five races.
NASCAR Nationwide Series Etc.
Michael Annett will make his 100th series start Saturday at Dover. He’s currently 10th in the points and has six top-10 finishes. Coming into this season, he’d had a career total of six top 10s. … Brian Scott posted his first series Coors Light pole at Chicagoland Speedway and went on to match his series career-best finish of third. He hopes to continue his success this weekend at Dover a track he has run well at. In three starts he has one top-10 finish. He also won at Dover in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2009. … “Concrete” Carl Edwards goes for the Dover sweep having won earlier this year in May.
Tire: Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials
Number of Tires:
Nationwide: Left-side -- 525, Right-side -- 525
Nationwide: 6 sets for the weekend;
Left-side -- D-4394; Right-side -- D-4444
Left-side -- 87.1 in.; Right-side -- 88.3 in.
Technical Inspection Inflation:
Left Front -- 30 psi; Left Rear -- 30 psi;
Right Front -- 50 psi; Right Rear -- 47 psi
Minimum Recommended Inflation:
Left Front -- 23 psi; Left Rear -- 21 psi;
Right Front -- 49 psi; Right Rear -- 45 psi
Notes: Teams in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series will run the same tire codes at Dover this weekend . . . this is the same combination of left- and right-side tires that these teams ran at Dover in May . . . this tire set-up was tested at Dover this past April, with drivers A.J. Allmendinger, Jeff Gordon and Denny Hamlin participating . . . the only other track at which Sprint Cup or Nationwide teams run either of these two Goodyear tire codes is this right-side (D-4444) on the Cup cars at Michigan . . . Dover is unique in that it is the only NASCAR oval one mile or less in length on which teams run inner liners in all four tire positions . . . generally, on mile tracks and short tracks, teams do not run any inner liners, with Dover and Bristol (inner liners in right-side tires only) being the exceptions . . . air pressure in the inner liners should be 12-25 psi greater than that of the outer tire.