This weekend, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series sits idle once again as the Cup and Xfinity Series head to Dover Motor Speedway to race alongside the ARCA Menards Series.
But it wasn’t that long that the Dover truck chain hadn’t operated. The series debuted in the oval one-mile race in 2000, a race that Kurt Bosch narrowly won during the junior season. It was Bush’s third win out of four that year, despite losing the championship to Greg Bevel.
For the first 13 seasons of the Truck Series schedule, Dover featured a different winner each year. It wasn’t until 2013 when Kyle Busch became the first repeat victor on the track, and since then has racked up a total of three wins at Dover, a feat only matched by Johnny Sutter, who won three consecutive times from 2017 through 2019.
Fast forward to 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic turned the sports world upside down, and the Dover race, originally scheduled for the first weekend in May, was postponed to August. Zane Smith, a rookie at the time, scored the win after leading 50 laps; It was his second win in three races (Michigan).
– Zane Smith (@zanesmith77) August 22, 2020
No one knew her at the time, but this was the last time the Truck Series had raced at Dover. In a deal that included giving up one of its races to the Nashville Superspeedway, Dover now hosts only one NASCAR weekend and the trucks no longer race there.
It’s unfortunate that such a unique track has been removed from the Truck Series schedule, but at least according to NASCAR credit, only one track has multiple races this year, which is a clear improvement over previous schedules.
Dover has long been known as the Monster Mile, a nickname given to the track by Dennis McGlynn, who was the CEO of Dover Motorsports Inc. in the seventies.
“The track has become known as the Beast, a track that is very difficult for drivers and difficult for equipment,” Gary Camp, Speedway’s director of communications, told Delaware Online in 2014. “At the time, it was not uncommon for a driver to have a relief driver because they couldn’t finish the entire race. Or they would get out of the car at the end of the 500 mile and collapse and need oxygen.”
But despite the challenges, several Truck Series drivers have managed to claim their first career victories on the track.
Jason Leffler: 2003 Armed Forces Family MBNA 200
The late Jason Leffler raced the Truck Series in seven seasons on a mostly part-time basis from 2000 through 2012, including a full-time campaign in 2002. But it wasn’t until 2003 when he scored his first career win behind Wheel number 2 dodge. Leffler led 57 laps on his way to a three-second victory over the late Bobby Hamilton in a race where only 16 drivers ran to complete it.
It was Levler’s only truck series victory, and despite running only 16 of 25 events in the schedule that season, he ended up 16th in the championship standings.
Chad Chavin: 2004 MBNA America 200
Chad Chavin ran only two full-time seasons throughout his nine years in the Truck Series. During his second year in the entire schedule race, the driver of the #18 Dodge drove 52 laps en route to a narrow victory over Rick Crawford. In this race, there was a seven truck crash along the front only eight laps.
The win was the first of two for Chavin that season and his career with Bobby Hamilton Racing. After his second win that season, he struggled to find the top ten for the remainder of the table and eventually finished off the tenth year in the standings.
Scott Speed: 2008 AAA Insurance 200
Scott Speed spent just one season in the Truck series, and took his only victory, thanks in part to some bad luck for Bosch, who drove 96 laps in the race. Speed took advantage of Busch’s misfortune and sailed to victory after finishing first in 51 circuits.
Brian Scott: 2009 AAA Insurance 200
Brian Scott was one of those drivers I expected to find the way to victory at some point. But when he did, it was amazing. In a race plagued by tire problems that featured less than 30 laps in the race for many drivers, Scott somehow set the last 50 laps on his way to his first win of his career.
Scott found the victory lane again in his career while managing a part-time roster for Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2012, but remained winless in his attempts to move up to the Xfinity Series and Cup before eventually hanging up his helmet to spend more time with him. family.
Eric Almerola: 2010 Dover 200
Eric Almerola became another driver who profited from Bosch’s misfortune. After making 172 laps, a fuel pump issue eventually sidelined Busch with only two laps left. Almerola took a nearly one-second win over James Beecher.
This was Almerola’s first two wins during the 2010 season, and despite scoring 21 in the top 10 in 25 races, he failed in the championship battle to Todd Bowden.
In the end, missing any track in the schedule is a disappointment, especially for a series that only has 22 races to start with. But one loss that poses a challenge for drivers like Dover could be an even bigger loss. After all, even though the Truck Series is considered a development series, it would be nice to see those less experienced drivers have the opportunity to learn about the track before moving on to the Xfinity or Cup Series.
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