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HMS Notes: Dover

DOVER, Del. (June 5, 2004) – Brian Vickers, driver of the No. 25 GMAC Financial Services Chevrolets, earned his most recent NASCAR victory at Dover International Speedway in September 2003, winning the Busch Series event at the one-mile oval.

In two NBS starts at “The Monster Mile” last season, Vickers finished fifth and first, respectively.  The 20-year-old will make his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series debut at the track this weekend.

“I’ve always enjoyed racing at Dover and had a lot of fun there,” Vickers said.  “It’s a mix between some of my other favorite race tracks, like Bristol (Tenn.), except just a little faster.

“The track is fast and it can turn into a multi-groove race track—especially later in the Cup race.”

REID RUNNING KANSAS:
Boston Reid, one of three young men participating in Hendrick Motorsports’ driver development program, will make his second career ARCA Series start Saturday at Kansas Speedway in the No. 5 ditech.com Chevrolet.

In his first-ever circuit appearance, the Logansport, Ind., native started fourth and led 38 laps before finishing third at Toledo (Ohio) Speedway on May 16.

Reid is also scheduled to enter the ARCA event at Kentucky Speedway in July.

LABONTE AT DOVER:
In recent years, the concrete oval at Dover has provided a formidable challenge for driver Terry Labonte, both in qualifying and on race day.  But in 2003, the two-time Cup Series champion did a much better job of taming “The Monster Mile,” qualifying in the top 10 for both races and finishing 10th in June.

In the mid-1980s at Dover, Labonte started on the front row three consecutive times (including a pole position in 1985) and qualified in the top 10 for 13 straight events.

“Ever since they put the concrete surface down a few years ago, we hadn’t run that well—until last year,” Labonte said.  “This team really worked hard and focused on that track, and we had two very good races, particularly in the spring (10th-place finish).

“We need a good run this weekend to take the sting out of what happened at Charlotte and to get things back on course.”

In 50 career starts at Dover, Labonte has 15 top-10s, including second-place finishes to Harry Gant in 1984 and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon in 1996.  He has more than $1.3 million in winnings and has been running at the finish of his last eight starts in the track’s spring race.

Labonte’s last DNF in the June event came in 1995, when the race was run at a 500-mile distance.

FEESE IMPRESSES:
Blake Feese, another of Hendrick’s developmental drivers, earned his third top-10 finish in as many ARCA starts last Thursday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, posting a seventh-place result in the No. 5 ditech.com Chevy.

The 22-year-old earned a victory at Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway in April and an eighth-place showing at Kentucky Speedway in May.

ROAD-COURSE TESTING FOR VICKERS:
The No. 25 team will travel to Infineon Raceway on Tuesday and Wednesday to prepare for the June 27 NEXTEL Cup event.

The team recently spent time at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, S.C., and also plans to test on the road-course circuit at Virginia International Raceway before heading west for the Cup event at Infineon.

It’s also possible Vickers will gear up for the race at the Bondurant Driving School in Phoenix with teammate Jimmie Johnson.

‘IRON MAN’ NEARING CHEVY MILESTONE:
The majority of Labonte’s 50 starts (37) at Dover have come in a Chevrolet.  In fact, he will start his 600th race for General Motors on June 13 in the Pocono 500.

REID HITS THE ROAD:
Reid, 21, will have a busy weekend.

Along with the ARCA race Saturday, he will also enter USAC events in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Friday (Sprint Car) and Terre Haute, Ind., on Saturday night (Silver Crown).

‘5’ CHASSIS INFO:
Kellogg’s Racing has entered a lightly-raced chassis for Dover (car No. 307).

It was constructed this year and has raced only once—an 18th-place finish in March at Bristol Motor Speedway.

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