NASCAR

Nothing easy about The Monster Mile

THE MONSTER AWAITS
A statue of 'Miles The Monster' is displayed at Dover International Speedway.
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Jeff Hammond

Jeff Hammond is a former NASCAR crew chief who led Darrell Waltrip to two of his three Sprint Cup championships. The duo also teamed up to win the 1989 Daytona 500. Prior to that, Hammond was the jackman for Cale Yarborough for all three of his Cup championships. He has 43 Sprint Cup wins as a crew chief. Follow him on Twitter.

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This weekend we are back to concrete. We are at the one-mile, all-concrete Monster Mile in Dover. Trust me, it presents its own unique set of challenges for these teams and drivers.

WINNING WAYS

Check out all the 2013 Sprint Cup race winners. SEE THEM ALL

It’s a fast concrete track with what you would call elevation changes, because you dive down into turns one and three and then come up out of them.

One of the biggest concerns of the weekend will be protecting that right-front tire. It is easy these days, especially when you get into a long green-flag run, to wear that right side out, and it will definitely end your day. It’ll happen faster than you can blink.

Long green-flag runs at Dover mean you have to get up on the wheel and make it happen. You can’t let yourself get behind and a lap down. Qualifying is the other premium this weekend.

Starting up front at a place like Dover, plus having an early pick of your pit box, pays dividends.

IT ADDS UP

Where did your favorite driver finish in the 2013 final standings?

Dover’s pit road is extremely challenging. It can and has played a factor in the outcome of a race. There’s no reason not to expect the same Sunday.

What we’ve seen so far from the first two Chase races is the drivers in the Chase are ready to go. They are ready to make it happen. They are qualifying and racing extremely well right now. I really don’t think just because we are in Dover that we will see any deviation from that.

I just see these Chase guys continuing to put on the show, if you will. The whole reason they are in the Chase is because they are the best of the best.

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