Roush Fenway’s Monstrous Dover Miles
DOVER, Del. — Jack Roush and his race teams have been battling the “Monster Mile” of Dover International Speedway for more than 30 years and during that time the ‘Cat in the Hat’ has experienced more than his fair share of success at the one-mile concrete oval known for fast turns and gritty racing action. Still, that’s not to say the track hasn’t lived up to its nickname for Roush and his multi-car organization.
“It’s a ‘Monster Mile’ for sure,” said Roush. “It’s concrete, high-banked and there’s lots of grip. You go down in that corner, breathe the throttle a little bit and go hard on the gas. It really doesn’t take a lot of finesse, but you better have both feet on the gas and you better be ready to go.”
At first glance Roush’s accomplishments in Delaware may appear to have come easy. His teams boast 17 NASCAR wins at Dover, having won there in all three major series. The team also boasts nine wins and six poles in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. In addition, Roush Fenway can claim six NASCAR Xfinity Series wins and two truck victories.
Roush Fenway found speed from the start at Dover, starting on the front row in its first three races at the Delaware track, while winning the pole in two of the three. The team led in six of its first seven races and clocked three runner up finishes in three of its first six attempts.
In fact, Roush Fenway led an impressive 611 laps in its first decade of racing at Dover, but victory at the Monster Mile was still elusive.
The ultimate success finally came with Roush Fenway and Mark Martin besting the track in the fall of 1997, taking the checkered flag from the pole and leading 194 of 400 laps to take the checkered flag. The win appeared to open the flood gates of success, with the team again winning from the pole the following year, this time leading 379 of 400 laps. Roush Fenway would win again in 1998 and the course of success was set for the organization.
Since that first win the organization has visited Victory Lane at Dover 16 more times with six different drivers. The team looks to expand on the legacy this weekend and conquer the Monster Mile.
“We’ve had a lot of success at Dover over the years for sure,” said Roush. “But we’ve had our heartache as well. You have to earn it there. As I said, it’s not about finesse at Dover. You better hope that your tires don’t give up and you better be ready to get on the gas and go. I think based on our reasonable history at the track and our lineup of drivers, that we’ll be able to do that again with success this year. I would certainly expect with the start to the season that we’ve had and how we have run, that we will go to Dover looking to be contenders and looking to take our Fords back to victory lane there.”