Dover's Monster Mile Plays Host To The S.T.A.R.S.
- Friday, 13 May 2011
- Written by Daniel Graulty
In Dover, Delaware, stands a one mile bowl of high-banked concrete known as The Monster Mile, and it was at this high speed short track that the ISRA S.T.A.R.S. series held it’s second race of the season. Such has been the response to the ISRA hosting it’s first oval series that there were more drivers than pit stalls at Dover, and a second server was needed to host all of the drivers willing to take on the challenge of 110 laps around the Monster.
In the first race, it was Darrell McKee who grabbed the pole with Graham Adelman on the outside of the front row. When the green flag flew, McKee began his domination of the first half of the race, leading the race for a total of 73 laps and thereby scoring the bonus point for the most laps at the head of the field. His early command of the race would be broken only by DJ Lyon and Scott Slade picking up a handful of laps in the lead as the field bunched up for a few early cautions. Despite McKee’s impressive run, his challengers would keep him honest, with the top five following close on his bumper although not quite able to challenge for the position. The middle of the race saw a long green flag run until another caution around lap 80 gave the drivers a chance to fit fresh rubber on their trucks for the run to the end. Running in the top five all day, Toby Jenkins maneuvered himself into the lead when the green came out again, but the field would see one more caution when Daytona winner Timothy Johnston saw his top five run come to an end in the wall with only nine laps to go. Jenkins went on to take the win, with Mike Kelley and Chuck Chambliss taking second and third by making the right calls on pit strategy.
The second race would see a far different scenario play out. The front row for the start would be occupied by Danny Hansen on the pole with Tyler Scott to his outside. Like McKee did in the first race, Hansen took a stranglehold on the lead for the first half of the race and likewise picked up the bonus point for most laps led. Unlike the first race, this one was only hampered by a couple of early cautions, the last being on lap 36. From there on, the race would go green all the way to the checkered flag. Hansen would have his hands full for much of his time in the lead, with Scott, Dylan Duval, Matthew Kingsbury, Chase Elliot, and Kevin Parrish all battling in the lead pack. It was Duval who first broke Hansen’s hold on the lead. He went on to lead a total of 20 laps, but ultimately finished second. With nearly 70 laps of green flag running, the big question late in the race was whether to make a green flag stop for fresh tires or try to stay out as long as possible hoping for a late caution. Finally, it was Parrish who would venture into pit road first, hoping others would follow to help cycle him back towards the front. Only a small handful of drivers followed Parrish, with most preferring to stay out all the way to the checkered if need be on worn rubber. Staying out was proven to be the correct call with Parrish only managing to climb back up to 11th position from his prior top five run. Hansen’s and Duval’s heavy tire wear handed Kingsbury the lead with less than 40 laps to go, and from there Kingsbury held on for the win with a six second advantage over Duval and third place Scott, while Hansen fell all the way to a seventh place finish.
Next week the S.T.A.R.S. drivers head to the high banked mile and a half of Charlotte Motor Speedway for round three where Dylan Duval will surely be looking for a win to accompany the five point lead he holds in the championship standings over DJ Lyon.