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Stewart’s 2011 performances at Dover International Speedway were forgettable. He finished 29th and 25th.
Looking ahead to Sunday’s race at the high-banked, 1-mile concrete oval, the three-time Sprint Cup champion hopes this year’s first go-around goes well. With the addition of crew chief Steve Addington, the Stewart-Haas team is confident it will.
Addington specializes on the concrete tracks of Bristol and Dover, having recorded four wins in his last 17 races at the tracks.
“It’s a different animal just because of the speeds you carry at both of those places,” Addington said. “Keeping our times and tire geometry to where we really watch our camber wears and stuff like that because it’ll mislead you in place like that and you can get off. That’s the big thing — our front-end geometry and how we put the ride in the car.”
The Addington-Stewart team was tested on concrete in March, when it and the No. 14 Chevrolet Impala finished 14th at Bristol.
“Normally, 14th isn’t something we’re too happy about, but compared to how we’ve been, I thought we made big gains,” Stewart said after the spring race.
Stewart’s aiming for his fourth victory of the season. He won the non-points Gatorade Duel in February, along with points-paying races at Las Vegas and Fontana.
With 14 races until the Chase for the Cup begins, Stewart sits in ninth place in the points standings with five top-five finishes. He started 21st and took 25th at last week’s Coca-Cola 600.
“Dover is a track that’s constantly changing,” Stewart said. “But it’s one of those places where you really can’t change your driving style. You still have to do the same things you always do.”
Greg Biffle leads the Cup standings, 10 points ahead of Matt Kenseth, 16 points ahead of Denny Hamlin and 18 points ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr.
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