Tony Stewart, a three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, has always said that winning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a much bigger deal to him than capturing a trophy at Daytona.
The reason why is quite simple — Stewart has always considered Indy to be his home track.
So CJ Faison, who grew up in Seaford, Del., a small town located about 35 minutes south of Dover International Speedway, can relate to Stewart when he drives up onto the high banks of the Monster Mile.
Faison will be among the drivers who will make up the starting field for Friday’s NASCAR K&N Pro Series East “Driver Sober 150” presented by the Delaware Office of Highway Safety, scheduled to start at 4:45 p.m.
“I’d like to win Dover more than I’d actually like to win Daytona or somewhere like that just because it’s my home track,” said Faison, a 20-year-old trying to make his way up through the NASCAR ranks. “The next goal would obviously be somewhere like Daytona if I ran in the Nationwide or the Truck Series race there.”
To Faison, who now lives in Mooresville, N.C., there’s just something special about Dover’s high-banked, one-mile oval that makes him feel comfortable.
“Coming back to your home state, it really feels good to even just come race here and just have the opportunity to be on the track,” he said. “Then, to race in front of your friends and family who you grew up with watching you race, it’s just special.
“It’s like Tony Stewart looks at Indianapolis like a higher-up race than Daytona and that’s the same way that I look at Dover and I know it’s crazy sounding, but that’s just the way you feel because you grew up 30 minutes from here and came to every race here since I was around 5.”
Faison has competed in three NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races at Dover, with his best finish of seventh coming last fall. This summer, he has also driven in a couple of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races and in several late model dirt-track races.
But it’s Dover where Faison would really like to bring home one of those special Monster Trophies.
“If you’re really good during the day you’re going to love the track, but if you’re not, you’re going to hate it,” Faison said. “Luckily, knock on wood, I’ve always loved the track and had good success here.”
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East “Drive Sober 150” presented by the Delaware Office of Highway Safety kicks off a tripleheader of NASCAR racing this weekend at Dover International Speedway, which will also include Saturday’s “5-Hour ENERGY 200 benefiting Living Beyond Breast Cancer” NASCAR Nationwide Series race and Sunday’s “AAA 400” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, which is the third stop in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
For tickets or more information, call 800-441-RACE or click here. You can also keep up with the Monster Mile at Facebook.com/DoverInternationalSpeedway or on Twitter at @MonsterMile.