Cassill, Braun eager to get back on track at Dover

After a short absence, two Nationwide Series drivers will climb back into their respective rides for Saturday's Heluva Good! 200 at Dover International Speedway: Landon Cassill at JR Motorsports and Colin Braun at Roush Fenway Racing.

Cassill returns this weekend to the No. 7 Go Daddy Chevrolet after a three-race hiatus. He piloted the entry at Phoenix and Texas, where he finished 35th and 18th, respectively.

He is scheduled to run at least one more Nationwide event for JR Motorsports this season as part of a four-race deal.

Cassill had been slated to drive the No. 7 at Talladega and Richmond, but vacated the ride so JRM development driver Steve Arpin could get seat time. Arpin made his Nationwide debut at Talladega and competed in the next two races at Richmond and Darlington.

In three Nationwide starts at Dover, Cassill's best finish was 18th in fall 2007. His average finish at the track is 22.7.

“I’ve always enjoyed racing at Dover. It’s basically a bigger, wider version of Bristol. I don’t think my past results show that I like running there, but I do. This Go Daddy team is more than capable of running well at these tracks," said Cassill, the 2008 Nationwide Rookie of the Year, in a team press release. "If we race smart and take care of our equipment, we should be just fine.”

During the break from racing, Cassill said he gained experience spotting and spent time at JRM's race shop.

"The best thing a driver can do for themselves, even if they don’t have a ride for a given weekend, is still to show up at the track. It lets people know that you’re willing to make the effort to be there and continue to learn as much as you can," Cassill said.
"So since my last race in the No. 7 at Texas, I’ve been at the racetrack spotting for other drivers. Even if I’m not spotting, I go up to the spotter’s stand. You can learn a lot by just watching practice or the race from up there. I want to take full advantage of that. I’ve also been spending time at the JRM shop with Tony (Eury) Jr. and the guys. Just doing what I can to help out in any way.”

Other drivers who have sat at the helm of the No. 7 this season are Danica Patrick and Scott Wimmer. J.R. Fitzpatrick will step into the driver's seat for the three upcoming road course events. The No. 7 sits 26th in the Nationwide owner standings.
Over at Roush Fenway, Braun returns to the No. 16 Con-way Freight Ford after sitting out for two races. Teammate Matt Kenseth, the 2003 Sprint Cup champion, competed in the Nationwide events at Richmond and Darlington.

In eight Nationwide starts this season, Braun had five DNFs, all due to wrecks. His season-best finish of 13th came at Texas Motor Speedway.

Braun is set to drive the No. 16 in the remaining Nationwide races where Con-way Freight or 3M serve as the car's primary sponsor. The Heluva Good! 200 marks his first Nationwide start at the Monster Mile.

Braun has two starts in the Camping World Truck Series at Dover, where he has one top 10, an eighth-place finish in 2008. In last year's event he was leading with 15 laps left, but a cut tire relegated him to a 22nd-place finish. His average finish at Dover is 15.0.

During his two-week hiatus, Braun observed Kenseth with the No. 16 team.

“I’m definitely excited to be getting back in the Con-way Freight Ford at Dover this weekend. While it’s been hard for me to kind of be on the sidelines and observe these past two weeks, I definitely believe that I’ve learned some things from Matt (Kenseth) that I can put to use when I’m in the car," Braun said in a Roush Fenway press release.

He is optimistic about the team's chances for a good finish at the Monster Mile.

"The No. 16 guys were really great on pit road last weekend in Darlington too and so I’m hopeful we can take all of the momentum into Dover and put together the whole race and get a solid finish,” he said.

The No. 16 is currently 31st in Nationwide owner points.

The Heluva Good! 200 will be broadcast Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET on ABC. Green flag is set for 2:45 p.m.

Photos of Landon Cassill, top, and Colin Braun courtesy of NASCAR Media
Cassill, Braun eager to get back on track at Dover Cassill, Braun eager to get back on track at Dover Reviewed by Rebecca Kivak on Friday, May 14, 2010 Rating: 5