AAA 400 Betting News and Notes

AAA 400 Betting News and Notes

AAA 400 Preview
By Micah Roberts
VegasInsider.com

Denny Hamlin told the Twitter world last week that he would win at New Hampshire, and on Sunday, he made good on the call. After a disappointing 16th-place finish two weeks ago at Chicago, the win puts Hamlin right back in the mix of things, sitting in third place in the Chase standings with eight races to go.

Jimmie Johnson was runner-up for the second week in a row and holds a one-point Chase lead over Brad Keselowski and a seven-point lead over Hamlin.

Hamlin may have an edge on the four 1.5-mile tracks coming up and should fare better than most at Phoenix and Martinsville, but Dover, site of this week's race, is another story. Dover is Jimmie Johnson territory. A track that has rarely seen Johnson run out of the top-10 and one that he has conquered seven times over his career, including the first race held there this season in June where he led 289 of the 400 laps.
   
Hamlin, on the other hand, has not performed well at Dover over his 13 career starts (20.5 average) on the track. His best was fourth place, on two occasions, and he has finished 36th or worse four times. He comes in on a three-race mediocre stretch there that has seen him finish 16th or worse.

This is only one race in the Chase, but if Hamlin falters here with another 16th place finish, he’s going to have a tough time catching Johnson, because the five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion is just too poised to get rattled down the stretch with a big lead.

Now of course, a driver can have all the poise, confidence and determination they want, but sometimes things happen that are out of their hands, like getting involved in other drivers’ messy wrecks. But two runner-up finishes going into one of his best tracks has Johnson looking every bit the 9-to-5 favorite to win it all offered by the LVH Super Book.

When Johnson isn’t dominating Dover, there’s a short list of drivers who always seem to be around the top-5 waiting for their chance at victory lane.

The most consistent one over the years has been Matt Kenseth, a two-time winner on the track that has finished fifth or better in eight of his past nine starts there. Kenseth is currently 11th in the standings, 35 points behind Johnson. He needs a lot of magic to happen from his end with also some misfortune everywhere else involving the other drivers, or more to the point: he needs them to wreck. He finished third in the June race with a car that was capable of winning.

Mark Martin is a four-time winner at Dover and had a car that looked like he might be able to give Johnson a run in June. He led 43 laps, but settled for a 14th place finish. He's been runner-up in two of his past six starts there.

Jeff Gordon led three times for 60 laps in the June race and is a four-time Dover winner. His last win there came in 2001, but he has to be considered this week not only because of a good run in June, but also because he’s been fast everywhere for over a month.

Kurt Busch won this race last season which could lead us to believe his former teammate Brad Keselowski might do well in the Penske set-up, despite not owning a top-10 finish at Dover in five career Cup starts.

In addition to looking at June’s race and other past races in Dover history, I also like to take into account what happened at Bristol, as well as a small dose of what happened on the high banked 1.5-mile tracks. Dover is a one-mile concrete oval with 24 degrees of banking, kind of a tweener between Bristol and, say, Charlotte. We’ll see several crew chiefs use cars with similar set-ups from those tracks at Dover this week, that is, if they ran well on the others.

Because the track is so unique, it’s not uncommon to see the driver that had it all figured it the first time around, win again. Jimmie Johnson has swept Dover twice already in his career. Ryan Newman did it in 2003, Tony Stewart in 2000, Gordon in 1996, Rusty Wallace in 1994 and, well, you get the picture.

Johnson is also using the same chassis he used to win at Dover June, which also won at the Brickyard and finished runner-up two weeks ago at Chicago.

Top-5 Finish Prediction:

1) #48 Jimmie Johnson (5/1)
2) #17 Matt Kenseth (10/1)
3) #55 Mark Martin (20//1)
4) #24 Jeff Gordon (12/1)
5) #2 Brad Keselowski (10/1)

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Re: AAA 400 Betting News and Notes

Driver Handicaps: Dover
By: Jeff Wackerlin
Racingone.com

Motor Racing Network brings you our weekly detailed look at some of the field for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway.

Who's HOT at Dover

• Jimmie Johnson is coming off his seventh win in 21 starts.
• Matt Kenseth has finished in the top five in eight of the last nine races, including a win in the 2011 spring race.
• Carl Edwards leads all drivers with multiple starts with an 8.5 average finish.
• Kyle Busch has finished sixth or better in four of the last five races, including a win in the 2010 spring race.
• Four-time winner Jeff Gordon leads all drivers with 2,291 laps led.
• Four-time winner Mark Martin leads all drivers with 23 top fives.

Keep an Eye On at Dover

• Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer and Marcos Ambrose each have finished in the top 10 in their last three starts at Dover.
• Jeff Burton and Greg Biffle have each posted 10.4 average finishes in the last 10 races at Dover.
• Denny Hamlin, who hasn't had much luck at Dover in his career, is the latest Sprint Cup winner on a concrete track - Bristol Motor Speedway in August.
• Aric Almirola finished sixth in his first Dover Sprint Cup start in June.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished fourth in June for first top 10 in the last nine races at Dover.
• Ryan Newman will be driving a car that he's finished seventh or better with in four starts this season.
• Martin Truex Jr., who won the 2007 spring race, is coming off his second top 10 with Michael Waltrip Racing at Dover.
• Brad Keselowski, who finished 12th at Dover in the spring, has finished seventh or better in the last four races of the season.
• Kasey Kahne finished ninth in June at Dover in first track start with Hendrick Motorsports.
• Tony Stewart will look to turn around his recent string of bad finishes at Dover with the same crew chief, Steve Addington, that helped lead Kurt Busch to victory in this event last year.

MotorRacingNetwork.com Staff Picks

Jeff Wackerlin: Jimmie Johnson
Pete Pistone: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Ricky Hamber: Matt Kenseth
John Singler: Jeff Gordon

Top 20 Driver Notes - Ordered by current standings

(All stats/notes are in regards to Dover unless noted)

Jimmie Johnson: Coming off seventh win in 21 starts; Has finished ninth or better in eight of his last nine starts; 2,275 laps led; Second-best average finish (9.7) among all drivers with multiple starts; Leads all drivers with a 5.8 average finish in the last five races; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 728) that he last led 172 laps and finished second with at Chicagoland; This is also the same car he won with at Dover in the 2011 June race.

Brad Keselowski: 17.0 average finish in five starts; Coming off best finish in 12th; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 813) that he finished fourth with at Pocono Raceway last month.

Denny Hamlin: Last of four top 10s came in this event in 2010, in ninth; 20.5 average finish in 13 starts; Latest Sprint Cup winner on a concrete track - Bristol Motor Speedway in August.

Tony Stewart: Has finished 21st or worse in last four starts; Last of 15 top 10s came in the 2010 spring race, in ninth; 13.4 average finish in 27 starts; Crew chief Steve Addington won this event last year with Kurt Busch; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 708) that he finished 25th and 27th, respectively, with at Dover and Bristol Motor Speedway.

Kasey Kahne: Finished ninth in June in first track start with Hendrick Motorsports; Finish was second consecutive top 10; 21.8 average finish in 17 starts.

Clint Bowyer: Finished fifth in June in first track start with Michael Waltrip Racing; Finish was third consecutive top 10; 12.2 average finish in last five starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 733) that he last finished eighth with at Pocono Raceway last month.

Dale Earnhardt Jr: Finished fourth in June for first top 10 in the last nine races; 17.5 average finish in 25 starts; Won this event in 2001; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 745) that he finished 12th with at Bristol Motor Speedway last month.

Kevin Harvick: Finished second in June for third top five; Finish was third consecutive top 10 and 10th overall in 23 starts; Third-best average finish (8.8) in the last five races; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 838) he raced at Dover in June; The last start for the chassis came at Bristol Motor Speedway in August where he finished 15th.

Greg Biffle: Scored second win in this event in 2008; Last of 10 top 10s came in the 2010 spring race; 12.2 average finish in 20 starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 809) that he finished fourth with at Michigan International Speedway in June.

Martin Truex Jr: Winner of the 2007 spring race; 18.2 average finish in five starts with Michael Waltrip Racing; Finished seventh in the spring.

Matt Kenseth: Recorded second win in the 2011 spring race; Has finished in the top five in eight of his last nine starts; Second-best average finish (6.0) in the last five races; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 802) that he ran at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Jeff Gordon: Last of four wins came in the 2001 spring race; Leads all drivers with 2,291 laps led; Last of 21 top 10s came in this event in 2009, in sixth; 12.3 average finish in 39 starts.

Kyle Busch: Winner of the 2008 and 2010 spring races; Engine issues this spring snapped a streak of four consecutive finishes of sixth or better; Fourth-best average finish in the last five races.

Ryan Newman: 14.0 average finish in seven starts with Stewart-Haas Racing; Last of 11 top 10s came in this event in 2010, in eighth; Last of three wins came in this event in 2004 with Penske Racing; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 733) that he last finished fifth with at Chicagoland Speedway; Has finished seventh or better in four starts with this car in 2012.

Carl Edwards: Leads all drivers with multiple starts with an 8.5 average finish; 9.8 average finish in last five starts; 26th-place finish in the spring snapped streak of four consecutive finishes of eighth or better; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 820) that he finished 29th with at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Paul Menard: 19.0 average finish in three starts with Richard Childress Racing; Only top 10 (seventh) in 10 starts came in this event in 2010 with Richard Petty Motorsports; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 379) that he last finished 11th at Pocono Raceway with in August.

Marcos Ambrose: Finished 10th in the spring for third consecutive top 10; 18.0 average finish in eight starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 743) that he ran at Bristol Motor Speedway and Darlington Raceway this season.

Joey Logano: Coming off third top 10 in seven starts; 19.1 average finish.

Jeff Burton: Winner of this event in 2006; Finished second in both races in 2010; 9.6 average finish in last five starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 392) he raced in June at Dover and at Kentucky Speedway where he finished 24th.

Jamie McMurray:
Last of five top 10s came in the 2008 spring race, in 10th; 17.6 average finish in 19 starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 1109) that he finished 24th with at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

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Re: AAA 400 Betting News and Notes

Odds & Ends - Dover
VegasInsider.com

Dover International Speedway Data

Chase Race #: 3 of 10
Season Race #: 29 of 36 (9-30-12)
Track Size: 1-mile
Banking/Turns: 24 degrees
Banking/Straights: 9 degrees
Frontstretch Length: 1,076 feet
Backstretch Length: 1,076 feet
Race Length: 400 laps / 400 miles

Top 12 Driver Rating at Dover

Jimmie Johnson 120.6
Matt Kenseth 110.5
Carl Edwards 104.8
Greg Biffle 104.2
Kyle Busch 101.6
Mark Martin 96.9
Kurt Busch 95.4
Aric Almirola 94.8
Jeff Gordon 91.1
Ryan Newman 90.4
Clint Bowyer 89.7
Jeff Burton 89.1

Note: Driver Rating compiled from 2005-2012 races (15 total) at Dover.

Qualifying/Race Data

2011 pole winner: Martin Truex Jr., Toyota (159.004 mph, 22.641 sec., 9-30-11)
2011 race winner: Kurt Busch, Dodge (119.413 mph, 3:30:59, 10-02-11)
Track qualifying record: Jeremy Mayfield, Dodge (161.522 mph, 22.288 sec., 6-04-04)
Track race record: Mark Martin, Ford (132.719 mph, (3:00:50), 9-21-97)

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Driver Highlights - Dover
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1 - Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's / Kobalt Tools Chevrolet)

-- Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 109.6

2012 Rundown
-- Three wins, 14 top fives, 19 top 10s; two poles
-- Average finish of 10.7
-- Led 19 races for 1,207 laps

Dover International Speedway Outlook:
-- Seven wins, 10 top fives, 15 top 10s; three poles
-- Average finish of 8.9 in 21 races
-- Series-best Average Running Position of 7.2
-- Series-best Driver Rating of 120.6
-- Series-high 840 Fastest Laps Run
-- Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 143.862 mph
-- Series-high 5,170 Laps in the Top 15 (86.1%)
-- 300 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), 12th-most

2 - Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge)

-- Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 97.3

2012 Rundown
-- Four wins, 11 top fives, 17 top 10s
-- Average finish of 11.0
-- Led 16 races for 489 laps

Dover International Speedway Outlook:
-- Average finish of 17.0 in five races
-- Average Running Position of 16.4, 14th-best
-- Driver Rating of 76.1, 21st-best

3 - Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Office Toyota)
-- Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 103.1

2012 Rundown
-- Five wins, 12 top fives, 14 top 10s; two poles
-- Average finish of 12.3
-- Led 20 races for 1,093 laps

Dover International Speedway Outlook:
-- Two top fives, four top 10s
-- Average finish of 20.5 in 13 races
-- Average Running Position of 18.3, 18th-best
-- Driver Rating of 78.6, 15th-best

4 - Tony Stewart (No. 14 Office Depot / Mobil 1 Chevrolet)

-- Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 89.1

2012 Rundown
-- Three wins, 10 top fives, 14 top 10s; one pole
-- Average finish of 12.9
-- Led 13 races for 419 laps

Dover International Speedway Outlook:
-- Two wins, 10 top fives, 15 top 10s
-- Average finish of 13.4 in 27 races
-- Average Running Position of 22.4, 27th-best
-- Driver Rating of 68.6, 26th-best
-- 596 Green Flag Passes, ninth-most

5 - Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet)

-- Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 94.7

2012 Rundown
-- Two wins, nine top fives, 15 top 10s; two poles
-- Average finish of 13.6
-- Led 8 races for 253 laps

Dover International Speedway Outlook:
-- One top five, five top 10s
-- Average finish of 21.8 in 17 races
-- Average Running Position of 17.9, 17th-best
-- Driver Rating of 78.2, 16th-best
-- 223 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most
-- 611 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most

6 - Clint Bowyer (No. 15 5-hour Energy Toyota)

-- Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 93.5

2012 Rundown
-- Two wins, seven top fives, 17 top 10s
-- Average finish of 11.2
-- Led 8 races for 191 laps

Dover International Speedway Outlook:
-- One top five, six top 10s
-- Average finish of 13.5 in 13 races
-- Average Running Position of 13.4, 11th-best
-- Driver Rating of 89.7, 11th-best
-- 145 Fastest Laps Run, 13th-most
-- Average Green Flag Speed of 143.119 mph, ninth-fastest
-- 3,571 Laps in the Top 15 (68.7%), 11th-most
-- 309 Quality Passes, ninth-most

7 - Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 National Guard / Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet)

-- Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 98.6

2012 Rundown
-- One win, 10 top fives, 18 top 10s; one pole
-- Average finish of 10.0
-- Led 12 races for 340 laps

Dover International Speedway Outlook:
-- One win, five top fives, eight top 10s
-- Average finish of 17.5 in 25 races
-- Average Running Position of 19.7, 21st-best
-- Driver Rating of 77.6, 18th-best
-- 155 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most
-- 601 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most

8 - Kevin Harvick (No. 29 Budweiser Chevrolet)

-- Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 91.9

2012 Rundown
-- Four top fives, 11 top 10s
-- Average finish of 11.9
-- Led 7 races for 229 laps

Dover International Speedway Outlook:
-- Three top fives, 10 top 10s
-- Average finish of 16.0 in 23 races
-- Average Running Position of 16.7, 15th-best
-- Driver Rating of 82.0, 14th-best
-- 646 Green Flag Passes, third-most
-- 3,372 Laps in the Top 15 (56.2%), 12th-most
-- 299 Quality Passes, 13th-most

9 - Greg Biffle (No. 16 Scotch-Brite Ford)

-- Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 101.1

2012 Rundown
-- Two wins, 10 top fives, 15 top 10s; two poles
-- Average finish of 10.1
-- Led 14 races for 634 laps

Dover International Speedway Outlook:
-- Two wins, six top fives, 10 top 10s; one pole
-- Average finish of 12.2 in 20 races
-- Average Running Position of 9.7, third-best
-- Driver Rating of 104.2, fourth-best
-- 419 Fastest Laps Run, third-most
-- 643 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most
-- Average Green Flag Speed of 143.512 mph, third-fastest
-- 4,902 Laps in the Top 15 (81.6%), third-most
-- Series-high 445 Quality Passes

10 - Martin Truex Jr. (No. 56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota)

-- Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 97.5

2012 Rundown
-- Six top fives, 15 top 10s; one pole
-- Average finish of 11.4
-- Led 11 races for 423 laps

Dover International Speedway Outlook:
-- One win, one top five, five top 10s; two poles
-- Average finish of 16.4 in 13 races
-- Average Running Position of 15.2, 13th-best
-- Driver Rating of 88.5, 13th-best
-- 202 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most
-- 308 Quality Passes, 10th-most

11 - Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford)

-- Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 101.2

2012 Rundown
-- One win, 10 top fives, 16 top 10s; one pole
-- Average finish of 10.7
-- Led 18 races for 365 laps

Dover International Speedway Outlook:
-- Two wins, 13 top fives, 18 top 10s; one pole
-- Average finish of 11.8 in 27 races
-- Average Running Position of 7.7, second-best
-- Driver Rating of 110.5, second-best
-- 376 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most
-- 617 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most
-- Average Green Flag Speed of 143.630 mph, second-fastest
-- 5,146 Laps in the Top 15 (85.7%), second-most
-- 439 Quality Passes, second-most

12 - Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet)

-- Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 96.4

2012 Rundown
-- One win, eight top fives, 13 top 10s; two poles
-- Average finish of 15.2
-- Led 17 races for 450 laps

Dover International Speedway Outlook:
-- Four wins, 14 top fives, 21 top 10s; four poles
-- Average finish of 12.3 in 39 races
-- Average Running Position of 13.4, 10th-best
-- Driver Rating of 91.1, ninth-best
-- 196 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most
-- 643 Green Flag Passes, fourth-most
-- Average Green Flag Speed of 143.287 mph, seventh-fastest
-- 4,276 Laps in the Top 15 (71.2%), seventh-most
-- 408 Quality Passes, fourth-most

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Re: AAA 400 Betting News and Notes

AAA 400 Preview and Picks
By Greg Engle
Examiner.com

Right now it’s Jimmie Johnson’s world, 11 other drivers just live in it. After two solid second place finishes in the opening rounds of NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup Johnson is now atop the points lead, as he and the rest of the field head to Dover International Raceway for Sunday’s AAA 400. Based on momentum and history, Johnson comes in as the favorite and the driver everyone else will be chasing. Should Johnson continue his roll this week most of the field could be just along for the ride for the rest of the Chase.

Johnson won here in June and leads all active drivers with seven wins including four in the last eight races at Dover. During that span he has also scored six top-five finishes and has led 54% of the laps he’s raced at the one mile oval.

“The intensity you have to drive Dover with, it really fits my style,” Johnson said. “It’s the closest track we have to being airborne each lap with the drop off into turns one and three. It’s just cool; you’ve got to bring your big boy pants every lap there and I love it.”

Brad Keselowski could have quite the challenge this week. After winning the opening round at Chicagoland, BK finished sixth last Sunday at New Hampshire. He fell from first place in the standings and his history at Dover doesn’t bode well for any sort of comeback, at least not this week. In five starts Keselowski has never finished better than 12.

“I think it’s really easy to allow yourself to get psyched-out by looking at previous stats or even practice and qualifying stats and it doesn’t seem to be the case,” Keselowski said. “It’s really hard to give a great answer on who’s going to be good where. Our previous history has shown that we have not run well at Dover but I’m optimistic that can change.”

Denny Hamlin has struggled here as well. Last week’s New Hampshire winner would be hard pressed to follow up that win this week. Hamlin has finished 20th or worse in his last five starts here and was 18th in June.

Tony Stewart has little reason to look forward to Sunday. The last two trips here he has finished 25th each time. Stewart knows his chances for a win Sunday are slim, and he has just one goal.

“Dover has been the track where we’ve struggled the most,” Stewart said. “I think that’s the one we have to look at and say, ‘This is one that we have to figure out and do better if we’re going to have a shot at this.’ We have to survive there.”

Kasey Kahne was ninth here in June. He’s never won here and has a record of one top-five, five top-10 and six DNFs. If Kahne can find some of his Hendrick Motorsports teammates magic, he could surprise but don’t look for it.

Clint Bowyer was fifth in the June race and has two top 10s prior to that. He’s been the frontrunner at Michael Waltrip Racing in his first year there and he could easily improve on his fifth place from June and go all the way Sunday.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was fourth here in June and will need to hope for similar success here Sunday. Prior to his June appearance in the top five, Earnhardt finished outside the top 20 in four of the last six races, his other finish was a 12th last summer.

Kevin Harvick needs nothing short of a miracle to get back in the Chase. He was second here in June but prior to that had three top ten finishes. If he can stage a repeat performance from June he might have a shot of winning his first Dover race Sunday. If the team is off their game like they have been since the Chase started however, don’t count on a visit to victory lane for Harvick Sunday.

Greg Biffle does have two wins here but has finished outside the top 10 in three of the last four races, including an 11th in June. In this race last year, Biffle was 27th. Although Roush-Fenway Racing has been strong here in the past, Biffle has not led the way recently.

Martin Truex Jr. scored his first career win here at Dover in 2007. Since then he’s struggled scoring only three top 10s since then including a seventh here in June. A favorite entering the Chase, Truex continues to fall farther back and that should continue Sunday.

Matt Kenseth could lead Roush-Fenway Racing back to victory lane Sunday. While he has struggled in the Chase he has two wins here, the last coming last year. Since then he has a fifth and was third here in June. If Kenseth hopes to get back in the Chase he will have to win Sunday and has a pretty good shot at doing just that.

Jeff Gordon needs near divine intervention to climb out of the bottom of the Chase standings. He does have four wins here, second only to Johnson’s seven. Gordon’s last win however was in 2001 and in the last five Dover races he has finished outside the top 10. He was 13th here in June and would have to find that old magic he once had if he hopes to win.

Non-Chasers

Carl Edwards finished 26th here in June after getting caught up in a crash. He was third in this race last year and finished in the top five in two of the last five races and had top 10s in the others. In his all or nothing mode however, Edwards could very well find his way to victory lane Sunday and spoil the Chasers party.

Keep an eye on: Marcos Ambrose finished third here in the spring race last year and has two top 10s since including 10th in June. Ambrose seems to be learning his way around Dover and could be a surprise Sunday.

Bottom Line:

52 races at Dover have been won from a top-five starting position; 18 races have been won from a starting position outside the top 10.13 drivers have won from the pole. The last to do so was Jimmie Johnson, in the 2010 September race. The furthest back in the field a race winner has started was 37th, by Kyle Petty in 1995.

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Re: AAA 400 Betting News and Notes

NASCAR Practice Notes & Driver Ratings    
By Micah Roberts
VegasInsider.com

This Week's Race: AAA 400

Rating     Driver     Odds     Practice 1     Practice 2     Qualified     Dover*
1     Jimmie Johnson     4/1     25th     3rd     11th     1st
Seven-time winner; using chassis that won Brickyard 400 and June Dover race.

2     Kyle Busch     8/1     6th     10th     5th     29th
Two-time winner, the last in 2010; best 10-consecutive average in final practice.

3     Mark Martin     20/1     4th     28th     26th     14th
Four-time winner, the last in 2004, three runner-ups since; using third-place Texas car.

4     Jeff Gordon     10/1     36th     1st     7th     13th
Four-time winner; comes in hot finishing third or better on four of past five tracks.

5     Kevin Harvick     15/1     9th     35th     13th     2nd
Using chassis that has produced his best finishes of 2012 -- runner-up at Phoenix and Dover.

6     Kasey Kahne     10/1     8th     13th     9th     9th
Third best 10-consecutive lap average in practice; chassis has three top-10 finishes in 2012.

7     Denny Hamlin     12/1     3rd     17th     1st     18th
Great effort in practice and qualifying, but it’s not his best track: 20.5 career average finish.

8     Brad Keselowski     10/1     29th     6th     10th     12th
Gets consideration because of solid runs at Bristol, a smaller but similar track in banking.

9     Clint Bowyer     15/1     2nd     32nd     2nd     5th
13.5 average finish; using chassis that finished eighth or better in both Pocono starts.

10     Martin Truex, Jr.     15/1     1st     22nd     3rd     7th
Hometown of Mayetta, NJ only two hours away; his 2007 win remains only win of career.

* Results from the June 3, 2012 FedEx 400 at Dover.

Betting Notes: Jimmie Johnson is going to be hard to topple just because of his history on the track. He’s tied for the all-time lead in wins with seven and led 289 en route to the win in June. If that wasn’t enough, he’s also bringing a chassis that is batting. 667 this season with wins at Dover and the Brickyard and a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Chicago. Betting against him is not a good idea.

But, if Johnson doesn’t scare you, then maybe Mark Martin, Kevin Harvick or Kyle Busch can provide a little more intensity with better odds. They’re definitely drivers that should finish well, making them great drivers to play in matchups. Kasey Kahne should also be considered.

Matt Kenseth and Tony Stewart had terrible practices, but should be two drivers you try and take advantage of in matchups because they’ll be underdogs. Have no fear with Kenseth, this guy knows how to get around Dover. He comes in on a streak of finishing fifth or better in eight of his past nine starts.

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