Glance at 12 drivers in the Chase Print
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Wednesday, 22 September 2010 07:59
NASCAR Headline News

 A glance at the 12 drivers competing in NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup championship heading into this weekend's race at Dover International Speedway (in order of points):
DRIVER: Denny Hamlin
CHASE POINTS: first, 5,230 points
CAR: No. 11 FedEx Toyota
TEAM: Joe Gibbs Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER DOVER STARTS: 9
BEST DOVER FINISH: Fourth (twice)
LAST WEEK: The Chase's top seed held onto his spot with a solid second-place finish at New Hampshire, better than even he had hoped for following an up-and-down day.
CHASE CHATTER: ``I was happy with the day I had,'' Hamlin said. ``I would have loved to have won, don't get me wrong but I'm not going to go out there and do it the dirty way.''

DRIVER: Clint Bowyer
CHASE POINTS: second, 5,195 points
CAR: No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet
TEAM: Richard Childress Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Plus 10.
CAREER DOVER STARTS: 9
BEST DOVER FINISH: Eighth (three times)
LAST WEEK: Where did that come from? The last driver to get into the Chase stormed to victory in New Hampshire with the kind of dominating run that almost makes you wonder if he was sandbagging the entire regular season.
CHASE CHATTER: ``I know we have what it takes,'' Bowyer said. ``We have the equipment. We have the race team. It's up to us to get it put together.''

DRIVER: Kevin Harvick
CHASE POINTS: third, 5,185 points
CAR: No. 29 Shell-Pennzoil Chevrolet
TEAM: Richard Childress Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER DOVER STARTS: 19
BEST DOVER FINISH: Third (Fall, 2003)
LAST WEEK: Battled his way up from a poor qualifying run to finish fifth at Loudon, stretching his gas mileage over the final miles to post his 12th top-five of the season.
CHASE CHATTER: ``We hung in there, we battled, and we came away with a top-five finish,'' Harvick said. ``We need to get better, and we will.''

DRIVER: Kyle Busch
CHASE POINTS: fourth 5,168 points
CAR: No. 18 M&Ms Toyota
TEAM: Joe Gibbs Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER DOVER STARTS: 11
BEST DOVER FINISH: 1st (twice)
LAST WEEK: Started and finished ninth at Loudon, though his drive was anything but boring. Twice Busch found himself in close quarters with four-time defending champion Jimmie Johnson but keep it together enough to get back in the top 10.
CHASE CHATTER: ``We were battling back and forth with tight and loose. We just got what we could out of it,'' Busch said. ``Fortunately, our bad day right now is ninth versus some other guys.''

DRIVER: Jeff Gordon
CHASE POINTS: fifth, 5,155 points
CAR: No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet
TEAM: Hendrick Motorsports
POSITION CHANGE: Plus 3.
CAREER DOVER STARTS: 35
BEST DOVER FINISH: 1st (four times)
LAST WEEK: The veteran quietly got off to a solid start in the Chase with a sixth-place finish at Loudon.
CHASE CHATTER: ``We had some high hopes when we got up there to third or fourth; even to second at one time, but I think Steve (Letarte, crew chief) called a great race,'' Gordon said. ``He didn't want to risk the fuel, and it just wasn't worth it.''

DRIVER: Kurt Busch
CHASE POINTS: sixth, 5,144 points
CAR: No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge
TEAM: Penske Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Minus 1.
CAREER DOVER STARTS: 20
BEST DOVER FINISH: Fourth (Fall, 2006)
LAST WEEK: The former champion hoped to get the Chase off to a solid start at one of his favorite tracks and instead wound up an eventful 13th after playing bumper cars with Joey Logano.
CHASE CHATTER: ``I wasn't quite in the zone,'' Busch said. ``I wasn't quite feeling it today. We survived. We needed to have a good day today and not just survive.''

DRIVER: Jimmie Johnson
CHASE POINTS: seventh, 5,050 points
CAR: No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet
TEAM: Hendrick Motorsports
POSITION CHANGE: Minus 5.
CAREER DOVER STARTS: 17
BEST DOVER FINISH: 1st (five times)
LAST WEEK: A chink in the armor or a case of bad racing luck? Maybe both? Johnson found himself caught up in a pair of accidents in Loudon and finished 25th, the type of mishap the defending champion largely been able to avoid during his four-year run at the top.
CHASE CHATTER: ``We did what we could,'' Johnson said. ``We had a decent car today and ran in the top five and top 10, but just didn't end up finishing there.''

DRIVER: Carl Edwards
CHASE POINTS: eighth, 5,135 points
CAR: No. 99 Aflac Ford
TEAM: Roush Fenway Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Plus 1.
CAREER DOVER STARTS: 12
BEST DOVER FINISH: 1st (Fall, 2007)
LAST WEEK: Wasn't a ton of magic at the ``Magic Mile'' for Edwards, who put together a solid but hardly spectacular 11th-place finish at Loudon.
CHASE CHATTER: ``We've had some really good runs (at Dover) including a win,'' Edwards said. ``For me this is one of the races in the Chase where I can make a difference as a driver.''

DRIVER: Greg Biffle
CHASE POINTS: ninth, 5,122 points
CAR: No. 16 3M Ford
TEAM: Roush Fenway Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Minus 2.
CAREER DOVER STARTS: 16
BEST DOVER FINISH: 1st (twice)
LAST WEEK: One of the Chase long shots saw his playoff run get off to a bumpy start as he struggled with handling all day and finished 17th at Loudon.
CHASE CHATTER: ``I know we dropped a little in the points but some of the other guys finished behind us so we'll just learn from this one and get ready for Dover,'' Biffle said.

DRIVER: Jeff Burton
CHASE POINTS: 10th, 5,118 points
CAR: No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet
TEAM: Richard Childress Racing
POSITION CHANGE: None.
CAREER DOVER STARTS: 33
BEST DOVER FINISH: 1st (Fall, 2006)
LAST WEEK: Gambled on fuel at Loudon and ran out with two laps remaining, though he was able to coast to the finish in 15th.
CHASE CHATTER: ``We just didn't get as good of fuel mileage on the last run as we had been getting,'' Burton said. ``It is what it is. Our finish certainly doesn't reflect how well (we) ran all day.''

DRIVER: Tony Stewart
CHASE POINTS: 11th, 5,106 points
CAR: No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet
TEAM: Stewart/Haas Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Minus 5.
CAREER DOVER STARTS: 23
BEST DOVER FINISH: 1st (twice)
LAST WEEK: Hey, you can't blame the 2005 series champion for not going for it. He had one of the strongest cars at Loudon, leading 100 laps, but ran out of fuel with a lap to go and finished 24th.
CHASE CHATTER: ``We went down swinging,'' Stewart said. ``It's a tough way to start the Chase. I would have settled for second.''

DRIVER: Matt Kenseth
CHASE POINTS: 12th, 5,094 points
CAR: No. 17 Crown Royal Ford
TEAM: Roush Fenway Racing
POSITION CHANGE: Minus 1.
CAREER DOVER STARTS: 23
BEST DOVER FINISH: 1st (Spring, 2006)
LAST WEEK: Where do you start? Battled his way up from 33rd to run in the top 15 before a nudge from Brad Keselowski ended up damaging the No. 17 car, sending Kenseth tumbling to 23rd.
CHASE CHATTER: ``The guys made adjustments all race long but we just didn't run very well,'' Kenseth said. ``We got caught up in that wreck, had a lot of damage to the car, and it was just a really long day for us.''
 

NASCAR Odds

Driver Odds
Sprint Cup - Odds to Win the Sylvania 300 @ New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Brad Keselowski #2 +375
Jeff Gordon #24 +600
Kevin Harvick #4 +600
Kyle Busch #18 +650
Jimmie Johnson #48 +800
More NASCAR odds

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