Matt McLaughlin · Wednesday March 21, 2007
2007 Bristol “1” Driver Handicaps
Jimmie Johnson: The Bristol half-mile hasn't been particularly good to last year’s Nextel Cup champ. He's led a paltry 29 of a possible 5,000 laps here in ten starts, posted just two Top 5 finishes, and has finished thirtieth or worse twice in the last two races here.
Matt Kenseth: Kenseth struggled here early in his career, but lately he's running like Stacy's Mom… because he's got it going on. Kenseth has won two of the last three Cup races at Bristol (leading at least 100 laps in each of those races) and has Top 10 finishes in nine of the last ten Cup events run in Thunder Valley.
Denny Hamlin: While he finished a so-so fourteenth in this race last year, Hamlin did show solid improvement with a sixth place result in last August's night race at the track.
Kevin Harvick: Harvick won here in 2005 and has finished second twice more in Cup races at Bristol. Overall, he has eight Top 10s in twelve career starts here to go along with just one DNF. Harvick has also won four Busch races in Thunder Valley.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr.: Earnhardt won the Bristol night race in 2004, causing the cheering amongst the partisan crowd to nearly bring the stadium tumbling to the ground like Jericho. In the last ten Cup races here, Earnhardt has five Top 5 finishes.
Jeff Gordon: Gordon has won here five times, but the last of those victories was scored back in 2002. In the eight races since, Gordon has four Top 10s, but also has just one Top 5 finish to go along with them. The time of our time has come and goneâ€¦..
Jeff Burton: While he's finished second here twice, Bristol hasn't been particularly friendly territory for the younger Burton brother. He has only six Top 5 finishes in 26 starts here, and his career average finish is just nineteenth. But as of late, Burton is showing some solid improvement, and he led more than half of last August's Bristol Cup event before fading to 9th at the checkered flag.
Kasey Kahne: Bristol’s not the place to fix an early season of struggles for Kahne; his tenth place result in this race last year was his only Top 10 in six career starts. Kahne’s average Cup finish at Bristol remains a lowly 23rd.
Mark Martin: He says he won't run this weekend…maybe that's because he has no wins and only seven Top 5s in 36 starts here?
Kyle Busch: Busch scored Top 10 finishes in both 2006 Bristol Cup races, including his runner-up result here last August.
Tony Stewart: While Stewart won here in 2001 (and finished second at Bristol the previous year) he has just five top 10 finishes in sixteen starts. Stewart did lead 245 laps of this race last year, but later struggled en route to a twelfth place finish.
Carl Edwards: Edwards showed solid improvement here last year with a pair of Top 10 finishes in both the Nextel Cup and Busch Series events.
Greg Biffle: Biffle has Top 10 finishes in three of the last four Cup races in Thunder Valley.
Casey Mears: To date, Bristol has been Mears’ Waterloo. He's never finished better than seventeenth in eight starts here, and that was his only finish that’s landed inside the Top 20. His average finish in those eight races is a disastrous 30th place, and he has never led a lap here.
Brian Vickers: Vickers is another young driver still trying to get a handle on Bristol. His one twelfth place finish was his only quality performance in six starts, and his average finish is about 26th. He's never led a lap in a Cup race here, either.
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