The Frontstretch: Matt McLaughlin's Driver Handicaps: Dover Edition by Matt McLaughlin -- Wednesday May 30, 2007

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Matt McLaughlin's Driver Handicaps: Dover Edition

Matt McLaughlin · Wednesday May 30, 2007

 

2007 Dover “1” Driver Handicaps

Jeff Gordon – Gordon has won four Cup races at Dover (three of them consecutively way back in 1995 and ’96) and has Top 10 finishes in seventeen of his 28 starts at the track. But he has only two Top 10s in the last six races run here, offset by three DNFs. Still, with the Car of Tomorrow making its Monster Mile debut, I wouldn't bet against him.

Jimmie Johnson- Johnson won both races here as a rookie in 2002 and won again at Dover in 2005. Overall, he has Top 10 finishes in seven of ten Cup races he's run here.

Matt Kenseth- Kenseth made his Winston Cup debut at Dover in the Fall of 1998, subbing for Bill Elliott, whose father had passed away that week. Overall, he has Top 10 finishes in nine of his sixteen starts, with an average finish of about fifteenth. Oh, and he also won this race last year.

Denny Hamlin- Hamlin finished eleventh, then ninth last year in his Dover Cup debut. Keep in mind, though, Hamlin has led a ton of laps in the Car of Tomorrow events.

Jeff Burton- Burton won last year's Fall Dover event and finished fourth in this race. His ten Top 10s here, however, are offset by nine career finishes of 25th or worse.

Tony Stewart- Stewart won both races here in 2000 and has Top 5 finishes in nine of his sixteen Dover Cup starts. Oddly enough, though, he hasn't finished better than fifteenth in the last four Dover races, and his average finish in those four events is about 25th.

Kevin Harvick- Harvick finished third in this race last year to score his fifth Top 10 finish in thirteen starts at Dover. Overall, his average finish here is about eighteenth.

Carl Edwards- Edwards finished second here last Fall to post his second Top 10 finish in five Dover Cup starts. Overall, his average finish here is a none too shabby twelfth.

Kurt Busch- Busch has just four Top 10 finishes in thirteen Cup starts at Dover. His fourth place finish here in last Fall's race was his best ever at this track.

Clint Bowyer- Bowyer posted an eighth place finish here last Fall in his rookie season.

Kyle Busch- Busch finished second in both Dover Cup races in 2005. He finished fifth in this race last year but blew an engine and finished fortieth last fall. That'll screw up your average finish, which now stands at a rather pedestrian twelfth place.

Jamie McMurray- McMurray finished second here last Spring to post his third Top 10 result in eight Dover Cup starts.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr.- Junior scored an emotional victory here in 2001 as racing resumed in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy. But that was one of just three Top 5 finishes he's managed here in fourteen Cup starts. On the Busch side of things, Earnhardt has scored two wins in four starts. Don't ask Matt Kenseth how Earnhardt managed one of those wins…

Mark Martin- Martin won this race in 2004 to claim his fourth Dover Cup victory. He has Top 10 finishes in five of the last six Dover races and in 25 of his 41 Cup starts at this track.

J.J. Yeley- Yeley just hasn't been getting it done at Dover with finishes of 25th or worse in all three of his Cup starts here.

Martin Truex, Jr.- Truex considers this a home track. (He's actually from New Jersey, but recent border crossing rules make it easier to pass from Jersey to the civilized world). He finished sixth here in the Fall and has won two Busch races at Dover.

Bobby Labonte- Labonte won a Cup race here way back in 1999 and has Top 10 finishes in almost half (fourteen) of his 29 Dover Cup starts. He also won a Busch race here in 1997.

Ryan Newman- Newman won both races here in 2003 and won again in the Fall of 2004, leading a mind-boggling 325 of 400 laps in that race. Overall, he has Top 10 finishes in seven of ten Dover Cup starts, as well as three Bud Pole Awards.

Greg Biffle- Biffle struggled here early in his Cup career, but did win a Dover Cup race in 2005. Including that victory, he has Top 10 finishes in three of the last four Cup events run here. He's also won two Busch races at Dover.

Elliott Sadler- To be kind, Sadler has struggled at Dover. He has just three Top 10 finishes in sixteen starts, and an average finish here of nineteenth.

Others to Watch

Ken Schrader / Kyle Petty- Let the record show that Petty (1995) and Schrader (1991…a mere sixteen years ago) scored their last Cup victories here at Dover.

Ricky Rudd- Rudd has as many victories here as Jeff Gordon (four). In fact, so does Bill Elliott, racing in the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford this weekend.

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