With a tricky turn 4, Chasers problems galore, a fuel-mileage finish, and so much more, Kansas looked like a speedway that’s finally coming into its own. Now, if we could only say the same for the other five cookie-cutter tracks…
With Jeff Burton finally ending a 175-race winless streak at Dover last weekend, he became the ninth of 10 Chase drivers fighting for this year’s title to visit Victory Lane this season. The monkey finally off his back, the victory left only one man with a goose egg in the win column beside his name entering Kansas. Is it a surprise to anyone that man was Mark Martin?
In the wildest race in Kansas Speedway’s six-year history, Tony Stewart’s Home Depot Chevrolet coasted out of fuel for the final half-lap of the race, yet still managed to beat out Casey Mears to the line to win Sunday’s Banquet 400. Mears, who ran out of gas himself coming to the checkers, came home second, with Mark Martin third and Dale Jarrett fourth on fuel mileage gambles.
As Jeff Burton pulled into Victory Lane on Sunday, winless monkey off his back and championship trophy suddenly within reach, it was hard to ignore the irony surrounding the end of his 175-race winless streak.
For the first time since November 2001, Jeff Burton took the checkered flag in a Nextel Cup race, scoring the win in Sunday’s Dover 400 to put RCR on top for the third straight week. Winning for the first time in his last 175 tries at the Cup level, Burton’s quest for the checkered flag wasn’t easy – he fell back early in the race with a poor-handling racecar, then had to play it safe after watching teammates Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer have their engines sour over the final 50 miles.
10. We are hearing that Mark Martin’s pending 2007 Truck Series contract with Roush Racing prohibits him from winning EVERY race. He must “throw” one once in a while and place second.
Who was hurt more on Sunday – Kyle Busch or Jimmie Johnson? In particular, what has happened to the No. 48 team since August, and can it be fixed?
At this point, everyone knows about the misfortune the No. 48 team experienced at New Hampshire. Losing a cylinder in the engine before a quarter of the race was complete, Jimmie Johnson underwent a lengthy pit stop under a lap 81 caution to try and fix whatever was wrong. Coming out in the back of the pack, Johnson left himself vulnerable to the type of chain reaction accidents that often happen at the flat 1-mile oval, and paid the price.
Harvick dominated at New Hampshire Sunday, leading 118 of the final 123 laps to take the checkered flag first for the second week in a row. Finishing .777 seconds in front of second-place Tony Stewart, Harvick took not only the win but the points lead for the first time in his Nextel Cup career, starting his Chase out on the right foot.
Now that the field is set, who will win the 2006 Chase for the Championship? Read on to find out who your favorite Frontstretch writer picked… and why.