NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Frontstretch NASCAR Power Rankings After the 2007 Dodge Dealers 400 at Dover

1) Tony Stewart (Four First-Place Votes) (Last Week: #1) – Home Depot wants us to smell the Smoke. Bet they won’t put THAT slogan in Tony’s armpits!

Running Their Mouth: 2007 Dodge Dealers 400 at Dover

Each week, we’ll go through all the media reports, interviews, PR, and all our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Nextel Cup race, capturing the story of how the weekend unfolded. It’s the most original commentary you’ll ever find: the truth, coming straight out of the mouths of the drivers, crew members, and the car owners themselves. This week, here’s a sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Dodge Dealers 400 at Dover Downs.

Full Throttle: Roush Fenway Racing Done Playing Catch Up with the CoT

This weekend, Roush Fenway Racing took the top two positions at Dover for just their third Cup Series victory of the year. That follows an unprecedented performance last weekend at New Hampshire; back then, four of the team’s five drivers finished in the top 15, the best run the team has had in any CoT race to date. After months of searching the writing finally appears to be on the wall; after a sluggish start, Roush Fenway Racing has turned the corner and is now running quite strong with the new car configuration. It almost appears as though Roush Fenway is intentionally hitting its peak… at exactly the right time.

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in the Chase: 2007 Dodge Dealers at Dover Edition

When looking at the schedule of the 10 races in the Chase, most people would have pointed to Talladega as the track where both wrecks and bad luck could turn the tide in the championship. But in Dover on Sunday, it was the Monster Mile played tough as the new Talladega asphalt, taking a swing at some of the biggest names in the sport – and making contact. By the end of the day, 13 caution flags had waved, and four Chasers found themselves finishing 20th or lower. As is always the case when some people find misfortune, others reap the benefits.

Numbers Game: 2007 Dodge Dealers 400 at Dover

1/2 – The fraction of an inch that NASCAR allows cars to be below the minimum height requirement following a race. Dodge Dealers 400 winner Carl Edwards’ No. 99 Office Depot Ford was lower than that, failing post-race technical inspection. Any fines and/or point penalties are expected to be announced by NASCAR Tuesday afternoon.

10 Points to Ponder… After the 2007 Dodge Dealers 400 at Dover

1. Car of Too-Massive? – Dover was considered an extremely narrow racetrack when the “old” car was in use. Is the Car of Tomorrow – four inches wider than the old car – just too big and boxy to run on a tight track like this? The race, which Dale Earnhardt Jr. described as “bizarre and weird,” had 13 cautions (only three for debris) and two extended red flag clean-up periods. What say you, race fans?

Matt McLaughlin’s Driver Handicaps: 2007 Dover Fall Race

Jimmie Johnson – Johnson won both Cup races at Dover in 2002, as well as this event in 2005. He has top-10 finishes in seven of 11 Cup starts here – but has missed the mark the last two times out.

Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans: 2007 Dodge Dealers 400 at Dover Edition

With the playoffs moving full steam ahead towards round 2 this weekend, the strategy for your team shouldn’t change all that much. While the Monster Mile has been known to cause damage to its fair share of racecars, it usually doesn’t take too much of a toll on Chase contenders. One or two will most likely take a hit, but the majority will be near the front and finish in the top 15 or better. Which ones have that extra leg up on the rest of their playoff competition, though? Find out in this week’s edition of Fantasy Picks ‘N’ Pans.

Who’s Hot/Who’s Not In the Chase: 2007 Sylvania 300 at Loudon Edition

One race down… nine races to go. After his dominating performance on Sunday, Clint Bowyer has to be asking himself what the big deal is about all this Chase pressure everyone kept talking to him about. The only winless driver in the playoffs, he threw that status right out the window Sunday, coming out of the gates strong to score the first victory of his Cup career and climbing to fourth in points in the process. But Bowyer didn’t stand alone in his success. In fact, the top seven finishing positions on Sunday went to drivers within the Chase field; only three ended the day outside the top 15, leaving the 12-car lineup more tightly bunched at this juncture than ever before.

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