After their performance the first two races, is Richard Childress Racing now the team to beat in this Chase? If that’s true, who’s got the upper hand – Jeff Burton or Kevin Harvick?
That was the last time that Jeff Burton won a Cup race – Oct. 28, 2001, at Phoenix International Raceway. The Cingular team has had several strong runs early in recent races, but has been unable to close the deal until Sunday. The clean, side-by-side battle between Burton and Matt Kenseth was one of the better late race battles in recent memory.
After a grueling 400 laps at Dover, which Chase contenders are still hot on the trail of the championship and which ones are chilling out in the back? Read this week’s Who’s Hot/Who’s Not to find out.
The Chase is on and what a better way to honor it then with some useless facts? That’s right, race fans, I said useless. But useless is as useless does, and like the Chase these facts are certainly useless, entertaining maybe, but totally unnecessary. Sometimes, like these tidbits, unnecessary is fun. So without further ado, here are some fun facts about this year’s Chasers. Did you know…?
The Dover 400 is the 28th race on the 36-race NASCAR Nextel Cup Series schedule and the second in the Chase for the Nextel Cup. The Cup Series visits the 1-mile Dover International Speedway twice in 2006, having also run here in June.
This Week’s Question: Can the first race in the Chase seal a team’s fate for the next nine races?
The first week of the Chase has passed, and there were some clear cut winners and losers. On the winning side was Kevin Harvick, scoring his second straight victory in Nextel Cup, along with fellow Chasers Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin… and Mike. Landing on the other side were Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch… and Cami, who all suffered setbacks. Up next is the Monster Mile… who will slay the beast, and who will be beaten? Let’s find out.
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.