Darlington: Round 11 preview

* Biffle Aims For Third Consecutive Darlington Win * Johnson Builds Bonus Point Lead In Chase Seeding * Statistics Underscore Car Of Tomorrow Competitiveness Biffle Seeks Record-Tying Third Consecutive Darlington Raceway Win DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.

* Biffle Aims For Third Consecutive Darlington Win
* Johnson Builds Bonus Point Lead In Chase Seeding
* Statistics Underscore Car Of Tomorrow Competitiveness

Biffle Seeks Record-Tying Third Consecutive Darlington Raceway Win

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 8, 2007) -- Greg Biffle (No. 16 Ameriquest Ford) will attempt something this week that only two drivers have done -- win three consecutive events at Darlington Raceway.

"I tell you," he said. "I really, really love Darlington."

And here's why: He's the two-time defending champion of Saturday night's sold-out Dodge Avenger 500. Four-time series champion Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet) and seven-time series champion Dale Earnhardt are the other drivers with three consecutive Darlington wins.

"It's the toughest racetrack we go to," Biffle said during Monday's weekly teleconference. "It's just a very, very challenging place, and that's what I mostly love about that racetrack is how tough it is."

Busy this Monday and Tuesday with NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series testing at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Biffle nevertheless can't wait to dance again with "The Lady in Black," one of Darlington's two, well-known nicknames

And regardless of Saturday's outcome, he's already joined distinctive Darlington company.

Biffle is one of only five active drivers who have won two or more Darlington events, a list that includes Gordon, Earnhardt, four-time series runner-up Mark Martin (No. U.S. Army Chevrolet), and former series champions Dale Jarrett (No. 44 UPS Toyota) and Bobby Labonte (No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge). For a complete teleconference transcript, go to NASCARMedia.com.

Chase 'Seeding' Watch, Week 10: Johnson Adds To Bonus Point Total

The Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup is still four months away, but already Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet) has the Chase's "No. 1 seed" in his sights.

Johnson won for the fourth time this season, this past Sunday at Richmond International Raceway. That boosted him to second in the current series standings.

More importantly, it boosted his potential Chase bonus point total to 40.

There's a seriously increased emphasis on winning these days in NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. Starting this season, drivers qualifying for the Chase get 10 bonus points for each victory during the 26-race span leading up to the Chase, which consists of the last 10 races.

Drivers qualifying for the Chase have their point totals "reset" to 5,000, whereupon bonus points are added, in effect creating a "seeding" to start the Chase.

Jeff Gordon, the series points leader, has accumulated a potential 20 bonus points thus far. Four others have one win -- and 10 potential bonus points -- apiece.

COT Statistics

As the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series prepares for its fifth Car of Tomorrow event -- this week at Darlington Raceway -- numbers truly tell the tale of its impact.

All four events to date have featured margins of victory less than one second; the first two, at Bristol Motor Speedway and Martinsville Speedway, literally went down to the wire.

But other statistics, specifically those pertaining to qualifying for series events, also illustrate the car's positive effects.

In examining the first four events at Bristol, Martinsville, Phoenix International Raceway and Richmond International Raceway, respectively, the average speed difference from the Bud Pole winner to the 40th overall qualifier has decreased by an average of almost two-10ths of a second.

Comparative first-to-40th qualifying differences from 2006 to 2007 are listed below:

* Bristol -- 2006 (0.566 of a second); 2007 (0.358). Note: the August 2006 qualifying results were used in this comparison, as qualifying for the 2006 spring event was rained out.

* Martinsville -- 2006 (0.551); 2007 (0.410)

* Phoenix -- 2006 (1.024); 2007 (0.768)

* Richmond -- 2006 (0/534); 2007 (0.437)

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Bobby Labonte , Greg Biffle , Jimmie Johnson , Mark Martin