* Greg Biffle climbs in point standings * Ryan Newman could use some Dover magic NEWS AND NOTES Biffle on the Move ... Greg Biffle (No. 16 National Guard Ford) is the defending champion of the June race at Dover and looks to continue his ...
* Greg Biffle climbs in point standings
* Ryan Newman could use some Dover magic
NEWS AND NOTES
Biffle on the Move ... Greg Biffle (No. 16 National Guard Ford) is the defending champion of the June race at Dover and looks to continue his climb in the point standings. Biffle has posted three consecutive top-10 finishes, and, following his seventh-place showing at the Coca-Cola 600, he has moved up to 13th place in the standings. Three races ago, Biffle was 232 points out of 10th place and 23rd in the point standings. Heading into Dover, he is now just 86 points out of 10th.
Biffle is the only driver to lead at least one lap in 10 of the 12 races thus far. He has earned 70 lap leader bonus points, 20 more than second-place Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DEWALT Tools Ford) who has 50. Besides his win last June at Dover, his only other top 10 at the track was a seventh-place showing in September 2003.
Kahne's Victory Gives Dodge Four Wins on the Year ... Dodge has already surpassed its victory total from a year ago, as Kahne's win last Sunday marked the fourth time this year the manufacturer has reached Victory Lane. Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge) posted the other victory for Dodge at Bristol in March. Dodge also claimed four victories in 2004 and 2001 and won seven times in 2002 and nine times in 2003. Kahne's most recent victory marked the first time since 1977 -- when Richard Petty won in his Charger -- that a Dodge had been victorious at the Coca-Cola 600.
Chevrolet still holds a sizeable lead in the Manufacturers' Championship race with 86 points and a 14-point margin over Ford (72 points). However, with Kahne's victory on Sunday, Dodge now has 70 points and trails Ford by just two points in the standings.
Newman Looking for Magic to Return ... There's no better place for Ryan Newman (No. 12 Alltel Dodge) to turn things around this season than Dover International Speedway.
Newman is currently 22nd in points, having dropped three spots after his 35th-place finish. After having made the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup the past two seasons, Newman finds himself 250 points out of 10th place.
Newman has won three of the last six races at Dover and has scored seven top-10 finishes in his eight races at the Monster Mile, all eighth or better. He also has been effective during qualifying, claiming two Budweiser Poles (second race in 2005; first race in 2003) and has earned a top-five starting position in seven of his eight trips to Dover.
Stewart on the Mend ... Defending NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion Tony Stewart (No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet) suffered a fractured right scapula after an accident 33 laps into the Coca-Cola 600. He was taken to a Charlotte area hospital for evaluation and was seen and released approximately two hours later. Stewart already nursed a bruised right shoulder from a hard lick he took in Saturday night's NASCAR Busch Series race that sent him to the hospital for X-rays. Those X-rays were negative and he was cleared by a physician to race last Sunday.
Stewart dropped two spots in the standings this week and heads into Dover fourth in the standings. He has enjoyed considerable success at Dover, with a pair of victories (September 2000 and June) and 11 top-10 showings in his 14 previous races there.
More on Dover ...
• Nine of the last 10 races at Dover have been won from a top-10 starting position.
• Mark Martin (No. 6 AAA Ford) has scored 24 top-10 finishes at Dover, the most among full-time active drivers. Martin also leads all full-time active drivers with 16 top-five finishes at the Monster Mile.
• Kyle Busch (No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet) has a pair of second-place finishes in his two races at Dover, both coming last year.
• All three manufacturers have won in the last three races at Dover -- Chevrolet (Jimmie Johnson in the fall of 2005); Ford (Greg Biffle, spring 2005); and Dodge (Ryan Newman, fall 2004).
• Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet) ranks fourth all-time in laps led at Dover, leading 2,117 laps in 26 races there.
Loop Data Update Heading into Dover ... Matt Kenseth leads the Driver Rating category (106.5), followed by Jimmie Johnson (104.9) and Greg Biffle (103.7). Biffle ranks first in the Mile Leaders category, having led a total of 1,099.56 miles this season. He is second in laps led with 799. Johnson is the leader in Average Running Position (10.220), followed by Kenseth (10.789) and Tony Stewart (11.703). Johnson has completed 4,037 of 4,050 laps or 99.7% of the laps run this season, a big reason why he is the Series' current points leader.
A review of the Loop Data from last year's two races at Dover show that Johnson had the highest Driver Rating (124.5) followed by Biffle (123.4). It comes as no surprise that those two drivers won at Dover in 2005. Other drivers who ranked high in Loop Data categories from a year ago at Dover include: Kyle Busch (first in Fastest on Restarts and second in Average Running Position); Kurt Busch (first in Fastest Drivers Early in a Run and third in Average Running Position); and Mark Martin (third Fastest on Restarts and fourth in Driver Rating).
Casey Mears (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge) ranks just 20th with a Driver Rating of 71.0, but is only 52 points out of the top 10 in 11th position with 1,374 championship points. He keeps himself in contention each week by finishing strong. Mears is the fourth-ranked Closer and improves his position from mid-race to the finish line by an average of seven spots, moving from 24th to 17th.
Setting the Field: Top 35 in 2006 Owner Points Locked In ... Teams ranked in the top 35 of the current 2006 car owner standings will be guaranteed starting positions each week.
Heading into Dover, the No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge, owned by Ray Evernham and driven by Jeremy Mayfield, is ranked 35th in the car owner point standings. The No. 55 NAPA Dodge, owned by Doug Bawel and driven by Michael Waltrip, fell three spots to 39th and once again will be required to qualify on time. Waltrip will be looking to make his 40th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup start at Dover this Sunday. He has eight top-10 finishes at Dover and was the polesitter in the June 1991 race.
Car of Tomorrow Test Underway at Lowe's ... Lowe's Motor Speedway will be the fourth track that NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow has tested on in 2006, with the two-day test scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.
Eight NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams were expected to test their cars, including Hendrick Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing, Joe Gibbs Racing, Dale Earnhardt, Inc., Penske Racing South, Evernham Motorsports, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, and MB2 Motorsports.
Previous Car of Tomorrow tests this year were held at Daytona International Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway and Martinsville Speedway. The Car of Tomorrow is a culmination of a five-year design program being conducted at NASCAR's Research and Development Center in Concord, N.C. Of primary significance are safety innovations, performance and competition, and cost efficiency for the race teams. The new car will begin competition in 2007 at the spring race at Bristol Motor Speedway and will race at 16 different events next season. The 2008 Car of Tomorrow implementation schedule entails 26 events. Teams will run the entire 2009 schedule with the Car of Tomorrow.
Raybestos Rookie Update ... Through the season's first 12 races, Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Fed Express Chevrolet) continues to lead the Raybestos Rookie standings with 132 points. Clint Bowyer (No. 07 Jack Daniel's Chevrolet) holds down the second spot with 119 points. J.J. Yeley (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet) is third at 104, while Martin Truex Jr. (No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) and Reed Sorenson (No. 41 Target Dodge) are deadlocked with 103 points. David Stremme (No. 40 Coors Light/Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon Dodge) is next with 83 points.
Two rookies -- Hamlin and Sorenson -- placed in the top 10 in last Sunday's Coca-Cola 600, with Hamlin finishing ninth and Sorenson 10th. In the current series standings, Hamlin (12th), Bowyer (15th), and Sorenson (20th) are all ranked inside the top 20.
Truex Jr., is a native of Mayetta, N.J. and Dover International Speedway is the closest track to his hometown. Truex Jr. has won twice at Dover in the NASCAR Busch Series. He made his NASCAR Busch Series debut at Dover in September of 2001.
Pit Crew Spotlight: Delaware Home for Two NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Crew Members ... Michael Moore, the jackman for Brian Vickers' No. 25 GMAC Chevrolet is from Dover. Bobby Lord, the front tire carrier for Scott Wimmer's No. 4 Aero Exhaust Chevrolet, is also from Delaware.
Where in The World is Ken Schrader? ... If it's got gas, four tires and faces a green flag, Ken Schrader will hop in the cockpit and drive it. The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series' oldest -- and some say funniest -- competitor just can't resist racing. Other than running in Sunday's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event at Dover, Schrader will not be competing at any other tracks this weekend. He will continue his short track racing the following week leading into the race at Pocono Raceway.
From the Archives ... Second-generation driver Davey Allison burst on the NASCAR scene in 1987, winning his first race at Talladega Superspeedway as a rookie. At that time a rookie hadn't won a series event since 1981.
The series moved to Dover International Speedway four weeks after the Talladega event and on May 31, 1987 Allison again came home the winner. For a rookie to win on NASCAR's premier circuit was unusual, but to win twice in his freshman season was bordering on the unbelievable.
Allison drove a Robert Yates-prepared Thunderbird to the second starting spot alongside pole winner Bill Elliott. Rookie Allison played it smart and dropped back for the first part of the event, taking the lead from Dale Earnhardt on lap 153. Allison continued to swap the lead with his father -- NASCAR legend Bobby Allison -- Earnhardt, Bill Elliott and Terry Labonte for the remainder of the event. Davey Allison took the lead for the final time with three circuits left holding the front spot to beat runner-up Elliott by a convincing seven seconds.
Rookies winning NASCAR NEXTEL Cup events have become a fairly common occurrence in recent years, but in 1987 it was a very uncommon event.
On Deck: Pocono 500 ... Race No. 14 on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule will be Sunday, June 11 (1:30 p.m. ET, FOX) -- the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. Carl Edwards (No. 99 Office Depot Ford) is defending champion while Michael Waltrip is the defending polesitter.
Next race: Neighborhood Excellence 400 presented by Bank of America (Race No. 13 of the 36-race NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season)
The track: Dover International Speedway, Dover, Del.
The date/time: Sunday, June 4, 2:10 p.m. (ET)
TV: FX, 1:30 p.m. (ET).
Radio: MRN/XM Satellite
Posted awards: $5,667.009
Race length: 400 miles, 400 laps
Track layout: 1 mile
2005 winner: Greg Biffle
2005 polesitter: Jimmie Johnson
NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10: 1. Jimmie Johnson 1,861. 2. Matt Kenseth 1,752. 3. Mark Martin 1,652. 4. Tony Stewart 1,630. 5. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1,590. 6. Kasey Kahne 1,569. 7. Jeff Gordon 1,451. 8. Jeff Burton 1,450. 9. Kyle Busch 1,437. 10. Kevin Harvick 1,426.
Practice/Qualifying Schedule: Friday -- Practice, 11:35 a.m. -- 1 p.m.., Qualifying, 3:10 p.m. Saturday -- Practice 9 a.m. -- 10 a.m. Final Practice 10:35 a.m. -- 11:20 a.m.