* Keller's Magic Number Down To Three In Starts Record Chase * Richard Johns To Finish Season In No. 25 Team Rensi Ford NBS, Etc. Another Milestone For Keller: Should Jason Keller (No. 11 Investlinc Ford) qualify for Saturday's race, he'll not...
* Keller's Magic Number Down To Three In Starts Record Chase
* Richard Johns To Finish Season In No. 25 Team Rensi Ford
Another Milestone For Keller: Should Jason Keller (No. 11 Investlinc Ford) qualify for Saturday's race, he'll not only stand one start closer to breaking Tommy Houston's all-time series record of 417, but he'll also become the all-time leader in series starts at "The Monster Mile." Keller seeks career start No. 416 at Dover -- one away from tying Houston. He tied three others -- Houston, Randy LaJoie and David Green -- for the event starts lead at Dover (25) in June (he finished 13th) and will earn the distinction of holding the most starts at an active track for the sixth time in his career if he takes the green flag there Saturday.
Johns To Finish Year In No. 25: Team Rensi Motorsports announced that Richard Johns will finish out the 2007 season in the team's No. 25 FreeCreditReport.com Ford starting with Saturday's race at Dover. Johns had shared the ride with David Gilliland, whose storybook win at Kentucky Speedway in 2006 vaulted him into full-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup competition. Gilliland pointed to his need to focus on his No. 38 Ford in the premier series while also allowing Johns -- who serves as Team Rensi's head engineer when not racing -- to do the same in the NASCAR Busch Series.
Notes: Donnie Neuenberger (No. 52 Plan B Technologies Ford), a native of Brandywine, Md., and a graduate of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County will attempt to qualify for the RoadLoans.com 200 at his home track in between appearances as a NASCAR analyst on Comcast SportsNet. ... Casey Atwood (No. 37 Kickbutt Amped Energy Ballz Ford) who won at Dover as a 19-year-old in 1999, returns to the series for the first time since 2006.
The Director's Take: Dover
"Dover's high banking and high speeds place a great deal of load on all of the chassis parts and a lot of stress on the suspension parts.
"The concrete surface plays havoc on tires, too. When we were here back in June, it was one of four tracks where teams were permitted to use five sets of tires.
"But because the track didn't 'rubber in' then, we're giving the teams the opportunity to purchase up to six sets of tires for this race. We want them to get ample practice time and not 'save the tires' for the race.
"As always at this track, pit strategy will play an important role. Pit road is really compact here -- and has those concrete boxes -- so drivers need to have their cars under control when they come in and not slide their tires, which is a big key on a two-tire stop.
"Fuel strategy will most likely play into the final outcome, too, since some teams will probably take a chance on taking fuel only to gain track position."
Rookie Spotlight: Layoffs Between Track Debuts Don't Bother Coleman; Another Set For Dover
Coleman Returns: Brad Coleman (No. 18 Carino's Italian Grill Chevrolet) will make his first start at Dover, but seeing tracks for the first time hasn't prevented him from posting some impressive inaugural numbers. He was fourth at the Milwaukee Mile, ninth at Talladega Superspeedway (plus his first pole), eighth at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, fifth at Watkins Glen International and had top-20 finishes at Texas Motor Speedway, Michigan International Speedway and Bristol Motor Speedway. Coleman hasn't been in a series race since last month's event at Bristol, where he finished 17th -- one of three rookies in the top 20. Layoffs don't seem to affect the 19-year-old; after his first schedule gap, he returned to post a top 10 at Talladega. Following a six-week layoff he turned in consecutive top fives with a second at Kentucky and the fourth at Milwaukee. After the next four-week layoff he was running top 10 at Gateway International Raceway prior to a late-race incident, followed by his top 10 at Montreal and top five at the Glen. Coleman isn't scheduled to run again for Joe Gibbs Racing until the Oct. 27 event at Memphis Motorsports Park.
Battle of the Brads: Now that Brad Keselowski (No. 88 U.S. NAVY Chevrolet) has secured his ride with JR Motorsports for the remainder of 2007, the Raybestos Rookie "Battle of the Brads" marches on for the final seven races. Brad Coleman (fifth) holds a three-point advantage over Keselowski (sixth); Coleman's advantage has been built even though he's run in six fewer races than has Keselowski -- 14 to 20. Coleman is scheduled for three more races this season -- Dover, Memphis and Phoenix International Raceway -- while Keselowski is slated to finish out the string.
Having Clinched 14th Bill France Performance Cup, Chevrolet Sets Sights On Owner Championship
Kyle Busch's win at Richmond two weeks ago cemented Chevrolet's 14th NASCAR Busch Series Bill France Performance Cup and its fourth consecutive manufacturer's championship trophy.
Now, the manufacturer looks to add to its place in series lore, counting on the Richard Childress Racing driver combination of Jeff Burton and Scott Wimmer to bring home only the second split driver/owner championship in NASCAR's national series history. In 2003, RCR -- in a Chevy -- captured the owner title with drivers Kevin Harvick and Johnny Sauter while Brian Vickers won the driver championship.
The No. 29 has put up three wins this year (all by Burton) along with 14 top fives (10 by Burton, four by Wimmer) and 21 top 10s (13 via Burton, eight from Wimmer). Wimmer will drive the car this weekend at Dover.
Conversely, Edwards, the lone driver of the No. 60 Ford, has four wins, 14 top fives and 18 top 10s.
Manufacturers' Championship 2007 Point Standings
Up Next: RoadLoans.com 200 At Kansas Speedway
The final opportunity of the season for a driver to break the string of single winners at a NASCAR Busch Series track comes next Saturday afternoon at Kansas Speedway. ESPN2 will carry the Yellow Transportation 300 live beginning at 3 p.m. ET.
There have been six different winners at Kansas, the most recent being reigning and two-time series champion Kevin Harvick last season. Kansas Speedway is one of five tracks -- along with Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Kentucky and New Hampshire -- where there has yet to be a repeat winner.
Matt Kenseth won the Busch Pole for this event last year, the third different pole winner in the last three events. Michael Waltrip won back-to-back poles at Kansas in 2002-03, the only driver to have multiple poles at the 1.5-mile track.
The Race: RoadLoans.com 200
The Place: Dover International Speedway
The Date: Sept. 22, 20071
The Time: 3:30 p.m. (ET)
TV: ESPN2, 3:00 p.m. (ET)
Track Layout: 1-mile oval
Race Purse: $1,127,483
2006 Winner: Clint Bowyer
2006 Pole: Scott Riggs
Pre-Race Schedule: Friday -- Practice, 9--10:10 a.m.; Rookie Practice, 10:20-10:50 a.m.; Final Practice, 1:50--3:00 p.m. Saturday -- Qualifying, 12:05 p.m.