BUSCH: Dover II: Round 29 preview

* Seems Like Old Times: Truex Jr., Defending Winner Bowyer Duel At Dover * Edwards Can Be First To Win Two National Series Titles In Same Season * In The Loop: Can Ambrose Sneak Up On Edwards, Wimmer? Rivalry Rewind: Truex Jr., Bowyer Bring...

* Seems Like Old Times: Truex Jr., Defending Winner Bowyer Duel At Dover
* Edwards Can Be First To Win Two National Series Titles In Same Season
* In The Loop: Can Ambrose Sneak Up On Edwards, Wimmer?

Rivalry Rewind: Truex Jr., Bowyer Bring Series Memories Back To Dover

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 18, 2007) -- Two years ago, Martin Truex Jr. (No. 8 Sea Watch Chevrolet) and Clint Bowyer (No. 21 AutoZone Chevrolet) came to Dover International Speedway's fall race as the two drivers vying for the NASCAR Busch Series championship.

They left as friendly rivals, laying the groundwork for their quick rise in NASCAR's premier series and a place in this year's Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. They'll compete again this weekend in the NASCAR Busch Series at Dover, where Bowyer is the defending race winner.

In September 2005, Truex -- a Mayetta, N.J., native -- was seeking his second consecutive series title and third consecutive win at his home track.

Bowyer was the most resurgent -- and arguably the most surprising -- driver in the series, who was doggedly pursuing Truex.

Bowyer finished second that day to Truex's 12th and was within 26 points of the standings lead.

Although Truex never relinquished first place, the battle for the crown came down to the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Perhaps it will again, albeit at a higher level.

The duo used the NASCAR Busch Series as a developmental opportunity leading to their current success in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.

Bowyer struck first. He won his first career premier series race last week at New Hampshire International Speedway in the first race of the Chase and is fourth in the standings.

Coming to Dover, Truex -- who won his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race there last June -- is in sixth place 25 points behind his nemesis-- nearly the same deficit Bowyer faced in 2005.

Edwards Chases History While Looking To Shoo Second-Half Slump

Carl Edwards (No. 60 World Financial Group Ford), the series driver standings leader, is also in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup and can become the first driver in national series history to hold both titles in the same season.

Bobby Labonte (No. 77 Dollar General Chevrolet) is the only driver to claim championships in both series, but did so in different years. He won the NASCAR Busch Series title in 1991 and the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup crown in 2000.

Kevin Harvick was the first to have the opportunity. The reigning series champion finished fourth in the Chase in 2006.

Despite a stout lead in the driver point rankings, Edwards and his No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing team are seeking a slump-buster.

Set to make his 100th career series start this weekend, Edwards hasn't won since consecutive victories at Dover and Nashville Superspeedway in June. But he's back on concrete, a surface that has produced each of his four wins this year.

In his last 13 races, Edwards has no wins and has finished 20th or worse six times although he bounced back with a second-place finish at Richmond International Raceway two weeks ago. He's failed to finish on the lead lap in four of the last six races.

His team also is in a battle for the owner title with the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing Holiday Inn Chevrolet to be driven at Dover by Scott Wimmer. The No. 29 is 40 points up on the No. 60.

In The Loop: Ambrose Boasts Solid Numbers At Dover; Edwards, Wimmer Set For Showdown

NASCAR Busch Series driver standings leader Carl Edwards stole the show at Dover in June, but it was the performance of one of the series' new names that has forced eyes to open.

Rookie Marcos Ambrose (No. 59 Kingsford Ford) finished sixth -- to date, his career best --and collected impressive statistics in the process.

In June, Ambrose had an Average Running Position of 10.9, a Driver Rating of 93.1 and spent 174 of the 200 laps in the top 15.

But the real story of the race earlier this summer was Edwards. He notched a perfect Driver Rating of 150.0, an Average Running Position of 2.1, notched 58 Fastest Laps Run and spent all 200 laps in the top 15.

Edwards' perfect Driver Rating was one of just six in series history -- including the most recent perfect line by Kyle Busch two weeks ago at Richmond. Dover is the only series track to produce two perfect Driver Ratings -- Edwards last June and Ryan Newman in this race in 2005.

Over the past five Dover races, Edwards has a Driver Rating of 113.1, an Average Running Position of 6.5, 119 Fastest Laps Run and 949 Laps in the Top 15 -- all of which rank highest among drivers who have raced in each of the last five races at "The Monster Mile."

Edwards needs to continue his Dover domination if he wants to keep up with the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet in the owner championship battle.

The No. 29 leads Edwards' No. 60 Ford by 40 points. Scott Wimmer will pilot the No. 29 Chevy sponsored by Holiday Inn this weekend in Dover, a track at which he excels.

In the three previous Dover races he has run, Wimmer has an average finish of 9.7, an Average Running Position of 11.5, a Driver Rating of 94.3 and has run 81 percent of his laps in the top 15.

-credit: nascar

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Drivers Bobby Labonte , Kevin Harvick , Ryan Newman , Marcos Ambrose , Scott Wimmer , Martin Truex Jr. , Carl Edwards , Clint Bowyer , Kyle Busch
Teams Richard Childress Racing , Roush Fenway Racing