* Loop Data: The reasons behind Carl Edwards' recent surge * From the archives: Rudd's only NASCAR Busch Series win came at Dover NEWS OF NOTE Top-10 shuffle: Edwards on the move ... Although the NASCAR Busch Series point standings contain...
* Loop Data: The reasons behind Carl Edwards' recent surge
* From the archives: Rudd's only NASCAR Busch Series win came at Dover
NEWS OF NOTE
Top-10 shuffle: Edwards on the move ... Although the NASCAR Busch Series point standings contain the same drivers for the second week in a row, some major shuffling followed last Saturday's race at Charlotte. Carl Edwards' (No. 60 Weyerhauser Ford) victory wasn't only his first win of the season, but also pushed him into a season-best second-place in the standings. Edwards, who entered Charlotte ranked fourth, displaced Clint Bowyer (No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet), who had held onto that slot for four weeks. Despite going two laps down at Charlotte, points leader Kevin Harvick (No. 21 U.S. Coast Guard Chevrolet) rallied to post an eighth-place finish, his 12th top-10 of the season. Bowyer fell to third while Denny Hamlin (No. 20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet) dropped a spot to fourth. J.J. Yeley (No. 18 Vigoro/Home Depot Chevrolet) had been mired in eighth the last two weeks, but gained three positions to fifth heading to Dover. Paul Menard (No. 11 Menard's Chevrolet) dropped two positions and is at his lowest slot in the top 10 (eighth) since entering at that spot following Texas.
IN THE LOOP: Documenting Edwards' climb ... Carl Edwards has made a steady climb up the NASCAR Busch Series point standings since his initial entry in the top 10 at eighth following the race at Mexico City. After falling out of the top 10 altogether after Texas (he was 11th in the standings after finishing 43rd due to engine failure), Edwards rebounded to fifth the next race and has steadily worked his way up to second over the last five events, and NASCAR's Season-to-Date Loop Data shows why. He was sixth in Driver Rating after Phoenix at 92.0, but has moved into fourth with a current rating of 96.2. Edwards has also improved his Average Running Position over that span, jumping from 15.514 to 13.477. He's also become stronger in passing categories recently as shown by his improvement in the Passes by Straightaway department, going from 27th to 10th on the backstretch and from 22nd to 14th on the frontstretch during that time. He's leaped from 16th to eighth in the last five weeks in Quality Passes, more than doubling his number of 158 to the current 466. Edwards is sixth in Percentage of Laps Run on the Lead Lap (86.97%), up from 10th (81.52%) after Phoenix.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
A start Saturday at Dover would give David Green (No. 27 Kleenex Ford) 25 at the Monster Mile, tying him for the all-time series lead at the track. Green drove an untested car at Dover to a NASCAR Busch Series qualifying record en route to winning his first Busch Pole of the 2004 season and the 22nd of his career. Green's speed of 157.916 mph surpassed Joe Nemechek's mark of 156.747. The qualifying record still stands. ... Todd Bodine leads all active drivers with seven top fives and 10 top-10 finishes at Dover. ... Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Ameriquest Ford) is first among active drivers in laps led with 628. In 12 career series races, Kenseth has two wins, six top fives and seven top 10s.
Ford claimed its first win since California in February with Carl Edwards' victory at Charlotte. Ford is in second place in the Bill France Performance Cup standings with a 78-72 lead over Dodge. Dodge also has two wins. Chevrolet continues to lead with nine wins and 97 points and has a seemingly big advantage at Dover with 23 series wins -- Chevy drivers have won 20 of the last 26 Dover races, but only four of the last nine. ... Team owner Ray Evernham (No. 9 Wisk Dodge) leads the charge of those returning to or near their hometowns during this week's trek to Dover. Evernham is from Hazlet, N.J. Two members of Kenny Wallace's (No. 22 AutoZone Ford) team -- Bill Kennedy (Gas Man) and Dan Ryan (Engine Tuner) are from Plainfield N.J. and North Arlington, N.J., respectively. Kris McCabe, Shock Specialist for the No. 11 Menard's Chevrolet of Paul Menard is from Forked River, N.J. and Ken Roettger, who handles mechanic and set-up duties in the BREWCO Motorsports shop for David Green's No. 27 car is from Bergenfield, N.J. ... Kyle Busch is entered in all three national series events at Dover this weekend. He won the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event last year. ... In addition to Todd Bodine, three other NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series regulars are entered in the NASCAR Busch Series race at Dover -- Mike Skinner (No. 12 Supercuts Dodge), Ron Hornaday (No. 33 Outdoor Channel Chevrolet) and Aric Almirola (No. 19 Husqvarna Chevrolet) will pull "double duty." ... Since two races have been on the schedule at Dover starting in 1996, the winner of the first race has gone on to capture the NASCAR Busch Series championship five times. ... Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin and Aaron Fike (No. 43 RFMS Dodge) look to make their 50th career starts this weekend.
"We've got three new cars at the shop in the last couple of weeks that haven't been to the race track yet that I'm really excited about. We're bringing another new car to Dover this weekend that should be just as good." -- Todd Kluever (No. 06 3M Ford), who finished ninth at Charlotte last week, his second-best finish of the season.
"I ran pretty decent at Dover a couple years ago. It'll be good to get back to a track where I have some seat time. With the limits on testing this year, experience on the track is more important than ever. That's one of the problems we've had this year as a rookie team with a rookie driver." -- Mark McFarland (No. 88 U.S. NAVY Chevrolet).
"I can't wait to get to Dover. It's always good to go to a track that you've won at before. I love fast one-mile tracks. Concrete is a lot of fun to race on. It's a track that fits my driving style." -- Scott Wimmer (No. 66 Duraflame Ford).
"This weekend's race at Dover is one I've had circled in red on my calendar. It's one of my favorite tracks and one where I have found a good amount of success. I got my first truck series win there in 2003 and was a contender for the win in my last two Busch races finishing third last fall and fourth in 2004." -- Jason Leffler (No. 38 Great Clips Chevrolet).
FROM THE NASCAR BUSCH SERIES "25 SEASONS RUNNING" ARCHIVES
The NASCAR Busch Series has played host to many great drivers over the years. Among them is the recently-retired Ricky Rudd. The talented Virginian made his debut at Dover in 1983.
Rudd drove an Oldsmobile prepared by fellow Virginian Emanuel Zervakis and qualified 12th behind Busch Pole winner David Pearson. Some of the notable competitors in the event along with Pearson and Rudd were Dale Earnhardt, Bobby Allison and Morgan Shepherd. Pearson jumped to an early lead for the first 21 laps with Allison taking over on Lap 59. Rudd took the lead for the first time on Lap 60 for a single lap. He led again late in the race, waging a tight battle with Allison. The pair were door-to-door at the white flag but it was Rudd who prevailed by a margin of .9 of a second over runner-up Allison.
Rudd made two more starts that season with another team, but did not finish due to engine problems in both events. He retired from NASCAR Busch Series competition after three starts.
NASCAR BUSCH SERIES "25 SEASONS RUNNING" QUOTEABLES
"We couldn't get our modified number (24) when we moved to the NASCAR Busch Series because another guy owned it and wouldn't give it up. So NASCAR offered us a bunch of numbers and one was 34. If you look at some of the great halfbacks in football, some of the great basketball players, their number was 34. We had kind of a tough guy in Jimmy Spencer driving for us; we were New Yorkers and figured we needed that "tough guy" number. So we put 34 on our car and it's been there ever since". -- Frank Cicci
ON DECK: NASHVILLE SUPERSPEEDWAY
The first of three consecutive stand-alone events for the NASCAR Busch Series takes place next Saturday, June 10 at Nashville Superspeedway. Last year, Clint Bowyer captured his first series victory at the Federated Auto Parts 300, held one day later than it's original date due to rain. There was no Busch Pole winner thanks to inclement weather. Carl Edwards was leading the point standings prior to the event, but missed the race because of the bad weather. He lost his points lead, but rebounded well with a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series win at Pocono Raceway. The race begins at 8:05 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on FX.
What: StonebridgeRacing.com 200 (Race No. 14 of 35 in the NASCAR Busch Series).
Where: Dover International Speedway, Dover, Del.
When: 3:30 p.m. ET, Sat., June 3.
Track Layout: 1-mile oval.
Race Length: 200 miles/200 laps.
Posted Awards: $1,106,436.
TV: FX, 3 p.m., ET.
Radio: MRN, XM Satellite.
2005 Winner: Martin Truex Jr.
2005 Polesitter: Carl Edwards.
2006 NASCAR Busch Series Top 10: 1. Kevin Harvick 2,092. 2. Carl Edwards 1,744. 3. Clint Bowyer 1,653. 4. Denny Hamlin 1,642. 5. J.J. Yeley 1,602. 6. Greg Biffle 1,596. 7. Kyle Busch 1,589. 8. Paul Menard 1,574. 9. Jason Leffler 1,436. 10. Johnny Sauter 1,432.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Fri., June 2 -- Practice, 9-10:05 a.m.; Rookie Practice, 1:20-1:50 p.m.; Final Practice 1:50-2:50 p.m. Sat., June 3 - Qualifying 12:05 p.m. (Impound).