Greg Biffle and teammate Matt Kenseth are all over the leader-boards when you look at the last 10 races at the monster mile. Combined the two have racked up the most points in 9 of the last 10 races but beware Carl Edwards and four-time Champion Jimmie Johnson are also prominently featured on these lists directly behind them.
After last weeks debacle I figured I could write Biffle off for the year but the numbers got the better of me. Biffle was the winner of the fall 2008 race, his second win at the track, and has 10 top-10’s in 16 starts.
Kenseth on the other hand has 1 win, 10 top-5’s and 15 top-10’s in 23 starts. Of the two Biffle has been the one who has shown he can run up front and win thus far. Kenseth’s 2010 season has been a disappointment as he’s struggled to crack the top-5.
Despite all that Carl Edwards may be better then both. Edwards has an average finish of 7.9 at Dover with 1 win, 5 top-5’s and 8 top-10’s in 12 starts. He looked good and bad last week depending on when you were watching him but if he’s to turn it around this is the key for him. The next best driver in terms of average finish is Johnson at 10.2 so there is a considerable gap.
With that being said Jimmie Johnson has 5 career wins at Dover. He won both races there last year and is only bested by Jeff Gordon on the active list in laps led. Johnson is poised to strike.
Combined they have 6 NASCAR Championships so it’s almost unfair to group the next two drivers together. However with the similarities between the two you can’t help but to.Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart remain great options this week. Both have won at the track, both have led a bunch of laps and both ran incredibly well last week at New Hampshire. Had Stewart a few more drops of fuel in the car he would have won, and Gordon showed he cannot be counted out with a 6th place finish.
The thing I like about both of these drivers is that they are incredibly hungry. Gordon hasn’t won since the spring race at Texas last year and Stewart will have to make up some points to overcome his finish last week following his failed fuel run.
Clint Bowyer has been consistent at Dover and will hope to ride the wave. Oddly despite all the talk about Bowyer it’s almost as if everyone is forgetting the man finished 3rd and 5th in the point standings in 2007 and 2008. He may only have three career wins but those point standing finishes show he knows how to gain points in the seasons final 10 races.
Driver #18 is another looking to use this event as a spring board to his first Sprint Cup. Kyle Busch has proven he can win with 2 checkered flags and has 6 top-5’s in 11 starts.
Of drivers outside of the Chase Ryan Newman is a favorite. He’s got 3 career wins at Dover, and these types of tracks have always been good to the South Bend native. Newman also has finished inside the top-10 in 10 of his 17 starts.
While Martin Truex got his lone win at Dover he’s really been an afterthought in most of the events. In addition this team has seemed to be stuck in third gear for much of the year. Don’t count on a breakout this weekend.
One driver I’ve always over valued at Dover is Kurt Busch. Busch has just 6 top-10’s in 20 starts and has an average finish of 19.6 which seems far off the course for him. For those reasons he’s safe to stay around from.
For those looking for someone completely off the radar go with Joey Logano again this week. In three stops he has finished 15, 42, and 10. With the small sample size the 42nd place finish kills his average finish making him a hidden gem. He’s notched top-10 finishes 10 times this year but I will concede that he’s had some ugly finishes of late as well.