Saturday, September 26, 2009

Dover Happy Hour: Kahne Fastest but not Driver to Beat

Kasey Kahne has never had a top-5 finish at Dover and he‘s coming off a blown engine last week at New Hampshire, however, on Saturday he reeled in the fastest lap in happy hour making his chances look pretty good for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup race at Dover.

Kahne ran the fastest lap of 152.014 on is third lap during the final practice session at Dover and is looking to elevate himself in the Chase for the Championship along with just having simply a good run at Dover.

In 11 starts at Dover, Kahne has done much worse than better. He’s had seven finishes out of the top 20 as opposed to finishing only four times in the top-20. The great practice run that saw him 14th best in the early session and finish best in happy hour ought to be encouraging for a team that hasn’t fared well in Delaware. In his first run this season, Kahne finished sixth.

Juan Pablo Montoya is debuting a chassis this week, again, and whatever the team is doing is making him better. Where was all that technique throughout the season? All of a sudden, Montoya is one of the major players every week.

Montoya was second fastest in both sessions on Saturday and has baffled many around the garage how he can be so good, so quick, and so timely since making the chase and excelling throughout the chase in Jimmie Johnson fashion.

Following the two heavyweights of Happy Hour, Joey Logano joined Mark Martin, Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle, and Kurt Busch as the top performers of the day.

This is the track where Logano made his NASCAR debut in the Nationwide series and to make it special they brought a brand new car.

Kurt Busch, despite no input from lame duck crew chief Pat Tryson, is running a brand new chassis. It would seem that a top contender for the title would need their chief in a new scheme of any kind, but team Miller Lite appears to be pretty good with the change.

Mark Martin is bringing the same chassis that brought him victory at Darlington. He finished 10th earlier this season at Dover and could be the driver to beat again.

Top Speeds at Dover Happy Hour:
1) Kasey Kahe 152.014 mph - AVG 37 laps @ 149.048
2) Juan Pablo Montoya 151.502 mph - AVG 37 laps @ 148.399
3) Joey Logano 151.057 mph - AVG 49 laps @ 148.415
4) Mark Martin 151.013 mph - 49 laps @ 149.309
5) Jimmie Johnson 150.981 mph - 53 laps @ 148.528
6) Greg Biffle 150.981 mph - 44 laps @ 148.416
7) Kurt Busch 150.031 mph - 56 laps @ 148.416

Top 10 Rated Drivers at Dover based on final two Dover practices, runs earlier tin the season at Dover, and current state of organization.
1) Greg Biffle
2) Jimmie Johnson
3) Kasey Kahne
4) Kurt Busch
5) Juan Pablo Montoya
6) Ryan Newman
7) Mark Martin
8) Kyle Busch
9) Carl Edwards
10) Jeff Gordon

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