Thursday, May 13, 2010
Dover Chassis Selections: Autism Speaks 400
by Jeff Wackerlin
2. Jimmie Johnson:Coming off fifth win; Swept events in 2002 and 2009; Has led a total of 1,206 laps in 16 starts; 7.2 average finish in the six races with the COT; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 558) that finished 12th at Atlanta in March.
3. Kyle Busch:Led 158 laps en route to victory in the spring of 2008; 24.5 average finish in four starts with Joe Gibbs Racing; Suffered a front splitter issue in this event last year that resulted in 23rd-place finish; 20.0 average finish in the six races with the COT; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 265) in the Autism Speaks 400.
4. Jeff Gordon:Four-time winner; Last won in 2001 after leading 381 laps from the second-starting position; Coming off 21st top 10 in 34 starts; Finished 26th in this event last year after being forced to a back up from a wreck in qualifying and an untimely pit during the race; Sixth-best average finish (11.3) in the six races with the COT.
6. Denny Hamlin:Two top-10 finishes in eight starts, with a best fourth in the spring 2007 race; Last five results have been 22nd or worse; Finished 26th in this event last year after a cut tire sent him into the wall while running in second; 30.2 average finish in the six races with the COT; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 259) that finished second at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway in 2009.
7. Greg Biffle: Two-time winner; Second-best track on the circuit based on his 10.8 average finish; Has finished eighth or better in eight of the last 10 races; Second-best average finish (4.7) in the six races with the COT; Will race the same car (chassis No. 608) that finished fourth at Bristol in March.
8. Kurt Busch: Coming off a pair of fifth-place finishes; Led 99 laps last fall; 22.5 average finish in the six races with the COT; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 712) in the Autism Speaks 400.
10. Mark Martin: Four-time winner in 47 starts; His 22 top-five finishes and 1,720 laps led are a personal best at any track; Finished 10th and second in first two track starts with Hendrick in 2009; Fourth-best average finish (8.3) in the six races with the COT; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 527) in the Autism Speaks 400.
11. Carl Edwards: One victory and five top fives in 10 starts; 2007 victory is in the middle of a streak of six consecutive top-10 finishes; Has never finished worse than 18th (track debut, 2004); Leads all drivers with a 4.5 average finish in six starts with the COT; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 596) that finished sixth at Bristol in March.
12. Dale Earnhardt Jr.: 22.8 average finish in four starts with Hendrick Motorsports; Scored seven top 10s and one win in previous 16 starts with Dale Earnhardt, Inc.; Has yet to lead a lap in the six races with the COT; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 578) that finished seventh at Bristol in March.
14. Ryan Newman: Finished eighth and 10th in first two starts with Stewart-Haas in 2009; ; Three-time winner with Penske Racing, including a sweep in 2003; Has led 842 laps in 16 starts, including 325 en route to victory in the 2004 fall race; 12.5 average finish in the six races with the COT.
15. Clint Bowyer: Three top-10 finishes of eighth are best track results in eight starts; 14.4 average finish with four laps led; Piloting brand-new chassis No. 298 in Autism Speaks 400.
16. Jamie McMurray: Best track-finish of second came with Jack Roush in this event in 2006 after leading 95 laps; Five top-10 finishes in 14 starts with an average finish of 16.9; Bringing chassis No. 905 this weekend; Car was last raced to a 29th-place finish at Atlanta after suffering an on-track incident while running in the top five.
18. Tony Stewart: Swept the two races in 2000 driving for Joe Gibbs Racing; Finished second and ninth in first two races with own team in 2009; 11.5 average finish in 22 starts, with 10 top fives and 14 top 10s; Has led 1072 laps; Bringing chassis No. 14-530 that he drove to runner-up finish at Bristol this year.
19. Joey Logano: Walked away from scary accident last fall that resulted in 42nd-place finish; Finished 15th in only other start at track; Piloting chassis No. 247 for first start in 2010; This car was raced four times in 2009.
20. Brian Vickers: Will not race due to undisclosed illness; Being replaced by Casey Mears in the No. 83.
21. David Ragan: 23.1 average finish in seven starts; Track-best finish of 14th came in this event in 2007; Piloting chassis RK-626 which was last raced at Phoenix in fall of 2009 to 19th-place finish as the No. 26.
22. Kasey Kahne: Posted two of his three total top-10 finishes in 2009; Best track finish of sixth in this event last year; 22.8 average finish in 12 starts; Has crashed out of four races.
23. Paul Menard: 23.0 average finish in five starts; Coming off track-best 19th-place finish in last year's fall race driving a Ford with Yates Racing; Tested Tuesday at Gresham Motorsports Park in Ga. in preparation for race; Bringing brand-new chassis No. 560 to track.
24. David Reutimann: Won the pole for this event last year and led 25 laps en route to 18th-place finish; Track best finish of 17th came in fall event in 2008; 20.2 average finish in five starts.
25. Brad Keselowski: Making first Cup start at the track; Will pilot chassis PRS-713 during Autism Speaks 400; This car was raced to a 21st-place finish at Auto Club Speedway earlier this season.
26. Scott Speed: 31.0 average finish in two starts; Finished 25th last fall in only race where he's been running at the finish.
27. AJ Allmendinger: Coming off his best track finish of seventh in fall race last year; 27.5 average finish in six starts; Piloting same chassis (No. 288) that finished 17th at Bristol this year.
28. Marcos Ambrose: 22.0 average finish in three starts; Coming off best finish of 14th in last fall's event.
29. Elliott Sadler: Yet to score a top-five finish in 22 starts; Last of three top 10s (sixth) came driving a Ford in 2005 fall race with Yates Racing; Bringing a brand-new chassis (No. 652) for the Autism Speaks 400.
30. Sam Hornish Jr.: Finished track best 13th in this event last year; 24.8 average finish in four starts.