2007 NASCAR Fantasy Preview: Dover International Speedway

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Chaser’s Finish Up Front

The race for the Chase has started and just as I expected, the majority of the contenders did well at Loudon last weekend. Chasers filled the top 7 spots while 5 of the other drivers experienced some sort of problems from engine woes to flat tires and ill handling cars.

One Mulligan In The Books

Kurt Busch took the biggest hit to start the Chase when he lost a cylinder early in the race and never recovered. However, it could have been worse, because every single driver finished the race. If Kurt had lost the engine he would have finished dead last. Now he sits 102 points out of the lead and that hasn’t eliminated him from the Chase. He has basically already used up his poor race and has to run 9 strong ones from here on out to have a chance.

The Only Chaser Who Hasn’t Won A Race

Congratulations to Clint Bowyer on getting his first ever NEXTEL Cup victory and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Clint moved up 8 spots in the standings and is only 15 points out of the lead. Last week I said that all of the Chase drivers could finish in the top 20 at Loudon and 11 of them did with the exception of Kurt Busch. This just shows you that these are the 12 drivers that deserve a shot at the championship this year.

Chaser’s Looking Good…Again

This week we head to Dover for round 2 of the Chase and once again all of your Chase drivers are very good here. Chasers have won 9 of the last 15 races at Dover while the drivers sitting just out of the Chase, Ryan Newman and Dale Earnhardt Jr., adding another 4 victories during that stretch. That makes 13 of 15 wins for the drivers in the top 14 in points right now.

My Pick To Win Dover

Jimmie Johnson has 3 wins and 8 top 10 finishes in 11 starts at Dover so by virtue of being the best here over the last 4 years I am picking him to win this week once again. Jimmie has more wins here than any other Chase driver over the last 5 years. The only other driver with 3 wins here over that stretch is Ryan Newman.

Dover Front Runners

Carl Edwards has been very good here in his last 2 races. Carl has finished 2nd and 3rd in his last 2 starts here and seems to have a handle on this type of track right now. Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle have both been very good at Dover throughout their careers also with both of them having a win at this track.

Jeff Gordon has his good races and his bad races at Dover. This is going to be one of the races that he needs to have a good finish. Jeff has 5 top 10 finishes in his last 10 starts at Dover but he has also finished in the 30’s 4 of those races. Jeff needs to avoid any problems that will put him back in the pack this weekend.

Kyle Busch is another Hendrick driver who excels at Dover. Kyle finished 2nd in his first 2 starts here and then finished 5th before falling back the last 2 races here with finishes of 40th and 17th. If Kyle has any chance of winning the Chase this year he is going to need to be patient and not push the issue on the track. If he remembers that he doesn’t really need to race everybody until the last 100 miles of a race he will have a great shot at winning the whole thing.

From 2000-2004, Tony Stewart dominated at Dover. Tony swept the races here in 2000 and then had 9 top 10 finishes in 10 races with 7 of these being top 5 finishes. Since 2004 though, Tony has dropped back a bit. His finishes since them and in this order are 15th, 18th, 25th, 33rd and 40th.

Martin Truex Jr. won here this spring and started the Chase off with a top 5 finish at Loudon last week. After finishing 22nd in his first start at Dover Martin has finished 6th and 1st in his only other starts here. If this team can stay away from the engine woes that have haunted Dale Earnhardt Jr. this year he could repeat this weekend.

Jeff Burton got his first victory here for RCR last fall during the Chase and needs to get back in the swing of things this weekend after finishing 18th last weekend at Dover. Likewise, Kevin Harvick, who finished 17th last weekend, needs to come out firing on all cylinders to start to creep back into the hunt.

Denny Hamlin has finished 11th, 9th and 4th in his 3 Cup starts at Dover. Denny has been calm, cool and collected over the past 2 seasons no matter what he has to deal with. One of the only times he seemed to lose his cool a little bit was when his teammate, Tony Stewart, took him out and blamed it on him.

Kurt Busch has struggled at Dover throughout his career and was parked by NASCAR this spring after intentionally hitting Tony Stewart on pit road after the 2 of them were involved in a racing incident on the track. Kurt only has 4 top 10 finishes at Dover over his career with a best finish of 4th last fall.

Clint Bowyer has finished 17th, 8th and 8th in his 3 starts at Dover and has a lot of confidence right now after getting his first win in dominating fashion last weekend. This whole team is on a high right now and we will see if they can carry this momentum into next weekend.

Yahoo! Fantasy Picks

Group A

  • Carl Edwards (starter)
  • Jimmy Johnson

Group B

  • Ryan Newman (starter)
  • Martin Truex Jr (starter)
  • Kurt Busch
  • Denny Hamlin

Group C

  • David Ragan (starter)
  • Reed Sorenson

Dark Horse

  • Ryan Newman

Stay Away From

  • Clint Bowyer