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NASCAR - Sprint Cup - AAA 400 Preview

From The Sports Network

 
DATE: Sunday, September 30th
SITE: Dover International Speedway (1969) -- Dover, Delaware
TRACK: one-mile oval - 1,076 feet (Frontstretch); 1,076 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 135,000 (Grandstand Seating)
ANNUAL: 42nd
TELEVISION: ESPN
ANNOUNCERS: Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
RADIO: Motor Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 2 p.m. (ET)/Green Flag: 2:15 p.m. (ET)
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Kurt Busch
RUNNER-UP: Jimmie Johnson
POLE WINNER: Martin Truex Jr (Finished 30th)
LAPS: 400
MILES: 400
QUALIFYING RECORD: Jeremy Mayfield, 2004 (161.522 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Mark Martin, 1997 (132.719 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $5,074,329 (2011 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $223,625; 2nd Place - $220,786; 3rd Place - $180,566
 
2011 Finish
FinishDriverStartFinishDriverStart
1Kurt Busch26Kyle Busch5
2Jimmie Johnson67A.J. Allmendinger7
3Carl Edwards48Clint Bowyer27
4Kasey Kahne99Marcos Ambrose12
5Matt Kenseth1810Kevin Harvick22
2011 AAA 400 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 119.413 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 3 hours, 30 minutes, 59 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.908 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 10 for 44 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 24 among 13 drivers
POLE WINNER: Martin Truex Jr. (159.004 m.p.h.)
Past AAA 400 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2011 -- Kurt Busch (2nd) -- Dodge -- 119.413 m.p.h.
2010 -- Jimmie Johnson (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 131.543 m.p.h.
2009 -- Jimmie Johnson (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 118.704 m.p.h.
2008 -- Greg Biffle (5th) -- Ford -- 114.168 m.p.h.
2007 -- Carl Edwards (15th) -- Ford -- 101.846 m.p.h.
2006 -- Jeff Burton (19th) -- Chevrolet -- 111.966 m.p.h.
2005 -- Jimmie Johnson (5th) -- Chevrolet -- 115.054 m.p.h.
2004 -- Ryan Newman (2nd) -- Dodge -- 119.067 m.p.h.
2003 -- Ryan Newman (5th) -- Dodge -- 108.802 m.p.h.
2002 -- Jimmie Johnson (19th) -- Chevrolet -- 120.805 m.p.h.
2001 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 101.559 m.p.h.
2000 -- Tony Stewart (27th) -- Pontiac -- 115.191 m.p.h.
1999 -- Mark Martin (8th) -- Ford -- 127.434 m.p.h.
1998 -- Mark Martin (1st) -- Ford -- 113.384 m.p.h.
1997 -- Mark Martin (1st) -- Ford -- 132.719 m.p.h. (race record)
1996 -- Jeff Gordon (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 105.646 m.p.h.
1995 -- Jeff Gordon (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 124.740 m.p.h.
1994 -- Rusty Wallace (10th) -- Ford -- 112.556 m.p.h.
1993 -- Rusty Wallace (1st) -- Pontiac -- 100.334 m.p.h.
1992 -- Ricky Rudd (6th) -- Chevrolet -- 115.289 m.p.h.
1991 -- Harry Gant (10th) -- Oldsmobile -- 110.179 m.p.h.
1990 -- Bill Elliott (1st) -- Ford -- 125.945 m.p.h.
1989 -- Dale Earnhardt (15th) -- Chevrolet -- 122.909 m.p.h.
1988 -- Bill Elliott (3rd) -- Ford -- 109.349 m.p.h.
1987 -- Ricky Rudd (13th) -- Ford -- 124.706 m.p.h.
1986 -- Ricky Rudd (11th) -- Ford -- 114.329 m.p.h.
1985 -- Harry Gant (4th) -- Chevrolet -- 120.538 m.p.h.
1984 -- Harry Gant (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 111.856 m.p.h.
1983 -- Bobby Allison (7th) -- Buick -- 116.077 m.p.h.
1982 -- Darrell Waltrip (3rd) -- Buick -- 107.642 m.p.h.
1981 -- Neil Bonnett (3rd) -- Ford -- 119.561 m.p.h.
1980 -- Darrell Waltrip (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 116.024 m.p.h.
1979 -- Richard Petty (4th) -- Chevrolet -- 114.366 m.p.h.
1978 -- Bobby Allison (2nd) -- Ford -- 119.323 m.p.h.
1977 -- Benny Parsons (7th) -- Chevrolet -- 114.708 m.p.h.
1976 -- Cale Yarborough (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 115.740 m.p.h.
1975 -- Richard Petty (3rd) -- Dodge -- 113.372 m.p.h.
1974 -- Richard Petty (2nd) -- Dodge -- 113.640 m.p.h.
1973 -- David Pearson (1st) -- Mercury -- 112.852 m.p.h.
1972 -- David Pearson (2nd) -- Mercury -- 120.506 m.p.h.
1971 -- Richard Petty (4th) -- Plymouth -- 123.245 m.p.h.
 
NOTE: Formerly called Delaware 500 (1971-88), Peak Performance 500 (1989),
Peak Antifreeze 500 (1990-93), Splitfire Spark Plug 500 (1993-94),
MBNA.com 400 (1995-2000), MBNA Cal Ripken Jr. 400 (2001), MBNA
RacePoints 400 (2002-05), Dover 400 (2006), Dodge Dealers 400 (2007),
Camping World RV 400 (2008) - race changed from 500 to 400 miles in
1997.
 
Past AAA 400 Pole Winners (Finish)
2011 -- Martin Truex Jr -- 30th
2010 -- Jimmie Johnson -- 1st
2009 -- Jimmie Johnson -- 1st
2008 -- Jeff Gordon -- 7th
2007 -- Jimmie Johnson -- 14th
2006 -- Jeff Gordon -- 3rd
2005 -- Ryan Newman -- 5th
2004 -- Jeremy Mayfield -- 7th
2003 -- None -- Weather
2002 -- Rusty Wallace -- 15th
2001 -- Dale Jarrett -- 12th
2000 -- Jeremy Mayfield -- 35th
1999 -- Rusty Wallace -- 32nd
1998 -- Mark Martin -- 1st
1997 -- Mark Martin -- 1st
1996 -- Bobby Labonte -- 4th
1995 -- Rick Mast -- 28th
1994 -- Geoffrey Bodine -- 5th
1993 -- Rusty Wallace -- 1st
1992 -- Alan Kulwicki -- 34th
1991 -- Alan Kulwicki -- 24th
1990 -- Bill Elliott -- 1st
1989 -- Davey Allison -- 24th
1988 -- Mark Martin -- 39th
1987 -- Alan Kulwicki -- 14th
1986 -- Geoffrey Bodine -- 28th
1985 -- Bill Elliott -- 20th
1984 -- None -- Weather
1983 -- Terry Labonte -- 4th
1982 -- Ricky Rudd -- 11th
1981 -- Ricky Rudd -- 5th
1980 -- Cale Yarborough -- 4th
1979 -- Dale Earnhardt -- 9th
1978 -- J.D. McDuffie -- 33rd
1977 -- Neil Bonnett -- 17th
1976 -- Cale Yarborough -- 1st
1975 -- Dave Marcis -- 30th
1974 -- Buddy Baker -- 2nd
1973 -- David Pearson -- 1st
1972 -- Bobby Allison -- 20th
1971 -- Bobby Allison -- 4th
Last Race Results
RACE: Sylvania 300 (September 23rd)
SITE: New Hampshire Motor Speedway -- Loudon, New Hampshire
MILES: 317.4
LAPS: 300
WINNER: Denny Hamlin
RUNNER-UP: Jimmie Johnson
THIRD: Jeff Gordon
FOURTH: Clint Bowyer
FIFTH: Kasey Kahne
POLE WINNER: Jeff Gordon (Finished 3rd)
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 43 minutes, 2 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 116.810 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 2.675 seconds
CAUTION FLAGS: 4 for 17 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 17 among 10 drivers
LAP LEADERS: J. Gordon 1-3; T. Stewart 4-41; J. Gordon 42; C. Mears 43; J.
Gordon 44-45; Kyle Busch 46-93; D. Hamlin 94-107; K. Kahne 108;
J. Johnson 109; M. Kenseth 110; B. Keselowski 111-112; D. Hamlin
113-179; B. Vickers 180-184; D. Hamlin 185-244; J. Johnson 245;
J. Gordon 246; B. Keselowski 247-248; D. Hamlin 249-300.
AAA 400 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
1Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO)Chevrolet/McDonald's
2Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI)Dodge/Miller Lite
5Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA)Chevrolet/Farmers Insurance
6Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Olive Brnch,MS)Ford/Cargill/Safeway
9Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia)Ford/DeWalt
10Danica Patrick (Roscoe, IL)Chevrolet/GoDaddy.com
11Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/FedEx Office
13Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA)Ford/Geico
14Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN)Chevrolet/Mobil 1/Office Depot
15Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS)Toyota/5-Hour Energy
16Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA)Ford/Scotch Brite
17Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI)Ford/Roush Fenway Racing
18Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/Interstate Batteries
19Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR)Toyota/Plinker Tactical
20Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Toyota/Home Depot
22Sam Hornish Jr. (Defiance, OH)Dodge/Shell/Pennzoil
23Scott Riggs (Bahama, NC)Chevrolet/North Texas Pipe
24Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA)Chevrolet/Drive to End Hunger
26Josh Wise (Riverside, CA)Ford/MDS Transport
27Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI)Chevrolet/Menards/Certain Teed
29Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Budweiser
30David Stremme (South Bend, IN)Toyota/Inception Motorsports
31Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA)Chevrolet/Caterpillar
32T.J. Bell (Sparks, NV)Ford/Greensmoke
33Cole Whitt (Alpine, CA)Chevrolet/littlejoesautos.com
34David Ragan (Unadilla, GA)Ford/Long John Silver's
36Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH)Chevrolet/Tommy Baldwin Racing
37J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ)Chevrolet/TBA
38David Gilliland (Riverside, CA)Ford/Taco Bell
39Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/U.S. Army
42Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia)Chevrolet/Target
43Aric Almirola (Tampa, FL)Ford/Super 8
47Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX)Toyota/Kingsford Charcoal
48Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA)Chevrolet/Lowe's/Kobalt Tools
49Jason Leffler (Long Beach, CA)Toyota/TBA
51 *Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Chevrolet/Phoenix Construction
55Mark Martin (Batesville, AR)Toyota/Aaron's
56Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ)Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts
78Regan Smith (Cato, NY)Chevrolet/Furniture Row
79Kelly Bires (Mauston, WI)Ford/Team Kyle
83Landon Cassill (Cedar Rapids, IA)Toyota/Burger King
87Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/AM FM Energy Wood&Pellet
88Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC)Chevrolet/Diet Mt. Dew/Nat Guard
91Reed Sorenson (Peachtree City, GA)Toyota/Plinker Tactical
93Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI)Toyota/Burger King
95Scott Speed (Manteca, CA)Ford/Jordan Truck Sales
98Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ)Ford/Phil Parsons Racing
99Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO)Ford/Fastenal
 
* - Defending champion
 
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Driver200320042005200620072008200920102011
Kurt Busch38th5th23rd4th29th34th5th4thWon
Jimmie Johnson8th10thWon13th14th5thWonWon2nd
Carl Edwards---18th9th2ndWon3rd11th5th3rd
Kasey Kahne---42nd16th38th32nd26th8th28th4th
Matt Kenseth9th32nd35th10th35th2nd3rd18th5th
Kyle Busch------2nd40th5th43rd31st6th6th
Clint Bowyer---------8th12th8th15th25th8th
Marcos Ambrose---------------32nd14th20th9th
Kevin Harvick4th19th19th32nd20th6th12th15th10th
Jeff Gordon5th3rd37th3rd11th7th6th11th12th
Paul Menard------------21st21st19th7th16th
Denny Hamlin---------9th38th38th22nd9th18th
Mark Martin22nd2nd4th14th4th4th2nd12th19th
Brad Keselowski---------------------22nd20th
Ryan NewmanWonWon5th24th28th13th10th8th23rd
Dale Earnhardt Jr37th9th31st21st3rd24th20th23rd24th
Tony Stewart3rd6th18th33rd9th11th9th21st25th
Greg Biffle7th11th13th5th2ndWon13th19th27th
Joey Logano------------------42nd3rd29th
Martin Truex Jr---------6th13th20th33rd34th30th
 
Mover of the Week
Denny Hamlin - Started in the 32nd position and finished 1st
 
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Jimmie Johnson
Darkhorse - Ryan Newman
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Greg Biffle) - Finished 18th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Carl Edwards) - Finished 19th
 
NOTES:
Last year at this time, Jimmie Johnson was 10th on the points list in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. This time around, Johnson is first by the slimmest of margins over Brad Keselowski.

Johnson is certainly the driver to beat and not because he's on top of the points list. JJ has dominated the Dover fall race in recent years, winning back-to-back in 2009-10 and finishing second last year. In fact, Johnson won earlier this year at the "Monster Mile," his seventh win at Dover International Speedway.

Johnson led 289 laps, including the final 76, in the 400-lap race. He crossed the finish line 2.6 seconds ahead of Kevin Harvick to place him in a tie with NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Bobby Allison for most all-time wins at this one-mile, concrete-surfaced racetrack.

Johnson's overall numbers at Dover are impressive: Seven wins, 10 top fives, 15 top 10s, three poles and an average finish in 21 starts of 8.9.

Last season, it was Kurt Busch who outdueled Johnson at DIS. Busch, the 2004 Sprint Cup Series champion, grabbed the lead from Johnson after a late-race restart. He then held off Johnson in another restart before beating him at the finish by 0.9 seconds for his second win of the season and the 24th of his career.

In 2010, Johnson started on the pole and led the most laps with 191 for his sixth victory of the 2010 campaign and the 53rd of his Cup career. The win elevated Johnson to second in last year's Chase, and although he did not win another race, he recorded eight more top-10s to win the Sprint Cup title.

When Johnson won in 2009 at "The Monster Mile," he defeated Mark Martin by 1.970 seconds to complete the Dover Double. Johnson has enjoyed remarkable success at DIS winning seven times with 15 top-10 finishes. In 19 starts, his average finish is 9.6 with 1,829 laps led.

Greg Biffle produced his second career win at Dover in 2008, as he defeated Matt Kenseth for his 14th career Sprint Cup title. Biffle, who added another title in August, also captured the spring Dover race in 2005. Kenseth led for a race-high 136 laps, but finished 0.934 of a second behind.

Carl Edwards streak of four straight top-10 finishes in September at Dover ended in 2009, as he placed 11th. In 2007, he captured the checkered flag, as he led the final 38 laps to defeat Greg Biffle by less than a second. Matt Kenseth had dominated the race, leading for 192 laps, however, he failed to finish due to engine problems and placed 35th.

In 2006, Jeff Burton cruised to an almost eight second win over Edwards, as he captured the 18th of his 21 Sprint Cup career titles. Burton led for only six laps, but it was the final six that led him to victory. Pole sitter Jeff Gordon finished third, while Matt Kenseth, who dominated the race, leading for 215 laps, finished 10th.

The second and third starting positions has been the most productive at Dover, producing 14 and 13 winners respectively, while the pole has produced 13. Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin and Bill Elliott each have four Dover victories, while Johnson, Allison and Petty have seven. Prior to Johnson doubling in 2009, Ryan Newman was the last driver to double at Dover in the same season, capturing both races in 2003. Tony Stewart (2000) has also accomplished this feat in the past decade.

THIS AND THAT FROM DOVER: The official opening of Dover International Speedway, then called Dover Downs International Speedway, was in 1969. The track name was changed to Dover International Speedway in 2002. There have been 85 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Dover International Speedway since the track opened. The furthest back in the field a race winner started was 37th, by Kyle Petty in 1995. 52 races at Dover have been won from a top-five starting position; 18 races have been won from a starting position outside the top 10.

The Chase for the Sprint Cup championship continues with the October 7th running of the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Clint Bowyer is the defending race winner.

09/25 16:02:33 ET

As of September 25, 2012, at 04:02 PM ET

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