ETC.: Busch has completed 93.1 percent (9,682) of the 10,404 total laps contested in 26 career starts at Dover. His average start is 11.2, while his average finish is a significantly worse 18.1. He also has a career-high (for a single track) six DNFs there.
24 JEFF GORDON, Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: 8th, 42 points out of first place. Lost one spot last week.
DOVER RECORD: Finished third in the June race after a runner-up finish last September. Has four wins and 23 top-10 finishes including 16 top-five's in 41 starts.
LOOKING AHEAD: After two top-three finishes in the last two Dover races, Gordon can't wait to get to the high-speed facility. "I enjoy racing there because of the high speeds and the high-banked corners and the high-banked straightaways," said Gordon. "But you are constantly on edge and you can find yourself in trouble quickly - whether it be by yourself or in a group of cars. It seems like the groove can widen out there where we can run low, middle or high. You may have to search for a line or a groove that works best for your car. Another tricky aspect is the balance of the car can be different from one end of the track to the other."
LOOKING BACK: Gordon was leading the race when he headed for pit road during the fifth caution flag of the day. But he carried too much speed into his pit stall and slid over the line by maybe an inch or two. But it was enough for the NASCAR official to tell the team they needed to back up. The pit crew had to stop what it was doing, drop the jack and push the car back a few inches. But the time Gordon left his pit, he had fallen to 22nd place. He was only able to rally a few spots as he ended the day in 15th place. "Highly disappointed in myself," said a dejected Gordon. "I'll be disappointed until we get to Dover (for the next race). My car was a really good race car, but it wasn't a good passing car. We needed good track position and we had it until I messed up."
ETC.: Gordon knows his chances of winning a fifth championship took a real hit at Loudon. "For us, we have to be realistic and look at our points position (eighth, 42 points back with only eight races to go)," said Gordon. "Right now, we're not that far out of fourth (six points) and that's a realistic goal for us. Anything is possible. If we go on a tear, who knows? We're higher in the points that we were when we started this thing (13th). But..."
39 RYAN NEWMAN, Chevrolet
Team: Stewart-Haas Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 9th, 47 points out of first place. Lost one spot last week.
DOVER RECORD: Three wins and 11 top-10 finishes in 23 starts.
LOOKING AHEAD: Newman calls Dover a "miniature Talladega, of sorts, because the speeds are so fast. It's narrow, it does cleanse itself to bottom. It's a timing event depending on where the crash happens. If it's in the middle of the back straightaway or going into the corner, everybody is going to wash back up across the race track and then come back across it in front of your nose, typically. We've seen 20-car pileups there into turn three. We've seen cars upside-down and some unexpected things in the past few years."
LOOKING BACK: After winning the pole position, the 51st of his career, Newman had visions of duplicating his July 2011 Loudon weekend when he followed his pole-winning run with a dominating victory. But instead he battled an ill-handling race car all afternoon as he finished a disappointing 16th. "I don't understand what happened with the car," said Newman. "It just never drove the same after we won the pole on Friday afternoon. Even in practice on Saturday. It just wasn't the day we expected."
ETC.: Newman calls Dover "pretty physically tough. It's not as physical as the road courses - I think they are the most physically demanding - but with the banking and 400 laps, you're just constantly maneuvering the race car. You get just a short distance on the straightaways to take a quick breath and get ready to go back at it in the next corner."
15 CLINT BOWYER, Toyota
Team: Michael Waltrip Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 10th, 48 points out of first place. Lost one spot last week.
DOVER RECORD: Will be seeking his sixth straight top-nine finish.
LOOKING AHEAD: Bowyer hopes this is the week that he gets back on track in his bid to challenge for the championship. "Dover has been a really good track for us," said Bowyer. "We need a real good week to get back in the hunt, and Dover can be that place for us. There is still plenty of time left. We just need to start making some noise."
LOOKING BACK: Problems on pit road and an ill-timed caution flag left Bowyer in 17th place at the end of the day. "We stubbed out toe a little today," said Bowyer, who had expected to run up front all afternoon. "We just had a hard time in traffic and couldn't get through the corner like we would have liked. We gambled on track position and I thought we'd be fine, but that caution flag right after our pit stop killed us. It was a tough day overall for the team, but we aren't done yet. There is still some time in this deal and we plan to make some noise before it's over."
ETC.: Michael Waltrip continues to say "Clint did not spin on purpose (at Richmond). I stand behind him. We made some mistakes during the course of those final laps. We're sorry for that. We apologize to the fans. We totally understand their concerns. We will race ahead with much dignity and respect as humanely possible. No matter what happens in life or in sport, you learn from it. You become stronger, you become better. I think our organization has learned a great deal about going forward and being a strong team. I look forward to watching us grow from this unfortunate incident."
88 DALE EARNHARDT JR., Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: 11th, 62 points out of first place. Gained two spots last week.