Matts Dover Handicaps

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Sterling Marlin- Dover, a track where things can go bad wrong real fast, is always a concern to the series points leader and Marlin’s record at Dover is less than Sterling. Last year Marlin’s fortunes at the Monster Mile improved considerably with a pair of top ten finishes but he still has only one career top 5 at Dover. (1990)

Matt Kenseth- This could be a good week for Kenseth to take a bite out of Marlin’s points lead. Typically Matt runs very well at the Monster Mile. Kenseth made his Winston Cup debut here in 1998 subbing for Bill Elliott and finished sixth. He also finished second here in his 2000 rookie season. Last year the track wasn’t as kind to Matt with 16th and 29th place results.

Mark Martin- Martin is a three time winner at Dover, most recently in 1999. In the last ten Dover Cup races Martin has scored eight top 10s.

Jeff Gordon- Gordon has four Dover victories with the most recent in 2000 and is seven for 10 for top 10 finishes in the last ten races run at the Monster Mile.

Jimmie Johnson- 25th and 33rd place finishes last year in Dover’s Busch races. I’m guessing he’ll do considerably better than that this weekend if he doesn’t wreck trying to get onto Dover’s notoriously difficult pit road.

Rusty Wallace- Wallace has won twice at Dover but has only three top 10 finishes here in the last ten Cup races.

Tony Stewart- Stewart has an enviable record at Dover never having finished outside the top 10 in his six starts to date at the Monster Mile. Completed the rare Dover season sweep with a pair of victories here in 2000. In years past this is the track that usually ignites Stewart’s summer hot streak.

Kurt Busch- Three Dover cup races with a best finish of 18th here. Not a good track to be running at if there’s people annoyed with you and there’s a lot of drivers not too happy with Kurt right now.

Ricky Rudd- Rudd has four victories at the Monster Mile, with the most recent occurring in 1997. Seven top 10 finishes in the last ten Cup races here. A good dark horse pick.

Bill Elliott- Elliott is another four time victor at Dover including the season sweep in 1988. The track hasn’t been as kind to him as of late with Bill’s last top 10s here a pair of eighth place finishes back in 1997.

Jeff Burton- In the last four Cup races at Dover Burton has been unable to crack the top 20. Four top 10 finishes in the last ten Cup races at Dover with a best of second in 1998.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.- Junior has run well here since his Busch series days where he once spun and won the race anyway. So far he’s three for four with top ten finishes at the Monster, including a win in last fall’s race and a 3rd place result in this race last year. Dale’s about due for some good luck.

Ricky Craven- Craven finished fourth here in this race last year, but hasn’t typically fared very well at all at Dover.

Michael Waltrip- Look up the word “futility” in the dictionary and there’s a picture of Mikey at Dover. 39th and 43rd here last year. But this team is on a roll right now and Dover gives them a chance to show it’s the real deal not a fluke thing. Otherwise Waltrip might end up hitchhiking back to North Carolina.

Dale Jarrett- DJ typically runs well here and won at Dover back in 1998. Seven top 10 finishes in the last ten Cup races at Dover, with six of those finishes inside the top 5.

Terry Labonte- Usually finishes somewhere in the teens at Dover lately. One top 10 in the last ten races at the Monster.

Ryan Newman- Newman finished 7th in last fall’s Busch race here, but I’m guessing he’ll run better on Friday than Sunday.

Ward Burton- This typically isn’t a good track for Ward with only one top 10 and three top 20 finishes in the last ten Winston Cup races here.

Dave Blaney- 33rd and 35th here last year. You’d have to work hard to do much worse than that.

Jimmy Spencer- Spencer has only two finishes inside the top 20 in the last 10 Cup races at the Monster.

Others to Watch-

Kyle Petty and Ken Schrader- Both drivers scored their last Winston Cup victory win here. (Schrader-1991, Petty-1995)

Kevin Harvick- Harvick finished 6th and 8th here last year in his first two stabs at Cup racing in Dover.

Bobby Labonte- Won at Dover in 1999. Prior to last year he had six straight top 5s at Dover. Good dark horse pick.

Joe Nemechek- Nemechek wrecked testing at Dover last year and missed this race. In the last three times he has started a Cup race at Dover Nemechek finished 7th.

Jerry Nadeau- Nadeau finished second in last fall’s Cup race at Dover.

Steve Park- Park finished in the top five in the last two Cup races he ran at Dover.

Related Topics:

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, 2002

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