Dover Handicaps

Matt Kenseth- Kenseth made his first Winston Cup start here filling in for Bill Elliott whose father had passed away the day before the race. While Kenseth hasn’t won here in a Cup car he did finish second in this race back in 2000.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.- Junior has won at Dover both in the Cup and Busch series. (Where in one instance he spun out trying to get to pit road and still went on to win the race.) His Winston Cup win occurred in the fall race of 2001. But last year Earnhardt was mediocre at best here with a 24th and 30th place finish.

Jeff Gordon- Gordon has won four times at Dover, most recently in this race back in 2001. (The other three wins occurred consecutively back in 1995 and 1996.) Gordon has nine top 5 finishes in twenty Cup races he’s run here to date. 37th at Dover last fall after wrecking.

Kurt Busch- Busch struggled mightily here during his 2001 rookie season but rebounded nicely with twelfth and seventh place results here last year.

Jimmie Johnson- Johnson has started two Cup races at Dover and won both of them. You can’t do much better than that. Not only did he win here last fall he pretty much stunk up the show in dominant fashion.

Bobby Labonte- Has anyone seen my old friend Bobby? After scoring seven straight top 5s at Dover between 1997 and 2000 (including a win here in 1999) Labonte hasn’t managed a top 10 finish on the white cliffs of Dover and has had two finishes of 35th or worse in those four Dover races run since. In last fall’s race Hideo Fukuyama finished better than Labonte. That’s got to leave a bruise.

Michael Waltrip- Waltrip’s last top 10 finish at Dover was eleven races ago and his last top 5 finish here was back in 1991.

Kevin Harvick- Harvick did all right here as a rookie in 2001 with a sixth and eighth place finish but he finished outside the top 25 in both races here last year.

Sterling Marlin- Marlin has a career best Dover finish of fifth (twice) and those were his only two top 5 finishes here in 34 starts at the Monster Mile.

Rusty Wallace- Rusty Wallace has won three times at Dover most recently back in 1994 when he won both races here. Wallace sat on the pole here last fall but finished 15th. He has gone four races without a top 10 at Dover coming into this weekend.

Joe Nemechek- Nemechek has a best Dover Cup finish of fourth and has finished seventh here three times including the fall race of 2001. Dead last in this race last year.

Robby Gordon- Gordon did manage an eighth place finish here in this race last year.

Mark Martin- Martin leads all drivers in career earnings at Dover and has won here three times. (Three consecutive fall races from 1997-99.) Also ran second to Johnson at Dover last fall.

Jeff Burton- Burton hasn’t won here but has finished third at Dover twice including in this race last year. Burton also finished sixth here last fall. Typically runs better than he finishes here.

Ricky Craven- Craven has managed a top 10 finish in three of the last four races he’s run at the Monster Mile including a pair of top 10s here last year.

Elliott Sadler- Sadler’s tenth place finish in this race last year was his best ever Dover result.

Terry Labonte- Labonte’s last top 10 finish at Dover was a second place result back in 1996, one of two runner up finishes Labonte has managed here though he has yet to win at the Monster Mile. Overall this track hasn’t been too good to Labonte with just eight top 10 finishes in 48 starts here.

Dale Jarrett- Jarrett typically runs pretty well here with top 5 finishes in three of the last four Dover races, and top 10 finishes in nine of the last eleven races run here. DJ’s sole Dover victory occurred in 1998.

Tony Stewart- Stewart’s 11th place finish here in this race last year was his worst ever at Dover. In eight Dover starts Stewart has won twice, finished in the top 5 a total of five times and finished in the top 10 seven times. That’s pretty phenomenal numbers. This race could be a classic shootout between Stewart and Jimmie “The New Kid In Town” Johnson, the Showdown at the Home Supply Store Corral.

Dave Blaney- Could be a sleeper this weekend. Blaney managed far and away his best finish at Dover last fall coming home 11th. His crew chief called the shots on the Busch car that won at Dover last fall and knowing how to set up a car for a concrete track is half the battle.

Others To Watch

Steve Park- Park finished second in this race last year. Even a top 5 finish this weekend would provide a huge boost to his career.

Bill Elliott- Elliott is a four time winner at Dover but that bum foot isn’t going to help his cause any.

Ryan Newman- Newman managed a pair of top 10 finishes here last year. And here’s the weird part. He didn’t sit on the pole for either race. Heck he started 38th in this race last year and finished fourth.

Related Topics:

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, 2003

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