October 8, 2003 | 2:16 P.M. EST
Kevin Harvick- Harvick finished second here in his first Cup start at Charlotte and eighth in the fall race that same year. In the three Charlotte Cup races run since he has not finished inside the top 10.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.- Junior has won the Winston but hasn’t scored a Cup points win at Charlotte. His best results here in points races are a pair of fourth place finishes. Earnhardt has DNFs in his last two outings here.
Ryan Newman- Newman struggled in his first three Cup races at Charlotte but has finished eighth and fifth in his last two stabs at the joint. You want to bet against him?
Jimmie Johnson- Johnson has taken to Charlotte like an Irishman takes to beer of March 17th. He won here this spring and probably would have had another win here last year had he not missed his pit stall while leading the race. Johnson has top ten finishes in three out of his four Cup starts at Charlotte.
Jeff Gordon- Gordon leads all drivers in career earnings at Charlotte and has won here four times, most recently in this race in 1999. Has top 10 finishes in six of his last eleven points race starts here.
Bobby Labonte- Labonte has won here twice most recently in this race back in 2000. He has ten top 5 finishes in 20 career points starts here including a third place result here this May.
Tony Stewart- Stewart hasn’t won at Charlotte but did finish second here in this race back in 2001. His miserable 40th place finish here in May snapped a streak of five straight top 10 finishes in points races at Lowes.
Kurt Busch- In six career starts in points races at Charlotte Busch has never finished in the top 10 though he has finished twelfth twice. Can I have my driver medium well done this weekend? You want fries with that?
Terry Labonte- Labonte won this race back in 1996. But he’s been Terrible Labonte here lately with no top 10 finishes in his last eleven points races at Charlotte.
Michael Waltrip- Microphone Waltrip had stunk up the joint in points races at Charlotte but did win a Winston here. In his last three points starts Waltrip has finished eighth, eleventh and sixth here, so maybe he’ll surprise some people.
Robby Gordon- Still looking for a top 10 here in a point race.
Bill Elliott- Elliott has won two points races at Charlotte most recently back in 1987 when Brian Vickers was still trying to figure out which end of a pacifier went into his mouth. The track hasn’t been as kind to Elliott as of late with just one top 10 finish and no top 5s in his last eleven Cup starts here. But wouldn’t it be wickedly ironic if he beat Ryan Newman by stretching a tank of gas at the end of the race here this weekend?
Rusty Wallace- Wallace has also won here twice, most recently in the 600 miler back in 1990. Wallace has finished twelfth or better in his last four points race starts at Charlotte including a fifth place result in this race last year.
Jeff Burton- Burton has also won here twice, most recently in the 2001 600. Burton is hot and cold here with six top 10 finishes in his last eleven points race starts at Lowes. Burton also won last fall’s Busch race here.
Mark Martin- Martin scored his most recent career victory here in last year’s World 600, one of four career points victories he’s enjoyed at Lowes. Martin also has top 10 finishes in eight of his last eleven starts here but he could really use a good run right now. Like the song in the Cadillac ad goes, “It’s been a long time…..”
Jamie McMurray- McMurray set the stock car world on its ear by winning this race last year in what was only his second career Cup start. Reality intruded a bit with a 25th place finish here this spring.
Greg Biffle- Biffle was runner up in last spring’s Busch race here but struggled home sixteenth in his first Lowes career Cup start here this spring. Needs to get back up on the stick if he’s to have any chance at this year’s Rookie of Year honors.
Ward Burton- Burton has never won here but did finish second in the 1998 600. His tenth place result here in May was one of four top 10 finishes in his last six points races at Lowes.
Jeremy Mayfield- Mayfield wrecked and finished dead last here in May. He hasn’t had a top 10 finish (and hasn’t even been close) in his last three Cup points starts here but prior to that he had four straight top 10 finishes at Lowes in points races including a second place run in this race in 2000. Will the real Jeremy Mayfield please stand up?
Others To Watch-
Dale Jarrett- Jarrett has three career Cup victories at Charlotte.
Ken Schrader- Schrader won this race in 1989.
Sterling Marlin- Marlin won and dominated this race in 2001.