Idriver Handicaps:/I Infineon

This weekend the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series hits the road for the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway. As a preview to the race, RacingOne brings you our weekly detailed look at some of the field, including stats, notes and driver's quotes for the 110-lap event.

1. Jimmie Johnson (Points: 2173): Johnson captured his best finish (fifth) at Infineon Raceway in his third start at the track last year. In his previous two starts, he finished 17th and 35th giving him an average finish of 19.0. Johnson, who has yet to lead a lap at Infineon, will race chassis No. 48233 in the Dodge/Save Mart 350. This is the same car that raced in both road course events in 2004.

Quotable: "We're definitely in championship form. It's nice to be in race-winning form every week like we were last year and started off this season, so we want to be back in that area."

2. Greg Biffle (Points: 2124): Biffle scored career bests at Infineon Raceway last season with a seventh-place starting position and a 13th-place finish. He will be back in the 2004 Infineon chassis (RK-260) with the National Guard/Post-It paint scheme this weekend. On Sunday, the No. 16 team will arrive and depart the track in a National Guard CH 47 Chinook Helicopter.

Quotable: "I like road course racing. It breaks up the season a little. Last year we had a decent finish at Infineon and I think it's reasonable to shoot for a top-10 finish this weekend."

3. Elliott Sadler (Points: 1923): Sunday will mark Sadler's seventh start at Infineon Raceway. He has two top-10 finishes with a best of sixth in the 2002 race. Sadler, who has led once at Infineon for three laps (2001), tested at Virginia International Raceway and the Bondurant school in Phoenix in preparation for the Dodge/Save Mart 350. He has an 18.5 finishing average at Infineon.

Quotable: "Road courses haven't necessarily been our strength so we tested VIR, not just to help the car but the driver as well."

4. Carl Edwards (Points: 1914): Edwards is making his first NEXTEL Cup Series road course start on Sunday. He finished third in his first NASCAR road course race at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in the Busch Series in March. Edwards, who will once again travel long distance to pull double duty, will be behind the wheel of chassis No. RK-252. This car finished ninth at Infineon and 12th at Watkins Glen last season with driver Jeff Burton. The No. 99 will return in the Office Depot colors.

Quotable: "We plan on practicing and qualifying on Friday at Sonoma then flying to Milwaukee for the Busch race. It's going to be a long weekend but I think we'll be good in both cars."

5. Mark Martin (Points: 1904) Martin won the 1997 race at Infineon Raceway from the pole, which is his only win and pole position at the 1.99-mile track. He has finished in the top 10 in 13 of 16 races. Last year, Martin finished eighth and led one of his career 161 laps at Infineon. His worst finish (40th) came along with his only DNF back in 1993. Martin, who has an average finish of 9.6 at Infineon, will race the same car (chassis RK-204) that raced in both road course events last season and finished a best second at Watkins Glen. Martin is currently tied with Dale Earnhardt for road course all-time top-10's with 31.

Quotable: "I grew up learning how to drive on those old winding dirt roads of Arkansas and to me that's a lot like what road course racing is like, so I've always like the road courses. The good thing about it is that the cars are a lot faster now, but the competition is pretty steep as well."

6. Tony Stewart (Points: 1862): Stewart won his first NEXTEL Cup road race and the first for Joe Gibbs Racing in this event in 2001. The next season he won his only pole at Infineon Raceway and finished second. Last year, Stewart finished 15th and led one of his career total 20 laps at the 1.99-mile track. His 9.2 finishing average is second only to Jeff Gordon. Stewart will return in the same car (chassis No. 48) that won in 2001 at Infineon and at the 2002 and 2004 races at Watkins Glen.

Quotable: "Sonoma is probably more technical than Watkins Glen because there's hardly any time where you get a chance to rest. You're always either shifting or accelerating or braking or turning or doing something."

7. Ryan Newman (Points: 1856): Newman has raced in three events at Infineon Raceway posting finishes of ninth (2002), fifth (2003) and 14th (2004). The 1.99-mile facility is one of seven tracks where Newman is yet to win a pole (13.3 starting average). He will race a brand new race car (PRS-74) this weekend.

Quotable: "I actually like road course racing. It's a good change of pace from the tracks we normally race on each weekend."

8. Rusty Wallace (Points: 1848): Even though Wallace has won twice and started on the pole twice in his 16 starts at Infineon Raceway, the 2004 NEXTEL Cup race will be one he'll want to forget. He was running fourth when he ran out of gas on the last lap. The mishap helped lead to him being out of the Chase for the Cup. He may be able to redeem himself in the Chase this year as he's eighth in the point standings, currently 325 points from the leader. At Infineon, Wallace has led 159 laps in the most races there of any active drivers (8) and has a 13.8 average finish with eight top-five's. Wallace will drive chassis No. PRS-075 with a Snap-on Tools white and red paint scheme in his last trip to the 1.99-mile track.

Quotable: "With all the wineries, great things to see and do and all the super restaurants and places to stay, it's always been one of our favorite stops on the circuit."

9. Kurt Busch (Points: 1813): Busch finished fourth in this event in 2002. In his other three starts he has finished 23rd or worse. Busch will race a brand new chassis (No. 69) and it will have the Crown Royal Colors on it for the third time this season.

Quotable: "You do have to put a lot of resources behind these two road races to build entirely different cars, so from that standpoint I wouldn't mind doing these type events maybe three or four times a year."

10. Kevin Harvick (Points: 1803): In NEXTEL Cup racing, Harvick has started four times at Infineon Raceway, with a best finish of third coming in the 2003 event. He has, however, won twice at the track, in the NASCAR West Series in 1998 and the Southwest Series in 2003. Harvick has finished in the top 15 in all four of his starts on the road course. Last year, he picked up 24 spots in the final 70 laps to salvage a 12th-place finish after an early pit road miscue. The team will bring a new car (chassis No. 154) to the track. Harvick tested the car last week at Virginia International Raceway.

Quotable: "I really enjoy road course racing. Infineon is one of the most challenging tracks I've raced on."

11. Jamie McMurray (Points: 1799): McMurray has made two starts at Infineon Raceway and finished a career best second last season. In that race, he also marked a personal best in qualifying when he qualified 11th with a lap of 93.043 mph around the 1.99-mile track. McMurray will sport the third of four Texaco/Havoline "Shine On" paint schemes this weekend. His new teammate for this race, Scott Pruett, will also run the special paint scheme. He posted identical times of 1:16.60 with Pruett when they tested at Infineon earlier this month.

12. Jeff Gordon (Points: 1767): Gordon hopes last year's dominating performance at Infineon Raceway will carry over to this year. Gordon, who sits 12th in the standings - 406 points out, led 92 of the 110 laps from the pole last June at Infineon en route to his fourth win at the 1.99-mile track. Gordon's laps led total in that event was the most ever in seven races he has held the lead there. He took victories (two from the pole) for three consecutive years from 1998 to 2000 leading a combined total of 171 laps. Gordon has finished outside the top 11 twice in 12 Infineon races. His worst finish of 37th came in 1994 (DNF) and 2002.

14. Michael Waltrip (Points: 1730): Waltrip is the only driver that has been running at the finish in all 16 races at Infineon Raceway. He finished a career-best fourth in this event last season. Waltrip has led in two races for seven laps and holds a 15.1 average finish at Infineon.

15. Dale Jarrett (Points: 1715): Jarrett's last of three top-10 finishes at Infineon Raceway came in 2000 when he finished seventh. His best finish was a fourth in 1997. Last year he finished 18th after falling out of sequence on pit stops because of a flat tire. Jarrett, who has led in three Infineon races for a total of eight laps, will race a brand new car (chassis 48) with a special "Herbie: Fully Loaded" paint scheme. This car was tested at Virginia International Raceway last week. He also joined his teammate Elliott Sadler on Monday at the Bondurant School.

16. Jeff Burton (Points: 1688): Burton has competed in 11 races at Infineon Raceway scoring three top-10 finishes. His best Infineon finish, eighth, came in 2001 with Roush Racing. This season will be Burton's first road course race with Richard Childress Racing. His crew chief Kevin Hamlin helped Robby Gordon sweep the road races in 2003. Burton tested his Infineon car (chassis No. 143), which is brand new, at Virginia International Raceway.

17. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Points: 1670): Earnhardt Jr. has finished 11th in the last two races at Infineon Raceway, his best finishes in five races at the road course. Last year he led for the first time at Infineon for nine laps. His best start came in 2003 when the Budweiser Chevrolet lined up 11th on the grid. Dale Jr. will be driving the same car (chassis No. 11) that Michael Waltrip finished fourth (started 40th - engine change) with at Infineon last season.

18. Kyle Busch (Points: 1652): Busch will be seeking his fourth-straight top-10 finish when he makes his first NEXTEL Cup Series start at Infineon Raceway. He will also run the Southwest Series race on Saturday driving the same MRG Motorsports car that won last year.

22. Brian Vickers (Points: 1484): Vickers is another driver that tested at Virginia International Raceway and the Bondurant Driving School in preparation for this weekend's race at Infineon Raceway. Last year he started 39th and finished 22nd in his first start at the 1.99-mile track.

25. Casey Mears (Points: 1408): Mears scored his first top 10 at Infineon Raceway last year with a seventh-place finish. After qualifying 29th, Mears and the Target team used pit strategy to gain positions on the track. Mears also led for the first time at Infineon in that event. He will race the same car (chassis No. 004) that raced last year at Sonoma and led for five circuits. Mears finished 26th in his first race at Infineon in 2003.

26. Bobby Labonte (Points: 1398): Labonte has started at Infineon Raceway 12 times, posting five top-10's. His best finish is fourth, twice, most recently in 2000. The primary car this weekend is chassis No. 86, which has been raced at the last two Watkins Glen and last year's Infineon race. The team tested at Virginia International Raceway on last week. Labonte expanded his road racing resume piloting a different car with the Grand American Rolex Series, first racing in February's Daytona race and is on the schedule to compete in three more races in 2005.

33. Ricky Rudd (Points: 1235): Rudd will be making his 855th career NEXTEL Cup start at Infineon Raceway on Sunday. His last Cup Series victory came, and second at Infineon, came in this event in 2002, 107 races ago. Rudd is the current track leader in top-five's (nine) and is tied with Jeff Gordon with four poles. He has led in seven races for 116 laps at the 1.99-mile track.

39. Robby Gordon (Points: 1466): Gordon has competed in seven races at Infineon Raceway, scoring one victory (2003) and three top-10 finishes. He led 81 laps en route to his Infineon victory and went on to sweep the road races that season. Gordon tested this weekend's car last week at Infineon. Robby Gordon Motorsports was going to enter a second car with P.J. Jones, but decided to withdraw the entry to concentrate on winning with the No. 7 Harrah's Chevrolet. Overall in 13 road course races, (Infineon and Watkins Glen) Gordon has two wins, six top-five's, led 184 laps and holds an average finish of 14.5.

42. Terry Labonte (Points: 393): Labonte has raced in all 16 events at Infineon Raceway capturing one pole, five top-five's and seven top-10's. Labonte, who posted his best Infineon finish (second) in 1992, will pilot the No. 11 FedEx Chevrolet for driver Jason Leffler this weekend.

48. Boris Said (Points: 222): Said's two top-10's at Infineon Raceway came in the last two races after he finished sixth in both events - both with MB2 Motorsports. He won his first career Cup pole in 2003 driving the No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet. Said was fastest in testing at Infineon earlier this month.

-- Scott Pruett (Points: 0): Pruett qualified sixth and finished third last year at Infineon Raceway in a fourth car for Chip Ganassi Racing. He will be back in the No. 39 Dodge for CGR for the third time in his career this weekend. His other two starts came with Andy Petree Racing (finished 12th) and Cal Wells (finished 39th). Last year was the first time Pruett lead a lap (1) since leading 10 laps in his first start in 2000, which resulted in his only DNF.

-- Ron Fellows (Points: 0): Fellows' best finish at Infineon Raceway came in his last start at the track in 2003 when he piloted the No. 1 DEI Chevrolet to a seventh-place finish. In that race, he led 21 laps and scored his best track start (third). He has won a combined five times on the Watkins Glen road course in the NASCAR Busch and Truck Series. This weekend, Fellows will drive Bobby Hamilton Jr's No. 32 Chevrolet in the Dodge/Save Mart 350. Fellows has been testing at Carolina Motorsports Park in preparation for Sunday's 110-lap event.

RacingOne Staff Picks:

Pete Pistone: Rusty Wallace
Rick Benjamin: Jeff Gordon
Ron Lemasters: Tony Stewart
Jeff Wackerlin: Boris Said

Wins: Jeff (Greg Biffle-California, Kevin Harvick-Bristol, Jeff Gordon-Martinsville), Rick (Jeff Gordon-Talladega, Greg Biffle-Michigan)

Dodge/Save Mart 350
Infineon Raceway

TV: FOX, 2:30 p.m. (ET).
Radio: PRN/XM Satellite.
Race length: 110 laps/350 kilometers, 218 miles.

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