Iracingone Rewind: Dover/I

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RACE STATS

Time of Race: 3 hours, 15 minutes, 43 seconds
Average Speed: 122.626 mph
Margin of Victory: 4.281 Seconds
Caution Flags: 7 for 33 laps; Laps 14-16 (Debris); 36-39 (Debris); 42-45 (#24,21 accident turn 2); 118-122 (Debris); 137-145 (#07,49,22,40 accident backstretch); 208-211 (Debris); 286-289 (#9 accident frontstretch).

Lead Changes: 9 among 5 drivers: J. Johnson 1-14; R. Gordon 15-22; E. Sadler 23-39; K. Busch 40-87; E. Sadler 88-145; K. Busch 146-187; E. Sadler 188-240; G. Biffle 241-374; J. Johnson 375-384; G. Biffle 385-400.

INSIDE LINE
Before an estimated crowd of 150,000, Greg Biffle won the MBNA RacePoints 400, posting his seventh NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series victory and his fourth in 2005. Prior to the green flag, the following drivers, under penalty, dropped to the rear of the field for the reasons indicated: #41 Mears (engine change);# 7 Gordon (driver change).

KEYS TO VICTORY LANE
Biffle took the lead on lap 241 and never looked back on his way to his series-leading fourth victory of the year.

HIGHWAY TO HELL
Tony Stewart didn’t make Jeff Gordon’s day in his sponsor’s backyard enjoyable when he ran over him on lap 41, sending the four-time champ into the wall and picking up an innocent Ricky Rudd along the way.

ZERO TO HERO
Brian Vickers didn’t make too many friends with some questionable driving at Charlotte the last two weeks. But after starting back in the 27th position, Vickers drove his way, cleanly, to the front of the field to score a sixth place finish.

HERO TO ZERO
Kasey Kahne’s fortunes have been less than stellar since his win at Richmond. Kahne crashed on the backstretch on Sunday and wound up finishing 35th.

ROOKIE OF THE RACE
Kyle Busch has been one of the hottest drivers in NASCAR the last two weekend’s and on the heels of his truck series win on Saturday, turned in an impressive run on Sunday leading 90 laps and holding off Mark Martin to finish second.

PIT STOPS
  • This marked the sixth victory for Ford in 2005. Chevrolet also has six and Dodge has one.
    • It marked Biffle’s fourth victory in 2005, the most of any driver this season. He also won at California, Texas and Darlington.
    • Biffle remained second in the NASCAR NEXTEL CUP point standings, 46 behind of first-place Jimmie Johnson
    • Biffle led two times for 150 laps including the final 16
    • Biffle scored his first victory in six races at Dover International Speedway. It was second top-10 finish in six races at Dover
    • Biffle has scored nine top-10 finishes in 13 races this season, second only to Johnson with 10.
    • Biffle scored the fifth victory for car owner Jack Roush at Dover International Speedway. (Mark Martin scored the other four)) This was Roush’s 80th victory as a car owner and sixth in 13 races this season.
    • Kyle Busch (second) posted his first top-10 finish in his first race at Dover International Speedway. Busch scored his fourth top-10 finish in 2005. He climbed from 22nd to 19th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
    • Kyle Busch has scored four top-five finishes in his last six races on NASCAR top three series. He won the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and NASCAR Busch Series races at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. He finished 25th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at Lowe’s. He won the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Dover, finished 36th in the NASCAR Busch Series race and finished second in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race.
    • Mark Martin (third) posted his 23rd top-10 finish in his 38th race at Dover International Speedway. He scored his sixth top-10 finish in 13 races in 2005. He climbed from 12th to sixth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings.
    • Jimmie Johnson (fourth) posted his fifth top-10 finish in seven races at Dover International Speedway. He scored his 10th top-10 finish in 2005, more than any other driver.
    • Rusty Wallace (fifth) scored his 21st top-10 finish in 43 races at Dover International Speedway. Wallace has scored six top-10 finishes in 2005. He climbed from 11th to seventh in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. Wallace extended a 26-race streak of running at the finish that began at Bristol last August, the longest active streak.
    • Six of the top-10 positions in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings changed at Dover.
    • Dale Earnhardt Jr. (22nd) remained 15th in the point standings, 418 points behind point leader Jimmie Johnson.
    • Elliott Sadler led 128 of the 400 laps in today’s race. He had led only 49 laps in the first 12 races this season. This is the most laps that Sadler has led in a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race in his career.
    • Thirteen drivers remain within 400 points of current point leader Jimmie Johnson.
    • Jeff Gordon (39th) posted his fifth DNF in 2005. He now has more DNFs than in all of 2004 when he had four. This is the most DNFs since his 1999 season when he had seven. Gordon dropped from fifth to 11th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup point standings. He is now 350 points behind point leader Johnson.
    • The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Leader Bonus will be worth $20,000 at Pocono Raceway.

    LUG NUTS
  • Good to see Robby Gordon lead a few laps early on Sunday. Rumor has Jenny Craig signing on as a sponsor in the coming weeks. And Robby probably lost a few pounds in the Baja 500 if he sampled some of the water down Mexico way.
  • You have to wonder if NASCAR was sending a message to Tony Stewart’s less-than-gentle day of driving when they caught him for speeding on pit road during the final pit stop. The Home Depot Chevrolet sure had a bullseye for the guy to point the radar gun at on that trip down pit road.
  • Thankfully the management at Dover shortened its races to 400 miles a few years ago from the endless 500-mile events at “The Monster Mile.” And it has proved to make for a better race. Anyone at Pocono listening?
  • NASCAR has decided not to exercise its option for FOX’s contract to extend past the 2006 season, but that doesn’t mean anything except all the new network deals will be on the same timeline now. Expect the “Sexiest Driver” promotion to continue for many more years folks.
  • Concrete race tracks still look funny on TV.
  • Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finished 22nd. Michael Waltrip was 15th. You get the feeling their next television appearance together won’t be on a commercial but on “Dr. Phil.”

    GARAGE TALK

    "If somebody does something to Jeff, it's always their fault. Jeff's always whining like that.
    Tony Stewart

    “I guarantee that next time Tony's in my way, it won't take but about a half a lap for him to be out of my way.
    Jeff Gordon.


    RACING ONE RATING
    On our scale of one to ten blocks of ice on a hot summer’s day...we'll give this one six. Not the worst race we’ve ever seen at Dover but certainly nothing that will stick in anyone’s mind for any period of time. The Roush-Hendrick domination continues and Biffle looks like this year’s Roush contender for the championship and a possible three-peat for the team. Next up, a trip to a great place to honeymoon but not to race, Pocono International Raceway, for the first of two (explain this to us) trips in 2005. Guarantee the new network contract will make Pocono’s management cut these endless races to 400 miles, but for now it’s a little racing and a little napping come Sunday.
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