NASCAR Preview

Last Updated Saturday, Oct 18, 2008 1:35 am, EDT

Dollar General 300

Status: Final Lowe's Motor Speedway

Race Capsule

Charlotte Motor Speedway
  • What:

    Race 33 of 37 on Nationwide circuit

  • Where:

    Lowe's Motor Speedway, Concord, NC

  • When:

    October 10, 2008 8:15 pm EDT

  • Laps:

    200

  • Track Length:

    1.5 miles

  • Race Length:

    300.00 miles

  • Purse:

    $1,302,794

Drivers to Watch

Chase Points: 5,454 (4th) Opened the Chase by running fourth at New Hampshire, ninth at Dover and seventh at Kansas; one of the circuit's most consistent drivers struggled entering the Chase; ran in the top 15 through the first 17 races, but had an average finish of 20th over last nine starts before the Chase - including just two top 10s which came at the Brickyard and Richmond; won first Bristol race for lone victory of the season; has no poles this season and a pair of DNFs; finished eighth in last season's standings, one year after placing seventh; finished in the top 10 in half of the races last season, including nine top fives; lone win of the 2007 season came in April at Texas; finished the season strong with five top 10s over the final six races; best overall finish was third in the 2000 standings; ran dead last in this race last season.
Carl Edwards Chase Points: 5,565 (2nd) Dropped from the top spot in the Chase after running second at Kansas; opened the Chase with thirds at New Hampshire and Dover; has 14 top fives and 22 top 10s; finished second to Jimmie Johnson at the Brickyard and has five runner-ups this season; was also second to Kyle Busch at Darlington, Dover and the second Daytona race; was docked 100 points and fell from the top spot in the standings after being penalized after his win at Las Vegas; victory at Texas was his 10th career Cup win; had the dominant car again at Atlanta, but blew an engine and finished 42nd; ran 19th in the Daytona 500; qualified for the Chase last year and won at Dover after placing 12th at New Hampshire, but failed post-race inspection and was docked 25 points; penalty dropped him from third to sixth in the standings and he never recovered as he eventually wound up ninth; won the 2007 NASCAR Busch Series championship and is in contention to win the title again this year; ran 14th here last year.
Clint Bowyer Chase Points: 5,411 (7th) Finished 12th at Richmond to lock up final Chase berth, then ran 12th at New Hampshire, eighth at Dover and 12th at Kansas to sit seventh in the standings; pulled off a shocking victory in the Chase opener last season from the pole last year en route to finishing a surprising third in the standings on the strength of five top-10 finishes over the Chase; has one win on the year, coming at the first Richmond race in May; in 29 starts this season has four top fives and 12 top 10s; has not earned a pole, but also has no DNFs on the year; is running double duty this season and currently tops the Nationwide Series standings by 189 points; finished 11th here last season.
Kevin Harvick Chase Points: 5,289 (5th) Has finished in the top-10 in nine straight races; started the Chase by finishing 10th at New Hampshire, sixth at Dover and sixth at Kansas; posted six top fives and 15 top 10s this season; has no poles and no DNFs on the year; entered the top-12 in the standings after Pocono in the beginning of August and has remained there for nine straight weeks; last year finished 10th in the Chase with four top-10 finishes; in 2006 finished fourth in the Chase with six top-10 finishes including wins at New Hampshire and Phoenix; took an early lead in the 2006 Chase after winning at New Hampshire from the pole, but a 32nd-place finish at Dover knocked him out of the top spot; ran 20th in this race last year.
Jimmie Johnson Chase Points: 5,575 (1st) Two-time reigning series champion barely missed out on third straight win after being passed by Greg Biffle in the closing laps at New Hampshire, settling for second; followed with fifth at Dover and a win at Kansas to take over first place in the Chase; entered the Chase with momentum after winning the past two races at California and Richmond; also has wins at Phoenix and the Brickyard; in 29 starts has 12 top fives and 21 top 10s to go along with four poles and just a single DNF; battled teammate Jeff Gordon for the top spot in the Chase early last season, then took off - winning four straight races over the second half of the Chase; finished last season with 10 wins, 20 top fives, 24 top 10s, yet failed to finish four races; in 2006 he came back from ninth early in the Chase to win the championship with six top 10s which included a win at Martinsville and four second-place finishes; finished fifth in the 2005 standings and second in 2004, eight points behind Kurt Busch; ran second here to Gordon last October.
Kyle Busch Chase Points: 5,264 (12th) Championship hopes all but vanished after more engine troubles at Kansas relegated him to a 28th-place finish; blew an engine at Dover and finished 43rd to fall to last place in the Chase; began the Chase with a broken sway bar at New Hampshire that dropped him to a 34th-place finish; first season at Joe Gibbs Racing has seen him win eight races and post 15 top fives and 17 top 10s; had held on to the top spot for 17 consecutive weeks; win at Watkins Glen gave him a sweep of the road courses following victory at Sonoma in June; prior to win at the Glen had "slumped" with a 15th at the Brickyard and 36th at Pocono; also ran dead last at the first Pocono race; has wins at Atlanta, Talladega, Darlington, Dover and the second Daytona race; runner-up finish at Richmond was marred by a late-race incident with Dale Earnhardt Jr.; had the dominant car and led the most laps at the Daytona 500; is building off a solid run at Hendrick Motorsports in his move to JGR and Toyota; finished fifth in the final 2007 standings after qualifying for the Chase for the second consecutive season; ran 36th in this race last season.