Bowyer’s best shot now is an appeal

An elimination format hits the Chase after all, albeit it in the form of a penalty. Minus the 150 points, Clint Bowyer’s win at New Hampshire turns into the equivalent of a 39th- place finish. Unfortunately for Bowyer, there’s no coming back from that.

Each Wednesday during the Chase, Yahoo! Sports breaks down the 12-driver field. This week the Chase rolls into Dover International Speedway, where Kyle Busch won earlier this season, for Race No. 2 of the Chase.

Here is a look at how the field stacks up heading into Sunday’s AAA 400:

5230 pts.
Hamlin

This is the most crucial race of the Chase for Hamlin, as Dover’s one of his worst tracks. If he can escape with even a top-15 finish, he’ll be in the driver’s seat.
Last week’s result: 2nd

2010 STATS
WinsTop 5sPoles
6 11 1
CAREER
AT DOVER
Avg. finish:22.8
Last time:4th
REMAINING TRACKS
Best: Martinsville (6.6)
Worst: Dover (22.8)
Total avg.: 15.1
5185 pts. (-45)
Harvick

It won’t matter if he finishes behind Hamlin as long as he keeps posting top 10s, which is what he’s better at right now than anyone.
Last week’s result: 5th

2010 STATS
WinsTop 5sPoles
3 12 2
CAREER
AT DOVER
Avg. finish:17.4
Last time:7th
REMAINING TRACKS
Best: Homestead-Miami (8.4)
Worst: Charlotte (20.7)
Total avg.: 15.7
3. Kyle Busch
5168 pts. (-62)
Kyle Busch

He may be off the radar right now, but that could change in a hurry with a win at Dover, where he goes in as a favorite.
Last week’s result: 9th

2010 STATS
WinsTop 5sPoles
3 8 2
CAREER
AT DOVER
Avg. finish:15.5
Last time:1st
REMAINING TRACKS
Best: Auto Club (10.8)
Worst: Homestead-Miami (25.2)
Total avg.: 18.1
5155 pts. (-75)
Gordon

Once one of his best tracks, Dover hasn’t been too friendly to Gordon as of late. He has led laps there in just four of the past 13 races.
Last week’s result: 6th

2010 STATS
WinsTop 5sPoles
0 10 0
CAREER
AT DOVER
Avg. finish:12.1
Last time:11th
REMAINING TRACKS
Best: Kansas (8.9)
Worst: Talladega (16.7)
Total avg.: 11.8
5144 pts. (-86)
Kurt Busch

It’s a survival weekend for Busch the elder. He’s either really good at Dover or really bad. Which way will he go?
Last week’s result: 13th

2010 STATS
WinsTop 5sPoles
2 8 2
CAREER
AT DOVER
Avg. finish:19.6
Last time:19th
REMAINING TRACKS
Best: Talladega (12.8)
Worst: Martinsville (21.6)
Total avg.: 16.9
5133 pts. (-92)
Johnson

Expect Double J and Chad Knaus to flex their muscles this weekend. Remember: He led the most laps at Dover back in May.
Last week’s result: 25th

2010 STATS
WinsTop 5sPoles
5 10 2
CAREER
AT DOVER
Avg. finish:10.2
Last time:16th
REMAINING TRACKS
Best: Martinsville (4.9)
Worst: Talladega (17.8)
Total avg.: 9.7
5135 pts. (-95)
Edwards

Has finished third or better in five of 12 starts at Dover. He won’t dominate but he should be near the front at the end.
Last week’s result: 11th

2010 STATS
WinsTop 5sPoles
0 6 2
CAREER
AT DOVER
Avg. finish:7.9
Last time:8th
REMAINING TRACKS
Best: Dover (7.9)
Worst: Talladega (22.5)
Total avg.: 13.1
5122 pts. (-108)
Biffle

He’s surprisingly good at The Monster Mile. This is one of the races in the Chase where Biffle needs to make up ground on the competition.
Last week’s result: 17th

2010 STATS
WinsTop 5sPoles
1 5 0
CAREER
AT DOVER
Avg. finish:10.5
Last time:6th
REMAINING TRACKS
Best: Kansas (9.0)
Worst: Martinsville (22.3)
Total avg.: 16.5
5188 pts. (-112)
Burton

Has to be thinking “what if” as he heads to Dover. If this was his best shot at a title, it probably went out the window when he ran out of gas at New Hampshire.
Last week’s result: 15th

2010 STATS
WinsTop 5sPoles
0 5 0
CAREER
AT DOVER
Avg. finish:15.9
Last time:2nd
REMAINING TRACKS
Best: Phoenix (11.4)
Worst: Kansas (18.6)
Total avg.: 15.6
5106 pts. (-124)
Stewart

There will be no New Hampshire hangover for Smoke. Instead, expect a driver who grinds for 400 laps. He’ll be fun to watch.
Last week’s result: 24th

2010 STATS
WinsTop 5sPoles
1 7 2
CAREER
AT DOVER
Avg. finish:11.9
Last time:9th
REMAINING TRACKS
Best: Dover (11.4)
Worst: Auto Club (14.9)
Total avg.: 13.1
5094 pts. (-136)
Kenseth

Like Biffle, Dover is a good track for Kenseth, who absolutely needs a top 10 if he has any shot at getting back in contention.
Last week’s result: 23rd

2010 STATS
WinsTop 5sPoles
0 5 0
CAREER
AT DOVER
Avg. finish:12.7
Last time:3rd
REMAINING TRACKS
Best: Auto Club (9.1)
Worst: Homestead-Miami (19.8)
Total avg.: 15.8
12. Clint Bowyer
5045 pts. (-185)
Bowyer

His best hope now is through the appeal process, though that’s a long shot. NASCAR rarely overturns penalties. Still, RCR will try. It’s Bowyer’s only shot.
Last week’s result: 1st

2010 STATS
WinsTop 5sPoles
1 5 0
CAREER
AT DOVER
Avg. finish:14.7
Last time:17th
REMAINING TRACKS
Best: Kansas (11.0)
Worst: Talladega (21.4)
Total avg.: 15.1