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Last Updated Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 5:27 pm, EDT

Race Capsule

New Hampshire Motor Speedway
  • What:

    Race 19 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit

  • Where:

    New Hampshire International Speedway, Loudon, NH

  • When:

    July 20, 2003 2:00 pm EDT

  • Laps:

    300

  • Track Length:

    1.058 miles

  • Race Length:

    317.00 miles

  • Purse:

    $4,589,644

Drivers to Watch

Matt Kenseth Finished 12th in Sunday's Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway and kept top position in series standings for 15th straight week; was just second finish outside the top 10 in the last nine races; entered Chicago with a 180-point lead over Earnhardt Jr. and departed with a 165-point lead over Gordon; posted top-10 finishes in two of last three starts at the track; finished fourth in the fall of 2001 and 10th in last season's fall race; qualified a personal best of sixth in this race last year and led 77 laps.
Jimmie Johnson Snapped out of a recent slump with a third-place finish at Chicago; ended a run of five consecutive races without a top-10 finish; remained sixth in points and along with Michael Waltrip, are only drivers among top 10 all season; has been in the top 10 for 51 consecutive weeks, the longest current streak in series; finished among the top 15 in two appearances at New Hampshire, both in last year's rookie season; was 15th in the New England 300, followed by a ninth-place finish in the fall.
Jeff Gordon Fourth-place finish at Chicago was third top-five effort in the last four races (3rd at Michigan, 2nd at Sonoma); moved from third to second place ahead of Earnhardt Jr.; sliced deficit on leader Kenseth from 203 points to 165; has been situated among top five in the championship for 11 straight races; a three-time winner at New Hampshire, has 10 top-10 finishes in 16 career starts; total was boosted by an impressive run of eight successive top-10s, which included seven in the top five and two wins, from the fall of 1997 to the July event of 2001; all-time leader in laps led at New Hampshire with 912, 317 more than Jeff Burton; 29th in last season's New England 300; on the qualifying side, has won three poles, the most among active drivers; won from pole in 1998, making him one of only two drivers to do so at New Hampshire.
Kevin Harvick Two-time defending champion of the Tropicana 400 finished 17th at Chicago, enough for a one-position jump to seventh; that is highest rank since sixth after race at Martinsville in April; at last season's midpoint, was ranked 28th; owns two top-10 finishes in four appearances at New Hampshire, and both have come in the New England 300; finished eighth in 2001 and ninth last season after starting 24th in both events.
Tony Stewart Defending Winston Cup champion was runner-up to Ryan Newman at Chicago and broke back into the top 10 standings (eighth) for first time since mid-April; was as low as 20th but made it back on the strength of four top-10 finishes - including a win at Pocono - in the last six races; could make further move this week at Loudon, where has five top-five finishes in eight career starts, including a 2000 win in this event.
Bobby Labonte Accident that led to a 36th at Chicago was only the second time in the last 10 races he finished outside the top 10; only other miss during the recent run was 17th at Pocono; fourth in points for sixth consecutive race week, 69 points behind Earnhardt Jr.; is 327 points behind Kenseth; has been strong at New Hampshire with seven top-10 efforts, including four top-fives in last nine starts; was 13th in last season's New England 300; best finish at New Hampshire was second in the fall of 2000; one of four drivers who has started in all 16 races at New Hampshire and avoided a DNF (Dale Jarrett, Sterling Marlin and Mark Martin are the others).
Kurt Busch Finished 39th at Chicago due to engine problems for fourth finish of 28th or worse in the last five races; cost him two positions in the points to ninth; spent 14 race weeks in the top 10 but lost three spots in the last three races; struggled in his first two appearances at New Hampshire, finishing 21st (spring) and 42nd (fall), but rebounded in 2002 with a pair of top-10 finishes; was eighth in last season's New England 300, followed with a runner-up performance in the fall; also qualified a personal best of sixth in the fall and led the seven laps.
Jeff Burton With four total wins at Loudon to date, has won more races at the one-mile oval than any other Winston Cup driver; most recent win was in the fall of 2000 when he led every lap (300); "I'm not sure why that is (success), but we've always managed to find the right set up and have good race cars," he said. "I like the track and look forward to racing there this weekend." Also has garnered seven top-five finishes in 16 starts at the track.
Michael Waltrip One of two racers to be among top 10 all season; a fourth-place result at Chicago was second top-five in last four races; maintained fifth in the standings; recorded just two top-10 finishes in 16 career starts at New Hampshire, but his personal best of eighth at the venue came last September; finished 20th in last season's New England 300.
Finished 18th or lower in last three races after 21st at Michigan; one of two drivers in top 10 without victory so far this season; a year ago at this stage was points leader; has just one top-10 finish in last 13 starts at New Hampshire; was 14th in last season's New England 300, just his second finish among the top 15.