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Last Updated Monday, Oct 3, 2005 1:15 am, EDT

MBNA RacePoints 400 (Fall)

Status: Final Dover International Speedway

Race Capsule

Dover International Speedway
  • What:

    Race 28 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit

  • Where:

    Dover International Speedway, Dover, DE

  • When:

    September 25, 2005 1:10 pm EDT

  • Laps:


  • Track Length:

    1. miles

  • Race Length:

    400.00 miles

  • Purse:


Drivers to Watch

Ryan Newman Had by far the best week of any "Chase" driver, climbing from 10th to third with his win in the Sylvania 300 that moved him within 40 points of Stewart for the lead and 20 behind second-place Biffle; after being passed with eight laps left, reclaimed the lead from Stewart with two laps to go for his first win in nearly a year; could be setting himself up for the sort of championship charge made by Busch last year as he arrives at a race where he is the two-time defending champion; win ended stretch of six races where he finished no better than 12th; leads the circuit with five poles; ran eighth after starting fourth here in the MBNA RacePoints 400 in June.
Jimmie Johnson Dropped two spots to sixth after running eighth at the Sylvania 300 and is 53 points off the pace; it was his first single-digit finish in five races since placing fifth at Watkins Glen last month; appears to be in the throes of his annual late-season stumble that has cost him series championships in each of the last two years; has won twice this season but not since the Coca-Cola 600 in May; won this race in 2002 and finished 10th last year; won the pole but finished fourth at the MBNA RacePoints 400 here this summer.
The other "graybeard" eligible for the "Chase" with Martin began pursuit of his second series title by finishing sixth in the Sylvania 300, which dropped him one spot to fourth in the standings, even with Newman and 40 points behind Stewart; the 49-year-old won his only series championship in 1989, when he edged legendary Dale Earnhardt by 12 points; in his last 12 races, has eight top-10 finishes, including five top-fives; has been running at the finish in a series-high 40 consecutive events - not bad for someone retiring at the end of the season; took this race back-to-back in the 1990s, winning in a Pontiac in 1993 and a Ford in 1994; ran fifth after starting 11th here in the MBNA RacePoints 400 in June.
Mark Martin Fell one spot to seventh in the standings after a seventh-place finish last week at New Hampshire; one of just two drivers eligible for the "Chase" who has yet to win this season, joining fellow graybeard Rusty Wallace; a four-time series runner-up who was supposed to be running his final season, but the 46-year-old agreed to drive the No. 6 Ford for Roush Racing until Jamie McMurray takes over in 2007; last week's run ended stretch of four finishes outside the top 10; has just one top-10 finish in his last 12 races; won this race three straight years from 1997-99 and was second last year; ran third after starting 12th in the MBNA RacePoints 400 here in June; holds the race record of 132.719 miles per hour set in his 1997 win.
Kurt Busch Plummeted from fifth to 10th in the standings, 142 points back, after a crash in lap 3 with Scott Riggs wrecked his Ford Taurus; confronted Riggs' crew chief after the accident, claiming Riggs should not have been on the track with a car that loose; a reversal from last year, when he won the first "Chase" race at New Hampshire and rode the momentum to his first series title; has three wins this season, including the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond two weeks ago; was fifth in this race last year and ninth in the MBNA RacePoints 400 in June. Carl Edwards -- Fell from eighth to ninth in the standings, 109 points down, after a 19th-place finish in the Sylvania 300; slumping at the wrong time, with nine placings of 12th or worse in the last 12 races; in his first full year on the Nextel Cup circuit, is one of five drivers from Roush Racing eligible to win the title but may become the team's first forgotten man should he continue to slide; also in contention for the title on the Busch circuit, where he is fourth; last driver to win the Busch title and finish in the top 10 in the Nextel Cup was Kevin Harvick in 2001.
Matt Kenseth Third-place finish at the Sylvania 300 continued his remarkable ascent in the standings over the last two-plus months; was 20th after the Pepsi 400 in July and appeared to have no chance of making the "Chase" but has had six top-five finishes since - including a win at the Sharpie 500 - to climb to fifth, 50 points behind leader Tony Stewart; the 2003 series champion managed just one top-10 finish in last year's "Chase" but has matched that total already and is one of the hottest drivers on the circuit; started 23rd and finished seventh at the MBNA RacePoints 400 here in June.
Dropped one spot to eighth in the standings, 95 points back, with his 16th-place finish in the Sylvania 300; continues to avoid trouble and stay in the hunt with 20 finishes in the top 20 in his last 24 outings; only win this year was at Michigan on August 21, which vaulted him into the "Chase"; those two elements have made him somewhat overlooked in the title chase but he has to start registering wins or top-fives to be considered a threat; has just four top-fves all year, by far the fewest of any "Chase" driver; ran seventh in this race last year and 14th in the MBNA RacePoints 400 here in June; set the qualifying mark of 161.522 mph at "The Monster Mile" in June 2004.
Greg Biffle Remained second in the standings but fell 20 points off the pace following his fourth-place finish at last week's heated Sylvania 300; rallied from a starting spot of 26th and claimed his fifth straight finish of sixth or better; tied with Tony Stewart for the circuit lead with five victories and is second with 11 top-fives; won the MBNA RacePoints 400 here in June after starting second, running away from Kyle Busch and winning by 4.281 seconds.
Tony Stewart Widened his standings lead from five to 20 points after a second-place finish at last week's Sylvania 300; appeared to be on his way to his sixth win of the season, but front end trouble allowed him to be caught and passed by Ryan Newman with two laps to go; nevertheless, recorded his 13th straight top-10 finish, two more than Biffle for the series lead; had a career-high six wins in 2000, including this race; tracking his second series title, having also won it all in 2002; ran 15th here at the MBNA RacePoints 400 in June; was 29th the following race at Pocono but has not been out of the top 10 since.