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Last Updated Sunday, Jul 9, 2006 1:28 am, EDT

Race Capsule

Daytona International Speedway
  • What:

    Race 19 of 38 on Sprint Cup circuit

  • Where:

    Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL

  • When:

    July 1, 2006 7:55 pm EDT

  • Laps:

    160

  • Track Length:

    2.5 miles

  • Race Length:

    400.00 miles

  • Purse:

    $6,074,820

Drivers to Watch

Tony Stewart The defending champion of this event when he led for 151 laps, also won the pole for last year's event; was 28th at California last week, falling to seventh in the standings; defending series champion persevered through a right shoulder injury to finish third at Pocono, his seventh top-five finish this season; crashed in both the Nextel and Busch races at Charlotte and suffered from a fractured right scapula; crashed in lap 30 at Coca-Cola 600 and finished 42nd; was runner-up to Johnson at Talladega, his second straight second-place finish; won his first race of the season at Martinsville; had the dominant car at Bristol before fading late for a 12th-place finish; placed fifth at Atlanta to rebound from a disappointing finish at Las Vegas; captured one of his five checkered flags last season at this event.
Jeff Gordon Continued his dominance on road courses by winning last week at California; it was the first victory in the last 20 races for Gordon, whose previous best finish this year was a second at the season-opening Daytona 500; the four-time Nextel Cup champion has been obscured this season by Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson, who is the series points leader; has six career wins at Daytona, including capturing this event in (1995, 1998 and 2004); climbed to eighth in the standings with 1,986 points; leads all active drivers with six total wins at Daytona.
Denny Hamlin Finished 12th at California; has run inside the top 10 in five of his last eight races, is 11th in the standings with 1,936 points; leads Clint Bowyer for first place in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings; won his first Nextel Race earlier this year at Pocono; was runner-up to Earnhardt at Richmond and won the season-opening Budweiser Shootout, a non-points event; won the Telcel Motorola Mexico 200, a Busch Series road-course race, on March 5 in Mexico City.
Jimmie Johnson Has a series-leading 13 top-10 finishes; ran 10th last week at California; ran second at Coca-Cola 600 and won the Nextel All-Star Challenge to continue his early dominance of the circuit; leads the standings with 2,434 points, 101 ahead of Matt Kenseth; captured the checkered flag at the Aaron's 499 to retake the standings lead from Kenseth; ran seventh at Phoenix and fell to second in the standings for just the second time in nine weeks this season; absolutely dominated the circuit over the first six races, registering two victories among five finishes inside the top six; won the season-opening Daytona 500 and captured the checkered flag two weeks later at Las Vegas; was sixth in this event last year.
Matt Kenseth After three straight top-five finishes, has been 13th and 17th the last two weeks; still is second in the standings, 101 points behind Johnson; leads the circuit with nine top-10 finishes; was 17th last week at California; struggled to a 24th-place finish at Martinsville after crashing on a restart in the 493rd lap; appeared primed for a victory at Bristol before being bumped by Kurt Busch in lap 495 and fading to third; finished ninth in this event last year.
Greg Biffle Registered his seventh straight top-10 finish Sunday in the Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway in California; is ninth in the Nextel Cup Standings with 1,967 points; defending series runner-up captured his first victory of the season at the Dodge Charger 500 at Darlington Raceway on May 13; struggled over the first nine races this season, registering just two top-10 finishes; ran a disappointing 36th here last year; won this event in 2003.
Kyle Busch Placed 11th last week at California; remained 12th in the standings with 1,925 points; bounced back nicely from disappointing 38th-place finish at Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte by placing fifth at Dover; ran seventh at Darlington to register his second consecutive top-10 finish; has four top-five finishes and seven top-10s; finished inside the top 12 in five straight races from February 26-April 2; reigning Raybestos Rookie of the Year struggled to 31st-place finish in this event last season.
Mark Martin Is fourth in the standings, 321 points behind Johnson; has eight top 10s and a pair of top-five finishes this year; won the Auto Club 500 at California and the Neighborhood 400 in Dover; was 13th at California last week; finished 39th here last year.
Carl Edwards Has rebounded nicely from a slow start this season, registering seven top-10 finishes in his last 10 starts; was sixth at California last week to remain 13th in the standings; was involved in an accident here last year and finished 33rd.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Never was factor last week at California en route to a 26th-place finish; fell to fifth in the standings with 2,105 points; captured the checkered flag at Richmond, his first victory of the season that snapped a string of 27 starts without a victory; has placed inside the top 15 in 12 of 16 races this season; was third year last year behind Tony Stewart and Jamie McMurray.
Kasey Kahne Followed up his second win of the season with a 31st-place finish last week at California; is third in the standings, 313 points; leads the series with four wins; registered his second consecutive seventh-place finish at Pocono and captured the checkered flag at the Coca-Cola 600; rebounded nicely from three consecutive runs outside the top 20; has registered six top-five finishes and 10 top-10s this season; won the Samsung/RadioShack 500 to record his third career victory; also visited Victory Lane at Atlanta after registering consecutive fourth-place finishes at California and Las Vegas; led for three laps and finished 16th here last year.
Jeff Burton Finished seventh last week at California and is sixth in the standings with 2,034 points; has finished inside the top 10 in nine of his last 10 starts, including a fourth-place finish at Dover on June 4; also ran fourth at Talladega on May 1; placed 11th here last year; won the 2000 event.