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Last Updated Sunday, Jul 15, 2007 2:11 am, EDT

Race Capsule

Daytona International Speedway
  • What:

    Race 21 of 41 on Sprint Cup circuit

  • Where:

    Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL

  • When:

    July 7, 2007 8:20 pm EDT

  • Laps:

    160

  • Track Length:

    2.5 miles

  • Race Length:

    400.00 miles

  • Purse:

    $6,202,439

Drivers to Watch

Jimmie Johnson Like teammate Jeff Gordon, Johnson responded well to his first race without suspended crew chief Chad Knaus, running fifth last week at New Hampshire; climbed one spot to fourth in the standings but still trails Gordon by 381 points; has posted victories this season at Las Vegas, Atlanta, Martinsville and Richmond; despite collecting nine top-five finishes, has been hurt by three finishes outside the top 35; struggled to 32nd place in this event last season.
Jeff Gordon Thrived in his first race without suspended crew chief Steve Letarte, finishing second last week at New Hampshire and nearly catching race winner Denny Hamlin; still owns a comfortable 156-point cushion atop the series standings despite being docked 100 points last week for failing post-qualifying inspections at Sonoma, where he ran seventh; has four checkered flags this season and 79 career, just four shy of tying Cale Yarborough for fifth place all-time; reached a landmark milestone at Talladega, recording his 77th career victory to pass the late Dale Earnhardt for sixth all-time; has completely dominated the circuit this season and is on pace to capture his fifth career title, leading the series in poles (6), top-five finishes (11) and top-10s (15); crashed in this event last season en route to a 40th-place finish; a three-time winner of this event and a six-time winner at this track, he ran 10th in this year's Daytona 500.
Matt Kenseth Rebounded from recent struggles to finish ninth at New Hampshire; ran 34th and 42nd, respectively, over the previous two races but still is third in the standings, 365 points behind Gordon; captured his only victory of the season in the campaign's second race at California; has six top-five finishes and 11 top-10s this season; ran fifth in this event last season.
Tony Stewart Has finished in the top 10 in seven of his last nine races but ran 12th last week at New Hampshire; is sixth in the standings but trails Gordon by 428 points; has yet to record a win this season and collected just four top-five finishes over the first 17 races this season; one of the circuit's most inconsistent drivers, collecting 11 top-10 finishes while placing 25th or worse in the other five events; has won this race each of the last two seasons.
Jeff Burton Finished seventh last Sunday at New Hampshire but fell one spot to fifth in the standings; ran third at Sonoma to end a slide of four consecutive finishes outside the top 10; trails series points leader Jeff Gordon by 383 points; has six top-five finishes and nine top-10s this season; captured his first victory of the season at Texas; ran 15th in this race but finished third in the season-opening Daytona 500 at this track.
Denny Hamlin Benefited from a late pit gamble at New Hampshire to win his first race of the season and third career; pulled within 156 points of Gordon and owns a comfortable cushion for second place in the standings; has avoided the sophomore slump by finishing out of the top-10 just three times in the past 13 races; has seven top-five finishes and 11 top-10s this season; finished second at Darlington and has four third-place finishes at Las Vegas, Martinsville, Phoenix and Richmond; finished 17th in this event last season.