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Last Updated Saturday, Oct 22, 2005 2:03 am, EDT

Dollar General 300

Status: Final Lowe's Motor Speedway

Race Capsule

Charlotte Motor Speedway
  • What:

    Race 33 of 37 on XFINITY circuit

  • Where:

    Lowe's Motor Speedway, Concord, NC

  • When:

    October 14, 2005 8:00 pm EDT

  • Laps:

    200

  • Track Length:

    1.5 miles

  • Race Length:

    300.00 miles

  • Purse:

    $1,177,422

Drivers to Watch

Jimmie Johnson Hurdled from a season-low sixth to first in the standings by winning the MBNA RacePoints 400 at Dover last week; led xxx laps and held off Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kyle Busch for his third win of the season and first since the Coca-Cola 600 in May; holds a seven-point lead over veteran Rusty Wallace as he stalks an elusive series title; finished second in each of the last two years, including a scant eight points behind Busch last year; part of the Hendrick team that has ended DEI's stranglehold of dominance at Daytona and will try to end DEI's six-race winning streak in this race; "From here on out as the points leader, there is some pressure being on you in that position," he said. "I don't think we're going to think about it too much. It doesn't do us any good with a track like Talladega where there is so much on the line."
One of just two "Chase" drivers to hold his position after the MBNA RacePoints 400 as a fifth-place finish kept him third in the standings, 12 points out of the top spot and nine in front of fourth-place Martin; kept the momentum from his first win of the season in the first "Chase" race at New Hampshire two weeks ago; claimed the pole at Dover for his series-leading sixth top spot of the season; two straight top-10 finishes have run his season total to 12; started fifth but an accident relegated him to a season-low 39th at the Aaron's 499 here in May; was sixth in the standings in 2003 and seventh last year.
Inched one spot to seventh in the standings with a solid seventh in last week's MBNA RacePoints 400 as he bounced back nicely from a pedestrian 16th in the "Chase" opener at New Hampshire; marked just his eighth top-10 finish of the season, the lowest among "Chase" drivers and a lower total than three drivers ineligible for the title; is 58 points out of sixth place and 81 behind pace-setter Johnson; lone win of the season came in the GFS Marketplace 400 at Michigan in August; finished fourth after starting 22nd in the Aaron's 499 at Talladega in May.
Plummeted from second to sixth in the "Chase for the Nextel Cup" standings following a 13th-place finish at the MBNA RacePoints 400 at Dover last week; however, still within striking distance of his first series title as he trails leader Jimmie Johnson by just 23 points; result ended a streak of five straight top-six finishes, including four in a row in the top four; shares the lead with Tony Stewart with five wins this season, most recently at the Batman Begins 400 in June, a stretch of 13 races; ran 13th here at the Aaron's 499 in May.
Matt Kenseth Series champion of two years ago has a lot of work to do after an accident relegated him to a 35th-place finish at "The Monster Mile," dropping him four spots to ninth in the standings, 124 points off the pace; ended a string of five straight top-10 finishes, including two third, a second and a win from the pole - his lone victory of the season - in the Sharpie 500; that run was part of a painstaking, season-long surge that saw him climb from 42nd into the "Chase"; started 23rd and finished 11th in the Aaron's 499 here in May and will need to do much better than that at a track he does not like to keep his title hopes alive. "Do I like it in the chase? Not really, but I don't like running (restrictor-plate tracks) them at all, so it doesn't matter what time of the year it is. You don't really look forward to running a restrictor-plate because you kind of are a passenger and you kind of are at the mercy of everybody else and what happens out there, and you're always looking for that wreck."; championship in 2003 was the impetus for the creation of the "Chase" as he won just once but repeatedly finished in the top 10 to hold the top spot for good after the season's fourth race; was eighth in the standings last year.
Back where he started at the outset of the "Chase"; dropped one spot to ninth after Sylvania 300 and climbed one rung to eighth with a showing of ninth at the MBNA RacePoints 400 last week; is 22 points behind seventh-place Jeremy Mayfield and 103 off the pace of Johnson; has just four top-10 finishes in his last 13 races; needs a stronger finish than he had here in May in the Aaron's 499, where he was a disappointing 32nd, one of his five finishes of 30th or worse this season.
Tony Stewart Highly unexpected 18th-place finish at "The Monster Mile" knocked him from the top spot he had held for seven straight races into fifth, 23 points off the pace; had registered an astounding 13 consecutive top-10 finishes, including all five of his wins, which ties Biffle for the series lead; gunning for his second championship, this one in a Chevrolet Monte Carlo; won the 2002 title in a Pontiac Grand Prix; also won the 1997 Indy Racing League crown before jumping to NASCAR; one of the few "Chase" drivers to have had recent success at this restrictor-plate track; ran sixth in this race last year and notched the first of his four second-place finishes this season in the Aaron's 499 in May.