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NASCAR Driver Capsules, May 29

The SportsXchange

Capsules for the top 20 drivers in the Sprint Cup standings, plus five additional drivers of note.

By Jerry Bonkowski and Bob Moore

48 JIMMIE JOHNSON, Chevrolet

Team: Hendrick Motorsports

WHERE HE STANDS: Jimmie Johnson remained in first place for the seventh straight week after Charlotte. He leads second-ranked Carl Edwards by 32 points and third-ranked Matt Kenseth by 51 points.

DOVER RECORD: 22 career starts, 7 wins, 11 top-5s, 16 top-10s, 3 poles. Best career finish: first in spring 2002, fall 2002, fall 2005, spring 2009, fall 2009, fall 2010 and spring 2012. Finished first in last year's spring race and was third in the fall race there.

LOOKING AHEAD: It you care to put a bet down at a nearby sports book on Sunday's race, you can't make a surer bet than Johnson. In his last 10 starts at Dover, Johnson has four wins and has finished outside the top-10 just one time. He's looking forward to talking with NASCAR legends Bobby Allison and Richard Petty about Dover this week: "The track has changed a lot over the years, and I just saw some pictures recently of when it was asphalt and what it looked like there. So times have changed a lot, and I'd love to hear (Allison's and Petty's) opinions and really enjoy any opportunity of talking with them."

LOOKING BACK: After winning the Sprint All-Star Race there a week earlier, Johnson struggled to a 22nd-place finish Sunday night at Charlotte.

ETC.: Johnson has completed 97.9 percent (8,619) of the 8,804 total laps contested in 22 career starts at Dover. His average start is an outstanding 9.7 and average finish is an even better 8.6. He has two DNFs there.

99 CARL EDWARDS, Ford

Team: Roush Fenway Racing

WHERE HE STANDS: Carl Edwards remained in second place for the fourth consecutive week after Charlotte. He trails points leader Jimmie Johnson by 32 points and is 19 points ahead of third-ranked Matt Kenseth.

DOVER RECORD: 17 career starts, 1 win, 8 top-fives, 12 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: First in fall 2007. Finished 26th in last year's spring race and rebounded to fifth in the fall race there.

LOOKING AHEAD: Edwards loves racing the one-mile concrete surface at Dover, but usually as good as he performs there, Jimmie Johnson does just as well or better. Here's an amazing stat about Edwards: In his last 13 starts at Dover, he's finished outside the top-10 just twice. In that stretch he has one win, eight top-fives and three other top-10s. He reflected on last Sunday's race at Charlotte and hopes to take some of what his team learned into Dover this Sunday: "Yeah, it just didn't work out at the end. We were trying to make something happen, trying to do better than that, and it got us. But like Jimmy said, we shouldn't be in that position. We need to be faster so we can get up there doing what the leaders are doing."

LOOKING BACK: Edwards had an average car at Charlotte, led seven laps and finished 11th.

ETC.: Edwards has completed 98.7 percent (6,717) of the 6,804 total laps contested in 17 career starts at Dover. His average start is 15.0 and average finish is a strong 8.3. He has one DNF there.

20 MATT KENSETH, Toyota

Team: Joe Gibbs Racing

WHERE HE STANDS: Kenseth remained in third place for the second consecutive week after Charlotte. He trails series leader Jimmie Johnson by 51 points, is 19 points behind second-ranked Carl Edwards and leads fourth-ranked Clint Bowyer by nine points.

DOVER RECORD: 28 career starts, 2 wins, 13 top-fives, 18 top-10s, 1 pole. Best career finish: First in spring 2006 and spring 2011. Finished third in last year's spring race and 35th in the fall race there.

LOOKING AHEAD: Kenseth is typically dominant at Dover, with 10 top-fives and a top-10 in his last 13 starts there. While he's looking ahead to Sunday's race, he still can't get over the TV cable falling during this past Sunday's race at Charlotte: "That was crazy. I remember seeing that camera for the first time at Vegas and I was talking to (John) Darby (NASCAR Sprint Cup Series director) about it and I was like, 'I hope that thing never falls down,' and he said, 'Nah, it will never fall.' So yeah, that was kind of nuts."

LOOKING BACK: It was a bummer for Kenseth at Charlotte this past Sunday. He led 112 laps and looked to be headed towards his fourth win of the season, only to fall back in the field and finish 15th.

ETC.: Kenseth has completed 97.2 percent (10,895) of the 11,204 total laps contested in 28 career starts at Dover. His average start is 16.1 and average finish is 12.6. He has four DNFs there.

15 CLINT BOWYER, Toyota

Team: Michael Waltrip Racing

WHERE HE STANDS: Clint Bowyer moved up one spot from fifth to fourth place after Charlotte. Bowyer is 60 points behind series leader Jimmie Johnson, trails third-ranked Matt Kenseth by nine points and leads fifth-ranked Kasey Kahne by 15 points.

DOVER RECORD: 14 career starts, 0 wins, 1 top-five, 7 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: fifth in spring 2012. Finished a career-best fifth in last year's spring race and was ninth in the fall race there.

LOOKING AHEAD: Bowyer has long sought to win at Dover, but his performance has never equaled his desire. While he's usually good for a top-10 finish, he's never ended a race better than fifth. Will his luck change this Sunday, just three days after his 34th birthday? Will he give himself a present with a win? Here's his thoughts: "At Dover you just have to race hard. That's not a track that you can let your guard down at all. You have to be up on the wheel every lap and you have to have to whole package. You can't be off in any way, shape or form in any area or you're in trouble."

LOOKING BACK: Bowyer finished eighth at Charlotte, the second-highest finishing Toyota driver.

ETC.: Even though he's never won at Dover, Bowyer has completed 99.6 percent (5,575) of the 5,600 total laps contested in 14 career starts there. His average start is 17.6 and average finish is 13.2. He has zero DNFs there.

5 KASEY KAHNE, Chevrolet

Team: Hendrick Motorsports

WHERE HE STANDS: Kasey Kahne climbed one spot, from a tie for sixth to fifth place after Charlotte. He trails points leader Jimmie Johnson by 75 points, fourth-ranked Clint Bowyer by 15 points and lead sixth-ranked Dale Earnhardt Jr. by six points.

DOVER RECORD: 18 career starts, 0 wins, 1 top-five, 5 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: Fourth in fall 2011. Finished ninth in last year's spring race and 15th in the fall race there.

LOOKING AHEAD: Success at Dover has been like oil and water for Kahne, who surprisingly has just one career top-five at the one-mile concrete track. He hopes to change that finally this Sunday. Here's his thoughts: "Our sport is very competitive. Something I definitely want to shoot for is winning races and ultimately winning a championship. That's why we do it. That's why Kenny Francis (crew chief) does it and our entire team -- it's the effort we put in to make that happen. I definitely feel like this is my best shot yet just with the team, Mr. (Rick) Hendrick (team owner) and what he's done for me, being prepared, having great sponsorship on the car and knowing all the people now and knowing the systems at Hendrick Motorsports."

LOOKING BACK: Kahne dominated this past Sunday at Charlotte, leading a race-high 161 laps. Unfortunately, he did not lead the last lap or earn the win; that honor went to Kevin Harvick. Kahne ultimately finished second.

ETC.: Kahne has completed a poor 88.1 percent (6,347) of the 7,204 total laps contested in 18 career starts at Dover. His average start is 12.6 and average finish is a terrible 21.4. He has six DNFs there.

88 DALE EARNHARDT JR., Chevrolet

Team: Hendrick Motorsports

WHERE HE STANDS: Dale Earnhardt Jr. dropped two spots, from fourth to sixth, after Charlotte. He trails points leader Jimmie Johnson by 81 points, is six points behind fifth-ranked Kasey Kahne and leads seventh-ranked Kevin Harvick by two points.

DOVER RECORD: 26 career starts, 1 win, 5 top-fives, eight top-10s and 0 poles. Best career finish: First in fall 2001. Finished fourth in last year's spring race and was 11th in the fall race.

LOOKING AHEAD: While Earnhardt enjoys racing at Dover, it hasn't been the most hospitable place to him over the years. He's hoping to change his misfortune and bad luck there Sunday. His thoughts: "Dover's a tough track, a track that I don't have the greatest track record on over the last several races, although we did finish in the top five last year. I've got confidence going in to this weekend. We're just going to try to maximize our opportunity on the race track."

LOOKING BACK: Earnhardt had one of the worst outings of his career at a track that has continually befuddled him, finishing a disappointing 39th at Charlotte.

ETC.: Earnhardt has completed 99.0 percent (10,305) of the 10,404 total laps contested in 26 career starts at Dover. His average start is 15.2 and average finish is 17.2. He has one DNF there.

29 KEVIN HARVICK, Chevrolet

Team: Richard Childress Racing

WHERE HE STANDS: Kevin Harvick climbed three spots in the standings, from 10th to seventh, after Charlotte. He has now climbed five spots after the last two races (Darlington and Charlotte). He trails points leader Jimmie Johnson by 83 points, is two points behind sixth-ranked Dale Earnhardt Jr., and leads eighth-ranked Richard Childress Racing teammate Paul Menard by 15 points.

DOVER RECORD: 24 career starts, 0 wins, 3 top-fives, 10 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: Second in spring 2012. Finished second in last year's spring race and was 13th in the fall race there.

LOOKING AHEAD: Harvick is riding a ton of momentum into Dover after his come-from-behind win this past Sunday in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He's had marginal success at Dover throughout his career. Perhaps Sunday is his time to break through there. Here's his thoughts: "Dover has been a good track for us the last couple of years. We tested there a few years ago and were able to figure a few things out. Hopefully it will be a good weekend. I like that track and the way you get to charge the race track and drive at Dover. It's probably the hardest race on your body, just because of the force you deal with getting into and going through the corners."

LOOKING BACK: Harvick is one of the best come-from-behind drivers in the sport and proved it once again at Charlotte this past Sunday, winning the longest race of the season, the Coca-Cola 600.

ETC.: Harvick has completed 98.5 percent (9,461) of the 9,604 total laps contested in 24 career starts at Dover. His average start is 20.2 and average finish is 15.9. He has one DNF there.

27 PAUL MENARD, CHEVROLET

Team: Richard Childress Racing

WHERE HE STANDS: Paul Menard climbed two spots in the standings after Sunday's race, going from a tie for 10th to eighth position. He trails points leader Jimmie Johnson by 98 points, is 15 points behind seventh-ranked Kevin Harvick and leads ninth-ranked Martin Truex Jr. by 11 points.

DOVER RECORD: 11 career starts, 0 wins, 0 top-fives, 1 top-10s, 1 pole. Best career finish: Seventh in fall 2010. Finished 17th in last year's spring race and 22nd in the fall race there.

LOOKING AHEAD: Dover has constantly confounded Menard when it comes to making forward progress. After his best career finish, seventh in fall 2010, his next-best showing has been 16th in fall 2011. Here's his thoughts on Sunday's race: "Dover is one of my favorite tracks. It's one of the few tracks that you get your greatest sense of speed. You can really feel the speed inside the car and anything can happen at that one-mile oval, making the nickname 'Monster Mile' very fitting. When you drop off into the corner you feel the speed the most. We've had mixed results at Dover in the past, but I feel like we've got some momentum going into this weekend."

LOOKING BACK: Menard did surprisingly well at Charlotte in the Coca-Cola 600, finishing 13th, the last driver on the lead lap.

ETC.: Menard has completed 98.7 percent (4,343) of the 4,400 total laps contested in 11 career starts at Dover. His average start is 20.5 and average finish is 20.2. He has zero DNFs there.

56 MARTIN TRUEX, JR., Toyota

Team: Michael Waltrip Racing

WHERE HE STANDS: Martin Truex Jr. made the biggest climb of any driver in the top 10 in the standings, moving from 14th to ninth after Charlotte. He trails points leader Jimmie Johnson by 109 points, is 11 points behind eighth-ranked Paul Menard and leads 10th-ranked Brad Keselowski by one point.

DOVER RECORD: 14 career starts, 1 wins, 1 top-five, 6 top-10s, 2 poles. Best career finish: First in spring 2007. Finished seventh in last year's spring race and was sixth in the fall race there.

LOOKING AHEAD: Truex continues to try and recapture the greatness he achieved at Dover back in spring 2007, when he won the first (and only to date) Sprint Cup race of his career. Dover is Truex's "home track," having grown up in nearby Mayetta, N.J. Here's his thoughts on Sunday's race: "Not making the All-Star

Race really got our butts in gear and got Chad (Johnston, crew chief) working on some things. He did an awesome job all weekend (at Charlotte). ... We just have to get better at the little things and somehow catch a damn break every once in a while."

LOOKING BEHIND: Truex had a good race at Charlotte, finishing ninth, one spot behind Michael Waltrip Racing teammate Clint Bowyer.

ETC.: Truex has completed 96.9 percent (5,426) of the 5,600 total laps contested in 14 career starts at Dover. His average start is an outstanding 14.4, while his average finish is 15.6. He has one DNF there.

2 BRAD KESELOWSKI, Ford

Team: Penske Racing

WHERE HE STANDS: Brad Keselowski had the biggest drop among top-10 drivers after Sunday's race at Charlotte, falling from a tie for sixth to 10th place. He trails points leader Jimmie Johnson by 110 points, ninth-ranked Martin Truex Jr. by one point and leads 11th-ranked Kyle Busch by three points.

DOVER RECORD: 6 career starts, 1 win, 1 top-five, 1 top-10 and 0 poles. Best career finish: First in fall 2012. Finished 12th in last year's spring race and won the fall race there.

LOOKING AHEAD: It's becoming a rough go of it for the defending Sprint Cup champ. Not only has he slipped to a season-low 10th in the standings, he still has yet to win his first race of 2013. Here's his thoughts about Sunday's race at Dover, especially with the return from suspension of crew chief Paul Wolfe: "It's going to be nice to get all of our guys back. We have one of the strongest teams in the garage. I'm very proud of everyone that stepped up during the last three weeks. We've really improved our depth at Penske Racing, but now everyone can go back to their normal jobs. Hopefully that means we can get some of our mojo back."

LOOKING BACK: Keselowski was involved in a wreck at Charlotte that left him with a terrible 36th place finish.

ETC.: Even though he's struggled for decent finishes, Keselowski has completed an impressive 99.8 percent (2,396) of the 2,400 total laps contested in six career starts at Dover. His average start is 16.8 and average finish is 14.3. He has zero DNFs there.

18 KYLE BUSCH, Toyota

Team: Joe Gibbs Racing

WHERE HE STANDS: 11th, only three points out of the top 10. Lost three spots last week to fall out of the top 10.

DOVER RECORD: Will be seeking his sixth top-seven finish in the last seven races. Overall has two wins and 10 top-10 finishes including seven top-five's in 16 starts. Dominated the race last fall as he led 302 of the 400 laps but was forced to pit for fuel with 10 laps to go and ended the day in seventh place.

LOOKING AHEAD: Busch calls Dover a "challenging track. They (other tracks) are all a challenge, but Dover is especially so, just because of the way you have to run around that place. You've got to be fast through the corner. Two-thirds of your lap time is through the turns rather than down the straightaway, so you definitely have to make sure you have a good handling race car - one that's good in the beginning of a run on low air pressures and one that's good at the end of the run on high air pressures. Some of the most challenging times are when you're trying to get through traffic."

LOOKING BACK: It was a very bizarre night for Busch. He was leading the race when a nylon rope attached to Fox's overhead camera snapped and hit Busch's right-front wheel causing heavy damage. The race was red-flagged and NASCAR allowed the crews to repair the damage caused by the cable line. Busch, who led twice for 65 laps, showed no ill effects after the red flag as he led the next 45 laps. But his hopes of winning the race ended on lap 257 when he suffered engine failure. He ended the day in 38th place.

ETC.: Although Busch was quite upset with the engine problems, he was quick to "commend NASCAR for taking the initiative and letting us all repair our damaged cars from the issue that we had early in the race. We had been running first, second or third most of the evening, but just catastrophic engine failure - it seems to be that time of year again. I hate it for all my guys. They worked too hard. They pour their hearts and souls into this deal and it's so frustrating to see it end on a short note like that and not getting the finish that we needed."

43 ARIC ALMIROLA, Ford

Team: Richard Petty Motorsports

WHERE HE STANDS: 12th, only seven points out of the top 10. Lost three spots last week to fall out of the top 10.

DOVER RECORD: Finished sixth in the spring race a year ago in his first Cup start.

LOOKING AHEAD: Almirola calls Dover "my favorite race track on the circuit. I always enjoy going there. I expect us to run really well. We ran sixth at the spring race last year. At the fall race, we had an even better car. But we had some tire issues. I have this race circled on my calendar as a race that we have a legitimate shot to win."

LOOKING BACK: Almirola made it three wide with 73 laps to go, but he and Mark Martin tangled to trigger a multi-car accident that forced NASCAR to red flag the race to clean up the debris. "We were racing for the lucky dog spot there (to get back on the lead lap)," said Almirola. "We had just gotten our U.S. Air Force Ford Fusion a lot better and we were marching up through there and I got under Mark off turn four and Jeff (Gordon) was on the outside, so we were three-wide. I couldn't get any closer to the grass. Unfortunately, it (the accident) tore up a bunch of race cars." Almirola ended the night in 33rd place.

ETC.: Crew chief Todd Parrott feels "Dover is a good track for our organization. Both teams showed really strong cars last season, and Aric really showed he can drive the track they call a monster. Pit road is tricky because it comes up on the driver really fast. Aric will need to make sure he hits his marks on pit road and doesn't miss the commitment mark. Pit road is tight, and track position is everything at Dover."

16 GREG BIFFLE, Ford

Team: Roush Fenway Racing

WHERE HE STANDS: 13th, 11 points out of the top 10.

DOVER RECORD: Two wins and 10 top-10 finishes including six top-five's in 21 starts.

LOOKING AHEAD: After a streak of seven straight top-eight finishes including one win and three top-three finishes, Biffle has not finished in the top 10 in his last five Dover starts. He hopes to change all that this weekend. "We've qualified well; we just haven't run as well in the races as we did a few years ago," said Biffle. "We just need to get back to running like we did from 2005 through 2009."

LOOKING BACK: Biffle was in the wrong place at the wrong time when Dale Earnhardt Jr. lost an engine on lap 258. Biffle hit the oil dropped by Earnhardt and bounced hard off the wall. The damage was severe enough that Biffle had to go to the garage area for repairs. He later returned to the race to finish 31st. "It was just a long, long day," said Biffle. "We were real loose for most of the day, and then we end up in the wall. It was just not our day."

ETC.: Biffle believes "we're a little behind the competition, but not far. We just need to continue to get our cars better. That's what we're really working on. We just need to get a little more competitive and we can win a couple of races. And then the points will take care of itself."

1 JAMIE MCMURRAY, Chevrolet

Team: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates

WHERE HE STANDS: 14th, 14 points out of the top 10. Gained one spot last week.

DOVER RECORD: Five top-10 finishes in 20 starts.

LOOKING AHEAD: McMurray said, "We recently tested at Dover and I feel like we had a really productive test. I am excited about going back this week for the race. Dover is a really tough track where things happen really fast. Hopefully we can take what we learned from the test and have a strong run on Sunday."

LOOKING BACK: A small oil leak ended any hopes McMurray had of finishing in the top 10. Instead, he had to settle for a 19th-place finish in the 600. "It's just a frustrating finish to a really long day," said McMurray. "We had a good car and raced around the top-10 the entire night. I just wish we could have had a better finish tonight. We definitely had a top-10 car, maybe better."

ETC.: Crew chief Kevin (Bono) Manion prefers wearing flip flops because of his battle with gout. "There's no thought of putting a sock on," said Manion. "I basically have to cut the big toe out of my shoe so my toe doesn't touch anything at the track over the weekend. And trying to sleep at night, you're fine until you have to put a cover on, because a bed sheet will make you scream like a baby. That's how painful it is."

24 JEFF GORDON, Chevrolet

Team: Hendrick Motorsports

WHERE HE STANDS: 15th, 15 points out of the top 10. Lost three spots last week.

DOVER RECORD: Four wins and 22 top-10 finishes including 15 top-five's in 40 starts. Finished second last September.

LOOKING AHEAD: Gordon said, "Dover has high speed with high-banked turns and high-banked straightaways, as well. Just like Darlington, you have to really respect the race track. You can't get too caught up in racing the competition. If you get track position, you have to try to maintain it. Survival and having a good car there are very important."

LOOKING BACK: Gordon was involved in a multi-car accident with 73 laps to go in the 600 and finished 35th. "We were a victim of the caution coming out when we were on pit road," said Gordon. "We shouldn't have stopped in the box to do that pit stop and we would have still been on the lead lap. Instead, we were racing three-wide. I mean, we were just going for the lucky dog, you know (to get back on the lead lap), and you've got to be real aggressive back there. We had an awesome Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet. We had a top-five car. It's just a shame we were even back there."

ETC.: Gordon feels Dover is a "track where you're on edge. There's not a lot of room for error. It (a wreck) can happen by itself. On your own, you can break your car loose and find yourself in trouble - and it's hard to recover. Usually when you have a problem there, you're in the wall. And the same thing when you're in a group. If it happens as a group, there is going to be a big wreck. It's definitely a monster."

39 RYAN NEWMAN, Chevrolet

Team: Stewart-Haas Racing

WHERE HE STANDS: 16th, 20 points out of the top 10. Gained one spot last week.

DOVER RECORD: Three wins and 11 top-10 finishes including six top-five's in 22 starts.

LOOKING AHEAD: Newman said, "At Dover, I like the banking. I like the elevation changes. The concrete provides a different type of racing for us because the track doesn't change a whole lot. Once you get your car right, you can keep it right for the rest of the race. And for me, for whatever reason, I've always adapted well to racing on concrete."

LOOKING BACK: Newman struggled early with an extremely tight-handling race car, but the team made major adjustments throughout the evening as Newman rallied to finish sixth for his sixth top-10 finish of the season. "We had a really good Quicken Loans Chevrolet at the end of the race," said Newman. "This is a great comeback after going a lap down early, and considering where we were one week ago in the All-Star race."

ETC.: Newman calls Dover unique for "how you drop off into the corners and then climb up the hills onto the straightaways. At Dover, the entry into the corners is the toughest part. If you don't get a good entry, you're not going to have a good middle or a good exit. To me, as a driver, it's just a track that's a lot of fun. If you don't like a challenge, you don't like Dover."

17 RICKY STENHOUSE, JR., Ford

Team: Roush Fenway Racing

WHERE HE STANDS: 17th, 23 points out of the top 10. Lost one spot last week.

DOVER RECORD: Finished 12th last September.

LOOKING AHEAD: Stenhouse said he is "really looking forward to Dover. We raced there in the fall last year and learned a lot. This is one of the races that we have notes for this season. Dover is tough hence the nickname 'Monster Mile.' The turns are unique because of the way you drive up out of them. We've been getting better each week but still have some work to do. I think if we can qualify well and stay out of trouble then we should get a solid finish this weekend at Dover."

LOOKING BACK: Despite a flat tire that caused an unscheduled pit stop and being involved in a multi-car accident, Stenhouse was able to rally and finish 14th at Charlotte. "We definitely still have work to do but overall we are satisfied with our finish," said Stenhouse. "I am proud of our team for fighting back and getting our Fastenal Ford repaired after the accident. We lost two laps early when we had a flat left-rear tire so we overcame a lot of adversity and still got a top-15 finish so we will take it."

ETC.: Stenhouse used to drive open-wheel cars for Tony Stewart. But Stenhouse is in Stewart's doghouse after being involved in a wreck with Danica Patrick at Charlotte. Patrick drives for Stewart and is Stenhouse's girlfriend. "Ricky Stenhouse, I'd choke him right now if I could get to him," Stewart told Sirius XM Radio. "One more lap of having to mess around with him..."

78 KURT BUSCH, Chevrolet

Team: Furniture Row Racing

WHERE HE STANDS: 18th, 31 points out of the top 10.

DOVER RECORD: One win and eight top-10 finishes including six top-five's in 25 starts.

LOOKING AHEAD: Busch noted "It's the Monster Mile for a reason - the track can chew up cars and spit them out. And it's because of the tough transition into the corners with the high-banked corners and even the high-banked straightaways. It's like you literally jump down into the corner and then jump back up out of the corner on the straightaway. It's a fun track to drive. You're always on that edge."

LOOKING BACK: Busch had just taken the lead when NASCAR threw the red-flag with 70 laps to go to clean up the mess from a seven-car accident. During the red flag, Busch told his crew he couldn't get the car restarted. When the yellow flag was waved, he had to be pushed back to his pits to have the battery changed. Busch rallied in the final laps to finish third, but he was still "shell-shocked" from having his shot to win the race ended by a dead battery. "We were in the lead, we had clean air, and we had a fast race car, but when the battery went dead that pretty much doomed our chances of winning the race," said Busch, trying to keep his emotions in check. "It was a good 500 miles. Trying to find the exact words because I'm always judged on my reaction instead of my actual performance. We had a great car. We got third. That's a good points night."

ETC.: After several days to calm down after the heartbreaking loss at Charlotte, Busch said, "It (the 600) was a great night to run up front and showcase what this team is made of. It was great to show the strength of this team. It's just disappointing that we couldn't take advantage of our opportunity (to win the race), but a top five is great." It was Busch's third top-five of the season and his best finish since joining the Denver-based outfit with six races remaining in the 2012 season.

22 JOEY LOGANO, Ford

Team: Penske Racing

WHERE HE STANDS: 19th, 37 points out of the top 10.

DOVER RECORD: Will be seeking his third straight top-10 finish. Has four top-10 finishes in eight starts.

LOOKING AHEAD: Logano calls Dover "my favorite track. That's why I can't wait to get there. We ran well in both races there last year, and I feel we will have another good run this weekend. We are coming off a great couple of weeks at Charlotte, and I want to continue that momentum at Dover."

LOOKING BACK: After starting 31st, Logano was delighted with his fifth-place finish in the 600. "We had our work cut out for us, especially at a track that is so hard to pass," said Logano. "It seemed like it was harder to pass here than normal, but my pit crew did a tremendous job today. They gained me at least one spot every time I came down pit road and that's so valuable. With a second in the All-Star race and a fifth here tonight, we're proud of our efforts here at Charlotte. I know in time that a win is gonna come."

ETC.: Crew chief Todd Gordon will return to active duty this week after serving his two-race suspension. "I am excited to get Todd back at the track," said Logano. "The guys that filed in did a great job. I think we really made the best of the situation, and I don't think we really missed a beat and that was obvious the last couple of weeks in Charlotte. But it will be nice having Todd back at the track. I'm ready for things to get back to normal and focus on winning some of these races."

14 TONY STEWART, Chevrolet

Team: Stewart-Haas Racing

WHERE HE STANDS: 20th, 44 points out of the top 10. Gained one spot last week.

DOVER RECORD: Two wins and 15 top-10 finishes including 10 top-five's in 28 starts.

LOOKING AHEAD: Forty-one of Stewart's 47 victories on the Cup series have come after May 31. And he has won at least one race for 14 straight years. And that is why Stewart is still convinced he can be part of this year's Chase for the Championship. Stewart hopes he gets back on the winning track this weekend. "It's easy to get your car too tight in the center (of the corner at Dover), trying to get it to drive up off the corner nice, and it seems like if you get it to rotate through the corner too good, then it's way too loose off," said Stewart.

LOOKING BACK: Stewart finished seventh in the Coca-Cola 600 for his best finish of the season. "We finally got some stability in the car," said Stewart. "One change there at the end of the race made a huge, huge difference. I've never been so happy to run seventh in my life."

ETC.: After struggling for the first third of the season, Stewart believes the organization is finally figuring out the new Gen-6 car. He feels the team learned a lot during the two weeks at Charlotte. "The package that we came back with this week was totally different from last week," said Stewart. "I hope it (the success the team had in the 600) transfers. I hope we can go back and put the science to the feel and if we can do that, then I think we can apply it to more stuff that we're doing with these cars. Probably the most positive night I've had leaving the race track (this year) and probably I'll get the best night's sleep I've had all year."

31 JEFF BURTON, Chevrolet

Team: Richard Childress Racing

WHERE HE STANDS: 21st, 45 points out of the top 10. Lost one spot last week.

DOVER RECORD: 15 top-10 finishes in 38 starts.

LOOKING AHEAD: Burton feels Dover has "some Bristol similarities." But "Dover is just so unique," adds Burton. "It's definitely the most physical track we race at. It's fast, rough and truly a tough test for both the driver and team. The straightaways are really narrow and you have so much speed coming off the corners."

LOOKING BACK: Burton finished 12th at Charlotte. "We pretty much fought a tight-handling condition for the entire race, especially in the middle of the corners," said Burton. "These 31 guys never gave up and we managed to stay out of trouble while bringing home a clean race car and a top-15 finish. I want to congratulation my RCR teammate Kevin Harvick and the 29 team for their victory."

ETC.: Burton and teammate Kevin Harvick and Paul Menard spent Wednesday testing at Pocono. Burton hopes the test will give RCR an edge when the series heads to Pocono next week. "Pocono, like Dover, is very unique, and the more time you have there the better you are going to be prepared for it," said Burton. "I think having all three of us test there is really going to help all of us."

9 MARCOS AMBROSE, Ford

Team: Richard Petty Motorsports

WHERE HE STANDS: 22nd, 66 points out of the top 10. Gained one spot last week.

DOVER RECORD: Will be seeking his fourth top-10 finish in the last five races.

LOOKING AHEAD: Ambrose said when he goes to Dover "my mindset is I expect a high-intensity race, up on the wheel, being aggressive all day. That being said, concrete race tracks, both Bristol and Dover, have really been good to me as far as results go. I've run well pretty much every Bristol race and I've certainly run well at Dover the last couple years. We expect it (Dover) to be good to me this weekend."

LOOKING BACK: Ambrose suffered the most damage when the nylon rope from Fox's overhead camera snapped on lap 123 of the 400-lap event. The cable line wrapped itself around the rear end of Ambrose's Ford as it caused him to lose his brakes. "It was a nightmare, but we got through it," said Ambrose. "NASCAR did a great job of actually handling the crisis. We were able to stay in the race and duke it out. The car was really dialed in at the end." Ambrose finished 10th for his second top-10 finish of the season.

ETC.: When asked if cable line situation was the most bizarre thing he had ever been involved in while racing, Ambrose said, "Yeah. This was unusual because it pretty much impacted the entire field. It heard and felt like a big whack on the front window. The window net was pulsing. I could see something coming out the back of Mark Martin's car. It was on my hood, making a lot of noise, a lot of racket. At that time you can't really focus on that because you're driving 200 miles an hour and trying to make passes and really focus on your line. It wasn't until the caution came out that I realized something was going wrong because I had no brakes. It ripped the brake line off the back of the car."

42 JUAN PABLO MONTOYA, Chevrolet

Team: Earnhardt Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates

WHERE HE STANDS: 23rd, 71 points out of the top 10. Lost one spot last week.

DOVER RECORD: Two top-10 finishes in 12 starts.

LOOKING AHEAD: Montoya points out "Jamie (McMurray, his teammate) and I were able to spend a few days in our Gen-6 car at Dover for a test not too long ago so that will help a lot this weekend. Usually, the window you have to work with (at Dover) is very small. So that test is definitely going to benefit the Energizer team this weekend."

LOOKING BACK: Montoya was running in the top 10 when he got caught up in an accident on lap 335 of the 400-lap event. As a result, Montoya finished 18th in the Coca-Cola 600. "It was a tough night for the Target team," said Montoya. "We had just gotten the handling right and then we got into an accident with the 48 (Jimmie Johnson) toward the end of the race. The Target Chevy was good and we were on our way to a top-10 finish until that happened. It's frustrating, but I'm proud of my team for keeping after it and giving me a great car."

ETC.: Montoya is not worried about his spot in the point standings. "We've had good cars all season," said Montoya. "We just need to get the finishes we deserve (to earn a spot in the Chase). Charlotte is a perfect example. We had a top-10 car and then get involved in a wreck not of our doing. If we can finish where we should, we will be alright."

11 DENNY HAMLIN, Toyota

Team: Joe Gibbs Racing

WHERE HE STANDS: 24th, 97 points out of the top 10. Gained three spots last week.

DOVER RECORD: Won the pole and finished eighth in the race last September. It was his fifth top-10 finish in 14 starts.

LOOKING AHEAD: Hamlin hopes to continue his run of top-five finishes this weekend at Dover. "We had good cars at both Darlington and Charlotte, not winning cars but good cars," said Hamlin. "We were pretty good at Dover last fall. We just need to be a little better if we want to contend (for a win)."

LOOKING BACK: Hamlin finished fourth in the 600 for his third straight top-four finish at Charlotte. "We hung around the top-five all day and the pit crew did an awesome job," said Hamlin. "Luckily, we got the pole and really made up some positions on pit road due to our great pit stall, so hats off to the pit crew. We just could never hit it where we could challenge for the win. We need solid runs like this (to make the Chase)."

ETC.: Hamlin said he felt "good" after the longest race of the year. "Definitely feel a lot better after this one," added Hamlin, who first complete race back after missing four events because of a compressed fracture in his back was at Darlington two weeks ago. "I really feel the same as I do after any other race. We didn't have a winning car tonight, but we had a fourth to sixth-place car and that's where we ended up."

55 MARK MARTIN, Toyota

Team: Michael Waltrip Racing

WHERE HE STANDS: 25th, 99 points out of the top 10. Lost one spot last week.

DOVER RECORD: Four wins and 32 top-10 finishes including 24 top-five's in 53 starts. Also won five poles including the spring race a year ago. Finished third in the fall race. Has more top-five's and top-10's than anyone.

LOOKING AHEAD: Martin always looks forward to going to Dover. "It is one of my favorite tracks," said Martin. "We've had a lot of success there, and I really like the challenge of running there. I am confident that Rodney (Childers, crew chief) and the guys will give me a good car this weekend. I think we can have a good weekend."

LOOKING BACK: Martin was clipped by Aric Almirola to trigger a multi-car accident with 73 laps remaining in the 600. As a result, Martin finished 34th. "We were three wide, you shouldn't be doing that," said Martin. "We got away with it a lot, but that's an awful high speed place to be trying to do that. I was caught in the middle. I got squeezed (into Jeff Gordon). I hope everybody is okay. Some of them hit pretty hard." All seven drivers involved were treated and released from the infield care center.

ETC.: Although Larry Phillips did not make the NASCAR Hall of Fame on his first shot at it last week, Martin is still elated that his old friend was on the ballot. "It is awesome that Larry was recognized and added to the (nominee) list," said Martin. "What makes it more remarkable is he came from outside the main stream. There are so many incredible people still waiting to get in the NASCAR Hall of Fame, that a guy like Larry who wasn't on television every Sunday or racing in high profile races would be honored." Phillips was a noted short track racer who won almost 1,000 races in his 40-year career. "Anyone who raced against him will remember him," added Martin. "He won lots of races and beat a lot of people with slower race cars. That says a lot about him."
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