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Race 13 – Best Buy 400 at Dover Fantasy Preview

Posted by chadmusselman on May 29, 2008

This week’s race is at the “Monster Mile” oval in Dover, Delaware. Races here can be long and grueling on the drivers, as the last 4 have an average length of 3 hours and 37 minutes with close to 17 lead changes and 10 cautions.

So, will Kasey Kahne carry the momentum of winning the past two weekends into Dover? The short answer is no. He’s horrible at Dover. In eight career races here he only has one top 10 finish and averages a 25.2 place finish. He may get a top 10 at best, but a more realistic finish for him is in the top 15.

Four drivers with a real shot to win

Carl Edwards
Carl normally dominates on the 1.5 mile ovals, but he’s had good runs on the Monster Mile as well. Over the last three races he has a win, 3rd, 2nd place finishes. In seven career races here he has three top 5’s, and four top 10’s while averaging a 9.1 place finish. Carl is running good, and that should continue this weekend.

Greg Biffle
The Biff has been money at Dover. In his last four races here he has a 2nd, 6th, 5th, 8th place finish. In only eleven career races here he has one win, three top 5’s, and six top 10’s with an average finishing position of 12.9. Five of those top 10s came in his last six races. Greg hasn’t closed on his new contract with Roush yet, so look for him to prove how good he is to other teams interested in signing him. Qualifying on the pole is a great start to the weekend for the Biff.

Jeff Burton
Jeff definitely has experience on his side at Dover. In twenty eight career races here he has one win, six top 5’s, and 11 top 10’s with a 16.9 average finish. Early in his career it was tough to guess where he would finish. In his first four races here (1994 & 1995) he finished 20th or worse every time. In five of the next eight (1996 – 1999) he finished in the top 10, then in 2000 & 2001 20th place was his best finish.

Since then (2002 onwards, a span of 12 races) Jeff has averaged a 9.9 place finish with one win, four top 5s, and six top 10s. If you take out a 33rd place finish in the fall of 2004 when he got in a wreck Jeff’s worst finish in that span is 14th.

In his career he has finished 23 races, and had an average finish of 11.6 in them. His last DNF was the fall of 2004, and he’s had a 7th, 1st, 4th in three of the last four here, so look for his string of good runs to continue.

Don’t let the 38th qualifying position scare you. In eight of his races here Jeff has started 30th or worse and managed two top 5’s, five top 10s, and two 11th place finishes. He’s patient enough to pick his way through the field and get you a top 10 finish.

Matt Kenseth
I haven’t said much about Kenseth this year. He’s having a quiet if not disappointing season so far, sitting 16th in points. He has managed to string two top 10 finishes together over the past couple of points races. Look for him to keep that trend going this weekend.

In three of his last four here he has a win, 5th and 10th place finishes. In 18 career races he has 1 win, five top 5’s, and ten top 10’s, averaging a 15.3 place finish. In the 14 races that Matt has finished he’s averaged a 10.9 place finish. He has had three accidents and one blown engine, but if he can avoid those things, he should contend for the win.

Two others that should do well:

Mark Martin
If you want to talk about experience at a track, Mark Martin has more of it at Dover than all others. In his impressive career he’s raced here 43 times with four Wins, twenty top 5’s, and twenty seven top 10s with a 12.7 average finish. Of the 43 races he’s been in a wreck or had engine problems only nine times. In the 34 races he’s finished (no accident or engine troubles) he’s averaged a 7.9 finish and was out of the top 10 only seven times.

Mark hasn’t been in an accident or had engine problems at Dover since Spring of 2002. He’s finished 4th, 7th, and 9th in three of his last four here, so look for him to keep that going.

Mark had a poor qualifying run, earning the 30th starting position, but his career here has been like Burton’s. Just because he qualified poorly doesn’t mean he’ll run bad. In five other races he’s qualified 30th or worse, and managed to get three top 5’s, so he’s probably worth keeping on your team.

Kyle Busch
How could anyone bet against Kyle now? Right now the kid dominates every race he’s in. In six career races at Dover he has four top 5’s. His worst finish was 40th in the fall of 2006 when he had engine problems. I don’t think he’ll have engine problems this weekend, and should be in top 10 all night.

The kid continues his domination at just about everything as he qualified in the 3rd position. Look for him to challenge Biffle for the lead quickly.

DarkHorse

I almost picked Jamie McMurray for this, but I have to go with Martin Truex Jr.
Martin Truex Jr.
Martin Truex Jr. has only raced here four times, but does have one win and two top 10’s. The last two weeks have been less than impress for Truex, so he needs to turn it up, and I think he will this weekend, especially since he considers this his home track. There’ll be a lot of friends and family in the stands that he wants to impress.

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