It's Anybody's Race in the Chase to Championship at Homestead-Miami

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Great seats are available for Ford Championship Weekend 2008, Nov. 14-16 on Homestead-Miami Speedway's 1.5-mile oval, as the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Craftsman Truck Series all crown champions under the lights. To secure individual or group tickets for NASCAR's finale, call (866) 409-RACE or click here.

The tensions of the post season are heating up this weekend at the one-mile concrete track known as ‘The Monster Mile’, Dover International Speedway. But this week Carl Edwards (No. 99 Office Depot Ford) might not want to be atop the standings with the way the points have been shuffling.  

The Chase format proved to be the ultimate equalizer last Sunday at New Hampshire. Had there been no Chase, Kyle Busch (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Toyota) would have entered New Hampshire with a 207 point lead. Now, he trails new points leader Edwards by 74 – a 281-point swing. Busch took the biggest drop in the points after New Hampshire, dropping seven spots to eighth.

And this week it could be more of the same. Since the inception of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup in 2004, the standings leader has changed after Dover every year.

Roush Fenway Racing currently has two drivers in the top three of the Chase — Edwards and, last week’s winner, Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford). Only 30 points separate the two, and both Edwards and Biffle have won at Dover — fall of 2007 and spring of 2005 respectively. Could ‘the points shuffle’ happen two weeks in a row?

Kyle Busch finished 34th at New Hampshire, dropping him to eighth in the standings.

But Busch has been successful at Dover, having won there earlier in the season, and having posted five top-five finishes in eight starts.

Last season during the Chase, Busch started 22nd and rallied to a fifth-place finish at Dover moving from fifth to fourth in the standings.

The NASCAR Pre-Race Loop Data statistics has Busch ranked in the top 10 of several key categories: third in Driver Rating (106.9); eighth in Average Running Position (11.933) and sixth in Laps In The Top 15 (73.6 %).

Carl Edwards heads to Dover this weekend after finishing third at New Hampshire catapulting him to the standings lead.

Edwards has posted one win, four top-five, and five top-10 finishes in eight starts at Dover.

Edwards won the fall race at Dover last season, moving him up two spots in the 2007 Chase standings from eighth to sixth.

NASCAR Pre-Race Loop Data statistics show Edwards ranked in the top 10 of several key categories: fourth in Driver Rating (102.9), fourth in Average Running Position (10.417) and eighth in Laps in the Top 15 (69.6%).

Greg Biffle won’t sneak

up on anyone, anymore.

The surprise winner at New Hampshire last Sunday vaulted into third place and now sits just 30 points behind Roush Fenway Racing teammate Carl Edwards.

Another Biffle move up the standings could occur this weekend – only this time it would be expected.

Biffle is phenomenal at Dover, boasting some of the top statistics in the series. He grabbed a Dover win in 2005 and has finished inside the top 10 in six out of the last seven races (including five straight coming into this race).

Over that span, Biffle owns series-best numbers in Driver Rating (116.1), Average Running Position (6.3), Fastest Laps Run (267) and Laps in the Top 15 percentage (94.5%).

Biffle finished third at Dover earlier this season; Edwards finished second. In that race, Biffle earned some of the best stats of his season. He had a Driver Rating of 130.6, an Average Running Position of 2.3 and 77 Fastest Laps Run. All three were personal bests for 2008.

On the other end of the standings spectrum, this could be a redemption race for Matt Kenseth, another member of the Roush Fenway stable.

Over the last two races, Kenseth has suffered finishes of 39th and 40th, and finds himself in 12th-place, 177 points out of first. The long march back into contention likely needs to begin this weekend. It could.

In the last seven races at Dover (which includes a win in 2006), Kenseth has a Driver Rating of 112.3 (second-best), an Average Running Position of 7.0 (second), 244 Fastest Laps Run (second), a Laps in the Top 15 percentage of 91.9% (second) and a series-high 222 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green).

Kenseth and Biffle also rank one-two in average Green Flag Speed at Dover. Kenseth has an average Green Flag Speed of 141.752 mph; Biffle is at 141.742 mph.

[story courtesy of NASCARmedia.com]
[photo courtesy of gettyimagesc.com]

Great seats are available for Ford Championship Weekend 2008, Nov. 14-16 on Homestead-Miami Speedway's 1.5-mile oval, as the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Craftsman Truck Series all crown champions under the lights. To secure individual or group tickets for NASCAR's finale, call (866) 409-RACE or click here.

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