May 31, 2009

Dover Cup Results

A slow pit stop for four tires late in the race appeared to be the unmaking of the No. 48 team. Jimmie Johnson restarted the Autism Speaks 400 ninth on lap 368 and with only a few laps laps he needed to pass a lot of cars. He slipped past David Stremme when that driver crashed and then had to sweat out four more laps under caution—watching precious time slip away.

Once the green waved again on lap 375, he steadily climbed toward the lead and passed Tony Stewart on the high side with only three laps remaining.

Finishing second, Stewart took the point lead from Jeff Gordon, who had a miserable day and fell two laps off the pace to finish 26th.

At the beginning of the week, we said Roush-Fenway would be strong. Greg Biffle finished third with Matt Kenseth on his back bumper. Biffle and Carl Edwards got to banging in the middle stages of the race, but the No. 99 was able to hold onto a top-10 finish in seventh. Jamie McMurray also finished on the lead lap in 14th.

Joey Logano kept his streak of top-15s alive at three with a 15th. That was also his fifth straight top-20.

Results, with career avg. finish

FinishStartDriverLapsLaps LedStatusAvg Fin
18Jimmie Johnson400298Running10.40
231Tony Stewart4006Running11.67
35Greg Biffle40041Running10.64
414Matt Kenseth4007Running13.62
519Kurt Busch400
62Kasey Kahne400
713Carl Edwards40012Running7.60
811Ryan Newman400
917Casey Mears400
1028Mark Martin4001Running12.70
1125Clint Bowyer400
1222Dale Earnhardt Jr400
1312Sam Hornish Jr400
1418Jamie McMurray400
1521Joey Logano400
1632Jeff Burton400
1735Kevin Harvick400
181David Reutimann40025Running20.00
194Reed Sorenson4004Running23.14
2020Marcos Ambrose400
2115Martin Truex Jr399
2233Regan Smith399
236Kyle Busch399
2426David Ragan399
259Brian Vickers399
2642Jeff Gordon398
2710Elliott Sadler3982Running21.38
2827Bobby Labonte397
297A J Allmendinger396
303Juan Montoya3953Running24.40
3130David Stremme370
3236Paul Menard363
3340Robby Gordon282
3441John Andretti253
3529Michael Waltrip250
3616Denny Hamlin232
3723Scott Speed118
3838Joe Nemechek67
Drive Shaft25.00
3939Dave Blaney66
4037Mike Bliss56
4134Mike Skinner51
4243Tony Raines42
4324David Gilliland381Power Steering26.33
Brad Keselowski0
Max Papis0
Derrike Cope0
David Starr0

IRL: Milwaukee Results

Scott Dixon improved last year's Milwaukee result by only one position, but it was the one that counted. In this race last year, he finished second, but he was not going to be denied in 2009. He took the lead from Ryan Briscoe on lap 201 and then scooted out to a 2.13 second lead; Briscoe held on for second.

If you chose to do this one by the number, it was an uneven day. Tony Kanaan entered the weekend with the best average finish during the last five Milwaukee races, but he crashed early on lap 12 and finished 20th. On the other hand, Dario Franchitti had the second best average finish during that span and he managed to finish third.

Graham Rahal and Danica Patrick rounded out the top five.

Results, with career avg. finish

FinishStartDriverLapsStatusAvg Fin
14Scott Dixon225Running6.00
21Ryan Briscoe225Running7.00
38Dario Franchitti225Running2.80
42Graham Rahal225Running14.50
57Danica Patrick225Running9.00
69Raphael Matos225Running6.00
713Marco Andretti225Running12.00
86Hideki Mutoh224Running10.00
95Mario Moraes224Running16.00
1014Dan Wheldon224Running8.00
1120Helio Castroneves222Running12.33
1218Ryan Hunter-Reay222Running13.50
1310Tomas Scheckter222Running11.40
1412Robert Doornbos220Running14.00
1515Justin Wilson219Running11.00
1619Ed Carpenter219Running13.67
1716Paul Tracy219Running17.00
1817E J Viso175Mechanical13.00
1911Mike Conway55Mechanical20.00
203Tony Kanaan12Accident5.50
2121Stanton Barrett0DNQ

Johnson wins Dover thriller

Jimmie Johnson restarted the Autism Speaks 400 eighth on lap 375 and rapidly charged through the field. In the final laps, he passed Tony Stewart on the high side to win a race he dominated most of the afternoon.

Our View: While most of the race was a "snoozer," along with Greg Biffle, there was a spirited battle at the end.

IRL: Dixon wins Milwaukee

Scott Dixon scooted past Ryan Briscoe on lap 201 and then stretched his advantage to 2.13 seconds before the end of the ABC Supply 225, according to

Our View: Briscoe held onto second, while Dario Franchitti and Graham Rahal finished third and fourth respectively.

Gordon, Andretti to the back

Jeff Gordon (with a backup car) and John Andretti (transmission) will drop to the back of the field to start the Autism Speaks 400.

Our View: This won't matter a bit. Gordon was scheduled to start 42nd after crashing in qualification and Andretti qualified 41st.

Earnhardt, McGrew unite early

Lance McGrew will be on top of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s pit box one week early, according to, since Brad Keselowski failed to qualify for Sunday's Autism Speaks 400. Brian Whitesell will actually be making the setup calls, however, according to a tweet from @BobPockrass.

Our View: This allows Earnhardt and McGrew to start developing chemistry. That will pay dividends in the next couple of weeks, but fantasy owners shouldn't think about starting him at Dover. Once they have a full race under their belt, however, Earnhardt should be watched in Pocono prelims.

Weather or not?

A brief rain shower moved through, but has given way to bright blue skies, according to a tweet from @NASCARSays—the official news site of NASCAR PR.

Our View: Let's hope the sun stays out. Another rainy week would play havoc with your fantasy roster.

Trucks: Scott follows Loop Data

One of the biggest tools we use at is the loop data report. Apparently Brian Scott does as well.

Competition caution coming

After last night's tire killing Camping World Truck Series race, NASCAR has decided to throw a competition caution at lap 30 of the Cup race, according to a tweet from @BobPockrass.

Our View: We can't remember the last time they had to do this during all three races during the weekend. Dover has been concrete for a long while, but for some reason it is not taking to the current tire compound. As with Nationwide, this will allow teams to make a final adjustment - and expect Jeff Gordon to jump up 10 - 15 spots during it.

Dover pit stall selections

The pit stall selections have been published at

Our View: As expected, David Reutimann has the first stall at the turn one end of pit road. Jimmie Johnson took the last stall in turn four and it will be interesting to see if this provides a benefit.