AAA 400 Race Preview and Pick to Win

Race: AAA 400
Date: Sunday September 26th, 2010
Track: Dover International Speedway
Time: 1 pm ET
Channel: ESPN

by Virginia Vroom of

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From the Magic Mile at New Hampshire to the Monster Mile at Dover, we are headed to Dover International Speedway this weekend. Clint Bowyer took the win on Sunday with a pretty cool fuel mileage win after Tony Stewart ran short. Bowyer jumped from 12th to 2nd in points after the win.

This weekend, Dover brings us to another short track. This track is a 1-mile oval with 24 degree banking in the turns and 9 degree banking on the straights. It was pretty cool to see just how many donuts those guys had on their cars after New Hampshire, so you can only imagine that it’s just going to get crazier here at Dover. This particular track is a track where track position is very important like New Hampshire. There are a lot of short runs that makes it important for the drivers to maintain the top spots if they want to win. It is possible to drive from the back as it is with all tracks, but it’s more favorable to be upfront and stay there. This could be another fuel mileage game depending on the way that the race pans out like at the Magic Mile, so we’ll have to wait and see for that one.

Looking at past winners here, we see that they mirror Richmond a little bit. There are strong run from Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, and the Roush guys. Jeff Gordon and Martin Truex also have some success and strong runs here, including a pole for Truex in May. Carl Edwards is someone you can’t count out here either simply because of his success on concrete. This is one of his best tracks, so look for him to be battling towards the front during the race.

Based on runs from last week and also from the rest of the season, I think that we are going to see strong finishes from particularly little Busch and Tony Stewart. Jimmie Johnson should be up there as well, but he seemed to remain the common denominator in all incidents at New Hampshire, so Jimmie has his work cut out for him. After Tony’s disappointing loss, I’d like to say that he’s going to pull it out, but I didn’t see that ‘fight’ in him during his interview. His optimism certainly wasn’t there. I think that as sick as everyone is of hearing it, Kyle Busch is going to be one to watch. Clint Bowyer, being at a similar track as Richmond and even New Hampshire should do pretty well here, but pulling out double weekends is simply not a reality for him. My pick is Kyle Busch this weekend. This is a track that takes aggressiveness, and we all know that Kyle has enough to go around for everyone.

Here’s a recap of your current top 12 after the first race of the Chase:

1. Denny Hamlin
2. Clint Bowyer
3. Kevin Harvick
4. Kyle Busch
5. Jeff Gordon
6. Kurt Busch
7. Jimmie Johnson
8. Carl Edwards
9. Greg Biffle
10. Jeff Burton
11. Tony Stewart
12. Matt Kenseth

There are only 136 points between 1st and 12th so it’s still anyone’s Chase at this point. After Dover, we’ll have a much better idea of who is truly a contender and who is not. Stay tuned for this Sunday’s race at the Monster Mile!