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2007 Dodge Dealers 400

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Title: 2007 Dodge Dealers 400  
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Subject: Jacques Villeneuve, Juan Pablo Montoya, Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin, Kenny Wallace, Bill Elliott, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Jeff Burton, Joe Nemechek
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2007 Dodge Dealers 400

2007 Nextel Cup Series
Chase for the Cup

The 2007 Dodge Dealers 400, was an auto race run September 23, 2007 in the state capital of Delaware at Dover International Speedway, the 28th race in the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season and the second race of the ten-event 2007 Chase for the NEXTEL Cup. This race was the thirteenth that used NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow template.

Pre-Race News

Qualifying

With a lap time of 23.261 seconds at a speed of 154.766 mph, points leader Jimmie Johnson claimed his second pole of the season. Raybestos Rookie of the Year point leader Juan Pablo Montoya qualified second, tying his best career start to that point. Of note, A.J. Allmendinger recorded his best starting position of 11th, although he started at teh back of the field following an engine change.

Failed to Qualify: Ward Burton (#4), Scott Wimmer (#33), Sam Hornish Jr. (#06), Kevin Lepage (#37), Dave Blaney (#22), Jeremy Mayfield (#36)

Race

The 2007 running of the Dodge Dealers 400 was dominated early on by Chase driver Matt Kenseth. Engine woes sidelined the #17 for the rest of the day. Besides Kenseth, various Chase drivers struggled throughout the day. RCR's Kevin Harvick had a loose wheel early on and could never recover from the mistake. Jimmie Johnson had a cut tire on lap 186, losing 2 laps. Jeff Gordon overall struggled with his CoT, Tony Stewart and Jeff Burton both needed the "Lucky Dog" to get back on the lead lap, but still ended up one lap down. Most recent winner Clint Bowyer was dodging wrecks left and right, while Denny Hamlin was involved in a heated altercation with Kyle Petty. A unique caution came out on lap 148. During the cycle of previous pit stops, Michael Waltrip's gasman, Art Harris, was hit by a stray wheel hit by the car of David Ragan. Harris had to be escorted out of the racatrack via ambulance, but Dover does not have a tunnel as it is below sea level. The crewman was okay. A five minute red flag was brought out as a result of a crash between John Andretti and Tony Raines. Misfortune would again strike the Chase contenders as "The Big One", commonly seen at Talladega erupted on lap 386 when Kurt Busch lost a tire and struck the turn two wall. He bounced off Reed Sorenson and into his teammate Ryan Newman. Out of the Chase contenders besides Busch, the melee also got his brother Kyle, points leader Jimmie Johnson and hometown hero Martin Truex Jr.. Non-Chasers involved were Reed Sorenson, J.J. Yeley, Jeff Green, Scott Riggs, Elliott Sadler, Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, and Bobby Labonte. The red flag would be brought out again to clean up the mess. Avoiding the misfortune of the Chasers would be Carl Edwards, looking to sneak up on the other drivers. This ploy would work as he had held off ex-teammate Mark Martin on the majority of restarts. With few laps in the race, Greg Biffle, who had not won since 2006 at Homestead, took the opportunity to take on four tires. After the 13th and final caution, Biffle soared past his ex-teammate, but would not have enough to catch Edwards, dubbed, "The Concrete Conqueror" in the Busch Series, who hung on for his first NEXTEL Cup win at Dover.

Results

Top Ten Results: (NOTE: Chase drivers are in bold italics.)

Pos. No. Driver Car Team
1. #99 Carl Edwards Ford Roush Fenway Racing
2. #16 Greg Biffle Ford Roush Fenway Racing
3. #8 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Dale Earnhardt Incorporated
4. #01 Mark Martin Chevrolet Dale Earnhardt Incorporated
5. #5 Kyle Busch Chevrolet Hendrick Motorsports
6. #25 Casey Mears Chevrolet Hendrick Motorsports
7. #31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Richard Childress Racing
8. #26 Jamie McMurray Ford Roush Fenway Racing
9. #20 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Joe Gibbs Racing
10. #42 Juan Pablo Montoya (R) Dodge Chip Ganassi Racing

Post-Race

After the race, Jeff Gordon regained the points lead from teammate Jimmie Johnson. Four drivers - Gordon, Tony Stewart, Edwards, and Johnson - were all separated by a mere eight points. During post-race inspection, Edwards' car was found to be too low in the right rear. NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said that the car will be taken to NASCAR's research and development center in Daytona Beach, Florida, for further inspection.

On September 25, 2007 NASCAR penalized Edwards and the team 25 points as a result of the violation. Edwards dropped to sixth in the championship standings, 28 points behind leader Jeff Gordon. Roush Fenway Racing planned to appeal the decision, claiming that it was too harsh.[2][3] Edwards, in an interview with PRN Garage Pass, blamed the damage on the moment of congratulations from teammate Greg Biffle.

References

External links

  • Complete race results
  • Points standings
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