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Home Depot Racing Team Report: Dover Fall 2006

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Round 28 of 36
Dover 400
Dover

Car No.: 20 — Joe Gibbs Racing Home Depot Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS

Teammates: Denny Hamlin in the No. 11 FedEx Chevrolet* and J.J. Yeley in the No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet


Primary Team Members
Driver: Tony Stewart Crew Chief: Greg Zipadelli
Car Chief: Jason Shapiro Engine Builder: Mark Cronquist
Engine Specialist: Jarrad Egert (pronounced "Egg-ert") Spotter: Mark Robertson

Over-The-Wall Crew Members
Gas Man: Jeff "Gooch" Patterson Front Tire Changer: Ira-Jo Hussey
Catch Can: Brian "Shaggy" Larson Front Tire Carrier: Tom Dean
Windshield: Scott Geerts (pronounced "Gurtz") Rear Tire Changer: Todd Foster
Jackman: Chuck White Rear Tire Carrier: Jody Fortson

Other Crew Members
Truck Drivers: Scott "Scooter" Crowell Danny "Gumby" Hiedtke (pronounced "Hide-key")
Tire Specialists: Jerold Shires and Bill Byrne
Shock Specialist: Ronny Crooks and Dave Hansen Engineer: Adam Stevens
Pit Support: Jerry Cook, Alan Copley, Byron Goggin and Jim Williams

Car History - Chassis No. 110
This is a brand new race car, with its first track time of any kind coming this weekend at Dover.

Team History at Dover International Speedway
Year Event Start Finish Status/Laps Led Earnings
2006 ^Neighborhood Excellence 400 10 25 Running/398 0 $130,786
2005 %MBNA RacePoints 400 I 6 15 Running/399 0 $130,496
2005 xMBNA RacePoints 400 II 31 18 Running/402 0 $114,136
2004 MBNA America 400 I 10 2 Running/400 234 $227,978
2004 MBNA America 400 II 23 6 Running/400 0 $117,168
2003 MBNA Armed Forces Family 400 11 4 Running/400 67 $145,253
2003 %MBNA America 400 11 3 Running/400 97 $148,408
2002 MBNA Platinum 400 25 11 Running/400 0 $106,138
2002 MBNA All-American Heroes 400 23 5 Running/400 34 $115,073
2001 %MBNA Platinum 400 6 7 Running/400 2 $73,260
2001 MBNA Cal Ripken Jr. 400 11 5 Running/400 3 $89,270
2000 MBNA Platinum 400 16 1 Running/400 242 $152,830
2000 MBNA.com 400 27 1 Running/400 163 $158,535
1999 MBNA Platinum 400 24 4 Running/399 127 $63,205
1999 MBNA Gold 400 3 2 Running/400 97 $88,875

^ Car was qualified by Ricky Rudd. Race was started by Stewart, but finished by Rudd who took over for Stewart in a relief role on lap 38.
x Race length extended due to green-white-checker finish % Qualifying canceled due to weather, starting position set via car owner points.

Car History - Chassis No. 136
This car tested twice - Charlotte May 1-2 and Indianapolis May 30 - before making its racing debut at the spring Pocono race. It enjoyed a strong showing at the 2.5-mile triangle, leading once for six laps before finishing a strong third. Its second start at Chicagoland produced results that weren't indicative of its performance. It qualified 34th, whereupon Stewart admitted the car was better than the lap he drove. The race proved Stewart correct, as Chassis No. 136 came from 34th to take the lead on lap 131. It stayed within the top-five for much of the race, and with less than four laps to go, was running third and poised to take over second-place from Jeff Burton. But just before a green-white-checkered finish, the gas tank ran dry. Chassis No. 136 went from being third to finishing 32nd, one lap down to race winner Jeff Gordon. It continued its up front ways in its third career start at the fall Pocono race, qualifying third and finishing a solid seventh. Dover marks its fourth career start.

Year Event Start Finish Status/Laps Led Earnings
2006 Pocono (Spring) 18 3 Running/200 6 $182,311
2006 Chicagoland 34 32 Running/269 1 $132,386
2006 Pocono (Fall) 13 7 Running/200 0 $132,461

Notes of Interest

  • The Dover 400 will mark Stewart's 276th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series start and his 16th career Nextel Cup start at Dover.
  • Stewart is currently 11th in the Nextel Cup point standings with 3,473 points, 313 points ahead of 12th place Greg Biffle. Stewart maintained his position after his second-place finish last Sunday at New Hampshire. At this point last year (where the points were recalibrated for the Chase for the Championship) Stewart was first in the standings with 5,230 points, 20 markers ahead of second-place Greg Biffle. Last year, Stewart won the championship.
  • What If... there was no Chase and the points weren't readjusted following the Sept. 9 race at Richmond? How would the top-10 currently look?
    1. Matt Kenseth (3,924 points)
    2. Jimmie Johnson (3,774 points, -150)
    3. Kevin Harvick (3,671 points, -253)
    4. Denny Hamlin (3,513 points, -411) +1
    5. Jeff Gordon (3,491 points, -433) +4
    6. Tony Stewart (3,473 points, -451) +5
    7. *Stewart would win the tiebreaker via his two wins to Busch's one and Burton's none.
    8. Kyle Busch (3,473 points, -451) -3
    9. Jeff Burton (3,473 points, -451)
    10. Mark Martin (3,471 points, -453) -2
    11. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (3,462 points, -462) -4
    12. Kasey Kahne (3,434 points, -490) -1
  • Stewart is third in miles led this season, pacing the field for 1,010.10 miles. Greg Biffle is first with 1,237.51 miles led. Matt Kenseth is second with 1,157.37 miles led. Kasey Kahne is fourth with 824.16 miles led. Stewart's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin is fifth with 803.09 miles led. Jeff Burton is sixth with 758.13 miles led. Jeff Gordon is seventh with 753.28 miles led. And Kevin Harvick is eighth with 656.18 miles led. No other drivers have led more than 450 miles this season.
  • Stewart has led at least one lap in 15 of the 27 races held this season. Stewart's total of 930 laps led is the most of all drivers. Matt Kenseth trails Stewart with a total of 893 laps led. Greg Biffle is third in laps led with 872. Jeff Burton is fourth in laps led with 637. Kevin Harvick is fifth in laps led with 634. And Kasey Kahne is sixth in laps led with 500. No other drivers have led more than 500 laps. As a result, Stewart has earned a total of 95 lap leader bonus points, 25 more than championship point leader Harvick.
  • Stewart has the eighth best average running position (13.560) in the 27 races held this season. Matt Kenseth leads this category with an average running position of 10.871, just 2.689 positions better than Stewart.
  • Stewart has recorded the fastest lap on the race track a total of 433 times in the 27 races held this season, third best among Nextel Cup drivers. Kasey Kahne leads this category with 506 fastest laps while Greg Biffle is second with 493 fastest laps. Matt Kenseth is fourth with 389 fastest laps, 44 fewer than Stewart.
  • Stewart has the fourth-best driver rating 27 races into the season. His 97.8 rating is .1 of a point higher than fifth-place Jimmie Johnson (97.7) and 6.4 points lower than first-place Matt Kenseth (104.2). Jeff Gordon is second (99.2) while Kevin Harvick is third (98.7). The driver rating is a formula consisting of wins, finishes, top-15s, average running position while on lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, laps led and lead lap finishes.
  • Stewart is the fourth-fastest driver early in a run in the 27 races held this season. His season rank of 8.043 is 1.543 points below series leader Greg Biffle (6.500), the best among Nextel Cup drivers during the first 25 percent of laps in a pit window under green flag conditions. Jeff Burton is second with a 7.792 rating. Stewart's Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin is third with a 7.880 rating. Matt Kenseth is fifth with an 8.680 rating. And Kevin Harvick is sixth with a 9.125 rating.
  • Stewart is the fastest driver late in a run in the 27 races held this season. His season rank of 8.304 is .336 of a point higher than second-place Jimmie Johnson (8.640). Jeff Gordon is third (9.957). Kevin Harvick is fourth (9.208). Mark Martin is fifth (9.923). And Matt Kenseth is sixth (10.040). Stewart is the best among Nextel Cup drivers during the last 25 percent of laps following a pit stop.
  • Stewart is the second-fastest driver under green in the 27 races held this season. His season rank of 7.043 is .134 of a point below series leader Greg Biffle (6.909). Jeff Burton is third (7.833). Matt Kenseth is fourth (8.120). Jeff Gordon is fifth (8.304). Jimmie Johnson is sixth (8.360). And Kevin Harvick is seventh (8.542).
  • Stewart is the fastest driver in traffic in the 27 races held this season. His season rank of 6.522 is .66 of a point higher than second-place Kyle Busch (7.182). Matt Kenseth is third (8.400). Jimmie Johnson is fourth (8.960). And Jeff Gordon is fifth (9.609). Championship point leader Kevin Harvick is a distant 12th (11.333). "Traffic" is determined when there is another car within one car length.
  • Of the nine races remaining on this year's Nextel Cup schedule, Stewart has won at six of those venues - Dover (6/4/2000 & 9/24/2000), Charlotte (10/11/2003), Martinsville (10/1/2000 & 4/2/2006), Atlanta (3/10/2002), Phoenix (11/7/1999) and Homestead (11/14/1999 & 11/12/2000). The only venues where Stewart has yet to record a victory are Talladega, Kansas and Texas.
  • In his 15 previous Nextel Cup starts at Dover, Stewart has finished outside of the top-10 just four times. Overall, he has two wins, nine top-fives, a sixth-place finish and a seventh-place finish. His average Dover finish is seventh.
  • Of the 6,002 possible laps available at Dover in the past seven-and-a-half seasons, Stewart has led 1,066 laps (17.8 percent).
  • Stewart has led at least two laps in 10 of his 15 Dover starts.
  • Stewart has completed 5,998 of the 6,002 laps available at Dover in the past seven-and-a-half seasons. The three races where Stewart finished a lap(s) down were the 1999 spring race - where he still managed a fourth-place result - last year's spring race and this year's spring race where Ricky Rudd took over in a relief role for Stewart on lap 38.
  • Stewart has never recorded a DNF (Did Not Finish) in a Nextel Cup race at Dover.
  • Stewart has driven an Indy car, a NASCAR Craftsman Truck, a NASCAR Busch Series car and a Nextel Cup car at Dover.
  • Stewart swept both Dover races in 2000 en route to becoming the winningest driver on the circuit that year with six total victories. Eight other drivers have swept both Dover races in a single season. They are David Pearson (1973); Bobby Allison (1983); Bill Elliott (1988); Dale Earnhardt (1989); Rusty Wallace (1994); Jeff Gordon (1996); Jimmie Johnson (2002); and Ryan Newman (2003).
  • "You Must Be a Local" - front tire carrier Tom Dean is from Long Valley, N.J. Dean joined Joe Gibbs Racing following the 1998 season and has been with the No. 20 team since its inception. Before joining the team, Dean worked as a mechanic with the IROC Series from 1995-1998. The Tinton Falls, N.J.-based series was an hour and 20 minutes from Dean's home. Prior to working with IROC, Dean toiled at a Pontiac dealership in Flemington, N.J.
  • Home Depot's Villagers Hardware store No. 6901, located in East Brunswick, N.J., will be represented on the lower rear quarterpanel of the No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet during the Dover 400. Store No. 6901 was judged to be the outstanding store of the past week, thereby earning its place on the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing machine.
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