NEXTEL Kansas 400

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Sep 30, 2007 - 12:01 PM
September 30, 2007 
Kansas Speedway
Kansas City, Kansas

Race 29 of 37 on Nextel Cup circuit
(28th points race; 3rd of 10 in "Chase for the Nextel Cup")

TV: ABC, 1 p.m. EDT

Laps: 267
Track length: 1 1/2 miles
Race length: 400 miles

Qualifying record: Matt Kenseth, Ford, 180.856 mph, 2005
Race record: Mark Martin, Ford, 137.774 mph, 2005


Clint Bowyer
Team: Richard Childress Racing
Car: No. 07 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
2007 Earnings: $3,232,344
Chase Points: 5,322 (5th)

Followed up his first career Nextel Cup win at New Hampshire by
running 12th at Dover; fell one spot to fifth in the Chase
standings, 18 points behind leader Jeff Gordon; finished 12th at
Richmond and ran 20th at California, following a third at
Bristol in three races prior to the Chase; has 13 top-10
finishes in 27 races this season; has three top-five finishes,
including a fourth on the road course at Sonoma to go along with
his solid showing at Bristol and win at New Hampshire; has
finished 30th or worse just three times - 36th at Las Vegas,
35th at Talladega and 37th at the first race in New Hampshire;
Kansas City native ran ninth here last year.

Jeff Burton
Team: Richard Childress Racing
Car: No. 31 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
2007 Earnings: $4,934,691
Chase Points: 5,265 (8th)

Ran seventh at Dover to climb three spots to eighth in the
standings, 75 points behind Gordon; started the Chase in seventh
place, but dropped to 11th with his second straight 18th place
finish at New Hampshire, following Richmond; ran fourth at
California and 12th at Bristol prior to Richmond; finished out
of the top-10 in four races before California; prior to that
tough stretch had registered four top-10 finishes over a
six-race span; ran seventh at first New Hampshire race and third
at Sonoma to end a streak of four consecutive finishes outside
the top 10; has seven top-five finishes and 14 top-10s and has
only three finishes of 34th or worse this season; captured his
only victory of the season at Texas; was fifth here last season.

Kyle Busch
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
Car: No. 5 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
2007 Earnings: $3,720,093
Chase Points: 5,330 (4th)

Followed up fourth at New Hampshire with fifth at Dover to move
up to fourth in the Chase standings; trails Hendrick teammate
Gordon by just 10 points; ran 20th at Richmond following a third
place showing at California and a ninth at Bristol; has 16
top-10 finishes in 28 races this season, including eight
top-fives; lone win of the season came during the first Bristol
race - the inaugural Car of Tomorrow event; will leave Hendrick
Motorsports at the end of the season for Joe Gibbs Racing; ran
seventh here last year.

Kurt Busch
Team: Penske Racing
Car: No. 2 Dodge Charger
2007 Earnings: $4,138,107
Chase Points: 5,189 (11th)

Title hopes still slim with a 29th at Dover after suffering
through engine problems and finishing 25th at New Hampshire;
sits 11th in the Chase standings; did not qualify for Chase
until late in the Richmond race, where he finished ninth; turned
season around over last nine races before the Chase by
finishing out of the top 10 just twice with 11th place finishes
at the Brickyard and Watkins Glen; won at Pocono, then later at
Michigan during the rain-delayed event; has a pair of
third-place finishes at Talladega and the second Daytona race;
the 2004 Nextel Cup Champion has eight finishes of 25th or worse
this season; ran 25th here a year ago.

Carl Edwards
Team: Roush Fenway Racing
Car: No. 17 Ford Fusion
2007 Earnings: $3,677,062
Chase Points: 5,312 (6th)

Won at Dover after finishing 12th at New Hampshire, but failed
post-race inspection and was docked 25 points and fined; penalty
dropped him from third to sixth in the standings, 28 points behind
Gordon; ran 42nd at Richmond, but prior to that had four
consecutive top-10 finishes, including a win at Bristol and a
runner-up finish at California; also won at Michigan earlier
this year; has eight top-fives and 12 top-10s this year; has
been consistent with only a pair of finishes lower than 30,
including a 42nd at Talladega; ran sixth here last season.

Jeff Gordon
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
Car: No. 24 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
2007 Earnings: $5,672,309
Chase Points: 5,340 (1st)

Rebounded from rough stretch leading up to the Chase by
finishing 11th at Dover and second to Bowyer at New Hampshire;
moved into first-place atop the standings, but is just two
points ahead of Tony Stewart; prior to the Chase finished fourth
at Richmond but was 22nd at California, 19th at Bristol and
27th at Michigan over previous three races; prior to Michigan
had finished in the top 10 in 10 straight races; was the first
driver to clinch a spot in the "Chase for the Championship";
spun with less than two laps remaining at Watkins Glen while
leading, costing him a potential fifth win this season - still
managed to finish ninth; was docked 100 points for failing
post-qualifying inspections at Sonoma, where he ran seventh; has
four checkered flags this season and 79 career, just four shy
of tying Cale Yarborough for fifth place all-time; reached a
landmark milestone at Talladega, recording his 77th career
victory to pass the late Dale Earnhardt for sixth all-time; ran
39th at this race last year.

Denny Hamlin
Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
Car: No. 11 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
2007 Earnings: $4,007,989
Chase Points: 5,182 (12th)

Title hopes all but dashed after 38th at Dover, dropping to last
among Chase contenders; was involved in an altercation with
Kyle Petty in the garage following wreck midway through the race
at Dover; won his only race of the season at New Hampshire in
July, but could manage only a 15th -place finish at Loudon to
start the Chase; followed up the win at New Hampshire by
finishing dead last at Daytona after wrecking early in the race
with teammate Tony Stewart; has avoided the sophomore slump by
posting 10 top-five and 15 top-finishes this season; finished
second at Darlington and Watkins Glen and has four third-place
finishes at Las Vegas, Martinsville, Phoenix and Richmond; also
finished last at Bristol; was 18th at Kansas last season.

Kevin Harvick
Team: Richard Childress Racing
Car: No. 29 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
2007 Earnings: $6,283,619
Chase Points: 5,225 (9th)

Was the final driver to clinch a berth in the Chase and opened
with a 17th at New Hampshire and a 20th at Dover despite
suffering through tire issues in both races; prior to the Chase
finished seventh at Richmond, ending struggles which included
five straight finishes out of the top-10; has finished 33rd or
worse three times in 26 races this season; was 36th at Watkins
Glen on the heels of a 17th at Pocono; won the season-opening
Daytona 500 by nipping Mark Martin at the finish line; has four
top-fives and 11 top 10s this season; finished second to Juan
Pablo Montoya on the road course at Sonoma; finished 15th at
Kansas last year.

Jimmie Johnson
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
Car: No. 48 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
2007 Earnings: $5,605,433
Chase Points: 5,336 (3rd)

Is no longer the top seed in the Chase after a 14th at Dover
following a sixth at New Hampshire; sits third, four points
behind Gordon; earned top seed with consecutive wins at Richmond
and California; was 21st at Bristol, but posted back-to-back
third place finishes at Michigan and Watkins Glen; defending
series champion has suffered through an up-and-down season,
finishing 39th at the Brickyard after a fiery crash on the heels
of a 37th at Chicago; prior to those two poor showings,
finished 10th at Daytona after running fifth at New Hampshire;
has also posted victories this season at Las Vegas, Atlanta,
Martinsville and the first Richmond race; despite collecting 14
top-five finishes, has been hurt by five finishes outside the
top 35; was 14th here last season.

Matt Kenseth
Team: Roush Fenway Racing
Car: No. 17 Ford Fusion
2007 Earnings: $4,892,826
Chase Points: 5,224 (10th)

Was strong all day at Dover before engine problems dropped him
to 35th; sits 10th in the standings; ran seventh at New
Hampshire; did not close the regular season strong with a 14th
at Richmond after a seventh at California - a week after
crashing and finishing 39th at Bristol; ran fourth at Michigan
in the rain delayed race; posted fourth straight top-10 finish
by placing 10th at the Brickyard; ran 34th and 42nd,
respectively, prior to the four straight top-10 results;
captured his only victory of the season in the campaign's second
race at California; has eight top-five finishes and 17 top-10s
this season; was 23rd at Kansas last season.

Tony Stewart
Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
Car: No. 20 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
2007 Earnings: $5,321,788
Chase Points: 5,338 (2nd)

Moved within two points of leader Gordon with a ninth at Dover
after placing third at New Hampshire; finished second to enter
the Chase on a hot streak; recent surge includes fourth at
Bristol as well as running 10th at Michigan on the heels of
winning at Watkins Glen - his third win; captured back-to-back
victories at Chicagoland and at the Brickyard while placing
sixth at Pocono; finished 38th at Daytona prior to his win at
Chicago after an early-race crash with teammate Denny Hamlin;
won this race last year and has three top fives and five top-10s
in six starts here.

Martin Truex Jr.
Team: Dale Earnhardt Inc.
Car: No. 1 Chevrolet Monte Carlo
2007 Earnings: $3,956,516
Chase Points: 5,294 (7th)

Ran 13th at Dover following a fifth at New Hampshire for a solid
start to his first Chase; finished 15th at Richmond, but only
needed to start the race to qualify; has been overshadowed by
more famous teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr., but has outperformed
him all season; won his first career Nextel Cup race at Dover in
June; has six top-fives and 11 top 10s, including a third at
Pocono and second at Michigan in back-to-back weeks after the
win at Dover; finished second in both Michigan races this year;
has only two finishes outside the top 30 this season - 42nd at
California and 37th at Bristol during the early part of the
season; ran 11th here last year.

2006 Top 10
1. Tony Stewart (20), Chevrolet
2. Casey Mears (41), Dodge
3. Mark Martin (6), Ford
4. Dale Jarrett (88), Ford
5. Jeff Burton (31), Chevrolet
6. Carl Edwards (99), Ford
7. Kyle Busch (5), Chevrolet
8. Brian Vickers (25), Chevrolet
9. Clint Bowyer (07), Chevrolet
10. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (8), Chevrolet

Past Champions
2006 Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 121.753 mph
2005 Mark Martin, Ford, 137.774 mph
2004 Joe Nemechek, Chevrolet, 128.058 mph
2003 Ryan Newman, Dodge, 121.630 mph
2002 Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 119.394 mph
2001 Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 110.576 mph

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