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Jun 29, 2008 - 10:23 AM
June 29, 2008
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Loudon, New Hampshire
Race 17 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit

TV: TNT, 1:00 p.m. EDT

Laps: 301
Track length: 1.058 miles
Race length: 318 miles

Qualifying record: Ryan Newman, Dodge, 132.360 mph, 2004
Race record: Jeff Burton, Ford, 117.134 mph, 1997


Jeff Burton
Team: Richard Childress Racing
Car: No. 31 Chevrolet Impala
2008 Earnings: $2,645,591

One of the circuit's most consistent drivers, finished 13th
at Sonoma last week and remains in second in the standings,
103 points behind Kyle Busch; finished 15th at Michigan; won
at Bristol for first win of the season; finished 13th in the
Daytona 500 and eighth at California; was fifth in Las Vegas
and 10th at Atlanta; has 10 top 10s through first 16 races;
finished eighth in last season's standings, one year after
placing seventh; finished in the top 10 in half of the races
last season, including nine top fives; lone win of the 2007
season came in April at Texas; finished the season strong with
five top 10s over the final six races; ran seventh in this
race last season.

Kyle Busch
Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
Car: No. 18 Toyota Camry
2008 Earnings: $3,738,338

Is in the midst of a stellar first season with Joe Gibbs Racing,
winning five races and posting 10 top fives through 16 races;
pushed lead up to 103 points over Burton after winning his first
career road race and fifth race of the season at Sonoma last week;
ran dead last at Pocono and then finished 13th at Michigan;
finished 17th at Bristol after power steering failed and
transmission issues relegated him to 38th at Martinsville; won at
Atlanta, Talladega, Darlington and Dover; runner-up finish at
Richmond was marred by a late-race incident with Dale Earnhardt
Jr.; had the dominant car and led the most laps at the Daytona
500; was strong at Las Vegas early, but struggled late and wound
up 11th; is looking to build off a sensational run at Hendrick
Motorsports as he moves to JGR and Toyota; finished fifth in the
final 2007 standings after qualifying for the Chase for the second
consecutive season; had 20 top-10 finishes in 36 races last season,
including 11 top fives; lone win came during the first Bristol race
- the inaugural Car of Tomorrow event; ran 11th in this race last

Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
Car: No. 88 Chevrolet Impala
2008 Earnings: $2,569,345

The circuit's most popular driver finished 12th at Sonoma last
week; snapped a 76-race winless stretch by winning at Michigan
on fumes; nearly snapped skid but was involved in a late-race
incident with Kyle Busch at Richmond and wound up 15th; sits
third in the standings with 11 top 10s through 16 races; ran
fifth at Bristol after a third at Atlanta and second at Las
Vegas; was the top finishing Hendrick car at the Daytona 500
with a ninth-place showing; was involved in an early race crash
at California and finished 40th; made the move from his father's
Dale Earnhardt Inc., where he won 17 Cup events, to Hendrick
Motorsports; got off to a good start with his new team by
winning the Bud Shootout; suffered through a tough final season
at DEI, finishing 16th in the standings; had 12 top 10s last
season, but also posted 11 finishes of 25th or worse; finished
fourth in this race last season.

Carl Edwards
Team: Roush Fenway Racing
Car: No. 99 Ford Fusion
2008 Earnings: $3,647,225

Finished ninth at Sonoma for his eighth straight top-10 finish;
sits in fourth in the standins, 258 points behind Busch; Won at
Texas for his third win of the season; was docked 100 points
and fell from the top spot in the standings after being
penalized after his win at Las Vegas; victory at Texas was his
10th career Cup win; had the dominant car again at Atlanta, but
blew an engine and finished 42nd; ran 19th in the Daytona 500;
qualified for the Chase last year and won at Dover after placing
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 and he never recovered; won the 2007
NASCAR Busch Series championship; finished with 11 top fives
and 15 top 10s last year; also won at Michigan and Bristol; was
second to Kyle Busch at Darlington and Dover; finished 13th at
this race last year.

Jeff Gordon
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
Car: No. 24 Chevrolet Impala
2008 Earnings: $2,764,280

Finished third at Sonoma and climbed three spots up to sixth in
the standings; finished 18th at Michigan; ran second at
Martinsville; rebounded to finish fifth at Atlanta after being
involved in a scary late-race crash at Las Vegas where he
finished 35th; bounced back with a third at California after
opening his 2008 season with a disappointing 39th in the Daytona
500; already has three DNFs this season after posting just one
last year; only a dominant finish by teammate Jimmie Johnson kept
him from capturing a fifth championship last season; finished
with 10 top-10 finishes in the final 11 races - the other finish
in that span was an 11th at Dover; totaled a remarkable 30 top-10
finishes and 21 top fives in 36 races last year; spun with less
than two laps remaining at Watkins Glen while leading, costing
him another potential win - still managed to finish ninth; had
six checkered flags last season and 81 career, just two shy of
tying Cale Yarborough for fifth place all-time; had 10 poles last
season - double that of Ryan Newman who had five; finished second
at this race last season.

Jimmie Johnson
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
Car: No. 48 Chevrolet Impala
2008 Earnings: $3,067,846

Ran 15th at Sonoma last week and remains in fifth in the
standings; two-time defending series champion blew a motor
at Lowe's and finished in 39th place; bounced back with three
top-10s, including a sixth at Michigan; picked up his first
win of the season at Phoenix, then ran 13th at Talladega and
30th at Richmond; finished second at Texas following a fourth
at Martinsville; had a disappointing three-race stretch at Las
Vegas, Atlanta and Bristol when his average finish was 20th;
ran second at California after starting this campaign with a
27th at the Daytona 500; battled teammate Gordon for the top
spot in the Chase early last season, then took off - winning
four straight races over the second half of the Chase; suffered
through an up-and-down season before the Chase, finishing 39th
at the Brickyard after a fiery crash on the heels of a 37th at
Chicago; finished the season with 10 wins, 20 top-fives, 24 top
10s, yet failed to finish four races; finished fifth in this
race last year.

Kasey Kahne
Team: Gillett Evernham Motorsports
Car: No. 9 Dodge
2008 Earnings: $3,755,989

Ran a disappointing 33rd at Sonoma last week after claiming
the pole position, falling two spots to ninth in the standings;
Finished second to Earnhardt at Michigan; won at Pocono from the
pole; had a stellar two weeks at Lowe's, winning the Sprint
All-Star Challenge then snapping a 52-race winless skid by taking
the checkered flag in the Coca-Cola 600; has eight top 10s this
season; after winning six races in 2006, struggled in 2007 when
he finished 19th in the standings with just one top five and
eight top 10s; also had six DNFs and dipped as low as 36th in
the standings at one point; took on the famed Budweiser
sponsorship after Dale Earhnardt Jr. moved to Hendrick
Motorsports; finished 25th in this race last year.

Matt Kenseth
Team: Roush Fenway Racing
Car: No. 17 Ford Fusion
2008 Earnings: $2,597,744

Continued his charge up the standings by finishing eighth
at Sonoma - his sixth consecutive top-10 result; ran third at
Michigan; is just 16 points out of the 11th place in the
standings; finished 38th at Richmond and 41st at Talladega;
ran 38th at Phoenix following a ninth at Texas and 30th at
Martinsville; had consecutive top 10s at Bristol and Atlanta;
was 20th at Las Vegas due to a late-race incident with Jeff
Gordon; ran fifth at California, fresh off a disappointing 35th
place showing at the Daytona 500; last season had a late-Chase
surge with a win at the season-ending race at Homestead,
following a third at Phoenix and a second at Texas; finished
fourth in the final standings; had 13 top five finishes and 22
top 10s last season; won the series championship in 2003
despite capturing only one checkered flag, prompting NASCAR to
change to its current Chase format; enters this season without
long-time crew chief Robbie Reiser who has been replaced atop
the box by Chip Bolin; ran ninth in this race last year.

Tony Stewart
Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
Car: No. 20 Toyota Camry
2008 Earnings: $3,180,737

Finished fifth at Michigan to snap rough stretch and ran 10th
at Sonoma last week; is now in 11th place, just 16 points
inside the Chase cutoff; was involved in an early crash at
Dover and finished 41st; came close to winning at Lowe's, but
cut down a tire with three laps remaining while leading and
finished 18th; with rumors swirling about his future at JGR,
finished 38th at Talladega; bounced back to finish fourth at
Richmond; ran 14th at Phoenix following back-to-back top-10
finishes at Martinsville and Texas; finished second to teammate
Kyle Busch at Atlanta, but was vocal about the poor Goodyear
tire quality; suffered a hard crash at Las Vegas, injured his
ankle and finished last; had another disappointment at Daytona,
finishing third despite having the lead with one lap to go;
moved within two points of the points lead after the first two
Chase races last year, but could not keep pace with Johnson and
Gordon and faded to sixth in the final standings; ran 12th in
this race last year.

2007 Top 10
1. Denny Hamlin (11), Chevrolet
2. Jeff Gordon (24), Chevrolet
3. Martin Truex Jr. (1), Chevrolet
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr, (8), Chevrolet
5. Jimmie Johnson (48), Chevrolet
6. Jeff Green (66), Chevrolet
7. Jeff Burton (31), Chevrolet
8. Kevin Harvick (29), Chevrolet
9. Matt Kenseth (17), Ford
10. Ryan Newman (12), Dodge

Past Champions
2007 Denny Hamlin, Chevrolet, 108.215 mph
2006 Kyle Busch, Chevrolet, 101.384 mph
2005 Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 102.608 mph
2004 Kurt Busch, Ford, 97.862 mph
2003 Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 96.924 mph
2002 Ward Burton, Dodge, 92.342 mph
2001 Dale Jarrett, Ford, 102.131 mph
2000 Tony Stewart, Pontiac, 103.145 mph
1999 Jeff Burton, Ford, 101.876 mph
1998 Jeff Burton, Ford, 102.996 mph
1997 Jeff Burton, Ford, 117.134 mph
1996 Ernie Irvan, Ford, 98.930 mph
1995 Jeff Gordon, Chevy, 107.029 mph
1994 Ricky Rudd, Ford, 87.599 mph
1993 Rusty Wallace, Pontiac, 105.947 mph

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