NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
 
                === Kenseth takes winning momentum to Dover ===
 
 Dover,  DE (Sports  Network) - Matt Kenseth has an opportunity to make history
 in   the  Chase  for  the  Sprint  Cup  championship  this  weekend  at  Dover
 International Speedway.
 
 After winning at Chicagoland and New Hampshire, Kenseth will try to become the
 first  competitor to  start the  Chase with  three consecutive  victories. Two
 other  drivers have  begun the playoffs with back-to-back wins: Greg Biffle in
 2008 and Tony Stewart in 2011.
 
 Biffle  won at New  Hampshire and Dover and then finished third at Kansas (the
 third  race in  '08 Chase) before he  faded from there, finishing third in the
 point standings. Two years ago, Stewart took the checkered flag at Chicagoland
 and  New Hampshire but  lost momentum by finishing 25th at Dover and then 15th
 at  Kansas. He  bounced  back  with six  straight  top-10 finishes,  including
 three  victories.  Stewart ended the season  in a points tie with Carl Edwards
 but  captured  the title by virtue  of his five  wins for the year compared to
 only one for Edwards.
 
 Heading  into  Dover, Kenseth holds  a 14-point lead  over Kyle Busch, his Joe
 Gibbs  Racing  teammate, and  an 18-point advantage  over Jimmie Johnson. Even
 though Kenseth is 2 for 2 in the Chase, there are still eight races to go. And
 anything can happen from Dover to the season-finale in Homestead, Fla.
 
 "My outlook is really not any different, honestly," Kenseth said. "I know it's
 kind  of cliche, but it really is one week at a time, especially right now. If
 you  get down  toward  the end  and  you're lucky  enough to  have  a lead  or
 something, maybe you start looking at that more or thinking about it more. But
 eight  weeks of racing  is a lot of racing, and in this system, one bad finish
 and you're behind."
 
 When  the Sprint Cup  Series last ran at Dover in June, Kenseth started fourth
 and  led 29  laps before he suffered engine failure shortly before the halfway
 point. He finished a season-worst 40th. One year ago, Kenseth placed 35th here
 and  fell to last  in Chase standings. He trailed Brad Keselowski by 72 points
 at the time.
 
 After spending 13 full seasons with Roush Fenway Racing in Sprint Cup, Kenseth
 is  in his first year  as driver of the No. 20 Toyota for JGR. He has scored a
 series-leading  and career-high  seven wins this season. Kenseth has won back-
 to-back races in Cup four times during his career (2004, '06, '09 and '13) but
 has never posted three straight victories.
 
 Kenseth has won at Dover twice (June 2006 and May 2011).
 
 Busch  is  off to  his best  start in  the Chase  after finishing runner-up to
 Kenseth  at Chicagoland and New Hampshire. He's also a two-time race winner at
 Dover (June 2008 and May 2010).
 
 "I've said it for years - if I could finish second in every single Chase race,
 I'd  take  it and  win a  championship over  winning a  single Chase race that
 doesn't mean as much as a championship would," Busch said. "It's all about the
 prize at the end. It's only two races, and you certainly would like to get off
 to a good start, but it's early."
 
 In  last  year's Chase race at  Dover, Busch led 302  of 400 laps but ended up
 finishing  seventh  after he was  forced to  pit for fuel  with 10 laps to go.
 Keselowski  conserved enough  gas late in the  race and took over the top spot
 when  Busch  pitted. He  won the  race and went  on to  capture the Sprint Cup
 championship.
 
 Busch led the most laps in this year's spring race at Dover with 150 but faded
 in the late-stages to finish fourth.
 
 Johnson  has  won at  Dover seven  times, which puts  him in  a tie with Bobby
 Allison  and Richard Petty  for most victories here. Johnson was on the way to
 posting  his record-eighth win at this track in June, but after a restart with
 19 laps remaining, NASCAR penalized him for jumping the restart. He had passed
 Juan Pablo Montoya for the lead. The Hendrick Motorsports driver and five-time
 series  champion  wound up finishing 17th.  Tony Stewart won the race after he
 grabbed the top spot from Montoya with three laps to go.
 
 "We were close there last time, led a bunch of laps and were in position there
 toward  the end  for a win," Johnson said. "Unfortunately, we got penalized on
 that  final restart  and weren't able to  pull it off. I think we've clarified
 things  a  little bit with  the new  restart rule and  are headed in the right
 direction.  This  team has had  a consistent start to  the Chase, and I expect
 more of the same this weekend in Dover."
 
 Johnson  has  placed fourth and  fifth in the first  two Chase races. He began
 last  year's  playoffs  with  second-place finishes  at  Chicagoland  and  New
 Hampshire  but  ended the  season third  in points (-40).  He finished 32nd at
 Phoenix and 36th at Homestead.
 
 Carl  Edwards comes to Dover fourth in points (-36), followed by Biffle (-38),
 Kevin Harvick (-39), Kurt Busch (-40) and Jeff Gordon (-42).
 
 Ninth  through 13th are: Ryan Newman (-47), Clint Bowyer (-48), Dale Earnhardt
 Jr. (-62), Joey Logano (-69) and Kasey Kahne (-71).
 
 Forty-three teams are on the preliminary entry list for the AAA 400.
 
 Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup. Date: Sunday, Sept. 29. Race: AAA 400. Site: Dover
 International Speedway. Track: 1-mile oval. Start time: 2 p.m. ET. Laps: 400.
 Miles: 400. 2012 Winner: Brad Keselowski. Television: ESPN. Radio: Motor
 Racing Network (MRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio.
 
 09/26 14:47:36 ET

TEST CONTENT