Monday, September 26, 2011

Streaky stuff involving Dover

Now that Tony Stewart has won the first two races in the Chase for the Championship, that allows us to think about three in a row, the last time it happened, and what are the possibilities of it happening at Dover this Sunday.
So, here we go, and just as a note, these streaks are dated with the Modern Era, since 1972, when NASCAR began having fewer races in its season.
First, Stewart has never won three in a row. The last time a driver won three straight NASCAR Sprint Cup races was in 2007 when Jimmie Johnson actually won four in a row, taking the checkered flag at Martinsville, Atlanta, Texas and Phoenix. None of those races were in the final 10 Chase for the Championship.
If you're looking for some streak history involving Dover, Cale Yarborough won his second of four straight there in 1976, Bobby Allison won the last of three straight there in 1983, Harry Gant won the third of fourth straight there in 1991, Rusty Wallace won the first of three straight there in 1994 and Jeff Gordon won the first of three straight there in 1996.
So, what are the odds of Stewart winning his third straight this Sunday at Dover? Well, he has two wins, three second-place finishes and 10 top fives there in 25 career starts. However, both wins came in 2000. In this year's May race at Dover, Stewart struggled with a poor handling car and fueling issues and finished 29th.
That seems like a long time ago now, and Stewart can only hope it's a bad memory that won't be repeated.
Stewart will enter the third race in the Chase with a seven-point lead over Kevin Harvick, with Brad Keselowski 11 points behind, and Carl Edwards 14 back.
Until next time.

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