Capsules for the top 20 drivers in the Sprint Cup standings, plus five additional drivers of note.
By Jerry Bonkowski and Bob Moore
24 JEFF GORDON, Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: Jeff Gordon remained in first place for the sixth consecutive week after the Coca-Cola 600. He leads second-ranked Matt Kenseth by 11 points and third-ranked Carl Edwards by 24 points.
DOVER RECORD: 42 career starts, 4 wins, 17 top-5s, 24 top-10s, 4 poles. Best career finish: First in fall 1995, spring 1996, fall 1996 and spring 2001. Finished third in this race last year and was fourth in the fall Chase race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Gordon has had an outstanding career racing at Dover. In 42 starts, he's won four times and amassed a total of 24 top-10 finishes. He looks for another strong run and to continue his stranglehold thus far on the top of the points standings. "I enjoy racing at Dover because of the high speeds and the high-banked corners and the high-banked straightaways. You are constantly on the edge and you can find yourself in trouble quickly. The groove widens out and we can run low, middle or high. But this place is tricky because the balance of the car can be different from one end of the track to the other."
LOOKING BACK: Even though he didn't get his second win in a row (having won two weeks ago at Kansas), Gordon continued his outstanding season-long consistency in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600, finishing seventh.
ETC.: Gordon has completed 94.8 percent (16,784) of the 17,704 total laps contested in 42 career starts at Dover. His average start there is 11.9 and average finish is 11.6. He has five DNF's there.
20 MATT KENSETH, Toyota
Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: For the seventh consecutive week, Matt Kenseth remained in second place in the Sprint Cup standings. He trails points leader Jeff Gordon by 11 points and leads third-ranked Carl Edwards by 13 points.
DOVER RECORD: 30 career starts, 2 wins, 13 top-5s, 19 top-10s, 1 pole. Best career finish: First in spring 2006 and spring 2011. Finished 40th in this race last year (due to engine failure), but rebounded to finish seventh in last fall's Chase race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Kenseth is now the only driver in the top five in the standings who still has not won a race in 2014, a definite anomaly after scoring a series-high seven races in 2013. Now that Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson have broken their respective winless streaks, it's Kenseth's turn now to visit victory lane. Will he do so this Sunday? "I feel like we're gaining on it," Kenseth said. "We're not where we were last year yet, but I feel like certainly we're gaining on it. ... We are just a little bit off and just need to get it a little better somehow."
LOOKING BACK: Kenseth had a very strong run at Charlotte, leading 33 laps and finishing a close third to winner Jimmie Johnson and runner-up Kevin Harvick.
ETC.: Kenseth has completed 95.4 percent (11,454) of the 12,004 total laps contested in 30 career starts at Dover. His average start there is 15.3 and his average finish is 13.4. He has five DNFs there.
18 KYLE BUSCH, Toyota
Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Kyle Busch remained in third place for the third consecutive week after the Coca-Cola 600, but he is now also tied with Carl Edwards. Busch and Edwards both trail points leader Jeff Gordon by 24 points, are 13 points behind second-ranked Matt Kenseth and leads fifth-ranked Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 14 points.
DOVER RECORD: 18 career starts, 2 wins, 9 top-5s, 12 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: First in spring 2008 and spring 2010. Finished fourth in this race last year and was fifth in last fall's Chase race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Busch is still looking for his second win of the season. Could it potentially be at Dover on Sunday? ?"It's definitely a fast racetrack," Busch said of Dover. "It's a fun racetrack, too. It makes it interesting when you get to traffic, when you have to pass guys, when you're kind of falling down into the hole and jumping back up out of the hole to the straightaways. It's a good place to race. It's a competitive racetrack and, when the rubber gets laid down, it definitely changes the whole atmosphere and the whole way you run around that place."
LOOKING BACK: For the second consecutive week, Busch had just an average car at Charlotte, just like he did at Kansas. He failed to lead a lap but still finished with a decent ninth-place showing.
ETC.: Busch has completed just 89.2 percent (6,426) of the 7,204 total laps contested in 18 career starts at Dover. His average start there is 11.9 and average finish is 12.8. He has three DNFs there.
99 CARL EDWARDS, Ford
Team: Roush Fenway Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Carl Edwards climbed two spots in the standings following Sunday's Coca-Cola 600, moving from fifth place into a tie for third with Kyle Busch. Edwards and Busch both trail points leader Jeff Gordon by 24 points, are 13 points behind second-ranked Dale Earnhardt Jr. and lead fifth-ranked Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 14 points.
DOVER RECORD: 19 career starts, 1 win, 8 top-5s, 12 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: First in fall 2007. Finished 14th in this race last year and was 35th in last fall's Chase race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Edwards still is not making any comment on whether he'll return to Roush Fenway Racing next season or whether he'll move to another team after his current contract expires at season's end. Rumors continue to swirl that Edwards may wind up spearheading a fourth team at Joe Gibbs Racing, rejoining former RFR teammate Matt Kenseth. "We're moving forward," Edwards said. "We've got to keep working. Everybody is working as hard as they can and hopefully we can get some wins."
LOOKING BACK: Edwards had a very strong run at Charlotte, leading four laps and finishing fourth.
ETC.: Edwards will be making his 20th career start at Dover on Sunday. He's completed an impressive 98.7 percent (7,502) of 7,604 total laps contested in 19 career starts at Dover. His average start there is 14.6 and his average finish is a stout 10.0. He has zero DNFs there.
88 DALE EARNHARDT JR., Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: Former points leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. fell from fourth to fifth place after the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday. He trails points leader Jeff Gordon by 38 points, is 14 points behind the third place tie between Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch and leads sixth-ranked Jimmie Johnson by six points.
DOVER RECORD: 28 career starts, 1 wins, 6 top-5s, 10 top-10s, 1 poles. Best career finish: First in fall 2001. Finished 10th in this race last year and was runner-up in last fall's Chase race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Since his only win at Dover in 2001, Earnhardt has managed just four other top-five finishes. But almost winning last fall's Chase race there should give him good notes to work off for this Sunday's race and potentially earn his second win of the season. "We came so close (to winning there last fall). I ran those last 20 or 30 laps over and over after that trying to think about where I might have given up a little bit or not seized an opportunity. But it was nice that we had a good car, and I hope we can be as competitive when we go back obviously. But I like racing there and we definitely ran well. We will just have to be really aggressive."
LOOKING BACK: Earnhardt led 13 laps at Charlotte, but fought an ill-handling race car late in the 400-lap/600-mile event, ultimately finishing 19th.
ETC.: Earnhardt has completed an outstanding 99.1 percent (11,105) of the 11,204 total laps contested in 28 career starts at Dover. His average start there is 14.5 and average finish is 16.4. He has one DNF there.
48 JIMMIE JOHNSON, Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: Jimmie Johnson climbed one spot in the standings, from seventh to sixth, following his win in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600. Johnson trails points leader and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon by 44 points, trails fifth-ranked and fellow HMS teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. by six points and leads seventh-ranked Joey Logano by 10 points.