Commentary

Good, Bad and Ugly: Camping World RV 400

Updated: September 19, 2008, 11:12 AM ET
By Mark Garrow | Jayski.com

Mark Garrow provides driver trends for Sunday's Camping World RV 400 at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Del.

* Driver needs to qualify for the race based on time.
# Driver is eligible for the champion's provisional.

• He has three Dover starts with an average finish of 37.1. He finished 43rd here last year after completing only four laps.
• Forget about the past stats at this place for A.J. because as long as it isn't a short track or have a short track feel to it, he's got a chance to run well these days. A couple of other reasons to think about using him as a budget pick this week: His SCC value is 13.1, and this might be the last weekend to impress the Red Bull folks enough to keep him for 2009.

• Ambrose is attempting to make his first Cup Series start at Dover. He has three Nationwide starts here including a top-10, and he will be racing in the Nationwide event Saturday.
• Mix a rookie with the Monster Mile and that will probably be a recipe for a bad finish.

• He has 12 starts here with seven top-10s, four top-5s, a win and an average finish of 12.1. He's driving the same car he drove to an 11th-place finish at Bristol last month.
• While Biffle's win at Loudon was a surprise, it will not be a shocker for him to run well at Dover. The worst he's finished here in the past four races was sixth, and he was the runner-up in this race a year ago and third in June. He should also be very good at Kansas so it might be time to climb aboard the Biffle bandwagon. When it comes to the Chase, he could be this year's Clint Bowyer.

• Blaney has made 14 Cup Series starts here, with one top-10 and three top-15s.
• Because he finished ninth in June and has a value of 14.6, Blaney is someone you'll have to consider for a budget pick this week. I need to remind you, however, that was the most recent time Blaney came anywhere near the top-10, and his season average finish of 28.3 proves the point.

• In five races at Dover, Bowyer has a pair of eighth-place finishes. He has a 16.2 finishing average and is driving the same car he drove to two top-10s at Bristol in March and August, respectively.
• The 36th place in June was the only really bad run Bowyer has had in five outings on the Monster Mile. I can see him bouncing back from last week's disappointment to finish in the top 10, and he's another guy you need to remember will be very strong next week at Kansas.

• In 29 starts at Dover, Burton boasts one win, six top-5s and 12 top-10s. He's driving the same car he drove to top-10s at Charlotte, Pocono and Indy.
• I've ranked Burton 10th because I can see him doing his normal thing -- nothing flashy, but coming home in the top 10. He hasn't had a bad finish at Dover since 2004. He's not sexy but could be a very smart pick.

• Busch has 16 starts here with four top-10s, two top-5s and an average finish of 20.6.
• He is a tough call this week. On the plus side, he has two straight top-10s and a SCC value of 18.2. But on the negative side, his past three finishes at Dover were 42nd, 29th, and 20th.

• In seven starts here, Busch has five top-5s, a win and an average finish of 10.3. He is driving the same car he drove to Victory Lane here earlier this year.
• Busch might be a top-5 car but I have him ranked seventh going in for a couple of reasons. There's no way to know if he's cooled down from last week yet, plus I see Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards as the guys with the high values who are the safer picks right now. Busch could very well go out and win the race, but I'd feel more comfortable with Johnson or Edwards. Wouldn't you?

• Carpentier is making his second Cup Series start here. He finished 29th here earlier this year and is attempting to qualify for both races this weekend.

• In 17 Dover starts Junior has one win, four top-5s and seven top-10s. He has led 366 laps. He is driving the same car he drove to top-5s earlier this year at Atlanta and Darlington.
• I am not all that crazy about Junior this weekend. Not because he got in a crash here earlier this year, but because with his SCC value I'd take a pass and spend a little more on Johnson or Edwards.

Carl Edwards

• Edwards' average finish at Dover is 8.2. In his previous eight starts here, Edwards has one win, four top-5s and five top-10s. He is driving the same car he won with at Texas earlier this year.
• He has a chance to win this race and I can't see him running any worse than fifth. Like Biffle, last week's third place finish at New Hampshire was a better-than-hoped-for result, but Dover is a whole different animal -- a place where Edwards really shines. He should also be good at Kansas, so if you are thinking about buying Edwards in SCC, now is the time.

• Gilliland has an average finish of 24.0 at Dover.
• Considering his 15.1 SCC value and 16th at Dover earlier this year, you'll need to keep an eye on his qualifying and practice standings. When he finished 16th earlier this year, he started 17th. Keep that in mind if he qualifies deeper in the pack this time.

• In 31 starts at Dover, Gordon has four wins, three poles, 14 top-5s and 19 top-10s. Earlier this year, he finished fifth -- one of only six drivers to complete all 400 laps.
• I have Gordon ranked 11th because I think he could finish in the top 10 or fade just out of it like he did at Loudon. At 20.6 for SCC, Gordon is a tweener. He's too expensive for the results he's been getting lately and not worth the risk.

• Gordon has 14 starts here with three top-10s and an average finish of 23.4. He has finished 19th here in the past two races.
• With a 14.5 SCC value, Gordon might not be that much of a stretch for a change -- if he were a guaranteed top-20.

• Hamlin has five starts here, with three top-10s, a top-5 and an average finish of 21st. He's led 61 laps here.
• I've ranked Hamlin third because I can see as a top-5 car. With three top-5s and four top-10s in the past four races, Hamlin is money at 21.9 in SCC because he gets around this track so well.

• In 15 Dover starts, Harvick has earned two top-5s and five top-10s with a 19.3 finishing average. He's driving the same car he drove to a fourth-place finish at Fontana.
• He's another guy who's hard to figure this weekend: He has seven straight top-10s, but his past four finishes at Dover were 32nd, 20th, 20th and 38th. He's a little pricey for a guy with that kind of past record on the Monster Mile.

• Hornish will make his second Cup start at Dover. Earlier this season, Hornish started 16th and secured an 18th-place finish.

Jimmie Johnson

• Johnson has made 13 Cup starts at Dover, posting three wins, four top-5s and eight top-10s. He's driving the same car he drove to a fourth earlier this year at the Sprint All-Star Race.
• If you don't have Johnson on your team now, it's time to buy. He's red-hot with two firsts and a second in the past three races. I think he'll make a run at the win here Sunday as well. He was seventh in June, and we all know this team is running a lot better than it did back then. Johnson feels like he's getting on a roll like he did during last year's Chase when he was a top-5 car week in, week out.

• In nine Dover starts, Kahne has one top-10. He has an average finish of 27th at Dover.
• This is not one of his best tracks, obviously, and he hasn't been that stellar lately. Plus, there are a couple of drivers below his 19.0 SCC value -- like Martin Truex Jr. -- who I like much, much better.

• In 19 starts here Kenseth has achieved one win, six top-5s and 11 top-10s.
• This guy is usually money in the bank for a top-10 at Dover, but things have gone really sour for him the past two races. I see him more like a top-15 car going in and with a SCC value of 19.6, I can't recommend a buy. One thing that really bothers me about Kenseth right now is that he's showing zero confidence his car can run up front.

• Kvapil has an average finish of 23.4 at Dover.
• With an 11th in June and with a SCC value of 17.1, he could turn out to be a nice budget pick Sunday. Like his teammate Gilliland, keep an eye on where Kvapil qualifies. He started 12th in June so if he qualifies way back, buyer beware.

• In 32 starts here, Labonte has 14 top-10s, 11 top-5s, a win and an average finish of 16.5.
• His 13th-place finish at Loudon was the first time in 10 races he finished anywhere near the top-10. With a SCC value of 17.7, you have to keep an eye on him in practice, but this team is really struggling.

• Martin has 27 top-10s and 20 top-5s at the Monster Mile. The 20 top-5s are the most of any driver. Three of Martin's four Dover wins have been in the fall race.
• I've ranked Martin ninth and am counting on him to deliver at least a top-10.

• He has one start here, finishing 30th earlier this season.

• McMurray average finish at Dover is 14.4. It ranks as McMurray's second-best track in finishing position behind Texas. McMurray has recorded one top-5 and five top-10s.
• He is a guy who should finish no worse than 15th, and at 17.5 in SCC that would be a nice payoff. Give some thought to McMurray Sunday.

• Mears has 11 Dover starts, posting a career-best finish of sixth last September. Mears also posted a top-10 at Dover in September 2005.
• Just when Mears was getting ready to break into the top-15 last week he was swept in a crash not of his doing. He can't seem to get anything going, but this place has been good to him and his SCC value is now 15.9. I gambled on him and lost last week; probably won't do that again.

• Menard has two starts here, with finishes of 21st and 22nd, respectively. Menard is driving the same car he drove to 16th place earlier this year at Bristol.

• He is averaging a 17.7 finishing position in four Dover starts. He is driving the same car he drove in the top five for most of the day at Indy.
• Montoya was 12th here in June and if he could do that again, it would make his SCC value of 17.2 very attractive.

• Nemechek has 28 starts here, with five top-10s, a top-5 and an average finish of 24.2. He finished 22nd in this race last year.

• Newman has three wins, six top-5s and eight top-10s in 13 Dover starts. He is driving the same car he finished 14th with here and at Atlanta.
• Newman has been hot and cold at Dover the past two years so he's a bit of a risk. Still, with a SCC value of 18.2, his past Monster Mile performance might be worth a serious look.

• Petty has 51 starts here, with 14 top-10s, seven top-5s, a win and an average finish of 19.2. He finished 40th here last year and failed to qualify for the race at Dover earlier this year.

• Ragan has visited Dover four times in his Sprint Cup career. His best finish came last fall when he finished 14th. He's driving the same car he drove to a 14th-place finish earlier this season.

• I don't expect a lot from Ragan and have him ranked 18th. He could be a top-15 car but that's not good enough for someone with a 19.2 SCC value.

• Reutimann's average finish at Dover is 23rd.
• Reutimann has been outside the top-15 only once in the past five races, and with a SCC value of 16.2 he's another driver that's a good cheaper candidate. Forget about his past stats at Dover; this team has just been getting better lately.

• Riggs has nine Dover starts, with a top-5 and an average finish of 24.6. He finished 34th in this race last year.

• In 19 previous starts, Sadler has three top-10 finishes. He has led 186 laps in his career at Dover.
• Just when things looked like they were coming together for Sadler, the bottom has fallen out. His best finish in the past four races is 24th and his average finish over that span is 31.7.

• Schrader has 45 starts here, with 14 top-10s, eight top-5s, a win and an average finish of 19.3. He finished 26th in this race last year.

• Smith finished 21st in his only Sprint Cup start here. Smith has six starts at Dover in the Nationwide Series, with an average finish of 23.2.

• Sorenson has five Dover starts; his best finish was 11th. In six Nationwide starts, Sorenson has three top-5s and five top-10s.
• His best finish in the past seven starts was last week's 22nd at Loudon.

• Stewart has 19 starts here, with 12 top-10s, nine top-5s, two wins and an average finish of 12.2. He finished ninth here in this race last year. Prior to that, his most recent top-10 was in 2004.
• I like Stewart to challenge for a top-5. This team is running great despite the past two races in which mistakes cost them a shot to win. His SCC value of 21.5 is fairly attractive, given the prices of the guys above him relative to their potential performances. Stewart, at a cheaper price, can match most of them in on-track performance.

• Truex has five starts here, with three top-10s, a win and an average finish of 9.6.
• I love this guy this week. I think he is at minimum a top-10 car, and he's a nice value at 19.0 for SCC. This is a guy who will get you a lot of points and open a little cap space, too.

• In nine starts, Vickers has a top-10 and an average finish of 20.1. He finished 16th in this race last year.
• He hasn't looked all that great lately, but then again Team Red Bull's short-track and flat-track programs are not all that great either. He should perform a lot better this weekend, and his SCC price has dropped to a more attractive 18.9.

• Waltrip has two top-5s and eight top-10s in 46 starts at Dover. His average finish is 21st.
• His average finish this year is 29th, and he has one top-10; need I say more?

Mark Garrow covers fantasy racing for ESPN.com.

Mark Garrow

Fantasy Racing
Mark Garrow covers fantasy racing for ESPN.com.