Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be looking to continue to
race up the driver standings on Sunday when he takes to the track at Infineon Raceway for this season’s Toyota/Save Mart 350.
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Earnhardt Jr. took the checkered flag last week in
the LifeLock 400 at Michigan International Speedway,
holding off Kasey Kahne and
Matt Kenseth for the win. Dale Junior last won a Cup
event back in 2006, and he ended a drought spanning 76 races.
Brian Vickers and Tony Stewart rounded out the Top 5 at
while Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards, David Ragan, Elliott Sadler, and Jamie
McMurray made up the rest of the day’s Top 10. Kevin Harvick
was 12th on the day, points leader Kyle Busch was
13th, Denny Hamlin was 14th, and Jeff Burton ended up in 15th place at the
Martin Truex Jr. (17th), Jeff Gordon (18th), and
Greg Biffle (20th) also cracked the Top 20 at
while Clint Bowyer ended up in 26th place, and Juan Montoya was 38th.
Earnhardt Jr. still sits
in third place in the driver standings, but he’s now just 84 points behind
points back of the leader in second place after 15 events. Edwards, Johnson,
Hamlin, Kahne, Biffle,
Gordon, Harvick, Stewart, and Bowyer also sit in
Top-12 positions in the standings and above the Chase’s cutoff line.
Ragan is only 10 points behind Bowyer for 12th place, while Kenseth moved up one spot into 14th with his result at
(14 points behind Bowyer). Truex Jr. and Vickers sit
just behind Kenseth, while Ryan Newman dropped three
spots into 17th place after running into engine troubles on the weekend and
finishing well back in 42nd.
Former Formula One driver Montoya picked up the victory at the Infineon road course last year, after starting way back
from the No. 32 spot on the grid. Montoya sits back in 22nd place in the
current standings, and he will be hoping for a solid result this weekend.
Gordon has five career Cup wins on the
there in 2006, 2004, 2000, 1999, and 1998. The only other active driver with
multiple Infineon wins is Stewart, who took the
checkered flag there in both 2005 and 2001. Robby Gordon won this event in the
2003 season, and Mark Martin got the win in 1997.
And the Vegas oddsmakers have Jeff Gordon and Stewart pegged as the 5/1
co-favorites to win at Infineon this weekend. Robby
Gordon, Montoya, and Scott Pruett are next at 7/1, with Kyle Busch and Harvick at 8/1, and Boris Said and Ron Fellows at 10/1.
Biffle begins the next tier of contenders at 12/1
odds, with Hamlin at 15/1, Bowyer and McMurray both at 18/1, and each of Earnhardt Jr., Truex Jr., and
Kurt Busch at 20/1.
and Patrick Carpentier are all at 22/1 odds, with
Johnson, Edwards, Kahne, and Dario Franchitti sitting just back of that group on the current
list at 25/1 odds.
Points leader Kyle Busch is still the oddsmakers’
choice to win the Sprint Cup this year – he’s pegged as the 5/2 favorite. Earnhardt Jr. is next at 3/1, with Edwards at 7/2, Johnson
at 5/1, and Hamlin at 7/1. Jeff Gordon is currently listed at 10/1 odds to win
the championship this season, with each of Stewart,
and Biffle sitting at 12/1 odds.
After racing at Infineon the drivers of the Sprint
Cup Series will move on to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the LENOX
Industrial Tools 301 on June 29. July’s schedule then features the Coke Zero
400 at Daytona International Speedway, the LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland, and the Allstate 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.