By Jenna Fryer
AP Auto Racing Writer
The 10 drivers competing in NASCAR’s Chase for the Nextel Cup championship, in order of points:
DRIVER: Jeff Burton
TEAM: Richard Childress Racing
CAR: No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet
CHASE POINTS: First, 5,351
POSITION CHANGE: Plus 4
WHAT HAPPENED: Burton ended a 175-race winless drought — a streak dating back to 2001 — by passing Matt Kenseth for the lead with six laps to go at Dover. It put him on top of the points for the first time since 1999. He now heads to Kansas, where his best finish was 11th in 2001.
SPEAKING: “I do care what my peers think of me and it’s great to have so many people be happy for you when you win, especially when you are competing against them. It was a hard-fought battle with Matt Kenseth, who I have a tremendous amount of respect for. He congratulated me, along with a bunch of others, and that felt really good,” Burton said.
DRIVER: Jeff Gordon
TEAM: Hendrick Motorsports
CAR: No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet
CHASE POINTS: Second, -6
POSITION CHANGE: Plus 2
WHAT HAPPENED: Gordon won the pole in Dover, but failed to lead a lap during his third-place run. Had he led even one circuit, the four-time series champion would be leading the standings. Still, he’s gained seven spots since the Chase began, and credits much of his success to first-year crew chief Steve Letarte.
SPEAKING: “I’ve got a rookie crew chief that is acting like a veteran. He’s doing a great job back at the shop making sure we bring good cars to the track, and he’s making great calls during the races. He’s got a great attitude and he’s sharp,” Gordon said.
DRIVER: Denny Hamlin
TEAM: Joe Gibbs Racing
CAR: No. 11 FedEx Chevrolet
CHASE POINTS: Third, -18 (Tied)
By Jenna Fryer
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