What to watch for Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne have absolutely dominated Lowe's Motor Speedway over the last four seasons, combining to win seven of the last eight points-paying events.
Johnson finished second to Kahne twice last year. Prior to that, J.J. had taken five of the previous six checkers. The No. 48 car, which is sponsored by Lowe's, has May wins in 2003, '04 and '05, with October success in '04 and '05. To emphasize their North Carolina dominance, J.J. and Kahne have led 1,039 of 2,204 possible laps in the six Lowe's races since the 26-year-old Kahne replaced Bill Elliott at Evernham in 2004.
Roush Racing could contend in Concord this year with Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle. Edwards has four consecutive Top 10 results, including a third in May of both 2005 and '06. Biffle had three straight Top 10s before engine trouble ruined his October trip last year.
Kyle Busch has never won a Cup event at Lowe's but did take the checkers twice in the Truck Series ('05 and '06) and Busch Series ('04 and '05). Busch finished sixth in October last year after crashing his Hendrick Chevy, resulting in a 38th in the 2006 Coca Cola 600 and a 39th in the fall '05 event.
One potential sleeper is Bobby Labonte, who has finished on the lead lap in his past four races, including a fender-to-fender loss to Johnson in the '05 Coke 600. Elliott Sadler is also a driver to watch, having led 176 laps over his last six races in Concord.
Keep an eye on... Jeff Burton -- Burton recorded finishes of third and sixth at Lowe's last season. He's a consistent top 10 performer on tracks that are similar to Lowe's.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. -- Throw out Junior's pitiful 2005 season - when he ran poorly everywhere - and he has finished in the top 11 in the last five races at Lowe's.
Paul Menard -- A stretch? Yeah, maybe, but we'll be able to say we told ya so next year. Menard finished 14th here last season in one of only seven Cup starts and notched a seventh at Atlanta, which is the sister track to Lowe's.
Scott Riggs -- Since he jumped in an Evernham Dodge, Riggs has two poles at Lowe's and has led for 124 laps. He is likely to get his first career Cup victory at a 1.5-miler.