Keeping Pace

Week 23: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Top 12 – And Beyond

 (The Spokesman-Review)
(The Spokesman-Review)

A look at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series top 12, along with other notable drivers, going into the CARFAX 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16.

Courtesy: NASCAR Media Relations

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 11, 2009) – Below is a look at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series top 12, along with other notable drivers, going into the CARFAX 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 16. (Note: Drivers listed below who are outside the top 12 are chosen based on past performances at the upcoming track and/or are within striking distance of the top 12.)

1 – Tony Stewart (No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 106.5
2009 Rundown
• Three wins, 13 top fives, 18 top 10s
• Average finish of 7.2
• Led 13 races for 273 laps
Michigan International Speedway Outlook:
• One win, nine top fives, 14 top 10s
• Average finish of 12.2
• Finished seventh in June’s Michigan race
• Led six of 21 races for 168 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Series-best Pass Differential of 262 (passes minus times passed)

2 – Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 110.5
2009 Rundown
• Three wins, nine top fives, 14 top 10s
• Average finish of 11.0
• Led 18 races for 995 laps
Michigan International Speedway Outlook:
• Two top fives, six top 10s
• Average finish of 14.9
• Finished 22nd in June
• Led nine of 15 races for 377 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Series-best Average Running Position of 8.4

3 – Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 99.5
2009 Rundown
• One win, 10 top fives, 15 top 10s
• Average finish of 11.3
• Led 11 races for 570 laps
Michigan International Speedway Outlook:
• Two wins, 16 fives, 21 top 10s; five poles
• Average finish of 11.5
• Finished second in June
• Led 21 of 33 races for 899 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 385 Fastest Laps Run, second-most

4 – Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 99.9
2009 Rundown
• One win, six top fives, 12 top 10s
• Average finish of 12.7
• Led 13 races for 391 laps
Michigan International Speedway Outlook:
• Two wins, seven top 10s
• Average finish of 19.4
• Finished eighth in June
• Led 10 of 17 races for 290 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Average Running Position of 10.7, third-best

5 – Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Toyota)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 98.9
2009 Rundown
• One win, seven top fives, 10 top 10s
• Average finish of 13.6
• Led nine races for 668 laps
Michigan International Speedway Outlook:
• Two top fives, three top 10s
• Average finish of 13.7
• Finished third in June
• Led three of seven races for three laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Average Running Position of 12.4, sixth-best

6 – Carl Edwards (No. 99 Aflac Ford)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 93.8
2009 Rundown
• Six top fives, 10 top 10s
• Average finish of 13.2
• Led eight races for 158 laps
Michigan International Speedway Outlook:
• Two wins, six top fives, nine top 10s
• Average finish of 6.3
• Finished fourth in June
• Led seven of 10 races for 243 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Average Running Position of 12.5, seventh-best

7 – Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42 Target Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 88.3
2009 Rundown
• One top five, 11 top 10s
• Average finish of 13.3
• Led five races for 133 laps
Michigan International Speedway Outlook:
• One top 10
• Average finish of 27.6 in five races
• Finished sixth in June
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 1,969 Green Flag Passes, second-most

8 – Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 89.5
2009 Rundown
• One win, four top fives, nine top 10s
• Average finish of 14.1
• Led five races for 120 laps
Michigan International Speedway Outlook:
• One win, five top fives; one pole
• Average finish of 16.8
• Finished 21st in June
• Led three of 11 races for 40 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 174 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most

9 – Ryan Newman (No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 81.4
2009 Rundown
• Five top fives, nine top 10s
• Average finish of 14.8
• Led 10 races for 156 laps
Michigan International Speedway Outlook:
• Two wins, four top fives; one pole
• Average finish of 18.9
• Finished 23rd in June
• Led eight of 16 races for 94 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Has run 82.8% of the laps on the lead lap, 11th-best

10 – Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 90.6
2009 Rundown
• Seven top fives, 10 top 10s
• Average finish of 15.0
• Led nine races for 355 laps
Michigan International Speedway Outlook:
• Two wins, six top fives, eight top 10s
• Average finish of 12.5
• Finished fifth in June
• Led nine of 13 races for 233 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 364 Fastest Laps Run, third-most

11 – Mark Martin (No. 5 Kellogg’s/CARQUEST Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 95.1
2009 Rundown
• Four wins, six top fives, 11 top 10s
• Average finish of 16.5
• Led 12 races for 438 laps
Michigan International Speedway Outlook:
• Five wins, 17 top fives, 21 top 10s
• Average finish of 12.9
• Won June’s Michigan race
• Led 25 of 47 races for 883 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Has been passed 898 times, fewest in the series

12 – Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DEWALT Ford)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 84.1 
2009 Rundown
• Two wins, four top fives, eight top 10s
• Average finish of 15.5
• Led nine races for 188 laps
Michigan International Speedway Outlook:
• Two wins, nine top fives, 13 top 10s
• Average finish of 9.7
• Finished 20th in June
• Led eight of 20 races for 222 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 1,798 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most

13 – Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M’s Toyota)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 99.7
2009 Rundown
• Three wins, five top fives, seven top 10s
• Average finish of 17.3
• Led 12 races for 824 laps
Michigan International Speedway Outlook:
• One top five, three top 10s
• Average finish of 16.9
• Finished 13th in June
• Led six of nine races for 88 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 261 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most

Chase Contenders

 

The Top 12 … And Beyond Following Race 22 of 36

 

 

Rank Season
Last Driver
Driver                         Points   Wins      Poles     Week      Rating

 

 

1. Tony Stewart            3,383       3           0              1           106.5

 

2. Jimmie Johnson        3,123       3           1              2           110.5

 

3. Jeff Gordon               3,041       1           0              3             99.5

 

4. Kurt Busch               2,902       1           0              4             99.9

 

5. Denny Hamlin           2,847       1           0              5             98.9

 

6. Carl Edwards            2,830       0           0              6             93.8

 

7. Juan Pablo Montoya 2,781       0           1              8              88.3

 

8. Kasey Kahne           2,754       1           0              7              89.5

 

9. Ryan Newman          2,727       0           1                          81.4

 

  10. Greg Biffle               2,718       0           0              12            90.6

 

  11. Mark Martin             2,716       4           4              10            95.1

 

  12. Matt Kenseth           2,685       2           1              11            84.1

 

        ___________________________________________________

 

 

ADDITIONAL DRIVERS

 

 

13. Kyle Busch           2,627                        34. Michael Waltrip      1,712

 

14. Brian Vickers        2,589                        35. Scott Speed           1,539

 

15. Clint Bowyer         2,586                        36. John Andretti          1,492       

 

16. David Reutimann   2,530                        37. David Gilliland         1,187

 

17. Marcos Ambrose   2,416                        38. Regan Smith            989 

 

18. Jeff Burton            2,350                        39. Joe Nemechek          798 

 

19. Joey Logano         2,280                        40. Brad Keselowski       787 

 

20. Jamie McMurray    2,206                        41. Dave Blaney             773 

 

21. Casey Mears        2,204                        42. Max Papis                644          

 

22. Kevin Harvick        2,124                        43. Bill Elliott                  622          

 

23. Martin Truex Jr.     2,117                        44. Aric Almirola             451

 

24. AJ Allmendinger    2,109                        45. Scott Riggs              448

 

25. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2,108                        46. Tony Raines              389

 

26. Elliott Sadler         2,082                        47. Patrick Carpentier      351

 

27. Bobby Labonte      2,031                        48. Travis Kvapil              292

 

28. Sam Hornish Jr.    2,021                        49. Jeremy Mayfield         288

 

29. Reed Sorenson     2,011                        50. Sterling Marlin            258

 

30. David Ragan         1,987                        51. Mike Bliss                  243

 

31. David Stremme     1,856                        52. Ron Fellows               158

 

32. Paul Menard         1,829                        53. Terry Labonte             155

 

33. Robby Gordon      1,781                        54. Boris Said                   152

 

 

Note: The first 26 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season determine which 12 drivers qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, contested over the final 10 races of the season.

 




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Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.






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