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Keeping Pace

Week 24: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Top 12 – And Beyond

A look at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series top 12, along with other notable drivers, going into the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22.


Courtesy: NASCAR Media Relations

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 17, 2009) – Below is a look at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series top 12, along with other notable drivers, going into the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22. (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: 105.6
2009 Rundown
• Three wins, 13 top fives, 18 top 10s
• Average finish of 7.7
• Led 14 races for 275 laps
Bristol Motor Speedway Outlook:
• One win, five top fives, seven top 10s; one pole
• Average finish of 16.4
• Finished 17th in March’s Bristol race
• Led nine of 21 races for 1,352 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Series-best Pass Differential of 272 (passes minus times passed)

2 – Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 100.2
2009 Rundown
• One win, 11 top fives, 16 top 10s
• Average finish of 10.9
• Led 12 races for 571 laps
Bristol Motor Speedway Outlook:
• Five wins, 14 fives, 20 top 10s; five poles
• Average finish of 11.3
• Finished fourth in March
• Led 25 of 33 races for 2,438 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 405 Fastest Laps Run, second-most

3 – Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 111.0
2009 Rundown
• Three wins, nine top fives, 14 top 10s
• Average finish of 12.0
• Led 19 races for 1,128 laps
Bristol Motor Speedway Outlook:
• Three top fives, seven top 10s
• Average finish of 16.4
• Finished third in March
• Led five of 15 races for 131 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Series-best Average Running Position of 8.2

4 – Carl Edwards (No. 99 Aflac Ford)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 94.0
2009 Rundown
• Seven top fives, 11 top 10s
• Average finish of 12.8
• Led nine races for 159 laps
Bristol Motor Speedway Outlook:
• Two wins, three top fives, four top 10s; one pole
• Average finish of 13.9
• Finished 15th in March
• Led three of 10 races for 282 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Average Running Position of 12.4, sixth-best

5 – Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Toyota)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 99.0
2009 Rundown
• One win, seven top fives, 11 top 10s
• Average finish of 13.4
• Led 10 races for 670 laps
Bristol Motor Speedway Outlook:
• Two top fives, four top 10s
• Average finish of 12.6
• Finished second in March
• Led three of seven races for 282 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Average Running Position of 12.3, fifth-best

6 – Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 99.4
2009 Rundown
• One win, six top fives, 12 top 10s
• Average finish of 13.7
• Led 13 races for 391 laps
Bristol Motor Speedway Outlook:
• Five wins, nine top 10s; one pole
• Average finish of 14.2
• Finished 11th in March
• Led nine of 17 races for 562 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Average Running Position of 11.1, third-best

7 – Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42 Target Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 88.1
2009 Rundown
• One top five, 11 top 10s
• Average finish of 13.6
• Led five races for 133 laps
Bristol Motor Speedway Outlook:
• One top 10
• Average finish of 18.4 in five races
• Finished ninth in March
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 2,062 Green Flag Passes, second-most

8 – Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 88.7
2009 Rundown
• One win, four top fives, nine top 10s
• Average finish of 14.0
• Led five races for 120 laps
Bristol Motor Speedway Outlook:
• Two top fives, four top 10s; one pole
• Average finish of 19.3
• Finished fifth in March
• Led one of 11 races for 305 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: 80.7
2009 Rundown
• Five top fives, nine top 10s
• Average finish of 14.8
• Led 10 races for 156 laps
Bristol Motor Speedway Outlook:
• One top five, eight top 10s; two poles
• Average finish of 19.2
• Finished seventh in March
• Led four of 15 races for 82 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Has run 83.2% of the laps on the lead lap, 11th-best

10 – Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 89.7
2009 Rundown
• Seven top fives, 10 top 10s
• Average finish of 15.2
• Led nine races for 355 laps
Bristol Motor Speedway Outlook:
• Four top fives, seven top 10s
• Average finish of 12.1
• Finished 39th in March
• Led four of 13 races for 202 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 364 Fastest Laps Run, third-most

11 – Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DEWALT Ford)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 84.8 
2009 Rundown
• Two wins, four top fives, eight top 10s
• Average finish of 15.4
• Led 10 races for 194 laps
Bristol Motor Speedway Outlook:
• Two wins, seven top fives, 11 top 10s; one pole
• Average finish of 13.3
• Finished 33rd in March
• Led seven of 19 races for 742 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 1,903 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most

12 – Mark Martin (No. 5 Kellogg’s/CARQUEST Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 95.6
2009 Rundown
• Four wins, six top fives, 11 top 10s
• Average finish of 17.1
• Led 13 races for 464 laps
Bristol Motor Speedway Outlook:
• Two wins, 15 top fives, 22 top 10s; eight poles
• Average finish of 12.7
• Finished sixth in March
• Led 19 of 41 races for 958 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Has been passed 975 times, fewest in the series

13 – Brian Vickers (No. 83 Red Bull Toyota)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 87.6
2009 Rundown
• One win, four top fives, 11 top 10s
• Average finish of 15.7
• Led nine races for 99 laps
Bristol Motor Speedway Outlook:
• Average finish of 26.0
• Finished 29th in March
• Led one of 10 races for one lap
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 967 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), seventh-most

15 – Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M’s Toyota)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 98.4
2009 Rundown
• Three wins, five top fives, seven top 10s
• Average finish of 17.6
• Led 12 races for 824 laps
Bristol Motor Speedway Outlook:
• Two wins, four top fives, six top 10s
• Average finish of 11.2
• Won March’s Bristol race
• Led seven of nine races for 867 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 261 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most

Chase Contenders

 

The Top 12 … And Beyond Following Race 23 of 36

 

 

                                                                           Rank       Season
                                                                           Last        Driver
Driver                         Points   Wins    Poles       Week      Rating

 

 

1. Tony Stewart            3,500       3           0              1           105.6

 

2. Jeff Gordon               3,216       1           0              3           100.2

 

3. Jimmie Johnson        3,197       3           1              2           111.0

 

4. Carl Edwards            2,995       0           0              6           94.0

 

5. Denny Hamlin           2,986       1           0              5           99.0

 

6. Kurt Busch               2,957       1           0              4           99.4

 

7. Juan Pablo Montoya  2,887       0           1              7           88.1

 

8. Kasey Kahne            2,884       1           0              8           88.7

 

9. Ryan Newman          2,845       0           1              9           80.7

 

  10. Greg Biffle               2,821       0           0              10         89.7

 

  11. Matt Kenseth           2,811       2           1              12         84.8

 

  12. Mark Martin             2,791       4           4              11         95.6

 

        ___________________________________________________

 

 

ADDITIONAL DRIVERS

 

 

13. Brian Vickers        2,779                        34. Michael Waltrip      1,799

 

14. Clint Bowyer         2,733                        35. Scott Speed           1,600

 

15. Kyle Busch           2,721                        36. John Andretti         1,571       

 

16. David Reutimann   2,673                        37. David Gilliland        1,230

 

17. Marcos Ambrose   2,474                        38. Regan Smith            989 

 

18. Jeff Burton            2,459                        39. Brad Keselowski       878 

 

19. Joey Logano         2,426                        40. Joe Nemechek          844 

 

20. Casey Mears        2,354                        41. Dave Blaney             810 

 

21. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2,278                        42. Bill Elliott                 737          

 

22. Jamie McMurray    2,273                        43. Max Papis              644          

 

23. Kevin Harvick        2,251                        44. Aric Almirola            451

 

24. Martin Truex Jr.     2,217                        45. Scott Riggs             448

 

25. AJ Allmendinger    2,206                        46. Tony Raines            389

 

26. Sam Hornish Jr.    2,176                        47. Patrick Carpentier    351

 

27. Elliott Sadler         2,170                        48. Travis Kvapil            292

 

28. Reed Sorenson     2,087                        49. Mike Bliss             292

 

29. Bobby Labonte      2,065                        50. Jeremy Mayfield   288

 

30. David Ragan          2,065                        51. Sterling Marlin       258

 

31. David Stremme     1,980                        52. Mike Skinner         166

 

32. Paul Menard         1,919                        53. Ron Fellows          158

 

33. Robby Gordon      1,833                        54. Terry Labonte       155

 

 

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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