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Keeping Pace

Week 20: 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 Allstate 400 at The Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26.


Courtesy: NASCAR Media Relations

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 13, 2009) – Below is a look at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series top 12, along with other notable drivers, going into the Allstate 400 at The Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 26. (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: 106.0
2009 Rundown
• Two wins, 11 top fives, 15 top 10s
• Average finish of 7.6
• Led 11 races for 237 laps
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Outlook:
• Two wins, four top fives, six top 10s ; one pole
• Average finish of 9.1
• Finished 23rd last season
• Led five of 10 races for 215 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Average Running Position of 9.3, second-best

2 – Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 101.7
2009 Rundown
• One win, 10 top fives, 13 top 10s
• Average finish of 10.2
• Led 11 races for 570 laps
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Outlook:
• Four wins, nine top fives, 12 top 10s; three poles
• Average finish of 8.6
• Finished fifth last season
• Led 10 of 15 races for 440 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 376 Fastest Laps Run, second-most

3 – Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 109.9
2009 Rundown
• Two wins, eight top fives, 13 top 10s
• Average finish of 11.4
• Led 15 races for 945 laps
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Outlook:
• Two wins, three top 10s; one pole
• Average finish of 20.3
• Won last season’s Indianapolis race
• Led two of seven races for 104 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Series-best Average Running Position of 8.3

4 – Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 101.0
2009 Rundown
• One win, six top fives, 10 top 10s
• Average finish of 12.5
• Led 11 races for 354 laps
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Outlook:
• One top five, three top 10s
• Average finish of 18.0
• Finished 40th last season
• Led two of eight races for three laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Average Running Position of 10.0, third-best

5 – Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Toyota)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 97.8
2009 Rundown
• Six top fives, eight top 10s
• Average finish of 13.4
• Led eight races for 577 laps
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Outlook:
• One top five, two top 10s
• Average finish of 11.7
• Finished third last season
• Led one of three races for 26 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Average Running Position of 11.8, fifth-best

6 – Carl Edwards (No. 99 Aflac Ford)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 94.6
2009 Rundown
• Five top fives, nine top 10s
• Average finish of 13.4
• Led eight races for 158 laps
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Outlook:
• One top five, two top 10s
• Average finish of 10.3
• Finished second last season
• Led one of four races for four laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Average Running Position of 12.0, seventh-best

7 – Ryan Newman (No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 81.7
2009 Rundown
• Five top fives, nine top 10s
• Average finish of 14.5
• Led 10 races for 156 laps
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Outlook:
• One top five
• Average finish of 22.4
• Finished 13th last season
• Led two of eight races for 14 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Has run 81.4% of the laps on the lead lap, 12th-best

8 – Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 87.9
2009 Rundown
• One win, three top fives, seven top 10s
• Average finish of 14.8
• Led four races for 85 laps
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Outlook:
• Two top fives, three top 10s
• Average finish of 17.8
• Finished seventh last season
• Led two of five races for 40 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 163 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most

9 – Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42 Target Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 84.1
2009 Rundown
• Nine top 10s
• Average finish of 14.4
• Led four races for 17 laps
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Outlook:
• One top five
• Average finish of 20.5 in two races
• Finished 39th last season
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 1,820 Green Flag Passes, second-most

10 – Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M’s Toyota)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 100.9
2009 Rundown
• Three wins, four top fives, six top 10s
• Average finish of 17.0
• Led 11 races for 809 laps
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Outlook:
• One top five, three top 10s
• Average finish of 9.0
• Finished 15th last season
• Led three of four races for 39 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 253 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most

11 – Mark Martin (No. 5 Kellogg’s/CARQUEST Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 95.3
2009 Rundown
• Four wins, five top fives, nine top 10s
• Average finish of 17.4
• Led 10 races for 414 laps
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Outlook:
• Five top fives, nine top 10s
• Average finish of 14.1
• Finished 11th last season
• Led five of 15 races for 43 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Has been passed 773 times, fewest in the series

12 – Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DEWALT Ford)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 84.4 
2009 Rundown
• Two wins, four top fives, seven top 10s
• Average finish of 16.1
• Led eight races for 187 laps
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Outlook:
• Four top fives, five top 10s
• Average finish of 16.0
• Finished 38th last season
• Led three of nine races for 28 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 1,590 Green Flag Passes, tied for seventh-most

13 – Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 88.6
2009 Rundown
• Five top fives, eight top 10s
• Average finish of 16.1
• Led nine races for 355 laps
Indianapolis Motor Speedway Outlook:
• Two top 10s
• Average finish of 17.3
• Finished eighth last season
• Led one of six races for 11 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 360 Fastest Laps Run, third-most

Chase Contenders

 

The Top 12 … And Beyond Following Race 19 of 36

 

 

Rank Season
                                                                              Last          Driver
Driver                         Points   Wins      Poles        Week        Rating

 

 

1. Tony Stewart            2,884       2           0                1           106.0

 

2. Jeff Gordon               2,709       1           0                2           101.7

 

3. Jimmie Johnson        2,672       2           0                3           109.9

 

4. Kurt Busch               2,526       1           0                4           101.0

 

5. Denny Hamlin           2,457       0           0                6             97.8

 

6. Carl Edwards            2,438       0           0                5             94.6

 

7. Ryan Newman          2,385       0           1                7             81.7

 

8. Kasey Kahne            2,336       1           0              12             87.9

 

9. Juan Pablo Montoya  2,321       0           1              11             84.1

 

  10. Kyle Busch              2,298       3           1                8           100.9

 

  11. Mark Martin              2,296       4           3              13            95.3

 

  12. Matt Kenseth            2,295       2           1              10            84.4

 

        ___________________________________________________

 

 

ADDITIONAL DRIVERS

 

 

13. Greg Biffle             2,285                        34. Robby Gordon      1,529

 

14. David Reutimann    2,219                        35. John Andretti        1,274

 

15. Clint Bowyer          2,169                        36. Scott Speed         1,273       

 

16. Brian Vickers         2,149                        37. David Gilliland       1,064

 

17. Jeff Burton             2,113                        38. Regan Smith           943 

 

18. Marcos Ambrose   2,078                        39. Brad Keselowski      787 

 

19. Jamie McMurray    1,960                        40. Joe Nemechek        718 

 

20. Joey Logano         1,956                         41. Dave Blaney           656 

 

21. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1,928                         42. Bill Elliott                537          

 

22. Casey Mears        1,887                        43. Max Papis               502          

 

23. Elliott Sadler         1,881                        44. Aric Almirola            451

 

24. Martin Truex Jr.     1,845                        45. Scott Riggs             448

 

25. Kevin Harvick        1,789                        46. Tony Raines            352

 

26. Bobby Labonte      1,779                        47. Travis Kvapil            292

 

27. AJ Allmendinger    1,770                        48. Jeremy Mayfield      288

 

28. Reed Sorenson     1,759                        49. Mike Bliss              243

 

29. Sam Hornish Jr.    1,754                        50. Patrick Carpentier    235

 

30. David Ragan          1,708                        51. Sterling Marlin        209

 

31. Michael Waltrip      1,584                        52. Todd Bodine          123

 

32. David Stremme       1,584                        53. Terry Labonte          91

 

33. Paul Menard          1,562                        54. Boris Said               91

 

 

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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