Keeping Pace

Week 14: 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 Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway on June 7.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 1, 2009) – Below is a look at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series top 12, along with other notable drivers, going into the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway on June 7. (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: 99.5
2009 Rundown
• Six top fives, nine top 10s
• Average finish of 9.6
• Led six races for 60 laps
Pocono Raceway Outlook:
• One win, six top fives, 14 top 10s; one pole
• Average finish of 13.0
• Finished second in August
• Led eight of 20 races for 114 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Average Running Position of 10.7, third-best

2 – Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 103.7
2009 Rundown
• One win, six top fives, eight top 10s
• Average finish of 11.3
• Led eight races for a total of 496 laps
Pocono Raceway Outlook:
• Four wins, 15 top fives, 22 top 10s; two poles
• Average finish of 10.3
• Finished 10th in August
• Led 19 of 32 races for 870 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 305 Fastest Laps Run, second-most

3 – Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 105.5
2009 Rundown
• Two wins, six top fives, eight top 10s
• Average finish of 12.7
• Led 11 races for 617 laps
Pocono Raceway Outlook:
• Two wins, five top fives, nine top 10s; two poles
• Average finish of 9.8
• Finished third in August
• Led six of 14 races for 368 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Series-best Average Running Position of 9.4

4 – Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 100.4
2009 Rundown
• One win, four top fives, seven top 10s
• Average finish of 11.7
• Led seven races for 322 laps
Pocono Raceway Outlook:
• Two wins, seven top fives, eight top 10s
• Average finish of 15.7
• Finished 38th in August
• Led eight of 16 races for 352 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Average Running Position of 9.9, second-best

5 – Ryan Newman (No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 83.7
2009 Rundown
• Four top fives, seven top 10s
• Average finish of 13.5
• Led seven races for 137 laps
Pocono Raceway Outlook:
• One win, five top fives, six top 10s; two poles
• Average finish of 13.9
• Finished 14th in August
• Led nine of 14 races for 161 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Has run 80.6% of the laps on the lead lap, 11th-best

6 – Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M’s Toyota)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 105.3
2009 Rundown
• Three wins, four top fives, five top 10s
• Average finish of 16.3
• Led eight races for 789 laps
Pocono Raceway Outlook:
• One top five, two top 10s
• Average finish of 22.0
• Finished 36th in August
• Led one of eight races for two laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 236 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most

7 – Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Toyota)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 98.3
2009 Rundown
• Two top fives, four top 10s
• Average finish of 14.2
• Led four races for 479 laps
Pocono Raceway Outlook:
• Two wins, four top fives, five top 10s; two poles
• Average finish of 6.2
• Finished 23rd in August
• Led four of six races for 300 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Average Running Position of 11.0, fourth-most

8 – Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DEWALT Ford)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 83.9 
2009 Rundown
• Two wins, four top fives, six top 10s
• Average finish of 15.3
• Led six races for 178 laps
Pocono Raceway Outlook:
• Three top fives, eight top 10s
• Average finish of 14.2
• Finished 11th in August
• Led nine of 18 races for 32 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 1,160 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most

9 – Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 91.9
2009 Rundown
• Four top fives, seven top 10s
• Average finish of 15.0
• Led six races for 308 laps
Pocono Raceway Outlook:
• One top five, two top 10s
• Average finish of 18.3
• Finished 13th in August
• Led five of 12 races for 59 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 295 Fastest Laps Run, third-most

10 – Jeff Burton (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 81.9
2009 Rundown
• Two top fives, five top 10s
• Average finish of 14.6
• Led two races for 67 laps
Pocono Raceway Outlook:
• Seven top fives, 14 top 10s
• Average finish of 16.5
• Finished 21st in August
• Led 15 of 30 races for 104 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Laps in the Top 15 percentage of 66.3%, ninth-best

11 – Carl Edwards (No. 99 Aflac Ford)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 91.6
2009 Rundown
• Two top fives, six top 10s
• Average finish of 15.3
• Led six races for 54 laps
Pocono Raceway Outlook:
• Two wins, three top fives, four top 10s
• Average finish of 14.3
• Won August’s Pocono race
• Led five of eight races for 106 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Average Running Position of 12.8, seventh-best

12 – Mark Martin (No. 5 Kellogg’s/CARQUEST Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 96.7
2009 Rundown
• Two wins, three top fives, seven top 10s
• Average finish of 17.2
• Led six races for 216 laps
Pocono Raceway Outlook:
• 19 top fives, 31 top 10s; three poles
• Average finish of 10.7
• Finished eighth in August
• Led 26 of 44 races for 430 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Has been passed 491 times, fewest in the series

13 – David Reutimann (No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 82.2
2009 Rundown
• One win, two top fives, three top 10s
• Average finish of 16.5
• Led five races for 72 laps
Pocono Raceway Outlook:
• Average finish of 32.0 in his four Pocono races
• Finished 30th in August
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Average Running Position of 15.4, ninth-best

Chase Contenders

 

The Top 12 … And Beyond Following Race 13 of 36

 

 

                                                                          Rank       Season

                                                                          Last         Driver
Driver                        Points  Wins     Poles       Week       Rating

 

 

1. Tony Stewart           1,853       0           0              2           99.5

 

2. Jeff Gordon              1,807       1           0              1           103.7

 

3. Jimmie Johnson       1,789       2           0              4           105.5

 

4. Kurt Busch              1,762       1           0              3           100.4

 

5. Ryan Newman         1,680       0           1              7            83.7

 

6. Kyle Busch             1,634       3           1              6            105.3

 

7. Denny Hamlin          1,630       0           0              5            98.3

 

8. Matt Kenseth           1,625       2           1              9            83.9

 

9. Greg Biffle                1,618       0           0              10          91.9

 

  10. Jeff Burton               1,587       0           0              8            81.9

 

  11. Carl Edwards           1,582       0           0              11          91.6

 

  12. Mark Martin             1,567       2           3              12          96.7

 

        ___________________________________________________

 

 

ADDITIONAL DRIVERS

 

 

13. David Reutimann   1,536                        34. Robby Gordon       981 

 

14. Kasey Kahne        1,501                        35. Scott Speed          917 

 

15. J.P.  Montoya       1,475                        36. John Andretti         804          

 

16. Clint Bowyer         1,449                        37. David Gilliland        770 

 

17. Brian Vickers        1,436                        38. Regan Smith         670 

 

18. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1,352                        39. Joe Nemechek       515 

 

19. Martin Truex Jr.     1,338                        40. Brad Keselowski    479  

 

20. Marcos Ambrose   1,319                        41. Aric Almirola          451 

 

21. Casey Mears        1,306                        42. Scott Riggs            448          

 

22. Jamie McMurray    1,289                        43. Dave Blaney          428          

 

23. Joey Logano          1,263                        44. Bill Elliottl             346

 

24. Kevin Harvick        1,261                        45. Max Papis             317

 

25. Reed Sorenson     1,259                        46. Travis Kvapil           292

 

26. Sam Hornish Jr.    1,237                        47. Jeremy Mayfield     288

 

27. Elliott Sadler         1,216                        48. Tony Raines          205

 

28. Bobby Labonte      1,213                        49. Mike Bliss            200

 

29. David Stremme     1,206                        50. Todd Bodine          123

 

30. AJ Allmendinger    1,202                        51. Sterling Marlin       123

 

31. David Ragan          1,180                        52. Terry Labonte         91

 

32. Michael Waltrip      1,153                        53. Mike Skinner         40

 

33. Paul Menard          1,100                       

 

 

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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Keeping Pace

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





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