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Keeping Pace

Week 17: 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 Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on June 28.


Courtesy: NASCAR Media Relations

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 22, 2009) – Below is a look at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series top 12, along with other notable drivers, going into the Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on June 28. (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: 103.3
2009 Rundown
• One win, eight top fives, 12 top 10s
• Average finish of 8.4
• Led eight races for 110 laps
New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook:
• Two wins, 10 top fives, 12 top 10s; one pole
• Average finish of 12.6
• Finished eighth in September
• Led 11 of 20 races for 936 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Average Running Position of 10.0, second-best

2 – Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 102.3
2009 Rundown
• One win, eight top fives, 11 top 10s
• Average finish of 10.1
• Led nine races for 505 laps
New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook:
• Three wins, 12 top fives, 15 top 10s; three poles
• Average finish of 11.6
• Finished 14th in September
• Led 17 of 28 races for 1,141 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 328 Fastest Laps Run, third-most

3 – Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 107.5
2009 Rundown
• Two wins, seven top fives, 10 top 10s
• Average finish of 12.4
• Led 13 races for 794 laps
New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook:
• Two wins, four top fives, nine top 10s
• Average finish of 9.9
• Finished second in September
• Led five of 14 races for 181 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Series-best Average Running Position of 9.0

4 – Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 99.9
2009 Rundown
• One win, four top fives, eight top 10s
• Average finish of 13.2
• Led nine races for 325 laps
New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook:
• Three wins, five top fives, seven top 10s
• Average finish of 15.5
• Finished sixth in September
• Led six of 16 races for 298 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Average Running Position of 10.4, third-best

5 – Carl Edwards (No. 99 Aflac Ford)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 94.8
2009 Rundown
• Four top fives, eight top 10s
• Average finish of 13.6
• Led eight races for 158 laps
New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook:
• Two top fives
• Average finish of 12.9
• Finished third in September
• Led two of nine races for 63 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Average Running Position of 12.2, sixth-best

6 – Ryan Newman (No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 83.2
2009 Rundown
• Five top fives, eight top 10s
• Average finish of 13.8
• Led eight races for 138 laps
New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook:
• Two wins, five top fives, nine top 10s; four poles
• Average finish of 13.1
• Finished 36th in September
• Led nine of 14 races for 520 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Has run 80.8% of the laps on the lead lap, 12th-best

7 – Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Toyota)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 96.5
2009 Rundown
• Four top fives, six top 10s
• Average finish of 14.4
• Led five races for 513 laps
New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook:
• One win, two top fives, five top 10s
• Average finish of 7.2
• Finished ninth in September
• Led three of six races for 51 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Average Running Position of 12.4, seventh-best

8 – Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 93.1
2009 Rundown
• Five top fives, eight top 10s
• Average finish of 14.9
• Led eight races for 354 laps
New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook:
• One win, four top fives, five top 10s
• Average finish of 18.1
• Won September’s New Hampshire race
• Led three of 13 races for 84 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 340 Fastest Laps Run, second-most

9 – Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M’s Toyota)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 102.4
2009 Rundown
• Three wins, four top fives, five top 10s
• Average finish of 16.8
• Led 10 races for 808 laps
New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook:
• One win, three top fives
• Average finish of 18.0
• Finished 34th in September
• Led four of eight races for 179 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 246 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most

10 – Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DEWALT Ford)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 85.1 
2009 Rundown
• Two wins, four top fives, six top 10s
• Average finish of 15.8
• Led seven races for 184 laps
New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook:
• Five top fives, 11 top 10s
• Average finish of 12.6
• Finished 40th in September
• Led five of 18 races for 88 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 1,334 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most

11 – Mark Martin (No. 5 Kellogg’s/CARQUEST Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 95.0
2009 Rundown
• Three wins, four top fives, eight top 10s
• Average finish of 17.4
• Led eight races for 218 laps
New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook:
• Eight top fives, 13 top 10s; two poles
• Average finish of 11.0
• Finished 11th in 2006, his last New Hampshire start
• Led eight of 24 races for 396 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Has been passed 679 times, fewest in the series

12 – Juan Pablo Montoya (No. 42 Target Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 84.1
2009 Rundown
• Seven top 10s
• Average finish of 15.2
• Led three races for 11 laps
New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook:
• Average finish of 22.8 in four races
• Finished 17th in September
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 1,501 Green Flag Passes, second-most

13 – Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 85.2
2009 Rundown
• One win, two top fives, five top 10s
• Average finish of 15.8
• Led three races for 83 laps
New Hampshire Motor Speedway Outlook:
• One top five, four tops 10s
• Average finish of 16.6
• Finished 11th in September
• Led two of 10 races for 49 laps
Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 130 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most

Chase Contenders

 

The Top 12 … And Beyond Following Race 16 of 36

 

 

Rank Season
                                                                             Last       Driver
Driver                         Points    Wins    Poles        Week     Rating

 

 

1. Tony Stewart            2,364       1           0              1           103.3

 

2. Jeff Gordon               2,280       1           0              2           102.3

 

3. Jimmie Johnson        2,207       2           0              3           107.5

 

4. Kurt Busch               2,084       1           0              4             99.9

 

5. Carl Edwards            2,051       0           0              6             94.8

 

6. Ryan Newman          2,046       0           1              5             83.2

 

7. Denny Hamlin           2,009       0           0              10           96.5

 

8. Greg Biffle                1,992       0           0              7             93.1

 

9. Kyle Busch               1,962       3           1              9           102.4

 

  10. Matt Kenseth           1,957       2           1              11           85.1

 

  11. Mark Martin             1,926       3           3              8             95.0

 

  12. Juan Pablo Montoya 1,917       0           1              14           84.1

 

        ___________________________________________________

 

 

ADDITIONAL DRIVERS

 

 

13. Kasey Kahne        1,914                        34. Robby Gordon      1,273

 

14. David Reutimann   1,877                        35. Scott Speed         1,093

 

15. Jeff Burton            1,871                        36. John Andretti           999          

 

16. Clint Bowyer         1,852                        37. David Gilliland          941 

 

17. Brian Vickers        1,794                        38. Regan Smith           734 

 

18. Marcos Ambrose   1,704                        39. Joe Nemechek        592 

 

19. Jamie McMurray    1,669                        40. Dave Blaney           551 

 

20. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1,640                         41. Max Papis             502 

 

21. Casey Mears        1,617                         42. Brad Keselowski    479          

 

22. Martin Truex Jr.     1,590                         43. Bill Elliott              461          

 

23. Elliott Sadler         1,570                         44. Aric Almirola         451

 

24. Joey Logano         1,551                         45. Scott Riggs           448

 

25. Kevin Harvick        1,537                         46. Travis Kvapil          292

 

26. Sam Hornish Jr.    1,496                         47. Jeremy Mayfield    288

 

27. Reed Sorenson     1,487                         48. Tony Raines          239

 

28. Bobby Labonte      1,474                        49. Sterling Marlin        209

 

29. AJ Allmendinger    1,467                         50. Mike Bliss             200

 

30. David Ragan         1,447                         51. Patrick Carpentier  164

 

31. David Stremme     1,362                         52. Todd Bodine          123

 

32. Michael Waltrip     1,338                         53. Boris Said              91

 

33. Paul Menard         1,337                         54. Terry Labonte          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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