Chase for the Cup: Charlotte

Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup: Charlotte A look at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 during the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 10, 2005) -- The following is a rundown of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10...

Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup: Charlotte

A look at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 during the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 10, 2005) -- The following is a rundown of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 heading into Saturday Night's UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway (7 p.m. on NBC), the fifth race of the final 10 events in the "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup."

The UAW-GM Quality 500 is the 31st of 36 races on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule. The first 26 races determined who would be part of the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. Drivers outside the "Chase" will still compete for the 11th spot, which will pay in excess of $1 million. They will continue to be ranked under the standard points system.

No. 1 -- Tony Stewart (No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet). Team: Joe Gibbs Racing. Points: 5,684. Previous ranking: 1. Stewart finished fourth at Kansas, remaining at the top of the rankings for the ninth time in the last 10 races. He has 15 top-10 finishes. He leads second-place Ryan Newman by 75 points after the fourth of the 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. Stewart has competed in 13 races at Lowe's Motor Speedway with nine top-10 finishes, including a victory in October 2003. He finished 10th in this race last year and 24th in May. Stewart has a 10.692 average finish at Lowe's.

No. 2 -- Ryan Newman (No. 12 Alltel Dodge). Team: Penske Racing South. Points: 5,609 (-75). Previous ranking: 2. Newman finished 23rd at Kansas, ending a three-race streak of top-five finishes. This remains the highest ranking of his career, since Darlington in 2002. He has 13 top-10 finishes this season. Newman has run nine races at Lowe's, scoring five Bud Poles, three top-five and four top-10 finishes. Newman finished 14th in this race a year ago and fifth in May. He has a 19.111 average finish at Lowe's.

No. 3 -- Greg Biffle (No. 16 National Guard Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 5,596 (-88). Previous ranking: 5. Biffle finished second at Kansas to climb two spots in the standings. He has ranked among the top five after 28 of 30 races this season. Biffle is tied with Stewart with a series-leading five victories apiece. He has 17 top-10 finishes this year. Biffle has competed in five races at Lowe's with one top-10 finish, a sixth-place effort in May. He finished 33rd in this race last year. Biffle has an 18.6 average finish at Lowe's.

No. 4 -- Rusty Wallace (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge). Team: Penske Racing South. Points: 5,594 (-90). Previous ranking: 3. Wallace finished seventh at Kansas, dropping one spot in the rankings. He has scored three top-10 finishes in four outings in his first Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. Wallace has competed in 47 races at Lowe's with 22 top-10 finishes, including two victories, his most recent in May of 1990. He has a 16.170 average finish at Lowe's and has posted 12 DNFs in 47 races; his most recent DNF was in May of 1995.

No. 5 -- Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet). Team: Hendrick Motorsports. Points: 5,592 (-92). Previous ranking: 4. Johnson finished sixth at Kansas to drop one spot in the rankings. He has scored top-10 finishes in three of the four races in the Chase. He has 18 top-10 finishes his season, three less than Stewart. Johnson has ranked among the top 10 since Las Vegas in March 2004, a streak of 64 races. Johnson has run eight races at Lowe's with seven top-10 finishes, including four victories. Johnson has a 7.37 average finish at Lowe's.

No. 6 -- Carl Edwards (No. 99 Office Depot Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 5,589 (-95). Previous ranking: 6. Edwards finished third at Kansas to give owner Jack Roush the top three spots in the race. One year ago he ranked 40th in the standings after running just eight races. He has 13 top-10 finishes. Edwards has three top-10 finishes in the four Chase races to date. Edwards finished third at Lowe's in May, his only career start at the track.

No. 7 -- Mark Martin (No. 6 Viagra Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 5,571 (-113). Previous ranking: 9. Martin finished first at Kansas, his first points victory of the season. He also won the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge earlier this year. He has three top-10 finishes in four Chase races to date. Martin has run in 41 races at Lowe's with 19 top-10 finishes, including four victories. His most recent victory there came in May of 2002. He finished 13th in this race last year and 28th in May. Martin has not scored a top-10 finish in his last six races at Lowe's, giving him a 16.43 average finish.

No. 8 -- Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DeWALT Power Tools). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 5,568 (-116). Previous ranking: 7. Kenseth finished fifth at Kansas to drop one spot in the rankings. He has logged three top-five finishes in the first four races of the Chase. He has 14 top-10 finishes this season. Kenseth has competed in 12 races at Lowe's with six top-10 finishes, including a victory in May 2000. He placed 11th in this race last year and 37th in May, giving him a 14.750 average Lowe's finish.

No. 9 -- Jeremy Mayfield (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge). Team: Evernham Motorsports. Points: 5,527 (-157). Previous ranking: 8. Mayfield placed 16th at Kansas to drop one spot in the rankings. He has eight top-10 finishes this season. Mayfield has competed in 23 races at Lowe's with seven top-10 finishes. He placed 30th in this race last year and was fourth in May. Mayfield has a 21.869 average finish at Lowe's.

No. 10 -- Kurt Busch (No. 97 Sharpie Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 5,460 (-224). Previous ranking: 10. Busch finished 14th at Kansas to remain in 10th place in the standings. The reigning NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion has 15 top-10 finishes this season, including three wins. He has competed in 10 races at Lowe's with just one top-10 finish, a fourth in this race last year. He placed 43rd at Lowe's in May, giving him a 20.4 average finish.

Fast Facts

Top 10 following the Banquet 400 (Race 30 of 36):
1. Tony Stewart 5,684 pts.
2. Ryan Newman 5,609 (-75)
3. Greg Biffle 5,596 (-88)
4. Rusty Wallace 5,594 (-90)
5. Jimmie Johnson 5,592 (-92)
6. Carl Edwards 5,589 (-95)
7. Mark Martin 5,571 (-113)
8. Matt Kenseth 5,568 (-116)
9. Jeremy Mayfield 5,527 (-157)
10. Kurt Busch 5,460 (-224)

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Jeremy Mayfield , Tony Stewart , Rusty Wallace , Greg Biffle , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Carl Edwards , Jack Roush , Mark Martin
Teams Team Penske , Joe Gibbs Racing