Chase for the Cup: Martinsville

Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup: Martinsville A look at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 during the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 17, 2005) -- The following is a rundown of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 ...

Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup: Martinsville

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

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 17, 2005) -- The following is a rundown of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 heading into Sunday's Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway (12:30 p.m.) the sixth race of the final 10 events in the "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup."

The Subway 500 is the 32nd 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: 5,777 Previous ranking: 1. Stewart finished 25th at Lowe's, just the second time he had finished outside the top 10 in the last 17 races, but remained atop the rankings. Both those finishes occurred during the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup in the last four races. Stewart has a series-leading 21 top-10 finishes this season. He is tied with Jimmie Johnson with 5,777 points, but leads the standings because he has five victories to Johnson's four. Stewart has competed in 13 races at Martinsville with six top-10 finishes, including a victory in October 2000. He finished 15th in this race last year and 26th in April. He has posted three consecutive efforts of 14th or worse at Martinsville. Stewart has a 14.923 average finish at Martinsville, fourth there among Chase drivers.

No. 2 -- Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet). Team: Hendrick Motorsports. Points: 5,777. Previous ranking: 4. Johnson finished first at Lowe's, his fourth consecutive victory there and fifth overall at the suburban Charlotte racetrack. He has scored top-10 finishes in four of the five Chase races to date; his victory at Lowe's sparked his climb from fifth to second in the rankings. His four victories this season had him atop the standings after 17 of 31 races this year. He has 19 top-10 finishes, two less than Stewart. Johnson has ranked among the top 10 since Las Vegas in March of 2004, or 64 consecutive races. He has competed in seven races at Martinsville with six top-10 finishes, including a victory in October 2004. He has logged top-10 finishes in his last six races there. Johnson has a 9.285 average finish at Martinsville, first there among Chase competitors.

No. 3 -- Greg Biffle (No. 16 National Guard/Subway Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 5,766 (-11). Previous ranking: 3. Biffle finished third at Lowe's, his 18th top-10 effort this season. He has ranked among the top five after 29 of 31 races this season, his first in the Chase. Biffle has three top-10 finishes in the first five Chase races. He has five victories overall this season, tied with Stewart. He has competed in five races at Martinsville, but has never finished better than 17th, which he did in this race a year ago. He placed 29th in April. Biffle, who has never led a lap at the half-mile track, has a 23.6 average finish at Martinsville, ninth among Chase drivers.

No. 4 -- Ryan Newman (No. 12 Alltel Dodge). Team: Penske Racing South. Points: 5,760 (-17). Previous ranking: 2. Newman finished seventh at Lowe's, his 14th top-10 effort this season. He has four top-10 finishes in the five Chase races to date. Newman has competed in seven races at Martinsville with four top-five finishes in his last four starts there. All seven of his starts there have been from a top-10 position. Newman finished third in this race last year and and fourth in April. His 15.857 average finish there is fifth among Chase drivers.

No. 5 -- Mark Martin (No. 6 Viagra Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 5,726 (-51). Previous ranking: 7. Martin finished fifth at Lowe's to climb two spots in the rankings. He has 16 top-10 finishes this season. Martin has four top-10 efforts in the first five Chase races. He has competed in 39 races at Martinsville with 21 top-10 finishes, including victories in 1992 and 2000. Martin finished 12th in this race one year ago and third in April. He has a 12.641 average finish there, third among Chase drivers.

No. 6 -- Carl Edwards (No. 99 Office Depot Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 5,723 (-54). Previous ranking: 6. Edwards finished 10th at Lowe's to remain sixth in the rankings. He has 14 top-10 finishes this season. Edwards has scored four top-10 finishes in the last four of the five Chase races. He has competed in two races at Martinsville, finishing 24th in this race a year ago and 38th in April. Edward's 31.0 finishing average is 10th among Chase drivers.

No. 7 -- Rusty Wallace (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge). Team: Penske Racing South. Points: 5,685 (-92). Previous ranking: 4. Wallace finished 24th at Lowe's, dropping three spots in the rankings. Competing in his first Chase during his last year of professional driving, Wallace has three top-10 finishes in the first five Chase events. Wallace has run 43 races at Martinsville with 25 top-10 finishes, including a series-leading seven victories, his most recent in April of 2004. He has led 3,632 laps there, second only to Cale Yarborough. Wallace finished 10th in this race a year ago and fifth in April; he has top-10 finishes in his last three Martinsville races. He has posted seven DNFs there, but has not had one in his last 17 starts. Wallace's 11.767 average finish ranks second among Chase drivers.

No. 8 -- Jeremy Mayfield (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge). Team: Evernham Motorsports. Points: 5,662 (-115). Previous ranking: 9. Mayfield placed 11th at Lowe's to climb one spot in the standings. He has eight top-10 finishes this season and one in the five Chase races so far. Mayfield has competed in 20 races at Martinsville with five top-10 finishes, including a sixth in this race a year ago and a career-best fourth in April 1996. He placed 15th there this April. Mayfield has a 21.250 average finish at Martinsville, seventh among Chase drivers.

No. 9 -- Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DeWALT Power Tools). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 5,653 (-124). Previous ranking: 8. Kenseth finished 26th at Lowe's to drop one spot in the rankings. He has three top-five finishes in the five Chase events to date. Kenseth has 14 top-10 finishes this season. He has competed in 11 races at Martinsville with three top-10 finishes; his best and only top-five effort was a runner-up finish in April 2002. He finished 16th in this race last year and 11th in April. Kenseth has a 17.090 average finish at Martinsville, sixth among Chase drivers.

No. 10 -- Kurt Busch (No. 97 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 5,635 (-142). Previous ranking: 10. The reigning NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion finished second at Lowe's, closing the gap between himself and leader Stewart from 224 to 142 points. Busch ranked first in the standings at this point last season. He has 16 top-10 finishes this year. Busch has competed in 10 races at Martinsville with three top-10 finishes, including a victory in October 2002. He finished fifth in this race last year and 19th in April. Busch has a 21.8 average finish at Martinsville, eighth among Chase drivers.

Fast Facts

Top 10 following the UAW-GM Quality 500 (Race 31 of 36):
1. Tony Stewart 5,777 pts.
2. Jimmie Johnson 5,777 (0)
3. Greg Biffle 5,766 (-11)
4. Ryan Newman 5,760 (-17)
5. Mark Martin 5,726 (-51)
6. Carl Edwards 5,723 (-54)
7. Rusty Wallace 5,685 (-92)
8. Jeremy Mayfield 5,662 (-115)
9. Matt Kenseth 5,653 (-124)
10. Kurt Busch 5,635 (-142)

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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 , Mark Martin
Teams Team Penske , Joe Gibbs Racing