Chase for the Cup: New Hampshire

Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup: New Hampshire A look at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 during the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 12, 2005) -- The following is a rundown of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10...

Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup: New Hampshire

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

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 12, 2005) -- The following is a rundown of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 heading into Sunday's Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Raceway (12:30 p.m. on TNT), the first race of the final 10 events in the "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup."

The Sylvania 300 is the 27th 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.

No. 1 -- Tony Stewart (No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet). Team: Joe Gibbs Racing. Points: 5,050. Previous ranking: 1. Stewart finished seventh at Richmond to remain atop the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings for the sixth consecutive race. He has a series-leading 18 top-10 finishes this season, including five victories in his last 12 races. Stewart has competed in 13 races at New Hampshire with eight top-10 finishes, including victories this past July and in 2000. He finished 39th in this race last year, tying his worst effort there in July of 2002. Stewart has a 13.5 average finish at New Hampshire.

No. 2 -- Greg Biffle (No. 16 National Guard Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 5,045 (-5). Previous ranking: 2. Biffle finished third at Richmond, keeping alive his streak of ranking in the top five in the standings since the season's second race, in February at California. He has 15 top-10 finishes this year, including five victories. Biffle has run six races at New Hampshire with two top-10 finishes, including a career-best fifth in July and a 10th in 2003. He placed 28th in this race last year. He has never led a lap at New Hampshire, and has a 24.7 average finish there.

No. 3 -- Rusty Wallace (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge). Team: Penske Racing South. Points: 5,040 (-10). Previous ranking: 4. Wallace finished fifth at Richmond to advance one spot in the rankings and extend to a series-leading 39 consecutive races in which he has been running at the finish. He has 14 top-10 finishes this year. Wallace has competed in 21 races on the one-mile oval with 12 top-10 finishes, including a victory in 1993. He placed 14th in this race last year and eighth in July. Wallace has led five races at New Hampshire, but hasn't been on the point in his last six races there. He has a 13.3 average finish at New Hampshire.

No. 4 -- Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet). Team: Hendrick Motorsports. Points: 5,035 (-15). Previous ranking: 3. Johnson finished 25th at Richmond, dropping one spot in the rankings. He has 15 top-10 finishes this year, including two victories. Johnson has been in the top 10 in the standings since Las Vegas in March of 2004, or 59 consecutive events. He has competed in seven races at New Hampshire with three top-10 finishes, including back-to-back triumphs in 2003. Johnson finished 11th in this race a year ago and 13th in July. He has an 8.7 average finish at New Hampshire, the best among the 10 drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup.

No. 5 -- Kurt Busch (No. 97 Sharpie Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 5,030 (-20). Previous ranking: 6. The reigning NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion won at Richmond to climb one spot in the standings. He has 14 top-10 performances this year including two victories; his first in 2005 came at Phoenix. Busch has competed in nine races at New Hampshire with five top-10 finishes, including victories in both races last year. His second New Hampshire victory in 2004 vaulted him from seventh to second in the rankings. He has finished first or second in his last six races there. Busch placed second in July, giving him an 11.4 average finish at New Hampshire.

No. 6 -- Mark Martin (No. 6 Viagra Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 5,025 (-25). Previous ranking: 5. Martin finished 13th at Richmond to drop one position in the rankings. He has 12 top-10 finishes this season, but is still looking for his first victory in 2005. Martin has competed in 21 races at New Hampshire with 11 top-10 finishes, including three second-place efforts, the most recent in 1998. He placed 13th in this race last year and 15th in July. He has led six of his New Hampshire races, but hasn't had a top-10 outing in his last seven races. Martin has an 11.5 average finish there.

No. 7 -- Jeremy Mayfield (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge). Team: Evernham Motorsports. Points: 5,020 (-30). Previous ranking: 7. Mayfield placed sixth at Richmond, his seventh top-10 finish this year. He has competed in 19 races at New Hampshire with two top-10 finishes, a 10th-place effort in 2004 and an eighth in 2000. Mayfield finished 35th in this race last year and 19th in July. He has a 25.4 average finish at New Hampshire.

No. 8 -- Carl Edwards (No. 99 Office Depot Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 5,015 (-35). Previous ranking: 8. Edwards finished 21st at Richmond to retain his spot in the rankings. He has 10 top-10 finishes during his first full season of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup competition; he ranked 44th in the standings at this point last year. Edwards has run two races at New Hampshire, finishing 20th in the race last year and 12th in July. He has a 16.0 average finish there.

No. 8 -- Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DeWALT Power Tools). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 5,015 (-35). Previous ranking: 9. Kenseth finished second at Richmond, his fifth top-10 finish in his last six races, to become the fifth and final Roush Racing driver to qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. He has 11 top-10 finishes this season. Kenseth has competed in 11 races at New Hampshire with seven top-10 finishes. He placed second in this race last year and 10th in July. Kenseth has finished in the top 10 in his last six New Hampshire races, and has an 11.4 average finish there.

No. 10 -- Ryan Newman (No. 12 Mobil 1/Alltel Dodge). Team: Penske Racing South. Points: 5,005 (-45). Previous ranking: 11. Newman finished 12th at Richmond, good enough to lock up the final slot in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. He has 10 top-10 finishes this season. Newman has competed in seven races at New Hampshire with six top-10 finishes, including a victory in 2002. He placed 33rd in this race last year and seventh in July. His 8.9 average finish is second only to the 8.7 average finish of the fourth-ranked Johnson.

Fast Facts

Top 10 following the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 (Race 26 of 36):
1. Tony Stewart 5,050 pts.
2. Greg Biffle 5,045 (-5)
3. Rusty Wallace 5,040 (-10)
4. Jimmie Johnson 5,035 (-15)
5. Kurt Busch 5,030 (-20)
6. Mark Martin 5,025 (-25)
7. Jeremy Mayfield 5,020 (-30)
8. Carl Edwards 5,015 (-35)
8. Matt Kenseth 5,015 (-35)
10. Ryan Newman 5,005 (-45)

New arrival in the Top 10: Ryan Newman.

Dropped out of the Top 10: Jamie McMurray.

-nascar-

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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 , Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , Mark Martin
Teams Team Penske , Joe Gibbs Racing