Chase for the Cup: Texas

Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup: Texas A look at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 during the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 31, 2005) -- The following is a rundown of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 heading...

Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup: Texas

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

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 31, 2005) -- The following is a rundown of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 heading into Sunday's Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway (3 p.m. on NBC) the eighth race of the final 10 events in the "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup." The Dickies 500 is the 34th 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" are still competing 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: 6,100 Previous ranking: 1. Stewart finished ninth at Atlanta, his 23rd top-10 finish this season. He has led the standings for 12 of the past 13 races. Stewart has logged four top-five finishes in the seven races in the Chase to date; his worst showing during the Chase was a 25th at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Stewart, who was ranked sixth at this point last season, has competed in seven races at Texas with four top-10 finishes. He placed 31st there this past April, his second DNF in his last three Texas races. He has a 16.571 average finish at Texas, sixth among Chase contenders.

No. 2 -- Jimmie Johnson

(No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet). Team: Hendrick Motorsports. Points: 6,057 (-43 pts). Previous ranking: 2. Johnson finished 16th at Atlanta, the last car on the lead lap. He has scored top-10 finishes in five of the seven Chase races. His worst Chase effort was a 31st at Talladega. He has scored 20 top-10 finishes this year, three fewer than Stewart. He has ranked among the top 10 since Las Vegas in March of 2004, or 66 consecutive races. Johnson has run four races at Texas with four top-10 finishes, the best streak among drivers in the top 10. Johnson finished a career-best third at Texas in April. He has a 6.50 average finish there, first among those in the Chase.

No. 3 -- Greg Biffle

(No. 16 National Guard Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 6,025 (-75). Previous ranking: 4. Biffle finished seventh at Atlanta, his 19th top-10 finish this season. He has scored five victories in 2005, tying him with Stewart for the most triumphs among all drivers. Biffle has logged four top-10 finishes in the seven Chase races; his worst was a 27th at Talladega. He has competed in three races at Texas with one top-10 finish, a victory this past April. Biffle has a 20.0 average finish at Texas, ninth among Chase drivers.

No. 4 -- Carl Edwards

(No. 99 Office Depot Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 5,993 (-107). Previous ranking: 5. Edwards pulled off his signature back flip at Atlanta after his victory there, duplicating his April winning effort there. He has 15 top-10 finishes this season. Edwards, in his first full year of NASCAR NEXTEL Cup competition, has five top-10 finishes in the seven Chase races. His worst Chase finish was 26th at Martinsville. He placed 19th at Texas in April in his first start at the 1.5-mile superspeedway. Edwards' average finish of 19th at Texas ranks seventh among Chase drivers.

No. 5 -- Ryan Newman

(No. 12 Mobil 1/Alltel Dodge). Team: Penske Racing South. Points: 5,993 (-107). Previous ranking: 3. Newman finished 23rd at Atlanta, dropping from third to fifth in the rankings. He has the same number of points as No. 3 Edwards, but is ranked one spot lower because he has fewer victories (one, to three for Edwards). He has 15 top-10 finishes in 2005. Newman is one of five drivers who have logged five top-10 finishes in the seven Chase races. His worst Chase effort has been a 23rd twice, at Kansas and Atlanta. Newman has competed in four races at Texas with one top-10 finish, a victory in 2003. He finished 16th there in April. Newman has a 24.0 average finish at Texas, 10th among Chase contenders.

No. 6 -- Mark Martin

(No. 6 Viagra Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 5,957 (-143). Previous ranking: 7. Martin finished third at Atlanta, advancing him one spot in the rankings and rejuvenating his championship hopes. Martin, who confirmed he will continue to drive for Jack Roush in 2006, has 17 top-10 finishes this season. He has five top-10 finishes in Chase events. Martin has run all nine races at Texas with four top-10 finishes, including a victory in April 1998. He placed 20th at Texas last April. He has a 15.33 average finish at Texas, fifth among Chase drivers.

No. 7 -- Matt Kenseth

(No. 17 DeWALT Power Tools Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 5,945 (-155). Previous ranking: 9. Kenseth finished fifth at Atlanta, his 15th top-10 effort this season. He climbed two positions in the rankings. Kenseth has four top-five finishes in Chase races, tied with top-ranked Stewart and No. 6 Martin. Kenseth has competed in six races at Texas with two top-10 finishes, including a victory in April 2002. He finished 18th at Texas this past April, and has a 15.33 average finish there, fourth among Chase drivers.

No. 8 -- Rusty Wallace

(No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge). Team: Penske Racing South. Points: 5,843 (-257). Previous ranking: 6. Wallace finished 37th at Atlanta after running into incidents caused by others for the third consecutive race. He dropped two spots in the rankings. He has three top-10 Chase finishes in seven races. Wallace has competed in nine races at Texas with four top-10 finishes. He has top-10 finishes in his last two races at Texas, including a 10th last April. His 12.11 average finish there is third among Chase drivers.

No. 9 -- Kurt Busch

(No. 97 Sharpie Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 5,840 (-260). Previous ranking: 8. The reigning NASCAR NEXTEL Cup titlist finished 36th at Atlanta, putting him 260 points behind Stewart and in effect ending his hopes of repeating as champion. He has 17 top-10 finishes in 2005. Busch has competed in five races at Texas with four top-10 finishes. He placed seventh at Texas in April; his best finish there was fourth in 2001. Busch has a 9.8 average finish at Texas, second among Chase drivers.

No. 10 -- Jeremy Mayfield

(No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge). Team: Evernham Motorsports. Points: 5,790 (-310). Previous ranking: 10. Mayfield placed 38th at Atlanta, knocking himself 310 points behind Stewart and ending his efforts to win the Chase. He has eight top-10 finishes this season, but has only one top-10 effort in Chase races. He has competed in nine races at Texas with two top-10 finishes, but hasn't scored in the top 10 in his last five races there. He placed 11th at Texas in April. His 19.55 average finish ranks eighth among Chase drivers.

Fast Facts

Top 10 following the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 (Race 32 of 36):
1. Tony Stewart 6,100 pts.
2. Jimmie Johnson 6,057 (-43)
3. Greg Biffle 6,025 (-75)
4. Carl Edwards 5,993 (-107)
5. Ryan Newman 5,993 (-107)
6. Mark Martin 5,957 (-143)
7. Matt Kenseth 5,945 (-155)
8. Rusty Wallace 5,843 (-257)
9. Kurt Busch 5,840 (-260)
10. Jeremy Mayfield 5,790 (-310)

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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