Race to the Chase Rundown: Watkins Glen

Race to the Chase Rundown: Watkins Glen A weekly look at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10, as the 'Chase' approaches DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 8, 2005) -- The following is a rundown of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 heading into...

Race to the Chase Rundown: Watkins Glen
A weekly look at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10, as the 'Chase' approaches

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 8, 2005) -- The following is a rundown of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 heading into Sunday's SIRIUS Satellite Radio at The Glen (1:35 p.m.), the sixth event in the "Race for the Chase," the 10 events prefacing the "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup."

The SIRIUS Satellite Radio at The Glen is the 22nd of 36 races on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule. The first 26 races of the season determine who will be part of the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup in the final 10 races. Drivers who are in the top 10 or within 400 points of the leader after those 26 races will vie for the series title in the "Chase."

No. 1 -- Tony Stewart (No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet). Team: Joe Gibbs Racing. Points: 2,923. Previous ranking: 2. Stewart won at Indianapolis, his fourth victory in the last six races, to take the lead in the rankings for the first time since his championship 2002 season. He has 13 top-10 finishes in 2005, including seven consecutive top-10 finishes in the last seven races, during which he has made up 455 points on the lead. He has competed in six races at Watkins Glen with four top-10 finishes, including victories in 2004 and 2002. Stewart has finished 11th or better in five of his six starts there, and has an 8.5 average finish.

No. 2 -- Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet). Team: Hendrick Motorsports. Points: 2,848 (-75). Previous ranking: 1. Johnson finished 38th at Indy, which dropped him from the top of the standings. He and Stewart are the only drivers with 13 top-10 finishes this season. A two-race winner in 2005, Johnson has ranked among the top-10 since Las Vegas in March 2004, or 54 consecutive races. Johnson has run three races at the Watkins Glen road course with one top-10 finish, a fourth-place effort in 2003. He finished 40th in this race last year, his worst finish and only DNF there. Johnson has a 20.0 average finish at Watkins Glen International.

No. 3 -- Greg Biffle (No. 16 National Guard/Subway Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 2,812 (111). Previous ranking: 3. Biffle finished 21st at Indy, good enough to stay ranked among the top-five in the standings, where he has perched since the season's second race, at California. The series-leading five-race winner has 11 top-10 finishes this year, two less than Stewart and Johnson. Biffle has competed in two races at Watkins Glen, finishing 30th in his first race there and 35th a year ago. He has a 32.5 average finish at the 11-turn course.

No. 4 -- Rusty Wallace (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge). Team: Penske Racing South. Points: 2,705 (-218). Previous ranking: 4. Wallace finished 25th at Indy, his last outing there due to his retirement following this season. Wallace has 11 top-10 finishes this year, and has been running at the finish of a series-leading 34 consecutive races, since Bristol last fall. He has competed in 19 races at Watkins Glen with nine top-10 finishes, including victories in 1989 and 1987. Wallace finished 25th in this race last year; he has a 16.6 average finish there.

No. 5 -- Kurt Busch (No. 97 Sharpie Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 2,646 (-277). Previous ranking: 5. The reigning NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion finished 18th at Indy to retain his spot in the rankings. Busch has 11 top-10 finishes this season. He has competed in four races at Watkins Glen with one top-10 finish, a tenth in this event last year. Busch finished 12th in 2003, 41st in 2002 and 29th in 2001 for a 23.0 average finish.

No. 6 -- Mark Martin (No. 6 Viagra Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 2,636 (-287). Previous ranking: 7. Martin finished seventh at Indy to climb one spot in the rankings, just 10 points behind Busch. He has 11 top-10 finishes this season. Martin has run 17 races at Watkins Glen with 15 top-10 finishes, including victories in 1995, 1994 and 1993. He has led a series-best 204 laps there, and has been running at the finish in all 17 of his races, tops among drivers. Martin, who finished third last year, has a 6.2 average finish at Watkins Glen.

No. 7 -- Ryan Newman (No. 12 Alltel Dodge). Team: Penske Racing South. Points: 2,568 (-355). Previous ranking: 6. Newman finished 34th at Indy to drop one spot in the rankings. He has 10 top-10 finishes this season. Newman has competed in three races at Watkins Glen with two top-10 finishes. Newman placed 26th in this race last year, his worst effort there. He finished second in his first outing in 2002 and ninth in 2003. Newman has a 12.3 average finish there.

No. 8 -- Jeremy Mayfield (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge). Team: Evernham Motorsports. Points: 2,554 (-369). Previous ranking: 8. Mayfield ran among the leaders all day, finishing fourth at Indy. He has five top-10 finishes this season. Mayfield has competed in nine races at Watkins Glen with two top-10 finishes, including seventh last year and third in 2001. He has led nine laps at the northern New York track and has an 18.7 average finish there.

No. 9 -- Dale Jarrett (No. 88 UPS Ford). Team: Robert Yates Racing. Points: 2,493 (-430). Previous ranking 10. Jarrett finished 14th at Indy to climb one spot in the rankings. He has five top-10 finishes this season. Jarrett has competed in 18 races at Watkins Glen with five top-10 finishes; his best effort was a fourth in 1999. He finished 27th in this race last year, and has a 19.1 average finish there.

No. 10 -- Carl Edwards (No. 99 AAA/Office Depot Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 2,487 (-436). Previous ranking: 12. Edwards finished 12th at Indy to bump his way back into the top 10 in the standings. He has eight top-10 finishes this season. Edwards has never competed at Watkins Glen; his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup start came at Michigan in August one year ago, which was run after Watkins Glen. He finished 38th in this first road-course event, at Infineon Raceway this June.

Fast Facts

Top 10 following the Allstate 400 (Race 21 of 36):

1. Tony Stewart 2,923 pts.
2. Jimmie Johnson 2,848 (-75)
3. Greg Biffle 2,812 (-111)
4. Rusty Wallace 2,705 (-218)
5. Kurt Busch 2,646 (-277)
6. Mark Martin 2,636 (-287)
7. Ryan Newman 2,568 (-355)
8. Jeremy Mayfield 2,554 (-369)
9. Dale Jarrett 2,493 (-430)
10. Carl Edwards 2,487 (-436)

New arrival in the Top 10: Carl Edwards.

Dropped out of the Top 10: Elliott Sadler.

Closing in on the Top 10: No. 11 Jamie McMurray (-12 pts. out of 10th); No. 12 Elliott Sadler (-24); No. 13 Kevin Harvick (-82); No. 14 Jeff Gordon (-87); No. 15 Matt Kenseth (-168).

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Matt Kenseth , Jeremy Mayfield , Tony Stewart , Rusty Wallace , Kevin Harvick , Greg Biffle , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , Robert Yates , Elliott Sadler , Mark Martin
Teams Team Penske , Joe Gibbs Racing , Yates Racing