Top 10 drivers - and beyond 2007-02-19

The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 -- And Beyond DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 19, 2007) -- Below is a look at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 along with some other notable drivers, going into Sunday's Auto Club 500 at California...

The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 -- And Beyond

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 19, 2007) -- Below is a look at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 along with some other notable drivers, going into Sunday's Auto Club 500 at California Speedway.

Top 10 drivers ...

1 -- Kevin Harvick (No. 29 Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet)

The File:
31-years-old from Bakersfield, Calif., 11 career victories.

This past Sunday, won the closest Daytona 500 (0.020-second margin of victory) since the advent of electronic scoring in 1993
Second time since New Hampshire on Sept. 17, 2006 that he leads NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings

Starting position of 34th was lowest-ever of a Daytona 500 winner.

California Speedway Outlook:
Two top 10s, four top 15s at California

21.1 average finish* Finished 29th and 15th respectively, last season at California

Has led in three of his nine California events for a total of 28 laps.

Loop Data Highlight:
Has led 547 laps in the past four California races (11th-most).

***

2 -- Mark Martin (No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet)

The File:
48-years-old from Batesville, Ark., 35 career wins

Finished second in the Daytona 500

Highest points position since after April 2, 2006 (also second)

Best finish since Atlanta on March 20, 2006 (also second).

California Speedway Outlook:
Three top fives and six top 10s

13.7 average finish

Finished ninth and 12th, respectively, last season

Has led in 10 of his 13 California races for a total of 271 laps.

Loop Data Highlight:
Has series' second-best Average Running Position (8.260) over the last four California races.

***

3 -- Jeff Burton (No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet)

The File:
39-years-old from South Boston, Va., 18 career wins

Finished third in the Daytona 500.

Highest points position since after Charlotte race on Oct. 14, 2006 (first)

Best finish since Charlotte on Oct. 14, 2006 (also third).

California Speedway Outlook:
Three top fives and four top 10s

17.8 average finish

Finished sixth and seventh, respectively, last season at California.

Loop Data Highlight:
Has second-best running position (8.260) over the last four California races.

***

4 -- Mike Wallace (No. 09 Miccosukee Resorts Chevrolet)

The File:
46-years-old from St. Louis, Mo., no career wins

Finished fourth in the Daytona 500

Highest points position in his career (previous highest was sixth after 2001 Daytona 500)

500 effort was best career finish (previous best was fifth on Nov. 13, 1994).

California Speedway Outlook:
One top 20 in two tries at California

20.5 average finish.

***

5 -- David Ragan (No. 6 AAA Ford)

The File:
21-years-old from Unadilla, Ga., no career wins

Finished fifth in the Daytona 500

500 was his best career finish (previous best was 25th at Martinsville on Oct. 22, 2006).

California Speedway Outlook:
Has never competed at California.

Loop Data Highlight:
Had 159 Green Flag Passes in the Daytona 500.

***

6 -- David Gilliland (No. 38 M&M's Ford)

The File:
30-years-old from Riverside, Calif., no career wins

Finished eighth in the Daytona 500 after starting from the pole

Highest points position ever

500 was best career finish (previous best was 15th at Talladega on Oct. 8, 2006 and Atlanta on Oct. 29, 2006).

California Speedway Outlook:
One career start at California, finished 32nd.

***

7 -- Joe Nemechek (No. 13 CertainTeed/Ginn Resorts Chevrolet)

The File:
43-years-old from Lakeland, Fla., four career wins

Finished ninth in the Daytona 500

Eight straight top 20s.

California Speedway Outlook:
One top 10 at California

24.5 average finish

Finished 27th and 25th last season at California.

Loop Data Highlight:
Picked up eight spots over the last four California races (ninth-best).

***

8 -- Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet)

The File:
35-years-old from Vallejo, Calif., 75 career wins

Finished 10th in the Daytona 500

Seventh top-10 finish in Daytona 500.

California Speedway Outlook:
Series-leading three wins at California; six top fives and six top 10s 11.8 average finish

Finished 13th and fifth, respectively, last season at California

Has led in seven of his 13 California races for a total of 455 laps.

Loop Data Highlight:
203 quality passes over the last four California races (third-best).

***

9 -- David Stremme (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge)

The File:
29-years-old from South Bend, Ind., no career wins

Finished 10th in the Daytona 500

Highest career points standing (best last season was 28th after the Daytona 500)

500 marked best career finish (previous best was 16th at Daytona on July 1, 2006).

California Speedway Outlook:
34.5 average finish

Finished 36th and 33rd, respectively, last season at California.

***

10 -- J.J. Yeley (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet)

The File:
30-years-old from Phoenix, Ariz., zero career wins

Finished 12th in the Daytona 500

Highest career points standing (best last season was 18th after Atlanta on March 20, 2006)

Best career finish (previous best was 16th at Daytona on July 1, 2006).

California Speedway Outlook:
One top 10

26.8 average finish

Finished eighth and 19th respectively, last season at California.

and beyond ...

24 -- Greg Biffle (No. 16 Ameriquest Ford)

The File:
37-years-old from Vancouver, Wash., 11 career wins

Finished 25th in the Daytona 500.

California Speedway Outlook:
One win, two top fives

21.1 average finish

Finished 42nd and 24th last season at California

Has led in four of his eight California races for a total of 258 laps.

Loop Data Highlight:
Driver Rating of 108.0 is second-best over the last four California races.

***

25 -- Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DEWALT Ford)

The File:
34-years-old from Cambridge, Wis., 14 career wins

Finished 27th in the Daytona 500.

California Speedway Outlook:
One win, three top fives and six top 10s

11.6 average finish

Finished first and seventh, respectively, last season at California

Has led in seven of his 10 California races for a total of 246 laps.

Loop Data Highlight:
Series-leading Driver Rating of 110.1 over the last four California races.

***

30 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet)

The File:
37-years-old from Kannapolis, N.C., 17 career wins

Finished 32nd in the Daytona 500.

California Speedway Outlook:
Two top fives, three top 10s

19.3 average finish

Finished 42nd and 24th, respectively, last season at California

Has led in four of his 10 California races for a total of 10 laps.

Loop Data Highlight:
Has 155 Quality Passes over the last four California races.

***

37 -- Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge)

The File:
26-years-old from Enumclaw, Wash., 7 career wins

Finished seventh in the Daytona 500

Highest points position since after Pocono on July 23, 2006 (also seventh).

California Speedway Outlook:
One win, three top 5s and four top 10s

11.0 average finish

Fourth and first respectively, last season at California.

Loop Data Highlight:
Has third-best Driver Rating of 106.9 over last four California races.

***

38 -- Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet)

The File:
31-years-old from El Cajon, Calif., 23 career wins

Finished 39th in the Daytona 500

Snapped streak of 105 races in the Top 10.

California Speedway Outlook:
One win, four top fives

8.0 average finish

Second and 11th last season at California.

Loop Data Highlight:
Sixth-best Driver Rating of 104.6 over the last four California races.

***

40 -- Tony Stewart (No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet)

The File:
35-years-old from Columbus, Ind., 29 career wins

Finished 43rd in the Daytona 500.

California Speedway Outlook:
Three top fives, five top 10s

17.8 average finish

43rd and ninth last season at California.

Loop Data Highlight:
Fourth-best Speed in Traffic over the last four California races.

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Joe Nemechek , Greg Biffle , Mike Wallace , Jimmie Johnson , Kasey Kahne , J.J. Yeley , David Stremme , David Gilliland , David Ragan , Mark Martin