Top 10 drivers - and beyond 2008-02-18

Week 2: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Top 12 -- And Beyond DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 18, 2008) -- Below is a look at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Top 12, along with some other notable drivers, going into the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway...

Week 2: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Top 12 -- And Beyond

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 18, 2008) -- Below is a look at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Top 12, along with some other notable drivers, going into the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway on February 24.

1 -- Ryan Newman (No. 12 altell Dodge)
* Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 110.6

2008 Rundown
* With 42 lead changes among 16 drivers, Newman won one of the most competitive Daytona 500s in history
* Ended an 81-race winless drought with the win
* Led eight laps in the Daytona 500

California Speedway Outlook:
* Two top fives, three top 10s; one pole
* Average finish of 19.5
* Finished 39th at California in September
* Led four of 10 races for eight laps

Daytona 500 Loop Data Highlight
* Fourth-fastest driver in the turns

2 -- Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Light Dodge)
* Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 70.4

2008 Rundown
* One top five
* Led nine laps

California Speedway Outlook:
* One win, three top fives, five top 10s; three poles
* Average finish of 11.3
* Finished ninth in September
* Led eight of 11 races for 224 laps

Daytona 500 Loop Data Highlight
* Improved 11 "Closer" positions in the final 20 laps of the race

3 -- Tony Stewart (No. 20 Home Depot Toyota)
* Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 102.9

2008 Rundown
* One top five
* Led 16 laps

California Speedway Outlook:
* Three top fives, six top 10s
* Average finish of 16.7
* Finished 13th in September
* Led six of 13 races for 225 laps

Daytona 500 Loop Data Highlight
* Average Running Position of 9.7

4 -- Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M's Toyota)
* Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 133.1

2008 Rundown
* One top five
* Led 86 laps

California Speedway Outlook:
* One win, two top fives, five top 10s; one pole
* Average finish of 11.1
* Finished third in September
* Led five of seven races for 215 laps

Daytona 500 Loop Data Highlight
* Average Running Position of 4.2

5 -- Reed Sorenson (No. 41 Target Dodge)
* Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 88.4

2008 Rundown
* One top five
* Led five laps

California Speedway Outlook:
* Average finish of 26.5
* Finished 21st in September
* Led one of four races for eight laps

Daytona 500 Loop Data Highlight
* 149 Laps in the Top 15

6 -- Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge)
* Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 103.4

2008 Rundown
* One top 10
* Led one lap

California Speedway Outlook:
* One win, three top fives, five top 10s; one pole
* Average finish of 14.3
* Finished 10th in September
* Led five of eight races for 267 laps

Daytona 500 Loop Data Highlight
* Average Running Position of 8.3

7 -- Elliott Sadler (No. 19 Best Buy Dodge)
* Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 78.0

2008 Rundown
* One top 10

California Speedway Outlook:
* One win, two top 10s
* Average finish of 22.5
* Finished 35th in September
* Led two of 13 races for 67 laps

Daytona 500 Loop Data Highlight
* Fourth-fastest driver on the straightaways

8 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Mountain Dew AMP/National Guard Chevrolet)
* Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 115.6

2008 Rundown
* One top 10
* Led 12 laps

California Speedway Outlook:
* Three top fives, four top 10s
* Average finish of 19.8
* Finished fifth in September
* Led five of 12 races for 25 laps

Daytona 500 Loop Data Highlight
* 196 Laps in the Top 15

9 -- Robby Gordon (No. 7 Jim Beam Dodge)
* Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 72.0

2008 Rundown
* One top 10

California Speedway Outlook:
* One top 10
* Average finish of 26.5
* Finished 41st in September
* Led two of 11 races for 10 laps

Daytona 500 Loop Data Highlight
* Spent all 200 laps on the lead lap

10 -- Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford)
* Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 106.2

2008 Rundown
* One top 10
* Led seven laps

California Speedway Outlook:
* One win, two top fives
* Average finish of 20.1
* Finished 17th in September
* Led five of 10 races for 260 laps

Daytona 500 Loop Data Highlight
* Average Running Position of 9.0

11-- Bobby Labonte (No. 43 Cheerios/Betty Crocker Dodge)
* Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 85.4

California Speedway Outlook:
* Four top fives, five top 10s; one pole
* Average finish of 17.4
* Finished 11th in September
* Led four of 15 races for 33 laps

Daytona 500 Loop Data Highlight
* 243 Green Flag Passes, second-most

12 -- Jeff Burton (No. 31 AT&T Mobility Chevrolet)
* Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 77.8

2008 Rundown
* 65 consecutive races in the top 12, longest current streak in the series

California Speedway Outlook:
* Five top fives, six top 10s
* Average finish of 16.0
* Finished fourth in May
* Led eight of 13 for 646 laps

Daytona 500 Loop Data Highlight
* Pass Differential of 16 (Passes minus times passed)

26 -- Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet)
* Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 79.9

2008 Rundown
* Led one lap

California Speedway Outlook:
* Two wins, six top fives
* Average finish of 6.8
* Won at California in September
* Led six of 10 races for 219 laps

Daytona 500 Loop Data Highlight
* 127 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green)

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Burton , Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , Greg Biffle , Robby Gordon , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Kasey Kahne , Elliott Sadler , Reed Sorenson , Jim Beam , Kyle Busch