Top-12 - and beyond 2007-07-02

Week 18: The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 12 - And Beyond DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 2, 2007) -- Below is a look at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 12 along with some other notable drivers, going into the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International ...

Week 18: The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 12 - And Beyond

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 2, 2007) -- Below is a look at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 12 along with some other notable drivers, going into the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Speedway on July 7.

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

The File:
* 35-years-old, Vallejo, Calif., 79 career wins
* Four wins, 11 top fives, 15 top 10s
* Five poles
* Average finish of 6.5 this season
* Led 13 of 17 races for 755 laps

Daytona International Speedway Outlook:
* Six wins, 10 top fives, 16 top 10s; three poles
* Average finish of 14.2
* Finished 10th in the Daytona 500
* Led 21 of 29 races for 497 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* Series-best Closer -- 78 positions improved over the last 10% of races

2 -- Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Chevrolet)

The File:
* 26-years-old, Chesterfield, Va., three career wins
* One win, seven top fives, 11 top 10s; one pole
* Average finish of 9.4
* Led 11 of 17 races for 711 laps

Daytona International Speedway Outlook:
* Average finish of 25.0 in three races
* Finished 28th in the Daytona 500

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* Average Running Position of 10.9, third-best

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

The File:
* 35-years-old from Cambridge, Wis., 15 career wins
* One win, six top fives, 11 top 10s
* Average finish of 12.1
* Led 11 of 17 races for 255 laps

Daytona International Speedway Outlook:
* One top five, five top 10s
* Average finish of 20.1
* Finished 27th at the Daytona 500
* Led eight of 15 races for 58 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* 4,925 laps run on the lead lap, second-most

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

The File:
* 31-years-old from El Cajon, Calif., 27 career wins
* Four wins, nine top fives, 10 top 10s
* Average finish of 12.8
* Led 11 of 17 races for 681 laps

Daytona International Speedway Outlook:
* One win, five top fives, seven top 10s; one pole
* Average finish of 12.2
* Finished 39th at the Daytona 500
* Led five of 11 races for 54 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* Series-best Average Running Position of 8.8

5 -- Jeff Burton (No. 31 AT&T Mobility Chevrolet)

The File:
* 40-years-old from South Boston, Va., 19 career wins
* One win, six top fives, nine top 10s
* Average finish of 12.8
* Led in five of 17 races for 27 laps

Daytona International Speedway Outlook:
* One win, six top fives, eight top 10s; one
* Average finish of 17.0
* Finished third at the Daytona 500
* Led five of 27 races for 91 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* 972 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green flag conditions), second-most

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

The File:
* 36-years-old from Columbus, Ind., 29 career wins
* Four top fives, 11 top 10s
* Average finish of 14.3
* Led 12 of 17 races for 658 laps

Daytona International Speedway Outlook:
* Two wins, five top fives, nine top 10s; one pole
* Average finish of 17.2
* Finished 43rd at the Daytona 500
* Led nine of 17 races for 515 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* 343 Fastest Laps Run, third-most

7 -- Carl Edwards (No. 99 Office Depot Ford)

The File:
* 27-years-old from Columbia, Mo., five career wins
* One win, three top fives, five top 10s
* Average finish of 14.1
* Led eight of 17 races for 136 laps

Daytona International Speedway Outlook:
* Average finish of 30.0
* Finished 23rd at the Daytona 500
* Led one of five races for two laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* 3,907 Laps in the Top 15, fifth-best

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

The File:
* 31-years-old from Bakersfield, Calif., 11 career victories
* One win, three top fives, eight top 10s
* Average finish of 14.9 this season
* Led in six of 17 races for 176 laps

Daytona International Speedway Outlook:
* One win, three top fives, five top 10s; one pole
* Average finish of 14.9
* Won the Daytona 500
* Led nine of 12 for 85 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* Series-high 1,635 Green Flag Passes

9 -- Kyle Busch (No. 5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST Chevrolet)

The File:
* 22-years-old from Las Vegas, Nev., four career wins
* One win, three top fives, nine top 10s
* Average finish of 16.4
* Led in eight of 17 races for 135 laps

Daytona International Speedway Outlook:
* One top five
* Average finish of 23.6
* Finished 24th at the Daytona 500
* Led two of five races for nine laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* 188 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-best

10 -- Martin Truex Jr. (No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet)

The File:
* 27-years-old from Mayetta, N.J., 1 career win
* One win, four top fives, seven top 10s
* Average finish of 16.6
* Led seven of 17 races for 333 laps

Daytona International Speedway Outlook:
* Average finish of 27.0
* Finished 29th at the Daytona 500
* Led two of four races for 16 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* 254 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-best

11 -- Clint Bowyer (No. 07 Jack Daniel's Chevrolet)

The File:
* 28-years-old from Emporia, Kan.
* One top five, eight top 10s; one pole
* Average finish of 16.5
* Led five of 17 races for 23 laps

Daytona International Speedway Outlook:
* Two top 10s
* Average finish of 11.3 in three races
* Finished 18th at the Daytona 500

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* Second-best Closer -- 43 positions improved over the last 10% of races

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

The File:
* 32-years-old from Kannapolis, N.C., 17 career wins
* Three top five, seven top 10s
* Average finish of 15.1
* Led seven of 17 races for 302 laps

Daytona International Speedway Outlook:
* Two wins, six top fives, nine top 10s
* Average finish of 12.8
* Finished 32nd at the Daytona 500
* Led 10 of 15 races for 319 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* 4,006 Laps in the Top 15, third-most

13-- Ryan Newman (No. 12 Alltel Dodge)

The File:
* 29-years-old from South Bend, Ind., 12 career wins
* Three top fives, seven top 10s; four poles
* Average finish of 19.6
* Led eight of 17 races for 210 laps

Daytona International Speedway Outlook:
* One top five, two top 10s
* Average finish of 20.7
* Finished 38th at the Daytona 500
* Led four of 11 races for 27 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* 866 Quality Passes, seventh-most

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Martin Truex Jr. , Carl Edwards , Clint Bowyer , Denny Hamlin , Kyle Busch