Top 12 - and beyond 2007-09-03

Week 26: The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 12 - And Beyond DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 3, 2007) -- Below is a look at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 12 along with some other notable drivers, going into the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond ...

Week 26: The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 12 - And Beyond

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 3, 2007) -- Below is a look at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 12 along with some other notable drivers, going into the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 8.

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

The File:
* 36 years old, Vallejo, Calif., 79 career wins
* Four wins, 14 top fives, 20 top 10s this year
* Six poles
* Average finish of 8.4 this season
* Led 17 of 25 races for 842 laps

Richmond International Raceway Outlook:
* Two wins, 11 top fives, 17 top 10s; five poles
* Average finish of 15.9
* Finished fourth at Richmond in May
* Led 18 of 29 races for 868 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* Series-best Average Running Position of 8.9

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

The File:
* 36 years old from Columbus, Ind., 32 career wins
* Three wins, eight top fives, 17 top 10s
* Average finish of 12.7
* Led 16 of 25 races for 863 laps

Richmond International Raceway Outlook:
* Three wins, five top fives, 11 top 10s
* Average finish of 11.8
* Finished eighth in May
* Led nine of 17 races for 765 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* 502 Fastest Laps Run, second-most

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

The File:
* 26 years old, Chesterfield, Va., three career wins
* One win, 10 top fives, 14 top 10s; one pole
* Average finish of 12.6
* Led 12 of 25 races for 721 laps

Richmond International Raceway Outlook:
* Two top fives
* Average finish of 6.7
* Finished third in May
* Led all three of his Richmond races for 50 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* 377 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most

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

The File:
* 27 years old from Columbia, Mo., six career wins
* Two wins, seven top fives, 11 top 10s
* Average finish of 12.2
* Led nine of 25 races for 318 laps

Richmond International Raceway Outlook:
* Two top 10s
* Average finish of 17.0 in six races
* Finished 12th in May

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* 5,327 Laps in the Top 15, fifth-most

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

The File:
* 35 years old from Cambridge, Wis., 15 career wins
* One win, eight top fives, 16 top 10s
* Average finish of 12.0
* Led 14 of 25 races for 288 laps

Richmond International Raceway Outlook:
* One win, three top fives, nine top 10s
* Average finish of 14.3
* Finished 10th in May
* Led seven of 15 races for 190 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* Series-high 6,684 laps run on the lead lap

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

The File:
* 31 years old from El Cajon, Calif., 28 career wins
* Five wins, 13 top fives, 15 top 10s
* Average finish of 13.4
* Led 14 of 25 races for 862 laps

Richmond International Raceway Outlook:
* One win, two top fives; one pole
* Average finish of 19.4
* Won the Richmond race in May
* Led five of 11 races for 233 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* Series-high 625 Fastest Laps Run

7 -- Jeff Burton (No. 31 RCR Chevrolet)

The File:
* 40 years old from South Boston, Va., 19 career wins
* One win, seven top fives, 12 top 10s
* Average finish of 13.2
* Led six of 25 races for 28 laps

Richmond International Raceway Outlook:
* One win, seven top fives, 12 top 10s; one pole
* Average finish of 15.4
* Finished 43rd in May
* Led nine of 26 races for 899 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* 1,335 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green flag conditions), fourth-most

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

The File:
* 22 years old from Las Vegas, Nev., four career wins
* One win, six top fives, 14 top 10s
* Average finish of 13.7
* Led 13 of 25 races for 274 laps

Richmond International Raceway Outlook:
* Five top fives
* Average finish of 3.4
* Finished second in May
* Led four of five races for 292 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* Fourth-fastest average Green Flag Speed

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

The File:
* 28 years old from Emporia, Kan.
* Two top fives, 12 top 10s; one pole
* Average finish of 15.0
* Led eight of 25 races for 80 laps

Richmond International Raceway Outlook:
* Two top 10s
* Average finish of 10.3 in three races
* Finished ninth in May

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* Eighth-best Closer -- 29 positions improved over the last 10% of races

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

The File:
* 27 years old from Mayetta, N.J., one career win
* One win, five top fives, 10 top 10s
* Average finish of 15.7
* Led 10 of 25 races for 350 laps

Richmond International Raceway Outlook:
* Average finish of 36.3 in three races
* Finished 28th in May

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* Series-high 2,255 Green Flag Passes

11-- Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge)

The File:
* 29 years old from Las Vegas, Nev., 17 career wins
* Two wins, five top fives, nine top 10s
* Average finish of 15.2
* Led 15 of 25 races for 651 laps

Richmond International Raceway Outlook:
* One win, two top fives, three top 10s
* Average finish of 18.8
* Finished fifth in May
* Led six of 13 races for 340 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* 1,364 Quality Passes, second-most

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

The File:
* 31 years old from Bakersfield, Calif., 11 career victories
* One win, four top fives, 10 top 10s
* Average finish of 15.8 this season
* Led nine of 25 races for 251 laps

Richmond International Raceway Outlook:
* One win, four top fives, seven top 10s; one pole
* Average finish of 12.5
* Finished seventh in May
* Led eight of 13 for 646 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* Fourth-best Closer -- 38 positions improved over the last 10% of races

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

The File:
* 32 years old from Kannapolis, N.C., 17 career wins
* Six top fives, 10 top 10s; one pole
* Average finish of 16.4
* Led 13 of 25 races for 362 laps

Richmond International Raceway Outlook:
* Three wins, seven top fives, nine top 10s
* Average finish of 10.1
* Finished 13th in May
* Led eight of 16 races for 322 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* 5,506 Laps in the Top 15, third-most

Note: The first 26 races of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season determine which 12 drivers qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, contested over the final 10 races of the season.

-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 , Kurt Busch , Jimmie Johnson , Martin Truex Jr. , Carl Edwards , Clint Bowyer , Denny Hamlin , Kyle Busch