Top 12 drivers - and beyond 2007-05-07

WEEK 11: THE NASCAR NEXTEL CUP SERIES TOP 12 -- AND BEYOND DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 7, 2007) -- Below is a look at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 12, along with some other notable drivers, going into the Dodge Avenger 500 at Darlington Raceway...

WEEK 11: THE NASCAR NEXTEL CUP SERIES TOP 12 -- AND BEYOND

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 7, 2007) -- Below is a look at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 12, along with some other notable drivers, going into the Dodge Avenger 500 at Darlington Raceway on May 12.

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

The File:
* 35-years-old from Vallejo, Calif., 77 career wins
* Two wins, eight top fives, nine top 10s
* Five poles
* Average finish of 4.1 this season
* Led in nine of 10 races for 652 laps

Darlington Raceway Outlook:
* Six wins, 14 top fives, 17 top 10s; three poles
* 12.231 average finish
* Finished second last season
* Led in 21 of 26 races for 1,558 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* Series-best 7.352 Average Running Position

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

The File:
* 31-years-old from El Cajon, Calif., 27 career wins
* Four wins, seven top fives
* Average finish of 10.6
* Led in six of 10 races for 485 laps

Darlington Raceway Outlook:
* Two wins, four top fives, seven top 10s
* 7.250 average finish
* Finished fourth last season
* Led in six of eight races for a total of 363 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* 284 Fastest Laps Run, second-most

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

The File:
* 35-years-old from Cambridge, Wis., 15 career wins
* One win, five top fives, seven top 10s
* Average finish of 8.7
* Led in eight of 10 races for 174 laps

Darlington Raceway Outlook:
* One top five, four top 10s
* 20.385 average finish
* Finished third last season
* Led in four of 13 races for a total of 106 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* Series-leading total of 3,228 laps run on the lead lap

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

The File:
* 26-years-old from Chesterfield, Va., two career wins
* Four top fives, five top 10s; one pole
* Average finish of 11.4
* Led in five of 10 races for 432 laps

Darlington Raceway Outlook:
* One top 10
* Finished 10th last season in his only Darlington start

Loop Data Highlight:
* Average Running Position of 11.644, fourth-best

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

The File:
* 39-years-old from S. Boston, Va., 19 career wins
* One win, five top fives, six top 10s
* Average finish of 12.5 this season
* Led in five of 10 races for 27 laps

Darlington Raceway Outlook:
* Two wins, eight top fives, 13 top 10s
* 11.583 average finish
* Finished ninth last season
* Led in 11 of 24 races for 786 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* Series-best 799 Quality Passes -- passes of cars in the top 15 while under green

6 -- 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, six top 10s
* Average finish of 16.2
* Led in six of 10 races for 83 laps

Darlington Raceway Outlook:
* One top 10
* 15.0 average finish
* Finished seventh last season

Loop Data Highlight:
* Second-fastest Speed in Traffic -- speed when there is another vehicle within one car length (green conditions only).

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

The File:
* 35-years-old from Columbus, Ind., 29 career wins
* Two top fives, six top 10s
* Average finish of 16.5
* Led eight of 10 races for 592 laps

Darlington Raceway Outlook:
* Two top fives, seven top 10s
* 12.357 average finish
* Finished 12th last season
* Led two of 14 races for eight laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* 2,565 Laps in the Top 15, third-most

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

The File:
* 31-years-old from Bakersfield, Calif., 11 career victories
* One win, two top fives, five top 10s
* Average finish of 16.7 this season
* Led in six of 10 races for 176 laps

Darlington Raceway Outlook:
* Two top fives, four top 10s
* 19.4 average finish
* Finished 37th last season
* Led in one of 10 races for a total of 14 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* 122 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most

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

The File:
* 28-years-old from Las Vegas, Nev., 15 career victories
* Two top five, three top 10s
* Average finish of 16.3 this season
* Led in six of 10 races for 195 laps

Darlington Raceway Outlook:
* One top five, four top 10s; one pole
* 18.7 average finish
* Finished 19th last season
* Led in four of 10 races for a total of 182 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* 731 Quality Passes, tied for second-most

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

The File:
* 27-years-old from Emporia, Kan., zero career wins
* Four top 10s
* Average finish of 16.7
* Led in four of 10 races for five laps

Darlington Raceway Outlook:
* Finished 23rd last season in his only Darlington start

Loop Data Highlight:
* Average Running Position of 16.101, 11th-best

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

The File:
* 27-years-old from Columbia, Mo., four career wins
* Two top 10s
* Average finish of 17.1
* Led in one of 10 races for three laps

Darlington Raceway Outlook:
* Two top 10s
* 18.333 average finish
* Finished 39th last season
* Led in one of three races for four laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* 2,336 Laps in the Top 15, ninth-most

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

The File:
* 32-years-old from Kannapolis, N.C., 17 career wins
* One top five, three top 10s
* Average finish of 18.4
* Led in five of 10 races for 236 laps

Darlington Raceway Outlook:
* Two top fives, five top 10s
* 15.583 average finish
* Finished fifth last season
* Has led in four of 12 races for 135 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* Third-fastest Green Flag Speed

13 -- Jamie McMurray (No. 26 Crown Royal/IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford)

The File:
* 30-years-old from Joplin, Mo., one career win
* Two top fives, five top 10s
* 18.5 average finish
* Led one of 10 races for two laps

Darlington Raceway Outlook:
* Two top fives, three top 10s
* 16.5 average finish in eight races
* Finished 42nd last season; Led three of six races for 76 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* Sixth-fastest Speed in Traffic

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

The File:
* 35-years-old from Vancouver, Wash., 11 career victories
* One top five, two top 10s
* Average finish of 20.5 this season
* Led in two of 10 races for three laps

Darlington Raceway Outlook:
* Two wins, three top 10s
* 10.0 average finish
* Finished first last season
* Led in five of six races for a total of 427 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* 59 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most

-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 , Greg Biffle , Kurt Busch , Jimmie Johnson , Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , Clint Bowyer , Denny Hamlin , Kyle Busch