Top 12 drivers - and beyond 2007-05-14

Week 12: The NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Top 12 - And Beyond DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 14, 2007) -- Below is a look at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 12 along with some other notable drivers, going into the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge on...

Week 12: The NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Top 12 - And Beyond

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 14, 2007) -- Below is a look at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 12 along with some other notable drivers, going into the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge on May 19.

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

The File:
* 35-years-old from Vallejo, Calif., 78 career wins
* Three wins, nine top fives, 10 top 10s
* Five poles
* Average finish of 3.8 this season
* Led in 10 of 11 races for 674 laps

Lowe's Motor Speedway Outlook:
* Four wins, 13 top fives, 15 top 10s; seven poles
* 16.5 average finish
* Finished 13th and 41st, respectively, last season
* Led in 19 of 28 races for 460 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* Series-best 7.262 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, eight top fives
* Average finish of 9.9
* Led in seven of 11 races for 529 laps

Lowe's Motor Speedway Outlook:
* Five wins, eight top fives, 10 top 10s; two poles
* 5.8 average finish
* Finished second twice last season
* Led in 10 of 11 races for a total of 956 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* Series-high 335 Fastest Laps Run

***

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

The File:
* 35-years-old from Cambridge, Wis., 15 career wins
* One win, five top fives, eight top 10s
* Average finish of 8.5
* Led in nine of 11 races for 203 laps

Lowe's Motor Speedway Outlook:
* One win, five top fives, seven top 10s
* 14.8 average finish
* Finished fifth and 14th, respectively, last season
* Led in 10 of 15 races for a total of 169 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* Series-high 3,586 laps run on the lead lap

***

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

The File:
* 26-years-old from Chesterfield, Va., two career wins
* Five top fives, six top 10s; one pole
* Average finish of 10.5
* Led in six of 11 races for 611 laps

Lowe's Motor Speedway Outlook:
* Two top 10s
* 15.0 average finish
* Finished ninth and 28th, respectively, last season
* Led in two of three races for a total of 26 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* Average Running Position of 10.862, third-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, seven top 10s
* Average finish of 12.3 this season
* Led in five of 11 races for 27 laps

Lowe's Motor Speedway Outlook:
* Two wins, six top fives, 12 top 10s
* 15.3 average finish
* Finished sixth and third, respectively, last season
* Led in seven of 26 races for 369 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* Series-high 821 Quality Passes -- passes of cars in the top 15 under green flag conditions

***

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

The File:
* 35-years-old from Columbus, Ind., 29 career wins
* Two top fives, seven top 10s
* Average finish of 15.5
* Led eight of 11 races for 592 laps

Lowe's Motor Speedway Outlook:
* One win, six top fives, nine top 10s
* 13.7 average finish
* Finished 42nd and 13th, respectively, last season
* Led eight of 16 races for 475 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* 271 Fastest Laps Run, third-most

***

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

The File:
* 28-years-old from Las Vegas, Nev., 15 career victories
* Two top fives, three top 10s
* Average finish of 15.9 this season
* Led in six of 11 races for 195 laps

Lowe's Motor Speedway Outlook:
* Two top fives
* 21.3 average finish
* Finished 39th and 32nd, respectively, last season
* Led in five of 13 races for a total of 54 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* 765 Quality Passes, second-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 11 races for 176 laps

Lowe's Motor Speedway Outlook:
* One top five, three top 10s
* 20.2 average finish
* Finished 34th and 18th, respectively, last season
* Led in two of 12 races for a total of two laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* 1,286 Green Flag Passes, second-most

***

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

The File:
* 27-years-old from Emporia, Kan., zero career wins
* Five top 10s; one pole
* Average finish of 16.0
* Led in five of 11 races for 21 laps

Lowe's Motor Speedway Outlook:
* 21.0 average finish in two races
* Finished 19th and 23 rd, respectively, last season
* Led in one of two races for three laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* Average Running Position of 15.387, 11th-best

***

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

The File:
* 27-years-old from Columbia, Mo., four career wins
* One top five, three top 10s
* Average finish of 16.0
* Led in two of 11 races for 36 laps

Lowe's Motor Speedway Outlook:
* Two top fives, four top 10s
* 6.0 average finish
* Finished third and eighth, respectively, last season
* Led in three of four races for 33 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* 10th-fastest Green Flag Speed

***

11 -- 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 18.1
* Led in six of 11 races for 83 laps

Lowe's Motor Speedway Outlook:
* One top 10
* 29.0 average finish
* Finished 38th and sixth, respectively, last season
* Led in three of six races for 63 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* Fourth-fastest Green Flag Speed

***

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

The File:
* 32-years-old from Kannapolis, N.C., 17 career wins
* One top five, four top 10s
* Average finish of 17.5
* Led four of 11 races for 236 laps

Lowe's Motor Speedway Outlook:
* Four top fives, seven top 10s; one pole
* 17.4 average finish
* Finished 11th and fourth, respectively, last season
* Has led in seven of 15 races for 235 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* 225 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most

***

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; 18.3 average finish
* Led one of 11 races for two laps

Lowe's Motor Speedway Outlook:
* One win, two top fives, five top 10s
* 15.4 average finish
* Finished eighth and 34th, respectively, last season
* Led three of nine races for 112 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* Eighth-fastest Speed in Traffic -- speed when there is another car within one car length

***

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

The File:
* 27-years-old from Enumclaw, Wash., seven career victories
* One top 10; one pole; Average finish of 26.0
* Led in three of 11 races for 38 laps

Lowe's Motor Speedway Outlook:
* Two wins; 15.8 average finish
* Won both Lowe's races last season
* Led in all six races for a total of 550 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* 50 Fastest Laps Run, 15th-most

-credit: nascar

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Series NASCAR-CUP