Week 11: The top 12 - and beyond

Week 11: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Top 12 – And Beyond DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 4, 2009) – Below is a look at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series top 12, along with other notable drivers, going into the Southern 500 presented by GoDaddy.com at...

Week 11: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Top 12 – And Beyond

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (May 4, 2009) – Below is a look at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series top 12, along with other notable drivers, going into the Southern 500 presented by GoDaddy.com at Darlington Raceway on May 9. (Note: Drivers listed below who are outside the top 12 are chosen based on past performances at the upcoming track and/or are within striking distance of the top 12.)

1 – Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 109.6

2009 Rundown
• One win, five top fives, seven top 10s
• Average finish of 10.2
• Led seven races for a total of 490 laps

Darlington Raceway Outlook:
• Seven wins, 16 top fives, 19 top 10s; three poles
• Average finish of 11.5
• Finished third last season
• Led 23 of 28 races for 1,604 laps

Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Series-high 259 Fastest Laps Run

2 – Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 103.7

2009 Rundown
• One win, three top fives, six top 10s
• Average finish of 9.7
• Led seven races for 322 laps

Darlington Raceway Outlook:
• One top five, four top 10s; one pole
• Average finish of 17.6
• Finished fifth last season
• Led five of 12 races for 183 laps

Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Average Running Position of 9.1, third-best

3 – Tony Stewart (No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 99.8

2009 Rundown
• Four top fives, seven top 10s
• Average finish of 10.1
• Led four races for 53 laps

Darlington Raceway Outlook:
• Two top fives, eight top 10s
• Average finish of 12.5
• Finished 21st last season
• Led two of 16 races for eight laps

Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Average Running Position of 10.8, fifth-best

4 – Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Toyota)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 103.0

2009 Rundown
• Two top fives, four top 10s
• Average finish of 12.5
• Led four races for 479 laps

Darlington Raceway Outlook:
• One top five, three top 10s
• Average finish of 6.3
• Finished seventh last season
• Led two of three races for 194 laps

Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Average Running Position of 9.1, second-most

5 – Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M’s Toyota)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 106.0

2009 Rundown
• Three wins, four top fives
• Average finish of 14.9
• Led six races for 614 laps

Darlington Raceway Outlook:
• One win, two tops 10s
• Average finish of 17.0
• Won last season’s Darlington race
• Led two of four races for 170 laps

Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 181 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most

6 – Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 101.2

2009 Rundown
• One win, four top fives, six top 10s
• Average finish of 14.9
• Led eight races for 311 laps

Darlington Raceway Outlook:
• Two wins, five top fives, eight top 10s
• Average finish of 7.4
• Finished 13th last season
• Led seven of 10 races for 407 laps

Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Average Running Position of 10.0, fourth-best

7 – Jeff Burton (No. 31 Caterpillar Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 84.9

2009 Rundown
• Two top fives, five top 10s
• Average finish of 13.7
• Led two races for 67 laps

Darlington Raceway Outlook:
• Two wins, eight top fives, 15 tops 10s
• Average finish of 11.5
• Finished 10th last season
• Led 11 of 26 races for 786 laps

Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Laps in the Top 15 percentage of 71.9%, seventh-best

8 – Clint Bowyer (No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 79.8

2009 Rundown
• Three top fives, four top 10s
• Average finish of 15.4
• Led two races for 16 laps

Darlington Raceway Outlook:
• One top 10; one pole
• Average finish of 15.7
• Finished 15th last season
• Led one of three races for 16 laps

Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Has run 81% of the laps on the lead lap, 11th-best

9 – Carl Edwards (No. 99 Aflac Ford)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 90.7

2009 Rundown
• One top five, four top 10s
• Average finish of 15.6
• Led five races for 42 laps

Darlington Raceway Outlook:
• Two top fives, four top 10s
• Average finish of 12.4
• Finished second last season
• Led two of five races for 37 laps

Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Average Running Position of 13.2, seventh-best

10 – Ryan Newman (No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 78.3

2009 Rundown
• Two top fives, four top 10s
• Average finish of 16.2
• Led five races for 87 laps

Darlington Raceway Outlook:
• Five top fives, six top 10s; one pole
• Average finish of 13.3
• Finished 37th last season
• Led seven of 10 races for 249 laps

Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 59 Fastest Laps Run, 14th-most

11 –Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 86.9

2009 Rundown
• Three top fives, five top 10s
• Average finish of 16.4
• Led four races for 150 laps

Darlington Raceway Outlook:
• Two wins, three top 10s; one pole
• Average finish of 14.8
• Finished 43rd last season
• Led six of eight races for 522 laps

Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 178 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most

12 – Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DEWALT Ford)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 79.6

2009 Rundown
• Two wins, three top fives
• Average finish of 17.5
• Led four races for 155 laps

Darlington Raceway Outlook:
• One top five, six top 10s
• Average finish of 18.5
• Finished sixth last season
• Led seven of 15 races for 138 laps

Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• 1,005 Green Flag Passes, seventh-most

18 – Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet)
• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 84.9

2009 Rundown
• One win, three top 10s
• Average finish of 18.9
• Led four races for 90 laps

Darlington Raceway Outlook:
• Three top fives, seven top 10s
• Average finish of 14.2
• Finished fourth last season
• Led five of 14 races for 170 laps

Season-To-Date Loop Data Highlight
• Has run 88.6% of the laps on the lead lap, sixth-best

-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 , Greg Biffle , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Carl Edwards , Clint Bowyer , Denny Hamlin , Kyle Busch