Chase for the Cup: Atlanta

Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup: Atlanta A look at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 during the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 24, 2005) -- The following is a rundown of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 heading...

Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup: Atlanta

A look at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 during the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 24, 2005) -- The following is a rundown of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 heading into Sunday's Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway (12:00 p.m. on NBC) the seventh race of the final 10 events in the "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup."

The Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 is the 33rd of 36 races on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule. The first 26 races determined who would be part of the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup. Drivers outside the "Chase" still will compete for the 11th spot, which will pay in excess of $1 million. They will continue to be ranked under the standard points system.

No. 1 -- Tony Stewart (No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet). Team: Joe Gibbs Racing. Points: 5,957 Previous ranking: 1. Stewart finished second at Martinsville to pull away from second-ranked Jimmie Johnson by 15 points. He has a series-leading 22 top-10 finishes this season. Stewart has scored four top-five finishes in the six races so far in the Chase; his other two Chase efforts were outside the top 15. Stewart has competed in 13 races at Atlanta with seven top-10 finishes, including a victory in March 2002. He finished ninth in this race a year ago and 17th in March. Stewart has a 13.769 average finish at Atlanta, fifth among Chase drivers. He has led 472 laps in eight races at Atlanta.

No. 2 -- Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet). Team: Hendrick Motorsports. Points: 5,942 (-15 pts). Previous ranking: 2. Johnson finished third at Martinsville; he has five top-10 finishes in six Chase races. Johnson has 20 top-10 finishes this season. He has ranked among the top 10 since Las Vegas in March of 2004, or 65 consecutive races. He has competed in eight races at Atlanta with five top-10 finishes, including a victory in October 2004. Johnson has logged top-five finishes in his last four Atlanta races. He has a 12.0 average finish at Atlanta, second among Chase drivers. He has one DNF there.

No. 3 -- Ryan Newman (No. 12 Mobil 1/Alltel Dodge). Team: Penske Racing South. Points: 5,894 (-63). Previous ranking: 4. Newman finished 10th at Martinsville, his fifth top-10 effort in six Chase races. He has 15 top-10 finishes this season. Newman has competed in seven races at Atlanta with four top-10 finishes. In addition, six of his starts have been from the front row, including five consecutive Budweiser Pole positions. He finished 17th in this race one year ago and 14th in March. Newman's 13.571 average finish there ranks fourth among Chase drivers.

No. 4 -- Greg Biffle (No. 16 National Guard/Charter Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 5,874 (-83). Previous ranking: 3. Biffle finished 20th at Martinsville to drop one spot in the standings. He has ranked among the series' top five after 30 of 32 races this season. He has three top-10 finishes in the Chase. Biffle has 18 top-10 finishes in 2005. Biffle has run five races at Atlanta with three top-10 finishes. He placed 10th in this race a year ago and third in March, his best Atlanta showing. Biffle has a 13.6 average finish at Atlanta, fourth among Chase drivers.

No. 5 -- Carl Edwards (No. 99 Office Depot Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 5,808 (-149). Previous ranking: 6. Edwards finished 26th at Martinsville and climbed one spot in the rankings. He has 14 top-10 finishes this season, and has four top-10 efforts in the six Chase races. Edwards finished third in this race a year ago and first in March, his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup victory. His 2.0 finishing average at Atlanta ranks first among the Chase drivers.

No. 6 -- Rusty Wallace (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge). Team: Penske Racing South. Points: 5,791 (-166). Previous ranking: 4. Wallace finished 19th at Martinsville when a late-race incident knocked him from the top five. He has three top-10 finishes in the Chase, which is his first and will be his last as he retires following this season. Wallace has competed in 46 races at Atlanta with 16 top-10 finishes, including two victories, the latest in November 1993. He has led 651 laps at Atlanta, but has not led there in his last 18 races. Wallace placed 11th in this race one year ago and 27th in March. He has not scored a top-10 finish in his last six races there, and has 16 DNFs. Wallace's 16.913 average finish is seventh among drivers in the Chase.

No. 7 -- Mark Martin (No. 6 Viagra Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 5,787 (-170). Previous ranking: 5. Martin finished 34th at Martinsville to drop two spots in the rankings. He has 16 top-10 finishes this season, including four in the six Chase races. Martin has competed in 39 races at Atlanta with 19 top-10 finishes, including two victories, his latest in November 1994. Martin finished second in this race last year and fourth in March. His 16.384 average finish ranks sixth among Chase drivers.

No. 8 -- Kurt Busch (No. 97 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 5,785 (-172). Previous ranking: 10. The reigning NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champ finished sixth at Martinsville to jump two spots in the rankings. He ranked first after 32 races in 2005. Busch has 17 top-10 finishes this season. He has competed in nine races at Atlanta with three top-10 finishes, including a victory in October 2002. He has only one top-10 finish in his last five races at Atlanta. He finished 42nd in this race a year ago and 32nd in March. Busch has a 21.333 average finish there, last among Chase drivers.

No. 9 -- Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DeWALT Power Tools Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 5,785 (-172). Previous ranking: 9. Kenseth finished 12th at Martinsville to retain his spot in the rankings. He has 14 top-10 finishes this season, including three top-five efforts in Chase events. Kenseth has run 11 races at Atlanta with five top-10 finishes. He placed a career-worst 41st in this race last year and 31st in March. His best Atlanta finishes have been fourth in March 2002 and 2003. Kenseth has a 19.0 average finish at Atlanta, eighth among Chase drivers.

No. 10 -- Jeremy Mayfield (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge). Team: Evernham Motorsports. Points: 5,741 (-216). Previous ranking: 8. Mayfield placed 28th at Martinsville to drop two spots in the rankings. He has eight top-10 finishes this season and one top-10 effort in the Chase events. Mayfield has competed in 19 races at Atlanta with five top-10 finishes. He placed 26th in this race one year ago and 13th in March. He has a 21.0 average finish at Atlanta, ninth among Chase contenders.

Fast Facts

Top 10 following the Subway 500 (Race 32 of 36):
1. Tony Stewart 5,957 pts.
2. Jimmie Johnson 5,942 (-15)
3. Ryan Newman 5,894 (-63)
4. Greg Biffle 5,874 (-83)
5. Carl Edwards 5,808 (-149)
6. Rusty Wallace 5,791 (-166)
7. Mark Martin 5,787 (-170)
8. Kurt Busch 5,785 (-172)
9. Matt Kenseth 5,785 (-172)
10. Jeremy Mayfield 5,741 (-216)

-nascar-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Jeremy Mayfield , Tony Stewart , Rusty Wallace , Greg Biffle , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Carl Edwards , Mark Martin
Teams Team Penske , Joe Gibbs Racing