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News and notes from the Raybestos® Rookie contenders. * Jimmie Johnson was the Raybestos® Rookie of the Race in the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson finished seventh, completing all 188 of the event's laps. He leads the ...

News and notes from the Raybestos® Rookie contenders.

* Jimmie Johnson was the Raybestos® Rookie of the Race in the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. Johnson finished seventh, completing all 188 of the event's laps. He leads the Raybestos® Rookie standings by 15 points (126-111) over Ryan Newman. He scored his sixth top-10 of the season, most of any Raybestos® Rookie Contender.

* Johnson won his second Bud Pole of the 2002 season when he grabbed the top starting spot at Talladega. It was Johnson's second career pole in 12 Winston Cup races. His most recent pole came at Daytona in February eight races ago. It was the first pole by a rookie at Talladega since Geoff Bodine in August 1982. Johnson's speed was the fastest since Joe Nemechek's lap at Talladega in October 2000.

* Johnson has now been the Raybestos® Rookie of the Race in five of the nine Winston Cup races entering the NAPA Auto Parts 500 at California Speedway.

* Entering Sunday's NAPA Auto Parts 500 at California Speedway, Johnson has been the Raybestos® Rookie of the Race in four consecutive events.

* Both Johnson and Ryan Newman led the Aaron's 499 at Talladega, the first time since the Las Vegas race (six races ago) that two or more Raybestos Rookies have led a lap in the same race. Johnson led once for eight laps while Newman led twice for three laps.

* Johnson moves up from seventh to sixth in the Winston Cup standings, six points behind fifth place Dale Earnhardt Jr. and 20 behind fourth place Kurt Busch. Johnson is the only first year driver in the top-10 in Winston Cup points.

* Entering Sunday's NAPA Auto Parts 500 at California Speedway, the best finish by a rookie is third by Jimmie Johnson at the MBNA America 500 in Atlanta Motor Speedway.

* Newman has led more miles than any other Raybestos® Rookie entering the NAPA Auto Parts 500 . He has led eight times in four races (70 laps) for a total of 109.08 miles. Fellow rookie Johnson has led twice in two races (14 laps) for 30.28 miles. Newman and Johnson are the only Raybestos® Rookies to lead at least one lap this season.

* Kurt Busch was the Raybestos® Rookie of the Race in last year's NAPA Auto Parts 500 at California Speedway. Busch finished 13th completing all 250 laps, 500 miles of the event. Three other Raybestos® Rookies also finished on the lead lap in last year's race at California: Jason Leffler (18th), Andy Houston (19th), and Kevin Harvick (25th).

* Harvick was the only rookie to lead a lap last year at California Speedway. He held the top spot twice for two laps.

* Six rookies qualified for last year's NAPA 500 and all six were running at the finish: Busch, Leffler, Houston, Harvick, Ron Hornaday (34th) and Casey Atwood (39th).

* 2001 Raybestos® Rookie of the Year Kevin Harvick was the highest qualifying rookie for last year's race, earning the 13th starting position in time trials.

* In just 17 career NASCAR Winston Cup races, Newman has scored four top-five and six top-10 finishes.

* In just 12 career NASCAR Winston Cup races, Johnson has one top-five and five top-10 finishes.

* By winning the pole for the Daytona 500, Johnson joined Loy Allen (1994) and Mike Skinner (1997) as the only drivers in their rookie season to win the pole for the Daytona 500. He is also among an elite group of modern era (since 1972) drivers who have won poles early in their careers. Johnson won his first Winston Cup pole position in just his fourth career start. Ryan Newman and Mark Martin both won a pole in their third career start, while Johnny Benson won his first career pole in his fourth start.

* Newman made history by becoming the first Raybestos® Rookie to compete in the Budweiser Shootout. Newman qualified for the special event reserved for pole winners by capturing the top starting position for the 2001 Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. Newman started eighth and finished 15th, completing all 70 laps of the special event.

RAYBESTOS® ROOKIE CONTENDER POINT STANDINGS

DRIVER - POINTS
Jimmie Johnson - 120
Ryan Newman - 111
Shawna Robinson - 47
Carl Long - 3

HIGHEST FINISHING RAYBESTOS® ROOKIES BY RACE

EVENT
Daytona 500 - Ryan Newman, seventh
Subway 400 - Ryan Newman, 14th
UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 - Ryan Newman, fourth
MBNA America 500 - Jimmie Johnson, third
Carolina Dodge Dealers 400 - Ryan Newman, fifth
Food City 500 - Jimmie Johnson, seventh
Samsung/RadioShack 500 - Jimmie Johnson, fourth
Virginia 500 - Jimmie Johnson, 35th
Aaron's 499 - Jimmie Johnson, seventh

-raybestos-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jason Leffler , Mike Skinner , Kevin Harvick , Joe Nemechek , Shawna Robinson , Andy Houston , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Casey Atwood , Johnny Benson , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Jimmie Johnson , Carl Long , Mark Martin