Fort Worth: Raybestos Rookie preview

Jimmie Johnson was the Raybestos® Rookie of the Race in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Johnson finished seventh, his fourth top-10 of the 2002 Winston Cup season. He leads the Raybestos® Rookie standings by two points (84-82)...

Jimmie Johnson was the Raybestos® Rookie of the Race in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Johnson finished seventh, his fourth top-10 of the 2002 Winston Cup season. He leads the Raybestos® Rookie standings by two points (84-82) over Ryan Newman.

Johnson is fourth in Winston Cup points, only two behind third place Rusty Wallace entering Sunday's Samsung/Radio Shack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. Johnson is 118 behind point leader Sterling Marlin.

Newman is also in the top-10 in the Winston Cup Series championship standings. He is seventh, 13 points behind sixth place Dale Earnhardt Jr. He trails fellow rookie Johnson by 35 and leader Marlin by 153 points.

Newman has been the Raybestos® Rookie of the Race in four of the first six events in 2002. Entering the Texas race, the best finish by a rookie is third by Jimmie Johnson at the MBNA America 500 in Atlanta.

The Food City 500 was the first race this season where Newman has not finished on the lead lap.

Johnson has completed 99.7 percent of the possible miles this season, best among all Raybestos® Rookie Contenders. He has only 5.55 unfinished miles entering Sunday's race at Texas.

Newman has led more miles than any other Raybestos® Rookie entering the Samsung/Radio Shack 500. He has led four times in two races (65 laps) for a total of 98.10 miles, ninth best among all Winston Cup drivers. Fellow rookie Johnson has led once in one race (six laps) for 9.00 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 the 2001 Samsung/Radio Shack 500 at Texas. Busch finished fourth, completing all 334 laps of the event. He edged out 2001 Raybestos® Rookie of the Year Kevin Harvick, who finished seventh, for highest finishing rookie honors. No Raybestos Rookie entered at Texas led at least one lap. Casey Atwood was the highest qualifying rookie, grabbing the 10th starting position in time trials.

Johnson, Newman and Shawna Robinson will be making their first Winston Cup Texas starts in the Samsung/Radio Shack 500. Johnson and Newman both competed in the Busch race last year at Texas. Johnson finished eighth after starting 24th and led the race once for seven laps. Newman started 39th and finished 14th.

Newman and Jimmie Johnson both led laps at Las Vegas race, the first time this season two or more Raybestos® Rookies have led at least one lap in the same race. Newman led three times for 50 laps (second most of any driver in the race), while Johnson held the top spot once for six laps, the first time he led a lap in his Winston Cup career.

In just 14 career NASCAR Winston Cup races, Newman has scored four top-five and six top-10 finishes.

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

Shawna Robinson made her fourth start of the 2002 season at Darlington. Robinson has qualified on her speed for three of the four starts she has made this season.

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.

<pre> Raybestos® Rookie Contender Point Standings

Driver              Points
Jimmie Johnson          84
Ryan Newman             82
Shawna Robinson         36
Carl Long                3

Highest Finishing Raybestos® Rookies By Race

Event                           Highest Finishing Rookie
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


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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Rusty Wallace , Mike Skinner , Shawna Robinson , Sterling Marlin , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Casey Atwood , Johnny Benson , Jimmie Johnson , Carl Long , Mark Martin