Race to the Chase Rundown: Indianapolis

Race to the Chase Rundown: Indianapolis A weekly look at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10, as the 'Chase' approaches DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 25, 2005) -- The following is a rundown of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 heading into the Aug.

Race to the Chase Rundown: Indianapolis
A weekly look at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10, as the 'Chase' approaches

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 25, 2005) -- The following is a rundown of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 10 heading into the Aug. 7 Allstate 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2:30 p.m. NBC), the fifth event in the "Race to the Chase," the 10 events prefacing the "Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup."

The Allstate 400 at the Brickyard is the 21st of 36 races on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series schedule. The first 26 races of the season determine who will be part of the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup in the final 10 races. Drivers who are in the top 10 or within 400 points of the leader after those 26 races will vie for the series title in the "Chase."

No. 1 -- Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet). Team: Hendrick Motorsports. Points: 2,799. Previous ranking: 1. Johnson finished 12th at Pocono; he remains the only driver with 13 top-10 finishes in the first 20 races of 2005. A winner this year at Las Vegas and Lowe's, he has ranked among the top 10 since Las Vegas in March 2004, or 53 consecutive races. Johnson has run just three races at Indianapolis with one top-10 finish, a ninth-place effort in his first race there in 2002. He finished 18th in 2003 and 36th in this race a year ago, his only DNF. Johnson has a 21.0 average finish at Indianapolis.

No. 2 -- Tony Stewart (No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet). Team: Joe Gibbs Racing. Points: 2,733 (-66). Previous ranking: 3. Stewart continued to impress, finishing seventh at Pocono. He has six top-10 finishes in his last six races, including victories at Sonoma, Daytona and New Hampshire. Stewart has 12 top-10 finishes in 2005, one fewer than Johnson. He has made up 314 points on the lead in the last six races. Stewart has competed in six races at Indianapolis with three top-10 finishes; he has placed 17th or better in all of his Indy outings. He finished fifth in this race last year, tying his best Indy finish set in 2000. Stewart has led in three of his six Indy starts; he has a 9.7 average finish.

No 3 -- Greg Biffle (No. 16 National Guard/Subway Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 2,712 (-87). Previous ranking: 2. Biffle finished 17th at Pocono, which dropped him one spot in the rankings. He has 11 top-10 finishes in 2005, including victories at California, Texas, Darlington, Dover and Michigan. Biffle has run two races at Indy, finishing 21st in his first race there and sixth one year ago. Biffle has a 13.5 average finish at Indianapolis.

No. 4 -- Rusty Wallace (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge). Team: Penske Racing South. Points: 2,617 (-182). Previous ranking: 4. Wallace finished second at Pocono to give him 11 top-10 finishes this season. He has been running at the finish of a series-leading 33 consecutive races, since Bristol last fall. Wallace has competed in all 11 races at Indy with nine top-10 finishes. He finished 13th in this race last year, one of only two finishes outside the top 10. Wallace has an 8.9 average finish at the 2.5-mile speedway.

No. 5 -- Kurt Busch (No. 97 IRWIN/Sharpie Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 2,537 (-262). Previous ranking: 5. The reigning NASCAR NEXTEL Cup champion dominated at Pocono, adding a victory there to his triumph at Phoenix in April. He has 11 top-10 finishes this season. Busch has run four races at Indianapolis with three top-10 finishes, including 10th in this race a year ago. His worst finish and his only DNF there was a 41st-place showing in 2002. Busch has a 15.75 average finish at Indianapolis.

No. 6 -- Ryan Newman (No. 12 Alltel Dodge). Team: Penske Racing South. Points: 2,507 (-292). Previous ranking: 6. Newman finished fifth at Pocono, his 11th top-10 effort this season. He has competed in four races at Indianapolis with one top-10 finish, a fourth-place showing in 2002. He finished 31st in this race last year, tying his worst effort there in his inaugural year in 2001. Newman has led in two of his four races there; he has a 19.25 average finish.

No. 7 -- Mark Martin (No. 6 Viagra Ford). Team: Roush Racing. Points: 2,490 (-309). Previous ranking: 7. Martin finished third at Pocono to remain seventh in the rankings. He has 10 top-10 finishes this season. Martin has run 11 races at Indianapolis with six top-10 finishes; his best outing was second in 1998. He finished 25th there a year ago. Martin has led in five of his 11 Indy starts. He has a 16.6 average finish at the Brickyard.

No. 8 -- Jeremy Mayfield (No. 19 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge). Team: Evernham Motorsports. Points: 2,394 (-405). Previous ranking: 8. Mayfield finished 18th at Pocono; he has climbed from 26th in the rankings to eighth since the season's third race, at Las Vegas. Mayfield has run 10 races at Indy with just one top-10 finish, a fifth in 1997. He placed 11th in this race a year ago. Mayfield has led one lap at Indy; his average finish there is 26.5.

No. 9 -- Elliott Sadler (No. 38 M&M's Ford). Team: Robert Yates Racing. Points: 2,391 (-408). Previous ranking: 9. Sadler finished 16th at Pocono to retain his spot in the rankings. He has nine top-10 finishes this year. He has competed in six races at Indy with one top-10 finish, a third in this race last year. Sadler finished 21st or worse in his other Indy starts. He has a 26.3 average finish at the Indiana track.

No. 10 -- Dale Jarrett (No. 88 UPS Ford). Team: Robert Yates Racing. Points: 2,372 (-427). Previous ranking 10. Jarrett finished 15th at Pocono to remain 10th in the rankings. He has five top-10 finishes this season. Jarrett has competed in all 11 races at Indy with seven top-10 finishes, including victories 1999 and 1996. He finished second to Jeff Gordon in this race a year ago. Jarrett has a 12.2 average finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Fast Facts

Top 10 following the Pennsylvania 500 (Race 20 of 36):
1. Jimmie Johnson 2,799 pts.
2. Tony Stewart 2,733 (-66)
3. Greg Biffle 2,712 (-87)
4. Rusty Wallace 2,617 (-182)
5. Kurt Busch 2,537 (-262)
6. Ryan Newman 2,507 (-292)
7. Mark Martin 2,490 (-309)
8. Jeremy Mayfield 2,394 (-405)
9. Elliott Sadler 2,391 (-408)
10. Dale Jarrett 2,372 (-427)

New arrival in the Top 10: None this week.

Dropped out of the Top 10: None this week.

Closing in on the Top 10: No. 11 Jamie McMurray (-9 pts. out of 10th); No. 12 Carl Edwards (-12); No. 13 Kevin Harvick (-73); No. 14 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (-110); No. 15 Jeff Gordon (-114).

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Jeremy Mayfield , Tony Stewart , Rusty Wallace , Kevin Harvick , Greg Biffle , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , Robert Yates , Elliott Sadler , Mark Martin
Teams Team Penske , Joe Gibbs Racing , Yates Racing