Top 12 - and beyond 2007-07-16

WEEK 20: THE NASCAR NEXTEL CUP SERIES TOP 12 -- AND BEYOND DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 16, 2007) -- Below is a look at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 12 along with some other notable drivers, going into the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard at ...

WEEK 20: THE NASCAR NEXTEL CUP SERIES TOP 12 -- AND BEYOND

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 16, 2007) -- Below is a look at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 12 along with some other notable drivers, going into the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 29.

1 -- Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet)

The File:
* 35-years-old, Vallejo, Calif., 79 career wins
* Four wins, 12 top fives, 17 top 10s
* Five poles
* Average finish of 6.6 this season
* Led 14 of 19 races for 764 laps

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Outlook:
* Four wins, seven top fives, 10 top 10s
* Three poles
* Average finish of 9.3
* Finished 16th last season
* Led nine of 13 races for 433 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* Series-best Closer -- 79 positions improved over the last 10% of races

2 -- Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Chevrolet)

The File:
* 26-years-old, Chesterfield, Va., three career wins
* One win, seven top fives, 11 top 10s; one pole
* Average finish of 11.6
* Led 12 of 19 races for 721 laps

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Outlook:
* One top 10
* Finished 10th last season, his only start

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* Average Running Position of 12.5, fifth-best

3 -- Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DEWALT Ford)

The File:
* 35-years-old from Cambridge, Wis., 15 career wins
* One win, seven top fives, 13 top 10s
* Average finish of 11.3
* Led 12 of 19 races for 256 laps

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Outlook:
* Four top fives
* Average finish of 13.7
* Finished second last season
* Led three of seven races for 28 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* Series-high 5,348 laps run on the lead lap

4 -- Jeff Burton (No. 31 AT&T Mobility Chevrolet)

The File:
* 40-years-old from South Boston, Va., 19 career wins
* One win, six top fives, 10 top 10s
* Average finish of 12.7
* Led five of 19 races for 27 laps

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Outlook:
* One top five, two top 10s; one pole
* Average finish of 19.2
* Finished 15th last season
* Led four of 13 races for 113 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* 1,097 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green flag conditions), third-most

5 -- Carl Edwards (No. 99 Office Depot Ford)

The File:
* 27-years-old from Columbia, Mo., five career wins
* One win, five top fives, seven top 10s
* Average finish of 13.0
* Led eight of 19 races for 136 laps

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Outlook:
* One top 10
* Average finish of 10.5 in two career races
* Finished ninth last season

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* 4,278 Laps in the Top 15, third-best

6 -- Tony Stewart (No. 20 Home Depot Chevrolet)

The File:
* 36-years-old from Columbus, Ind., 30 career wins
* One win, five top fives, 12 top 10s
* Average finish of 14.8
* Led 13 of 19 races for 766 laps

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Outlook:
* One win, three top fives, five top 10s; one pole
* Average finish of 8.4
* Finished eighth last season
* Led four of eight races for 150 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* 411 Fastest Laps Run, second-most

7 -- Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet)

The File:
* 31-years-old from El Cajon, Calif., 27 career wins
* Four wins, nine top fives, 11 top 10s
* Average finish of 13.9
* Led 12 of 19 races for 763 laps

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Outlook:
* One win, two top 10s
* Average finish of 20.4
* Won last season
* Led one of five races for 33 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* Series-best Average Running Position of 8.6

8 -- Kevin Harvick (No. 29 Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet)

The File:
* 31-years-old from Bakersfield, Calif., 11 career victories
* One win, four top fives, nine top 10s
* Average finish of 15.3 this season
* Led eight of 19 races for 233 laps

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Outlook:
* One win, three top fives, four top 10s; one pole
* Average finish of 7.8
* Finished third last season
* Led three of six races for 69 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* 1,716 Green Flag Passes, eighth-best

9 -- Kyle Busch (No. 5 Kellogg's/CARQUEST Chevrolet)

The File:
* 22-years-old from Las Vegas, Nev., four career wins
* One win, four top fives, 10 top 10s
* Average finish of 15.5
* Led nine of 19 races for 155 laps

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Outlook:
* Two top 10s
* Average finish of 8.5
* Finished seventh last season
* Led one of two races for eight laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* Third-fastest average Green Flag Speed

10 -- Clint Bowyer (No. 07 Jack Daniel's Chevrolet)

The File:
* 28-years-old from Emporia, Kan.
* One top five, 10 top 10s; one pole
* Average finish of 15.6
* Led seven of 19 races for 78 laps

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Outlook:
* One top five
* Finished fourth last season, his only start

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* Fourth-best Closer -- 35 positions improved over the last 10% of races

11 -- Martin Truex Jr. (No. 1 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet)

The File:
* 27-years-old from Mayetta, N.J., 1 career win
* One win, four top fives, seven top 10s
* Average finish of 17.6
* Led eight of 19 races for 345 laps

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Outlook:
* Average finish of 30.5 in two career races

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* 265 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-best

12 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet)

The File:
* 32-years-old from Kannapolis, N.C., 17 career wins
* Three top five, seven top 10s
* Average finish of 16.4
* Led eight of 19 races for 304 laps

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Outlook:
* Two top 10s
* Average finish of 19.3
* Finished sixth last season
* Led two of seven races for 13 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* 4,253 Laps in the Top 15, fourth-most

13 -- Ryan Newman (No. 12 Alltel Dodge)

The File:
* 29-years-old from South Bend, Ind., 12 career wins
* Three top fives, eight top 10s; four poles
* Average finish of 18.7
* Led eight of 19 races for 210 laps

Indianapolis Motor Speedway Outlook:
* One top five
* Average finish of 20.7
* Finished 13th last season
* Led two of six races for 14 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight:
* 1,067 Quality Passes, fifth-most

Note: The first 26 races of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season determine which 12 drivers qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, contested over the final 10 races of the season.

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Martin Truex Jr. , Carl Edwards , Clint Bowyer , Denny Hamlin , Kyle Busch