Top 12 driver - and beyond 2007-06-05

WEEK 14: THE NASCAR NEXTEL CUP SERIES TOP 12 -- AND BEYOND DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 5, 2007) -- Below is a look at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 12 along with some other notable drivers, going into the Pocono 500 on June 10. Chase ...

WEEK 14: THE NASCAR NEXTEL CUP SERIES TOP 12 -- AND BEYOND

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 5, 2007) -- Below is a look at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 12 along with some other notable drivers, going into the Pocono 500 on June 10.

Chase Contenders
The Top 12 ... And Beyond Following Race 13 of 36

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.

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

The File:
* 35-years-old from Vallejo, Calif., 78 career wins
* Three wins, nine top fives, 11 top 10s
* Five poles
* Average finish of 7.1 this season
* Led in 10 of 13 races for 674 laps

Pocono Raceway Outlook:
* Three wins, 13 top fives, 19 top 10s; two poles
* 10.714 average finish
* Finished 34th and third, respectively, last season
* Led in 18 of 28 races for 844 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* Average Running Position of 9.586, second-best

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

The File:
* 31-years-old from El Cajon, Calif., 27 career wins
* Four wins, eight top fives, nine top 10s
* Average finish of 10.3
* Led in eight of 13 races for 612 laps

Pocono Raceway Outlook:
* Two wins, three top fives, six top 10s; one pole
* 8.1 average finish
* Finished 10th and sixth, respectively, last season
* Led in four of 10 races for a total of 275 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* Series-high 440 Fastest Laps Run

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

The File:
* 35-years-old from Cambridge, Wis., 15 career wins
* One win, six top fives, nine top 10s
* Average finish of 8.5
* Led in 11 of 13 races for 253 laps

Pocono Raceway Outlook:
* Three top fives, six top 10s
* 15.286 average finish
* Finished fifth and 14th, respectively, last season
* Led in six of 14 races for a total of 26 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* Series-high 4,343 laps run on the lead lap

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

The File:
* 26-years-old from Chesterfield, Va., two career wins
* Six top fives, eight top 10s; one pole
* Average finish of 9.9
* Led in seven of 13 races for 612 laps

Pocono Raceway Outlook:
* Two wins; two poles
* 1.0 average finish
* Won both races last season
* Led in both races for a total of 234 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* Average Running Position of 10.752, third-best

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

The File:
* 39-years-old from S. Boston, Va., 19 career wins
* One win, five top fives, seven top 10s
* Average finish of 13.2 this season
* Led in five of 13 races for 27 laps

Pocono Raceway Outlook:
* Six top fives, 13 top 10s
* 17.154 average finish
* Finished ninth in both races last season
* Led in 15 of 26 races for 104 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* Series-high 849 Quality Passes -- passes of cars in the top 15 under green flag conditions

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

The File:
* 27-years-old from Columbia, Mo., four career wins
* Two top five, four top 10s
* Average finish of 14.9
* Led in four of 13 races for 55 laps

Pocono Raceway Outlook:
* One win, two top fives
* 17.250 average finish
* Finished 25th and 39th, respectively, last season
* Led in two of four races for 47 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* 3,375 Laps in the Top 15, sixth-best

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

The File:
* 36-years-old from Columbus, Ind., 29 career wins
* Two top fives, eight top 10s
* Average finish of 16.7
* Led nine of 13 races for 647 laps

Pocono Raceway Outlook:
* One win, four top fives, 11 top 10s
* 13.250 average finish
* Finished third and seventh, respectively, last season
* Led six of 16 races for 97 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* 303 Fastest Laps Run, third-most

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

The File:
* 27-years-old from Emporia, Kan., zero career wins
* Six top 10s; one pole
* Average finish of 16.4
* Led in five of 12 races for 23 laps

Pocono Raceway Outlook:
* 31.0 average finish in two races
* Finished 21st and 41st, respectively, last season
* Led in one of two races for eight laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* 2,594 Laps in the Top 15, 11th-best

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

The File:
* 31-years-old from Bakersfield, Calif., 11 career victories
* One win, two top fives, five top 10s
* Average finish of 17.3 this season
* Led in six of 12 races for 176 laps

Pocono Raceway Outlook:
* One top five, four top 10s
* 16.750 average finish in 12 races
* Finished 13th and fifth, respectively, last season

Loop Data Highlight:
* Series-high 1,388 Green Flag Passes

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

The File:
* 22-years-old from Las Vegas, Nev., four career wins
* One win, three top fives, six top 10s
* Average finish of 18.9
* Led in seven of 13 races for 87 laps

Pocono Raceway Outlook:
* One top five
* 19.25 average finish in four races
* Finished 22nd and 12th, respectively, last season

Loop Data Highlight:
* 173 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most

11 -- Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge)

The File:
* 28-years-old from Las Vegas, Nev., 15 career victories
* Two top fives, three top 10s
* Average finish of 19.2 this season
* Led in seven of 13 races for 302 laps

Pocono Raceway Outlook:
* One win, six top fives
* 15.667 average finish
* Finished second in both races last season
* Led in six of 12 races for a total of 172 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* 832 Quality Passes, third-most

12 -- Mark Martin (No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet)

The File:
* 48-years-old from Batesville, Ark., 35 career win
* Four top fives, six top 10s; 8.6 average finish
* Led four of 13 races for 44 laps

Pocono Raceway Outlook:
* 19 top fives, 27 top 10s
* 10.9 average finish
* Finished 17th and 19th, respectively, last season
* Led 25 of 40 races for 376

Loop Data Highlight:
* Average Running Position of 12.473, sixth-best

OTHERS:

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

The File:
* 32-years-old from Kannapolis, N.C., 17 career wins
* One top five, five top 10s
* Average finish of 17.1
* Led five of 13 races for 237 laps

Pocono Raceway Outlook:
* Three top fives, four top 10s
* 18.786 average finish
* Finished 14th and 43rd, respectively, last season
* Has led in four of 14 races for 89 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* Second-fastest Green Flag Speed

38 -- Brian Vickers (No. 83 Red Bull Toyota)

The File:
* 23-years-old from Thomasville, N.C., 1 career win
* One top five, two top 10s
* 21.1 average finish; Led four of 13 races (Vickers has qualified for seven) for 84 laps

Pocono Raceway Outlook:
* Three top fives
* 8.5 average finish
* Finished fourth in both races last season
* Led three of six races for 141 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* 60 Fastest Laps Run, 17th-most

-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 , Kurt Busch , Jimmie Johnson , Brian Vickers , Carl Edwards , Clint Bowyer , Denny Hamlin , Kyle Busch , Mark Martin