Top 12 drivers - and beyond 2007-04-23

Week 9: The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 12 -- And Beyond DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 23, 2007) -- Below is a look at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 12 along with some other notable drivers, going into the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway...

Week 9: The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 12 -- And Beyond

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (April 23, 2007) -- Below is a look at the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series Top 12 along with some other notable drivers, going into the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on April 29.

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

The File:
* 35-years-old from Vallejo, Calif., 76 career wins
* One win, six top fives, seven top 10s; three poles
* Average finish of 4.5 this season
* Led in seven of eight races for 467 laps

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook:
* Four wins, 11 top fives, 14 top 10s; two poles
* 15.893 average finish
* 15th and 36th, respectively, last season
* Led in 22 of his 28 Talladega races for a total of 729 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* Series-best Average Running Position of 8.002

***

2 -- Jeff Burton (No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet)

The File:
* 39-years-old from S. Boston, Va., 19 career wins
* One win, five top fives, six top 10s
* Average finish of 6.0 this season
* Led in four of eight races for 25 laps

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook:
* Two top fives, 10 top 10s
* 17.923 average finish
* Fourth and 27th, respectively, last season
* Led in nine of his 26 Talladega races for a total of 55 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* 2,266 Laps in the Top 15, second-most

***

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

The File:
* 35-years-old from Cambridge, Wis., 15 career wins
* One win, five top fives, six top 10s
* Average finish of 7.9
* Led in six of eight races for 168 laps

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook:
* Three top fives, six top 10s
* 15.5 average finish
* Finished sixth and fourth, respectively, last season
* Led in 11 of his 14 Talladega races for a total of 128 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* 400 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 while under green), third-most

***

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

The File:
* 31-years-old from El Cajon, Calif., 26 career wins
* Three wins, five top fives
* Average finish of 12.9
* Led in four of eight races for 368 laps

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook:
* One win, two top fives, three top 10s; one pole
* 21.0 average finish
* Finished first and 24th, respectively, last season
* Led in nine of his 10 Talladega races for a total of 168 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* Driver Rating of 110.2, second best

***

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

The File:
* 26-years-old from Chesterfield, Va., two career wins
* Three top fives, four top 10s; one pole
* Average finish of 11.2
* Led in three of eight races for 372 laps

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook:
* 21.5 average finish
* Finished 22nd and 21st, respectively, last season
* Led in both of his Talladega races for a total of two laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* 161 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most

***

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

The File:
* 21-years-old from Las Vegas, Nev., four career wins
* One win, two top fives, five top 10s
* Average finish of 15.4
* Led in five of seven races for 56 laps

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook:
* 29.25 average finish
* Finished 32nd and 11th, respectively, last season
* Led in one of his four Talladega races for a total of 10 laps

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

***

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

The File:
* 35-years-old from Columbus, Ind., 29 career wins
* Two top five, five top 10s
* Average finish of 16.1
* Led six of eight races for 584 laps

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook:
* Eight top fives, 10 top 10s
* 11.938 average finish
* Finished second and 22nd, respectively, last season
* Led 10 of his 16 Talladega races for 138 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* Driver Rating of 108.5, third-best

***

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

The File:
* 27-years-old from Columbia, Mo., four career wins
* Two top 10s
* Average finish of 14.6
* Led in one race for three laps

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook:
* One top five, three top 10s
* 19.2 average finish
* Finished eighth and ninth, respectively, last season
* Led in two of his five Talladega races for a total of nine laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* 1,952 Laps in the Top 15, eighth-most

***

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

The File:
* 27-years-old from Emporia, Kan., zero career wins
* Three top 10s
* Average finish of 15.4
* Led in three of eight races for five laps

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook:
* 37.5 average finish
* Finished 40th and 35th, respectively, last season
* Led in one of his two Talladega races for a total of five laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* Tied for fifth-best Closer -- 14 positions improved in the last 10% of races

***

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

The File:
* 48-years-old from Batesville, Ark., 35 career victories
* Four top fives, five top 10s
* Average finish of 6.2 this season
* Led in three of his six races for 42 laps

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook:
* Two wins, 10 top fives, 22 top 10s
* 15.476 average finish
* Finished 35th and eighth, respectively, last season
* Led in 22 of his 42 Talladega races for a total of 315 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* Average Running Position of 10.697, sixth-best

***

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

The File:
* 31-years-old from Bakersfield, Calif., 11 career victories
* One win, two top fives, three top 10s
* Average finish of 19.2 this season
* Led in five of eight races for 71 laps

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook:
* Three top fives, six top 10s
* 13.667 average finish
* Finished 23rd and sixth, respectively, at Talladega last season
* Led in seven of his 12 Talladega races for a total of 54 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* 90 Fastest Laps Run, eighth-most

***

12 -- Jamie McMurray (No. 26 Crown Royal/IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford)

The File:
* 30-years-old from Joplin, Mo., one career win
* One top five, four top 10s
* 17.4 average finish

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook:
* Two top fives, three top 10s
* 17.111 average finish
* Finished fifth and 37th, respectively, last season
* Led five of his nine Talladega races for 102 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* 1,497 Laps in the Top 15, 13th-most

***

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

The File:
* 28-years-old from Las Vegas, Nev., 15 career victories
* One top 10
* Average finish of 19.4 this season
* Led in four of eight races for 161 laps

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook:
* Five top fives, nine top 10s
* 10.833 average finish
* Finished seventh and third, respectively, at Talladega last season
* Led in 10 of his 12 Talladega races for a total of 74 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* Average Running Position of 12.743, eighth-best

***

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

The File:
* 32-years-old from Kannapolis, N.C., 17 career wins
* One top five, two top 10s
* Average finish of 20.5
* Led in three of eight races for 234 laps

Talladega Superspeedway Outlook:
* Five wins, seven top fives, eight top 10s
* 13.0 average finish
* Finished 31st and 23rd, respectively, last season
* Has led in 12 of his 14 Talladega races for 537 laps

Loop Data Highlight:
* 185 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-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 , Jamie McMurray , Carl Edwards , Clint Bowyer , Denny Hamlin , Kyle Busch , Mark Martin