Top ten after Rockingham

NASCAR Top 10 at a Glance... A weekly look at NASCAR Winston Cup's Top 10 drivers DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 24, 2003) -- The following is a glance at the NASCAR Top 10 in the championship heading into Sunday's UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 at Las...

NASCAR Top 10 at a Glance...
A weekly look at NASCAR Winston Cup's Top 10 drivers

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 24, 2003) -- The following is a glance at the NASCAR Top 10 in the championship heading into Sunday's UAW-Daimler Chrysler 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Race 3 of 36 on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series schedule:

No. 1 -- Kurt Busch (No. 97 Rubbermaid Ford), Roush Racing. Last week's ranking: 2. Busch finished second in Sunday's Subway 400 at North Carolina Motor Speedway. He climbed from second to first in the NASCAR Top 10. This is the first time that Busch has held the No. 1 position in his NASCAR Winston Cup career. This is the second straight season that Busch has started the season in the top five in the point standings. He ranked fourth in the NASCAR Top 10 after two races one year ago. Busch has recorded seven consecutive finishes of sixth or better, a streak that began at Martinsville last fall. In his two career starts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, he recorded his best finish in his rookie season (11th in 2001). He finished 20th last season.

No. 2 -- Dale Jarrett (No. 88 UPS Ford), Robert Yates Racing. Last week's ranking: 10. Jarrett won the Subway 400 to climb from 10th to second in the NASCAR Top 10. He is one of four drivers to start the season with two top-10 finishes. Jarrett has competed in all five races at Las Vegas, scoring top-10 finishes in his last three starts at Las Vegas. Jarrett finished seventh last season.

No. 3 -- Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet), Hendrick Racing. Last week's ranking: 3. Johnson finished eighth in the Subway 400 and remained third in the NASCAR Top 10 for the second consecutive week. Last season, he finished his rookie season

ranked fifth among the NASCAR Top 10. Johnson has competed in just one race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, finishing sixth last season. He was ranked outside the NASCAR Top 10 in the first three races of his rookie season, but moved into the NASCAR Top 10 at Atlanta (March 2002) and has been ranked there for 35 consecutive races.

No. 4 -- Mark Martin (No. 6 Pfizer/Viagra Ford), Roush Racing. Last week's ranking: 5. Martin finished seventh in the Subway 400 to move from fifth to fourth in the NASCAR Top 10. It marked his seventh consecutive top-10 race finish, extending a streak that began at Martinsville last fall. Martin has ranked among the NASCAR Top 10 since Las Vegas last season. It is a run of 36 consecutive races, the longest streak among active drivers. He finished the 2002 season ranked second in the NASCAR Top 10. Martin has competed in all five races at Las Vegas, registering a victory in the inaugural race in 1998. He is the only driver to earn five top-10 finishes in all five races at Las Vegas, including third last season.

No. 5 -- Michael Waltrip (No. 15 NAPA Chevrolet), Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Last week's ranking: 1. Waltrip, the Daytona 500 champion, finished 19th in the Subway 400 to drop from No. 1 to fifth in the NASCAR Top 10. Waltrip finished the 2002 season ranked 14th in the final point standings. He has competed in all five races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, but has yet to score a top-10 finish or lead a lap. Waltrip's best Las Vegas finish, 13th, came in 2001. He finished 22nd last season.

No. 6 -- Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DeWalt Power Tools Ford), Roush Racing. Last week's ranking: 19. Kenseth finished third in the Subway 400 to climb from 19th to No. 6 in the NASCAR Top 10. It marks his first appearance in the NASCAR Top 10 this season. Kenseth was ranked eighth among the NASCAR Top 10 at the conclusion of the 2002 season. Kenseth has competed in three races at Las Vegas, but has yet to score a top-10 finish. His best finish, 14th, occurred in his first race at Las Vegas in 2000 and again last season.

No. 7 -- Jeff Burton (No. 99 CITGO Ford), Roush Racing. Last week's ranking: 11. Burton finished 12th in the Subway 400 to climb into the NASCAR Top 10 for the first time this season, moving from 11th to seventh. He has opened the season with two top-15 finishes. Burton has competed in all five races at Las Vegas and is the only driver to score two victories (1999, 2000). He has posted top-10 finishes in four of his five races at Las Vegas, including ninth last season.

No. 8 -- Ricky Craven (No. 32 Tide Pontiac), PPI Motorsports. Last week's ranking: 25. Craven finished fourth in the Subway 400 to break into the NASCAR Top 10 for the first time this season. Craven vaulted from 25th to eighth in the NASCAR Top 10, the biggest jump among the group this week. This marks the first time Craven has been among the NASCAR Top 10 since he was ranked sixth after this race one year ago, the only time in 2002 that he held a top-10 ranking. Craven has competed in all five races at Las Vegas, but has never scored a top-25 finish. He finished 31st last season.

No. 9 -- Tony Stewart (No. 20 The Home Depot Chevrolet), Joe Gibbs Racing. Last week's ranking: 6. Stewart, the reigning NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion, finished 20th in the Subway 400 to fall from sixth to ninth in the NASCAR Top 10. After two races this season, Stewart is 13 positions higher than he was one year ago when he ranked 22nd. He has competed in four races at Las Vegas, scoring two top-five finishes. He finished fifth last season.

No. 10 -- Kevin Harvick (No. 29 Goodwrench Chevrolet), Richard Childress Racing. Last week's ranking: 4. Harvick finished 25th in the Subway 400 to drop from fourth to the final position in the NASCAR Top 10. Harvick was ranked 27th in the point standings after two races one year ago. He has competed in two races at Las Vegas, recording one top-10 finish (8th, 2001). He finished 25th last season.

FAST FACTS

NASCAR Top 10 this week: 1. Kurt Busch, 345; 2. Dale Jarrett, 314; 3. Jimmie Johnson, 312; 4. Mark Martin, 306; 5. Michael Waltrip, 291; 6. Matt Kenseth, 278; 7. Jeff Burton, 262; 8. Ricky Craven, 255; 9. Tony Stewart, 254; 10. Kevin Harvick, 248.

Weeks at No. 1: Michael Waltrip, Kurt Busch, 1.

New arrivals in the NASCAR Top 10 this week: No. 6 Matt Kenseth; No. 7 Jeff Burton; No. 8 Ricky Craven.

Most weeks in the NASCAR Top 10: Seven drivers tied at 2.

Biggest mover among the Top 10: No. 8 Ricky Craven, 17 positions.

Dropped out of the NASCAR Top 10 this week: No. 7 Robby Gordon; No. 8 Jeremy Mayfield; No. 9 Mike Wallace.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Dale Jarrett , Matt Kenseth , Jeremy Mayfield , Tony Stewart , Michael Waltrip , Kevin Harvick , Robby Gordon , Mike Wallace , Kurt Busch , Jimmie Johnson , Ricky Craven , Robert Yates , Mark Martin
Teams Richard Childress Racing