Week 18: Top 12 - and beyond

Week 18: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Top 12 -- And Beyond DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 30, 2008) -- Below is a look at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Top 12 along with other notable drivers, going into the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at...

Week 18: The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Top 12 -- And Beyond

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (June 30, 2008) -- Below is a look at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Top 12 along with other notable drivers, going into the Coke Zero 400 Powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night. (Note: Drivers listed below who are outside the top 12 are chosen based on past performances at the upcoming track and/or those within striking distance of the top 12.)

1-- Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M's Toyota)
*Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 108.7

2008 Rundown
*Five wins, 10 top fives, 11 top 10s
*Average finish of 10.5
*Led 12 races for 869 laps

Daytona International Speedway Outlook:
*Driver Rating of 95.3
*Three top fives
*Average finish of 17.7
*Finished fourth in February
*Led four of seven races for 115 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight
*Series-high Average Running Position of 10.1

2 -- Jeff Burton (No. 31 AT&T Mobility Chevrolet)
*Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 92.9

2008 Rundown
*One win, four top fives, 10 top 10s
*Average finish of 8.7
*Led seven races for 62 laps

Daytona International Speedway Outlook:
*Driver Rating of 85.2
*One win, six top fives, eight top 10s; one pole
*Average finish of 16.8
*Finished 13th in February
*Led six of 29 races for 100 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight
*786 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), second-most

3-- Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet)
*Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 103.7

2008 Rundown
*One win, seven top fives, 11 top 10s
*Average finish of 11.4
*Led 12 races for 570 laps

Daytona International Speedway Outlook:
*Driver Rating of 87.5
*Two wins, six top fives, 10 top 10s
*Average finish of 13.9
*Finished ninth in February
*Led 12 of 17 races for 331 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight
*359 Fastest Laps Run, third-most

4 -- Carl Edwards (No. 99 Office Depot Ford)
*Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 103.0

2008 Rundown
*Three wins, six top fives, 12 top 10s
*Average finish of 11.5
*Led eight races for 395 laps

Daytona International Speedway Outlook:
*Driver Rating of 78.1
*One top five
*Average finish of 24.7
*Finished 19th in February
*Led one of seven races for two laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight
*Series-high 497 Fastest Laps Run

5 -- Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet)
*Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 100.3

2008 Rundown
*One win, four top fives, eight top 10s
*Average finish of 13.8
*Led 12 races for 600 laps

Daytona International Speedway Outlook:
*Driver Rating of 95.5
*One win, five top fives, eight top 10s; two poles
*Average finish of 13.2
*Finished 27th in February
*Led six of 13 races for 55 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight
*Average Running Position of 10.6, second-most

6 -- Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet)
*Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 94.4

2008 Rundown
*Seven top fives, eight top 10s
*Average finish of 13.9
*Led eight races for 211 laps

Daytona International Speedway Outlook:
*Driver Rating of 91.9
*Six wins, 11 top fives, 17 top 10s; three poles
*Average finish of 14.7
*Finished 39th in February
*Led 23 of 31 races for 511 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight
*Average Running Position of 12.3, sixth-best

7 -- Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Toyota)
*Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 95.2

2008 Rundown
*One win, five top fives, nine top 10s
*Average finish of 14.7
*Led nine races for 664 laps

Daytona International Speedway Outlook:
*Driver Rating of 72.2
*Average finish of 27.0
*Finished 17th in February
*Led two of five races for 42 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight
*Series-high 811 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green)

8 -- Greg Biffle (No. 16 3M Ford)
*Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 91.5

2008 Rundown
*Five top fives, seven top 10s
*Average finish of 14.8
*Led eight races for 283 laps

Daytona International Speedway Outlook:
*Driver Rating of 78.8
*One win, three top 10s
*Average finish of 20.8
*Finished 10th in February
*Led four of 11 races for 30 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight
*257 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most

9 -- Tony Stewart (No. 20 Home Depot Toyota)
*Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 93.9

2008 Rundown
*Five top fives, eight top 10s
*Average finish of 16.5
*Led eight races for 520 laps

Daytona International Speedway Outlook:
*Driver Rating of 108.1
*Two wins, six top fives, 10 top 10s; one pole
*Average finish of 17.6
*Finished third in February
*Led 10 of 19 races for 531 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight
*3,803 Laps in the Top 15 (72.3%), seventh-most

10 -- Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge)
*Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 86.5

2008 Rundown
*Two wins, three top fives, eight top 10s
*Average finish of 16.9
*Led seven races for 144 laps

Daytona International Speedway Outlook:
*Driver Rating of 78.4
*Three top 10s
*Average finish of 18.1
*Finished seventh in February
*Led three of nine races for five laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight
*207 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most

11 -- Clint Bowyer (No. 07 Jack Daniel's Chevrolet)
*Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 80.4

2008 Rundown
*One win, four top fives, eight top 10s
*Average finish of 16.4
*Led four races for 150 laps

Daytona International Speedway Outlook:
*Driver Rating of 88.0
*Three top 10s
*Average finish of 13.0
*Finished 24th in February
*Led two of five races for 59 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight
*158 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-most

12 -- Kevin Harvick (No. 29 Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet)
*Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 86.5

2008 Rundown
*Two top fives, five top 10s
*Average finish of 15.8
*Led four races for 88 laps

Daytona International Speedway Outlook:
*Driver Rating of 83.2
*One win, three top fives, five top 10s; one pole
*Average finish of 16.2
*Finished 14th in February
*Led 10 of 14 races for 88 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight
*Eighth-fastest average Green Flag Speed rank

13 -- Matt Kenseth (No. 14 DEWALT Ford)
*Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 85.9

2008 Rundown
*Three top fives, 10 top 10s
*Average finish of 16.9; Led nine races for 191 laps

Daytona International Speedway Outlook:
*Driver Rating of 92.4
*One top five, six top 10s
*Average finish of 20.4; Finished 36th in February
*Led nine of 17 races for 59 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight
*165 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most

15 -- Ryan Newman (No. 12 Alltel Dodge)
*Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 80.6

2008 Rundown
*One win, two top fives, six top 10s
*Average finish of 18.0
*Led six races for 60 laps

Daytona International Speedway Outlook:
*Driver Rating of 98.6
*One win, two top fives, three top 10s
*Average finish of 18.7; Won the Daytona 500 in February
*Led five of 13 races for 35 laps

Season-to-Date Loop Data Highlight
*19 "Closer" positions improved (positions improved in the last 10% of races), ninth-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 , Greg Biffle , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Kasey Kahne , Carl Edwards , Clint Bowyer , Denny Hamlin , Kyle Busch