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WEEK 2: THE NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES TOP 12 – AND BEYOND

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
Source — NASCAR Media Relations
Date Posted — February 16, 2009
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WEEK 2: THE NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES TOP 12 – AND BEYOND

DAYTONA BEACH, Florida — Below is a look at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Top 12 along with some other notable drivers, going into the Auto Club 500 at Auto Club Speedway on February 22. (Note: Drivers listed below who are outside the top 12 are chosen based on past performances at the upcoming track and/or are within striking distance of the top 12.)

1 – Matt Kenseth (No. 17 DEWALT Ford)

• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 114.0

2009 Rundown

• Won his first Daytona 500, as well as team owner Jack Roush’s first Daytona 500

• Ended a 36-race winless drought

• Won the Daytona 500 from the 39th starting position, the lowest of any Daytona winner

• Led seven laps in the Daytona 500

Auto Club Speedway Outlook:

• Two wins, six top fives, 10 top 10s

• Average finish of 9.6

• Finished fifth at Auto Club in August

• Led 10 of 14 races for 384 laps

Daytona 500 Loop Data Highlight

• Top Average Running Position of 8.6

2 – Kevin Harvick (No. 29 Shell/Pennzoil Chevrolet)

• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 81.7

2009 Rundown

• One top five

Auto Club Speedway Outlook:

• One top five, four top 10s

• Average finish of 17.9

• Finished fourth in August

• Led five of 13 races for 32 laps

Daytona 500 Loop Data Highlight

• 215 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most

3 – A.J. Allmendinger (No. 44 Valvoline Dodge)

• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 102.2

2009 Rundown

• One top five

Auto Club Speedway Outlook:

• Average finish of 16.0

• Finished 14th in August

• Led one of two races for one lap

Daytona 500 Loop Data Highlight

• Average Running Position of 10.9, seventh-best

4 – Clint Bowyer (No. 33 Cheerios/Hamburger Helper Chevrolet)

• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 87.4

2009 Rundown

• One top five

Auto Club Speedway Outlook:

• One top five, three top 10s

• Average finish of 12.0

• Finished 10th in August

• Led one of six races for two laps

Daytona 500 Loop Data Highlight

• 243 Green Flag Passes, second-most

5 – Elliott Sadler (No. 19 Stanley Dodge)

• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 80.5

2009 Rundown

• One top five

• Led 24 laps

Auto Club Speedway Outlook:

• One win, two top 10s

• Average finish of 26.5

• Finished 34th in August

• Led two of 15 races for 67 laps

Daytona 500 Loop Data Highlight

• 198 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most

6 – David Ragan (No. 6 UPS Ford)

• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 92.2

2009 Rundown

• One top 10

Auto Club Speedway Outlook:

• Average finish of 13.8

• Finished 13th in August

• Led one of four races for one lap

Daytona 500 Loop Data Highlight

• Second-best “Closer” – 13 positions improved in the last 20 laps

7 – Tony Stewart (No. 14 Office Depot/Old Spice Chevrolet)

• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 97.2

2009 Rundown

• One top 10

• Led 15 laps

Auto Club Speedway Outlook:

• Three top fives, seven top 10s

• Average finish of 16.4

• Finished 22nd in August

• Led six of 15 races for 225 laps

Daytona 500 Loop Data Highlight

• Five Fastest Laps Run, tied for fifth-most

8 – Michael Waltrip (No. 55 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota)

• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 81.2

2009 Rundown

• One top 10

Auto Club Speedway Outlook:

• Two top 10s

• Average finish of 26.3

• Finished 33rd in August

• Led four of 16 races for 16 laps

Daytona 500 Loop Data Highlight

• Race-high 10 Fastest Laps Run

9 – Reed Sorenson (No. 43 McDonald’s Dodge)

• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 73.7

2009 Rundown

• One top 10

Auto Club Speedway Outlook:

• Average finish of 28.3

• Finished 27th in August

• Led one of six races for eight laps

Daytona 500 Loop Data Highlight

• Average Running Position of 16.2, 15th-best

10 – Martin Truex Jr. (No. 1 Bass Pro Shop/Tracker Boats Chevrolet)

• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 70.4

2009 Rundown

• Led one lap

Auto Club Speedway Outlook:

• Two top 10s

• Average finish of 17.7

• Finished 19th in August

• Led one of six races for four laps

Daytona 500 Loop Data Highlight

• 189 Green Flag Passes, 14th-most

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

• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 93.4

2009 Rundown

• One top 10

Auto Club Speedway Outlook:

• One win, three top fives, five top 10s; three poles

• Average finish of 13.5

• Finished 39th in August

• Led eight of 13 races for 224 laps

Daytona 500 Loop Data Highlight

• Race’s best “Closer” – 18 positions improved in the last 20 laps

12 – Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet)

• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 110.9

2009 Rundown

• Led 14 laps

Auto Club Speedway Outlook:

• Three wins, eight top fives; two poles

• Average finish of 11.5

• Finished 15th in August

• Led 10 of 17 races for 527 laps

Daytona 500 Loop Data Highlight

• Average Running Position of 9.0, third-best

18 – Carl Edwards (No. 99 Aflac Ford)

• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 103.4

2009 Rundown

• Finished 18th in the Daytona 500

Auto Club Speedway Outlook:

• One win, six top fives, eight top 10s; one pole

• Average finish of 6.7

• Finished sixth in August

• Led four of nine races for 120 laps

Daytona 500 Loop Data Highlight

• Average Running Position of 10.7, sixth-best

31 – Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet)

• Season-to-Date Driver Rating: 68.4

2009 Rundown

• Finished 31st in the Daytona 500

Auto Club Speedway Outlook:

• Three wins, eight top fives; one pole

• Average finish of 5.9

• Won at Auto Club Speedway in August, posting a perfect Driver Rating of 150.0

• Led eight of 12 races for 523 laps

Daytona 500 Loop Data Highlight

• 123 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), seventh-most

Chase Contenders

The Top 12 … And Beyond Following Race 1 of 36

Weeks Rank Season

In Last Driver

Driver Pts Wins Top 12 Week Rating

1. Matt Kenseth 190 1 1 - 114.0

2. Kevin Harvick 170 0 1 - 81.7

3. AJ Allmendinger 165 0 1 - 102.2

4. Clint Bowyer 160 0 1 - 87.4

5. Elliott Sadler 160 0 1 - 80.5

6. David Ragan 150 0 1 - 92.2

7. Tony Stewart 147 0 1 - 97.2

8. Michael Waltrip 146 0 1 - 81.2

9. Reed Sorenson 138 0 1 - 73.7

10. Martin Truex Jr. 135 0 1 - 70.4

11. Kurt Busch 134 0 1 - 93.4

12. Jeff Gordon 129 0 1 - 110.9

___________________________________________________

ADDITIONAL DRIVERS

13. David Reutimann 127

14. J.P. Montoya 121

15. Mark Martin 120

16. Casey Mears 118

17. Marcos Ambrose 112

18. Carl Edwards 109

19. John Andretti 106

20. Greg Biffle 103

21. Bobby Labonte 102

22. Regan Smith 100

23. Bill Elliott 94

24. Terry Labonte 91

25. Scott Riggs 88

26. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 87

27. Denny Hamlin 85

28. Jeff Burton 79

29. Kasey Kahne 76

30. Aric Almirola 73

31. Jimmie Johnson 70

32. Sam Hornish Jr. 67

33. David Stremme 64

34. Robby Gordon 61

35. Scott Speed 58

36. Ryan Newman 55

37. Jamie McMurray 52

38. Kyle Busch 50

39. Paul Menard 49

40. Brian Vickers 46

41. Jeremy Mayfield 43

42. Travis Kvapil 37

43. Joey Logano 34

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

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See also
Article posted by RacingWest.com staff on February 16, 2009. http://www.racingwest.com

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