NASCAR & Auto Racing

Ain't no mountain high enough

That’s Racin’s David Poole ranks the top 40 teams in the NASCAR Nextel Cup series following the Subway 500 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. (Rankings based on team performance and potential. Each team’s previous week’s ranking in parentheses:)

1. (1) Jeff Gordon – car No. 24

Simple – he has to try to beat Jimmie Johnson each week. We said simple, not easy.

2. (2) Jimmie Johnson – car No. 48

Six top-five finishes in his past eight starts at Atlanta, including a win this spring.

3. (3) Clint Bowyer – car No. 07

Bowyer’s had his career best Cup finishes at five of the six tracks so far in the Chase.

4. (4) Tony Stewart – car No. 20

Winner last fall at Atlanta has finished outside top 10 there only once in past 12 races.

5. (5) Carl Edwards – car No. 99

Average finish at Atlanta is 9.8. and that’s WITH a 40th in the spring race last year.

6. (6) Kyle Busch – car No. 5

He’s never had a top-10 finish at Atlanta and his average finish there is only 23rd.

7. (8) Denny Hamlin – car No. 11

Got his second Chase top 10 at Martinsvile. Best Atlanta finish was eighth last fall.

8. (7) Kurt Busch – car No. 2

Finished 32nd or worse in five of past nine at Atlanta. Still has only one Chase top 10.

9. (9) Kevin Harvick – car No. 29

First and third in first two Atlanta Cup races. His average finish since has been 29th.

10. (11) Jeff Burton – car No. 31

Was fourth at Atlanta this spring. He hasn’t finished better than that in 26 starts there.

11. (12) Matt Kenseth – car No. 17

12. (10) Martin Truex Jr. – car No. 1

13. (15) Ryan Newman – car No. 12

14. (14) Greg Biffle – car No. 16

15. (13) Casey Mears – car No. 25

16. (16) Dale Earnhardt Jr. – car No. 8

17. (17) Kasey Kahne – car No. 9

18. (23) Juan Pablo Montoya – car No. 42

19. (18) Aric Almirola/Mark Martin – car No. 01

20. (20) Bobby Labonte – car No. 43

21. (19) Reed Sorenson – car No. 41

22. (21) J.J. Yeley – car No. 18

23. (22) Jamie McMurray – car No. 26

24. (31) Tony Raines – car No. 96

25. (27) Ricky Rudd – car No. 88

26. (24) Dave Blaney – car No. 22

27. (25) David Stremme – car No. 40

28. (28) David Ragan – car No. 6

29. (26) Robby Gordon – car No. 7

30. (33) David Reutimann – car No. 00

31. (30) Elliott Sadler – car No. 19

32. (29) Jeff Green – car No. 66

33. (32) David Gilliland – car No. 38

34. (35) Michael Waltrip – car No. 55

35. (38) Scott Riggs – car No. 10

36. (34) Paul Menard – car No. 15

37. (36) Kyle Petty – car No. 45

38. (37) Johnny Sauter – car No. 70

39. (39) Bill Elliott – car No. 21

40. (NR) John Andretti – car No. 49

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