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Posted: Wednesday February 22, 2012 12:41PM ; Updated: Wednesday February 22, 2012 1:58PM

Top 12 Sprint Cup drivers

Story Highlights

A seven-writer panel voted Jimmie Johnson the top Sprint Cup driver entering '12

Race for third place was close, but Tony Stewart edged Kevin Harvick 59 to 55

AJ Allmendinger, Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano just missed making the top 12

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Who are the drivers to beat in Sprint Cup in 2012? SI.com's Lars Anderson, Cary Estes, Brant James, Dustin Long, Bruce Martin, Cory McCartney and Tim Tuttle made their votes, and not surprisingly, Mr. Five-Time, Jimmie Johnson, came out on top. A first-place vote was worth 12 points, a second-place vote worth 11 points, and so on down to one point for a 12th place nod.

SI.com's Top 12 Drivers
Drivers Anderson Estes James Long Martin McCartney Tuttle Total
1. Jimmie Johnson 12 12 12 10 12 12 12 82
2. Carl Edwards 11 10 11 8 11 11 10 72
3. Tony Stewart 4 11 8 9 6 10 11 59
4. Kevin Harvick 6 6 6 12 7 9 9 55
5. Kyle Busch 10 5 7 5 9 8 7 51
6. Brad Keselowski 1 3 9 11 8 6 6 44
7. Jeff Gordon 7 8 10 6 1 7 4 43
8. Denny Hamlin 5 9 3 7 5 3 8 40
9. Matt Kenseth 8 7 4 4 4 4 5 36
10. Kasey Kahne 9 4 5 3 10 2 0 33
11. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2 1 1 2 0 5 3 14
12. Greg Biffle 3 0 0 0 2 0 0 5
12. Ryan Newman 0 2 2 0 0 1 0 5

Three drivers just missed the cut. They comprise the best of the rest.

Drivers Who Just Missed The Cut
Drivers Anderson Estes James Long Martin McCartney Tuttle Total
13. AJ Allmendinger 0 0 0 1 3 0 0 4
14. Clint Bowyer 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2
15. Joey Logano 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1

 
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