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Projected Top 20
Lars Anderson
February 20, 2006
SI predicts the order of finish in the points standings after the final race in Homestead, Fla. (Driver, owner, car, 2005 standing)
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February 20, 2006

Projected Top 20

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SI predicts the order of finish in the points standings after the final race in Homestead, Fla. (Driver, owner, car, 2005 standing)

1 CARL EDWARDS Roush Racing, 99 Office Depot Ford, third
Eight top 10s in last year's Chase; the 26-year-old is getting better by the lap

2 GREG BIFFLE Roush Racing, 16 National Guard Ford, second
If not for a loose wheel at Texas on Nov. 6, he likely would have won the '05 Cup

3 JEFF GORDON Hendrick Motorsports, 24 DuPont Chevy, 11th
Like the New York Yankees, he's too talented to have back-to-back down years

4 TONY STEWART Joe Gibbs Racing, 20 Home Depot Chevy, first
Has a strong shot to become only the eighth driver to win three or more titles

5 JIMMIE JOHNSON Hendrick Motorsports, 48 Lowe's Chevy, fifth
Has won 18 races in four full Cup seasons, but must avoid pre-Chase slump

6 RYAN NEWMAN Roger Penske Racing, 12 Alltel Dodge, sixth
"Mr. Friday"--he won eight poles in '05--has to be more consistent on Sunday

7 DALE EARNHARDT JR. Dale Earnhardt Inc. (DEI), 8 Budweiser Chevy, 19th
Last season was the first since 1978 that an Earnhardt didn't finish in the top 12

8 DENNY HAMLIN Joe Gibbs Racing, 11 FedEx Express Chevy, rookie in '06
In a tryout last year, he had two top 10s in a car that had rarely seen the top 30

9 KURT BUSCH Roger Penske Racing, 2 Miller Lite Dodge, 10th
2004 champ hopes to revive career after Roush cut him loose in November

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