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Behind The Wall
November 30, 2005
[This article contains a table -- Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.] The Coca-Cola 600 on May 29, won by Jimmie Johnson, had more caution flags (22) than any other race in NASCAR history and was the most time-consuming (five hours, 13 minutes) since 1960.... When Kasey Kahne held off Tony Stewart to win the Chevrolet American Revolution 400 at Richmond on May 14, it was the first Cup victory for a Dodge Charger since Neil Bonnett won at Ontario, Calif., in 1977.... In winning the Pepsi 400 on July 2, Tony Stewart led a race-record 151 of 160 laps and was never passed under the green flag, a first in modern NASCAR history.... Kyle Busch rewrote the record book in 2005. On Feb. 25, in qualifying for the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway, he set a track record of 188.245 miles an hour and became--at 19 years and 317 days old--the youngest pole winner in Cup history. Twenty-three races later Busch took the Sony HD 500 at Fontana to become the youngest race winner in Cup history.
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November 30, 2005

Behind The Wall

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POINTS STARTS WINS TOP 5s TOP 10s EARNINGS
1 TONY STEWART, CHEVROLET
5,050 26 5 12 18 $5,327,800
'02 champ closed with 13 straight top 10s, including five W's
2 GREG BIFFLE, FORD
5,045 26 5 10 15 $4,253,378
Season's other five-time winner had 15 total top 10s
3 RUSTY WALLACE, DODGE
5,040 26 0 7 14 $3,694,891
Only one finish worse than 27th kept super vet in running
4 JIMMIE JOHNSON, CHEVROLET
5,035 26 2 9 15 $5,128,454
Two-race winner started fast; led points for 16 races
5 KURT BUSCH, FORD
5,030 26 3 8 14 $5,347,993
Defending champ entered Chase two spots higher than in '04
6 MARK MARTIN, FORD
5,025 26 0 6 12 $4,288,218
Four-time Cup runner-up stalked first title, in 24th season
7 JEREMY MAYFIELD, DODGE
5,020 26 1 4 7 $3,515,773
Michigan winner climbed steadily, quietly into Top 10
8 CARL EDWARDS, FORD
5,015 26 2 8 10 $3,195,618
Rising star had two wins but was 32nd or worse five times
9 MATT KENSETH, FORD
5,010 26 1 6 11 $4,166,514
Down early, '03 champ surged 10 spots in final nine races
10 RYAN NEWMAN, DODGE
5,005 26 0 5 10 $4,076,879
Rocket flew best in qualifying, with five poles but no wins

[This article contains a table -- Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

The Coca-Cola 600 on May 29, won by Jimmie Johnson, had more caution flags (22) than any other race in NASCAR history and was the most time-consuming (five hours, 13 minutes) since 1960.... When Kasey Kahne held off Tony Stewart to win the Chevrolet American Revolution 400 at Richmond on May 14, it was the first Cup victory for a Dodge Charger since Neil Bonnett won at Ontario, Calif., in 1977.... In winning the Pepsi 400 on July 2, Tony Stewart led a race-record 151 of 160 laps and was never passed under the green flag, a first in modern NASCAR history.... Kyle Busch rewrote the record book in 2005. On Feb. 25, in qualifying for the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway, he set a track record of 188.245 miles an hour and became--at 19 years and 317 days old--the youngest pole winner in Cup history. Twenty-three races later Busch took the Sony HD 500 at Fontana to become the youngest race winner in Cup history.

Ready to Chase the Cup
Over 26 hard-fought races, 10 drivers proved themselves worthy of a championship run

Still Out to Prove Something
Some of the sport's biggest names were left to fight it out for 11th place

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