Advertisement
  1. Archive

GRADING THE CONTENDERS

JEFF GORDON

CAR: No. 24 Chevrolet

STANDINGS: 1st

WINS: 3

GRADE: A

COMMENT: The three-time Winston Cup champion has slipped in the past two races _ finishing 37th and 17th _ but don't expect the slump to continue.

DALE JARRETT

CAR: No. 88 Ford

STANDINGS: 2nd

WINS: 3

GRADE: A

COMMENT: The 1999 Winston Cup champion could be the runaway leader if it weren't for some inconsistent runs earlier this season.

RICKY RUDD

CAR: No. 28 Ford

STANDINGS: 3rd

WINS: 1

GRADE: B+

COMMENT: Rudd knows how to win and, like teammate Dale Jarrett, has the equipment to make a stab at his first career championship.

RUSTY WALLACE

CAR: No. 2 Ford

STANDINGS: 4th

WINS 1 :

GRADE: B-

COMMENT: Needs more than one win to have a chance, is always good on the short tracks such as Bristol, Martinsville and Richmond.

STERLING MARLIN

CAR: No. 40 Dodge

STANDINGS: 5th

WINS: 0

GRADE: B

COMMENT: Admirable effort by this veteran who's leading the Dodge contingent. A championship isn't likely unless he goes on a tear in the second half.

TONY STEWART

CAR: No. 20 Pontiac

STANDINGS: 6th

WINS: 2

GRADE: C+

COMMENT: Relegated to 26th place after disobeying a black flag penalty in the Pepsi 400 and crashing in the Tropicana 400. Actions have hurt, but not killed, Stewart's title hopes.

KEVIN HARVICK

CAR: No. 29 Chevrolet

STANDINGS: 7th

WINS: 2

GRADE: A-

COMMENT: Should be nicknamed "The Iceman" for his composure, attitude and success in the most trying circumstance as Dale Earnhardt's replacement.

DALE EARNHARDT JR.

CAR: No. 8 Chevrolet

STANDINGS: 8th

WINS:1

GRADE: B

COMMENT: More was expected from this team when the season began. Maybe Junior's win in the Pepsi 400 is a sign of things to come.

JOHNNY BENSON

CAR: No. 10 Pontiac

STANDINGS: 9th

WINS: 0

GRADE: C

COMMENT: Benson is slipping further in the standings with each race. A win would boost this team's confidence tremendously.

BOBBY LABONTE

CAR: No. 18 Pontiac

STANDINGS: 10th

WINS: 0

GRADE: C-

COMMENT: Don't be surprised if Labonte makes run toward the top of the standings in the stretch run. He knows what it takes, but consistency is key.

_ COMPILED BY KEVIN KELLY

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Advertisement
Advertisement