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THE CHASE IS ON

Contenders for the Nextel Cup championship with performance data at New Hampshire International Speedway.

JEFF GORDON, No. 24 Chevrolet. Points: 5050.

Races Wins Top 5s Top 10s DNFs Best Avg St Avg Fin

19 3 9 11 2 1 10.526 12.263

Comment: Most successful of any Chasers at Loudon ( surprise); in position to set pace.

JIMMIE JOHNSON, No. 48 Chevrolet. Points: 5045.

Races Wins Top 5s Top 10s DNFs Best Avg St Avg Fin

5 2 2 3 0 1 9.6 7.4

Comment: Onetime points leader cannot afford any more wrecks or engine failures.

D. EARNHARDT JR., No. 8 Chevrolet. Points: 5040.

Races Wins Top 5s Top 10s DNFs Best Avg St Avg Fin

10 0 1 3 2 5 17.3 20.4

Comment: Struggled most at intermediate and flatter tracks this season.

TONY STEWART, No. 20 Chevrolet. Points: 5035.

Races Wins Top 5s Top 10s DNFs Best Avg St Avg Fin

11 1 6 7 1 1 2.545 12.272

Comment: Fifth place this summer focused talk back on racing, off controversy.

MATT KENSETH, No. 17 Ford. Points: 5030.

Races Wins Top 5s Top 10s DNFs Best Avg St Avg Fin

9 0 3 5 0 3 19.0 12.555

Comment: Third, seventh and fourth in past three starts here.

ELLIOTT SADLER, No. 38 Ford. Points: 5025.

Races Wins Top 5s Top 10s DNFs Best Avg St Avg Fin

11 0 0 2 1 8 26.383 19.727

Comment: Not his favorite place; needs to salvage something.

KURT BUSCH, No. 97 Ford. Points: 5020.

Races Wins Top 5s Top 10s DNFs Best Avg St Avg Fin

7 1 2 3 1 1 22.428 14.285

Comment: Won summer installment, also has finished second.

MARK MARTIN, No. 6 Ford. Points: 5015.

Races Wins Top 5s Top 10s DNFs Best Avg St Avg Fin

19 0 7 11 0 2 14.578 11.21

Comment: Five top fives in past seven this season, a dangerous driver right now.

JEREMY MAYFIELD, No. 19 Dodge. Points: 5010.

Races Wins Top 5s Top 10s DNFs Best Avg St Avg Fin

17 0 0 2 3 8 19.764 25.235

Comment: Happy to be here and expected to exhibit same abandon as at Richmond.

RYAN NEWMAN, No. 12 Dodge. Points: 5005.

Races Wins Top 5s Top 10s DNFs Best Avg St Avg Fin

5 0 4 5 0 1 5.2 4.4

Comment: Won pole in summer, led 187 laps, but overtaken and finished third.

_ BRANT JAMES, Times staff writer

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