Top 10 Race Is On

The race to finish in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series top 10 goes down to the wire this weekend in the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a trip to New York and the NASCAR Awards Banquet on the line.

Only 64 points separate seventh-place Jeff Gordon from 10th-place Dale Earnhardt Jr. as the series wraps up the season Sunday in Soiuth Florida.

Gordon has another goal in mind Sunday as well - winning. The four-time champion needs a victory to keep his streak of winning at least one race every season since 1994 alive.

“We’ve never won here, and I would like to end the year on a positive note," said Gordon, who dropped two spots in the standings last week after Phoenix. "And hopefully we can gain a few positions in the standings, too. We’ve had some strong runs here in the past and, with the improvements we’ve made recently in our intermediate track program, a strong run this weekend could give this DuPont team a spark heading into the off-season.”

Defending Ford 400 winner Matt Kenseth is also trying to avoid a winless season and solidify his place in the top 10 as well.

"There’s just one race left and we haven’t been to victory lane yet, so that’s very disappointing," Kenseth said. "We’re out of the championship hunt, which is very disappointing, but there are certain things that happen that are out of your control, and things that happen that are in your control you try to look at and try to fix and try to do better the next time, and just keep trying to improve."

"We still want to finish as high as we possibly can in the points. We certainly want to get back to victory lane real bad and we're out there just trying to bring our best stuff and do the best we can.”

Joe Gibbs Racing's Denny Hamlin made the biggest gain last weekend at Phoenix, jumping three spots to ninth, after finishing fifth.

"We got ourselves back in the top 10 and that's what it's all about right now," Hamlin said.

Tenth place Earnhardt Jr. wants to make the trip to New York but knows his ultimate goal of winning the championship is what the season is all about.

“It’s nice to go to New York and it’s a little bit of an appreciation to be up on the stage," Earnhardt said of the top ten being honored. "For the most part of the whole deal you’re just celebrating another man’s championship so it’s a little bit tough at times.

“I feel like I’m real happy with how things have worked out. I would have liked to perform better on the race track the last half of the season."

Kyle Busch and Tony Stewart are on the outside looking in. Busch is in 11th place, seven points behind Earnhardt Jr., while Stewart sits 28 markers out of the vital 10th spot.

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2008

Photos

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