Capsules for the top 20 drivers in the Sprint Cup standings, plus five additional drivers of note.
By Jerry Bonkowski and Bob Moore
24 JEFF GORDON, Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: Jeff Gordon remained in first place for the fifth consecutive week after his win at Kansas. He leads second-ranked Matt Kenseth by 15 points and third-ranked Kyle Busch by 21 points.
CHARLOTTE RECORD: 42 career starts, 5 wins, 16 top-5s, 22 top-10s, 9 poles. Best career finish: First in spring 1994, spring 1997, spring 1998, fall 1999, fall 2007. Finished 35th in last year's Coca-Cola 600 and was seventh in the fall Chase race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Gordon is looking to keep the momentum he gained this past Saturday with his win at Kansas and carry it over through this Saturday's Sprint All-Star Race and then the Coca-Cola 600 on May 25. Charlotte is one of his best tracks, and the $1 million bonus to win the All-Star race will be additional incentive on top of the Kansas momentum. Gordon has made 20 starts in the All-Star race with three wins, six top-fives, nine top-10s and one pole. Here's his thoughts on the All-Star race: "This entire weekend is always interesting and exciting. With no points on the line, it allows NASCAR and Sprint and Charlotte Motor Speedway to have some unique rules - like qualifying that includes a four-tire pit stop or splitting the race up into several segments. I enjoy the change and the challenge it provides."
LOOKING BACK: Gordon led just nine laps but was able to regain the lead from Kevin Harvick and held on for the win Saturday night at Kansas. It was Gordon's 89th win of his Sprint Cup career.
ETC.: Gordon has completed 92.8 percent (13,972) of the 15,057 total laps contested in 42 career starts at Charlotte. His average start there is 10.3 and average finish is 16.0. He has 10 DNF's there.
20 MATT KENSETH, Toyota
Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: For the sixth consecutive week, Matt Kenseth remained in second place in the Sprint Cup standings. He trails points leader Jeff Gordon by 15 points and leads third-ranked Kyle Busch by six points.
CHARLOTTE RECORD: 29 career starts, 2 wins, 8 top-5s, 15 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: First in spring 2000 and fall 2011. Finished 15th in last year's Coca-Cola 600 and was third in last fall's Chase race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Now that points leader Jeff Gordon has reached victory lane, Kenseth is the next-highest ranked driver still without a win. While he'll be looking for a win in Saturday's Sprint All-Star Race and the $1 million winner's bonus, Kenseth will also be thinking about the Coca-Cola 600 on May 25, hoping he'll finally get his own first win of the season. In the All-Star race, Kenseth has a career record of 13 starts, one win, five top five and 10 top 10 finishes, along with two poles.
LOOKING BACK: Kenseth led one lap and finished 10th at Kansas.
ETC.: Kenseth has completed 94.7 percent (9,770) of the 10,320 total laps contested in 29 career starts at Charlotte. His average start there is 17.3 and his average finish is 13.8. He has five DNFs there.
18 KYLE BUSCH, Toyota
Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Kyle Busch remained in third place for the second consecutive week after Kansas. He trails points leader Jeff Gordon by 21 points, is six points behind second-ranked Matt Kenseth and leads fourth-ranked Dale Earnhardt Jr. by five points.
CHARLOTTE RECORD: 20 career starts, 0 win, 9 top-5s, 12 top-10s, 1 pole. Best career finish: Second in fall 2010 and fall 2011. Finished 38th in last year's Coca-Cola 600 and was fifth in the fall Chase race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Busch has finished in the top 10 in nearly half of his 20 career starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but still has yet to reach victory lane. Like all of the other entrants for Saturday's Sprint All-Star Race, he'd love to win the $1 million prize (he has made eight career starts in the All-Star race, with no wins, three top five and four top 10 finishes, as well as three poles). He'll likely also be thinking ahead to the Coca-Cola 600 on May 25, especially considering his older brother Kurt will be racing earlier that day in his first career Indianapolis 500 start before flying to Charlotte for the 600 race, as well. That would make Kurt Busch the first driver to perform the so-called "double" since 2004. Here's Kyle's thoughts on Saturday's All-Star race: "I'm looking forward to it. This is always a pretty cool race and has good atmosphere around it. The crowd gets jacked up, and of course there is nothing important on the line besides a million bucks. You just go out there and race as hard as you can. ... We always enjoy coming to Charlotte and getting these two weeks - with the All-Star race one of the shortest and most fun events, and then the Coca-Cola 600 with the longest event. Kind of two different ends of the spectrum at Charlotte and we're hoping to finally get a win in the Sprint Cup car with our M&M's Camry at least once over the next two weekends there."
LOOKING BACK: Kyle Busch had an average car at Kansas. He led just one lap and ultimately finished 15th.
ETC.: Busch has completed 91.7 percent (6,578) of the 7,174 total laps contested in 20 career starts at Charlotte. His average start there is 14.4 and average finish is 15.9. He has five DNFs there.
88 DALE EARNHARDT JR., Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports