WHERE HE STANDS: Former points leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. remained in fourth place for the second consecutive week after Kansas. He trails points leader Jeff Gordon by 26 points, is five points behind third-ranked Kyle Busch and leads fifth-ranked Carl Edwards by one point.
CHARLOTTE RECORD: 28 career starts, 0 wins, 5 top-5s, 11 top-10s, 1 poles. Best career finish: Third in fall 2004 race. Finished 39th in last year's Coca-Cola 600 and was 15th in last fall's Chase race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Earnhardt is not only still looking for his second win of the season, after capturing the season-opening Daytona 500 in February, he's also looking for his first career Sprint Cup win at Charlotte. While he'll focus first on this Saturday's Sprint All-Star Race and the $1 million bonus (14 starts, one win, four top five and 11 top 10 finishes), you can bet Earnhardt is also thinking real hard about how he can win NASCAR's longest and most grueling race, the Coca-Cola 600, on May 25.
LOOKING BACK: Earnhardt led nine laps at Kansas and had a decent car, one of four Hendrick Motorsports drivers who finished in the top nine, ultimately finishing fifth. "We had a real good car the first half of the race and was working the top. I don't think anybody had any speed like we did up there. As it got cooler the bottom got faster and we sort of leveled off and we were too tight at the end of the race. ... I knew it was going to be tough to run well because of how bad the car pushed all weekend. That really kind of bit us there at the end."
ETC.: Earnhardt has completed 94.1 percent (9,454) of the 10,052 total laps contested in 29 career starts at Charlotte. His average start there is 15.0 and average finish is 19.4. He has four DNFs there.
99 CARL EDWARDS, Ford
Team: Roush Fenway Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: For the second consecutive week, Carl Edwards dropped one place in the standings, from a tie for fourth to sole possession of fifth place after Kansas. Edwards trails points leader Jeff Gordon by 27 points, is one points behind fourth-ranked Dale Earnhardt Jr. and leads sixth-ranked Joey Logano by 21 points.
CHARLOTTE RECORD: 18 career starts, 0 win, 5 top-5s, 11 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: Third in spring 2005, spring 2006 and fall 2011. Finished 11th in last year's Coca-Cola 600 and was 10th in last fall's Chase race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: While Edwards has a win at Charlotte in the Sprint All-Star Race (eight starts, one win, three top five and five top 10 finishes, plus one pole), he's never won a points-paying Cup event there. He'll be looking to change that in the Coca-Cola 600 on May 25.
LOOKING BACK: Edwards had a good run at Kansas, leading six laps and ultimately finishing in sixth place.
ETC.: Edwards has completed an impressive 99.2 percent (6,386) of the 6,440 total laps contested in 18 career starts at Charlotte. His average start there is 17.8 and his average finish is 11.8. He has one DNF there.
22 JOEY LOGANO, Ford
Team: Penske Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Joey Logano remained in sixth place in the Sprint Cup standings for the third consecutive week after Kansas. He trails points leader Jeff Gordon by 48 points, is 21 points behind fifth-ranked Carl Edwards and leads seventh-ranked Jimmie Johnson by six points.
CHARLOTTE RECORD: 10 career starts, 0 wins, 3 top-5s, 8 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: Third in spring 2011. Finished fifth in last year's Coca-Cola 600 and was 18th in last fall's Chase race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Logano would love to give himself a spectacular 24th birthday present (May 24) with a win in Saturday's All-Star race (three career starts, no wins, two top five and three top 10 finishes), followed by a triumph in the May 25th Coca-Cola 600. Logano wants that million bucks Saturday, he says: "I mean that is what you are here for, right? You don't come to the All-Star race to run second, third or 16th. You want to come here to win the race and a million bucks. I've said before, I finished second last year and you know who remembers that - no one. There are no points, so you don't worry about trying to finish third or fourth or anything. You want to go for that win. Plus, you can learn something for next week's Coke 600 for sure. ... Really, you just want to win this thing and lift that million dollar check at the end of the night."
LOOKING BACK: Logano led 63 laps, second-most of any driver at Kansas, before finishing fourth at the checkered flag.
ETC.: Logano has completed an outstanding 99.8 percent (3,493) of the 3,499 total laps contested in 10 career starts at Charlotte. His average start there is 15.9 and average finish is a laudable 10.4. He has zero DNFs there.
48 JIMMIE JOHNSON, Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: Jimmie Johnson remained in seventh place in the Sprint Cup standings for the second consecutive week after Kansas. He trails points leader and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon by 54 points, is six points behind sixth-ranked Joey Logano and leads eighth-ranked Ryan Newman by eight points.
CHARLOTTE RECORD: 25 career starts, 6 wins, 12 top-5s, 16 top-10s, 3 poles. Best career finish: First in spring 2003, spring and fall 2004, spring and fall 2005 and fall 2009. Finished 22nd in last year's Coca-Cola 600 and was fourth in the fall Chase race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: With nearly the first third of the season gone, it's hard to believe Johnson still has not won in the first 11 of 36 Cup races. While he's hoping to finally change that during the May 25 Coca-Cola 600, Johnson is also looking for another win in the Sprint All-Star Race (12 starts, four wins, eight top five and eight top 10 finishes, plus one pole). Here's his thoughts on Saturday's All-Star Race: "It's usually such a fun weekend for us. There are always a lot of family and friends in town for the race and there is a lot of money on the line. A lot of the crew guys bring their wives and families to the track and the best part is everyone gets to sleep in their own bed. We have a cool paint scheme with the yellow No. 48 numbers which is a fan favorite. We just go out there to try and win it."
LOOKING BACK: Johnson led 24 laps at Kansas but his car faded in the last 30 laps or so, forcing him to settle for a still-good ninth-place finish.