Editor’s Note: Another article from Jordan Dodson.
The Chase standings after Talladega? Needless to say things got shaken up but one thing remained the same. Keselowski came in the points leader and left as the points leader. Here is where the Chase drivers stand after Talladega:
Oct 5, 2012; Talladega, AL, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers race at the Talladega Superspeedway
. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-US PRESSWIRE
Matt Kenseth: His hopes of winning the championship were all but over coming into this weekend. Matt Kenseth did all he could this weekend including a win. That win was still not enough to get back in the hunt for the championship. He leaves Talladega 62 points behind in the standings and still holds the last spot in the Chase.
Dale Earnhardt Jr: Earnhardt came into Talladega needing a strong finish at one of his best tracks. His best finish in the first three races in the Chase was 8th. He looked to have one of the strongest cars all day but got caught up in the big one on the last lap finishing 21st. He is now 11th in the standings and 51 points behind Brad Keselowski. Earnhardt will need some luck to get back in the hunt for the championship.
Kevin Harvick: Harvick leaves Talladega tenth in points and 49 points behind the points leader. Kevin Harvick ran up front with the lead pack all day. He also got caught up in the big one on the final lap and finished 14th. Harvick is another driver that will need luck on his side to get back in the Chase.
Greg Biffle: Greg Biffle has struggled since the Chase started including pit stop issues last week at Dover. He lead many laps today and ran up front but was also a victim on the last lap. He leaves the track Sunday ninth in points and 49 points behind Keslowski.
Martin Truex Jr: Martin has been very quite in the Chase and has never truly made a strong statement with a convincing finish. Truex never made noise at Talladega either. While included in the big one he came home with a 12th place finish. He will need win if he has any shot to get back in the Chase for the Cup. He sits 48 points behind first place, Brad Keselowski, in the point standings.
Tony Stewart: Needless to say, Stewart had the ride of his life at Talladega. Tony Stewart was battling for the win on the last lap and turned into Michael Waltrip starting the “Big One”. He would end up on his roof and cars. Tony eventually landed on all four wheels in 22nd place. He was checked and released from the infield care center but left Sunday 46 points behind in the point standing.
Jeff Gordon: Gordon came into Talladega needing some luck on his side Sunday. That luck came when he slipped past the last lap wreck finishing in 2nd. But along with that Keselowski finished 7th. Jeff Gordon made up four spots in standings finishing the day sixth in points but still finds himself 42 points behind first place. Gordon will also need a win if he wants to win the Championship.
Clint Bowyer: Clint Bowyer has had a strong but quite Chase. He has constantly finished in the top 10. Bowyer was another victim of the “Big One”. He finished the day in 23rd spot. He stands fifth in the standings and 40 points behind.
Kasey Kahne: Kasey Kahne worked with Jeff Gordon most of the day including the last lap. That was until Kahne got collected in the last lap mayhem and got a windshield full of Tony Stewart’s chassis. Kahne had the most spectacular view during the pile up. Kahne finished 13th Sunday. He is fourth in the standings 36 points behind Keselowski.
Denny Hamlin: Denny Hamlin rode around in the back most of the day. He was so far back in the pack, at points, that he was in jeopardy of going a lap down. Hamlin spun during on the last lap but was able to drive away and finish 11th. He is third in the standings and leaves Sunday 23 points behind.
Jimmie Johnson: Johnson leaves Talladega second in points and 14 points behind Brad Keselowski in points. Jimmie Johnson rode in the back of the pack the majority of the day although he led some laps through a stint of green flag pit stops. He also got caught up in the “Big One” finishing 17th Sunday.
Brad Keselowski: Keselowski came into Talladega with two wins already in the Chase and the points lead. Brad’s game plan Sunday was to have no game plan. That mindset worked out as he made his way through the last lap madness and came home with a solid seventh place finish. Brad leaves Talladega with a 14 point lead and a championship that is turning into his to lose.