After the final race before the Chase for the Cup in Richmond, we have finally set the final standings for who will be competing for the Sprint Cup Championship.
Carl Edwards was able to come up with the win after a controversial ending on a restart, but he won't complain. He took the win with Kurt Busch coming in second and Ryan Newman finishing in third.
Regardless of the controversial ending, the Chase for the Cup lineup is now set, and the postseason can officially begin. With that being said, let's take a look at the final standings entering the Chase.
|9.||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||2000||-15|
|Wild Card 1||Kasey Kahne||2000||-15|
|Wild Card 2||Martin Truex Jr.||2000||-15|
Drivers to Watch For
Eyes are always on Jimmie Johnson, especially now that the Chase has begun. Johnson will be looking for his sixth Cup title. With how strong of a year he's had, he very well might be able to do that.
Johnson has four wins, two poles and 15 top-10 finishes this season. He currently stands in second in the Cup standings, just three points off of the lead.
It's already been a terrific year for Johnson, but he'll only be satisfied with a Cup Championship. Not only that, he's looking to start up another championship streak and make a case as one of the greatest drivers of all time.
Dale Jr. has never been able to finish better than third in the Sprint Cup, but he will be looking to do whatever it takes to finish on top for the first time in his career.
Although he hasn't grabbed a win this year, Dale has won a pole position and finished 14 times in the top 10, leading 146 laps all year.
While this may not have been as successful of a season as last year, Dale will at least be able to hopefully race in all of the remaining Chase races. He was forced to miss two of the Chase races last year due to a concussion.
He may have an uphill battle as the ninth driver in the standings, but Earnhardt can count this season as a success after making the final cut.
When you're atop the Cup standings, everyone else is out to get you. That's certainly the case for Matt Kenseth this year, as he is having the best season of his career.
Currently leading the standings, Kenseth has won five races in just 26 starts. Not only that, he's finished in the top 10 in half of them and led 1,149 total laps. That's quite an impressive year.
There's still a pretty long way to go, but Kenseth will be looking for his second championship at 41 years old. With how well he's driving this year, there's a very good chance that he finishes on top.