The Sylvania 300, the second race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, will fire up on Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and there is plenty of drama and intrigue heading into the showdown.
Matt Kenseth, who won the Sprint Cup championship in 2003, leads in the standings after his victory in the Geico 400 at Chicago last week.
Kyle Busch, who just missed the Chase last year, is seeking his first Sprint Cup title, eight points behind Kenseth.
After a brutal first race in the Chase that saw Michael Waltrip Racing get penalized 50 points, the unlucky Martin Truex Jr.—who had nothing to do with the penalty—looks to pick up the pieces.
Here's a preview of the 2013 Sylvania 300, complete with TV info, the lineup and the current Sprint Cup standings.
Where: New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Loudon, N.H.
When: Sunday, Sept. 22 at 2 p.m. ET
Live Stream: FoxSports.com
|1||Ryan Newman||Chevrolet||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|2||Kasey Kahne||Chevrolet||Hendrick Motorsports|
|3||Jeff Gordon||Chevrolet||Hendrick Motorsports|
|4||Kurt Busch||Chevrolet||Furniture Row Racing|
|5||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||Michael Waltrip Racing|
|6||Joey Logano||Ford||Penske Racing|
|7||Paul Menard||Chevrolet||Richard Childress Racing|
|8||Kevin Harvick||Chevrolet||Richard Childress Racing|
|9||Matt Kenseth||Toyota||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|10||Greg Biffle||Ford||Roush Fenway Racing|
|11||Jimmie Johnson||Chevrolet||Hendrick Motorsports|
|12||Kyle Busch||Toyota||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|13||Aric Almirola||Ford||Richard Petty Motorsports|
|14||Denny Hamlin||Toyota||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|15||Juan Pablo Montoya||Chevrolet||Earnhardt Ganassi Racing|
|16||Clint Bowyer||Toyota||Michael Waltrip Racing|
|17||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||Hendrick Motorsports|
|18||Mark Martin||Chevrolet||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|19||David Ragan||Ford||Front Row Motorsports|
|20||Brad Keselowski||Ford||Penske Racing|
|21||Danica Patrick||Chevrolet||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|22||Marcos Ambrose||Ford||Roush Fenway Racing|
|23||Jamie McMurray||Chevrolet||Earnhardt Ganassi Racing|
|24||David Gilliland||Ford||Front Row Motorsports|
|25||Jeff Burton||Chevrolet||Richard Childress Racing|
|26||Carl Edwards||Ford||Roush Fenway Racing|
|27||Michael McDowell||Chevrolet||Phoenix Racing|
|28||Bobby LaBonte||Toyota||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|29||Brian Vickers||Toyota||Michael Waltrip Racing|
|30||Travis Kvapil||Toyota||BK Racing|
|31||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Ford||Roush Fenway Racing|
|32||Landon Cassill||Chevrolet||Mike Hillman Racing|
|33||Kevin Swindell||Chevrolet||Swan Racing|
|34||Casey Mears||Ford||Germain Racing|
|35||David Reutimann||Toyota||BK Racing|
|36||Joe Nemechek||Toyota||Nemco-JRR Motorsports|
|37||JJ Yeley||Chevrolet||Tommy Baldwin Racing|
|38||Dave Blaney||Chevrolet||Tommy Baldwin Racing|
|39||Tony Raines||Chevrolet||Circle Sport Racing|
|40||Scott Riggs||Ford||Leavine Family Racing|
|41||Johnny Sauter||Ford||Phil Parsons Racing|
|42||Timmy Hill||Ford||FAS Lane Racing|
|43||Josh Wise||Ford||Front Row Motorsports|
Bob Pockrass/Sporting News
Drivers to Watch
Will Matt Kenseth win the Sylvania 300?
First and foremost, current Sprint Cup points leader Matt Kenseth has been on fire in 2013 after switching from Roush Fenway Racing to Joe Gibbs Racing at the start of the season.
The 41-year-old hasn't won the Sprint Cup Championship since 2003. You may remember that year came with some controversy. While Kenseth posted 11 top-five finishes and 25 top-10 finishes on the year, he only had one victory, leading to some drivers calling for a change in the points and playoff systems. New systems were put in place for the 2004 campaign.
Well, Kenseth has plenty of wins this year, racking up six victories, as well as seven top-five finishes and 14 top-10 finishes. He's coming off of a win at the Geico 400 at Chicago.
Martin Truex Jr.
It's been a pretty rough couple of weeks for Martin Truex Jr.
The 33-year-old would have qualified for a wild card in the Chase on Sept. 7 at Richmond International Speedway but was assessed a 50-point penalty from NASCAR's sanctioning body after teammates Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers spun out and pitted on command, respectively.
Not only that, NAPA opted to pull its sponsorship at the end of the year after the ordeal.
Truex now finds himself in 17th place in the Sprint Cup standings. He's slotted in the fifth position at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, looking to bounce back from a perfect storm.
Kyle Busch has never won the Sprint Cup Championship, but he placed fifth in 2007 and has posted a top-15 finish every year since.
The 28-year-old finds himself in second place headed into the Sylvania 300 on Sunday, eight points behind Kenseth. He has four wins, 12 top-five finishes and 16 top-10 finishes on the year. He's coming off of a second-place finish in the Geico 400 at Chicago.
Last year, Busch just missed the Chase, finishing 13th in the Sprint Cup standings. But instead of lamenting over the disappointment, Busch has called it a "learning experience," per Michael Vega of the Boston Globe.
It's that kind of positive outlook—not mention, an impressive 2013 campaign—that has Busch's peers thinking he could win it all this year.
|13||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||2010||53|