NASCAR

Sprint Cup Chase 2014: NASCAR Standings and Schedule After Toyota Owners 400

RICHMOND, VA - APRIL 26:  Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 26, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Todd Warshaw/Getty Images
Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2014

Joey Logano emerged at the victor in a battle of attrition on Saturday at the 2014 Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway:

The short-track race was marked by plenty of action as drivers attempted to make the most of every turn. Of course, that usually results in some tough sledding for some, and Clint Bowyer was among those who had a difficult night. 

He started the night with an incident on Lap 1 and ultimately ended the evening with a literal tire fire:

Dale Earnhardt Jr. put in an uncharacteristically strong performance in Richmond; he at least tasted the lead. As NASCAR stats points out, that's been a rare achievement for him:

In the end, this was a race that was marked by chaos. With nine cautions for 66 laps and 24 lead changes, there was never a shortage of action. The tension between drivers didn't just stop at the race's conclusion, either; according to Marty Smith of ESPN, Casey Mears and Marcos Ambrose came to blows after the race:

Earnhardt Jr., who managed to stay away from the drama, weighed in on all the bickering between drivers:

Of course, drivers don't get any extra points for their pugilistic abilities, but each race does have an impact on the standings. Here's a look at how the Sprint Cup is shaping up and a look ahead to what's next. 

Sprint Cup Standings Following Toyota Owners 400
RKDRIVERPOINTSBEHIND
1Jeff Gordon341---
2Matt Kenseth336-5
3Carl Edwards313-28
4Kyle Busch310-31
5Dale Earnhardt Jr.309-32
6Joey Logano292-49
7Brad Keselowski287-54
8Jimmie Johnson282-59
9Ryan Newman272-69
10Brian Vickers256-85
11Greg Biffle256-85
12Austin Dillon252-89
13Kyle Larson251-90
14Denny Hamlin245-96
15Tony Stewart243-98
16Marcos Ambrose242-99
ESPN.com Top 16 qualify

 

2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule (Races 10-26)
DateRaceTrackTime (ET)TV
Sun, May 4Aaron's 499Talladega Superspeedway1 p.m.Fox
Sat, May 10Kansas 400Kansas Speedway7:30 p.m.Fox
Fri, May 16Sprint ShowdownCharlotte Motor Speedway7 p.m.Fox Sports 1
Sat, May 17NASCAR Sprint All-Star RaceCharlotte Motor Speedway9 p.m.Fox Sports 1
Sun, May 25Coca-Cola 600Charlotte Motor Speedway6 p.m.Fox
Sun, June 1FedEx 400Dover International Speedway1 p.m.Fox
Sun, June 8Pocono 400Pocono Raceway1 p.m.TNT
Sun, June 15Quicken Loans 400Michigan International Speedway1 p.m.TNT
Sun, June 22Toyota-Save Mart 350Sonoma3 p.m.TNT
Sat, June 28Quaker State 400Kentucky Speedway7:30 p.m.TNT
Sat, July 5Coke Zero 400Daytona International Speedway7:30 p.m.TNT
Sun, July 13Camping World RV Sales 301New Hampshire Motor Speedway1 p.m.TNT
Sun, July 27Crown Royal 400Indianapolis Motor Speedway1 p.m.ESPN
Sun, Aug. 3GoBowling.com 400Pocono Raceway1 p.m.ESPN
Sun, Aug. 10Cheez-It 355 at The GlenWatkins Glen International1 p.m.ESPN
Sun, Aug. 17Pure Michigan 400Michigan International Speedway1 p.m.ESPN
Sat, Aug. 23Irwin Tools Night RaceBristol Motor Speedway7:30 p.m.ABC
Sun, Aug. 31AdvoCare 500Atlanta Motor Speedway7:30 p.m.ESPN
Sat, Sept. 6Federated Auto Parts 400Richmond International Raceway7:30 p.m.ABC
NASCAR.com

Up Next: Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway

May 5, 2013; Talladega, AL, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Ragan (34) leads David Gilliland (38) and Carl Edwards (99) to the checkered flag during the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

Drivers looking to bounce back after a disappointing performance on the short track at Richmond International Speedway won't have to wait long. The Sprint Cup series will pick back up at Talladega Superspeedway on May 4. 

Drivers will have much more space to work with on the 2.66-mile track after managing the .75-mile track at Richmond. 

Last year, that change helped teammates David Ragan and David Gilliland take first and second, respectively in a wild finish. However, neither finds himself as a legitimate contender in the Sprint Cup series to this point in the season, so expecting either to suddenly change his fortune might be a bit of a stretch. 

The contender who may benefit the most from returning to Talladega just might be Carl Edwards. The 34-year-old finished third in the race in 2013 and finds himself right in the thick of the Sprint Cup standings. 

That was nearly a year ago, though. With the wide-open status of the Sprint Cup field and the rivalries that are sure to carry over from Saturday night's action-packed race, the Aaron's 499 will be a race well worth tuning into.

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