NASCAR

Sprint Cup Chase 2014: NASCAR Standings and Schedule After Aaron's 499

TALLADEGA, AL - MAY 04:  Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 4, 2014 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Jerry Markland/Getty Images
R. Cory SmithSenior Writer IMay 4, 2014

Following a wild finish with, not one, but two Big Ones in the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway, Denny Hamlin pulled out a huge win after emerging from the wreckage to drive to Victory Lane.

Hamlin took the white flag and won the race under caution, as Justin Allgaier's bumper was left near the finish line.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver was ecstatic to get his first restrictor-plate win at Talladega, a track where he hasn't experienced a lot of success. While he's won multiple exhibition races, he hasn't taken the checkered flag in a points race, as Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press and Nate Ryan of USA Today point out:

Some of the most notable drivers on the Sprint Cup circuit were caught up in the huge wrecks throughout the race.

Both Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon were caught up in accidents, while Brad Keselowski was likely the cause of two different wrecks. Johnson spoke about his mishap from the garage, per Fryer:

Joey Logano, who won in Richmond and is one of just two drivers with multiple wins this season, was involved in the wreck after Johnson got loose. With a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup solidified, Logano didn't have the same pressure coming into the race as Johnson or Gordon.

Logano knew going into the famed Alabama track that huge accidents come with the territory, per Jeff Gluck of USA Today:

With 10 races now out of the way in the Sprint Cup season, here's a look at the current standings and remaining schedule before the Chase gets underway.

 

2014 Sprint Cup Standings
Pos.DriverPointsBehind
1Jeff Gordon347-
2Matt Kenseth344-3
3Kyle Busch343-4
4Dale Earnhardt Jr.328-19
5Carl Edwards328-19
6Joey Logano305-42
7Jimmie Johnson304-43
8Greg Biffle300-47
9Ryan Newman299-48
10Brian Vickers297-50
NASCAR.com
2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule (Races 11-26)
DateRaceTrackTime (ET)TV
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

 

Next Race: Kansas 400 at Kansas Speedway

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After a restrictor-plate race on a superspeedway, the Sprint Cup circuit will now move on to the latest 1.5-mile track in Kansas Speedway for the Kansas 400.

While Talladega Superspeedway is one of the most notable tracks in NASCAR, the Sprint Cup series will be running just the 17th race at Kansas. It may not have a lot of history, but Kansas has a very familiar list of dominant drivers.

Gordon, Matt Kenseth and Johnson may all still be in search of their first win, but have thoroughly controlled Kansas in their careers. With just 11 different winners at the track in Sprint Cup history, all three have two wins and at least six top-five finishes individually.

Getting caught up in the Big One at Talladega hampered the No. 24 car in the standings, but he's put together a great year on the track. Gordon spoke about his consistency thus far this season, per Brant James of ESPN.com:

As good as we're running, I definitely feel like we can win races just about anywhere that we go, and if we continue to perform like this, we are going to win. That's how you win.

There's sometimes when you just pick the right pit strategy. There's other times you get a good restart, and then there's times when you just go and outrun them. I'll take outrunning them more times than any because I think that's when the multiple wins are going to come.

Putting a clear emphasis on winning, Gordon and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Johnson will have to fend off Kenseth and Kevin Harvick, winners of the last two races in Kansas.

With Kenseth and Johnson running well all season at 1.5-mile tracks, both drivers will look to do the same at the Kansas 400. But in a year where wins are more important than ever, both will be duking it out yet again for the checkered flag.

 

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