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

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Sprint Cup Chase 2014: NASCAR Standings and Schedule After Aaron's 499
Jerry Markland/Getty Images

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. Driver Points Behind
1 Jeff Gordon 347 -
2 Matt Kenseth 344 -3
3 Kyle Busch 343 -4
4 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 328 -19
5 Carl Edwards 328 -19
6 Joey Logano 305 -42
7 Jimmie Johnson 304 -43
8 Greg Biffle 300 -47
9 Ryan Newman 299 -48
10 Brian Vickers 297 -50

NASCAR.com

2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule (Races 11-26)
Date Race Track Time (ET) TV
Sat, May 10 Kansas 400 Kansas Speedway 7:30 p.m. Fox
Fri, May 16 Sprint Showdown Charlotte Motor Speedway 7 p.m. Fox Sports 1
Sat, May 17 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Charlotte Motor Speedway 9 p.m. Fox Sports 1
Sun, May 25 Coca-Cola 600 Charlotte Motor Speedway 6 p.m. Fox
Sun, June 1 FedEx 400 Dover International Speedway 1 p.m. Fox
Sun, June 8 Pocono 400 Pocono Raceway 1 p.m. TNT
Sun, June 15 Quicken Loans 400 Michigan International Speedway 1 p.m. TNT
Sun, June 22 Toyota-Save Mart 350 Sonoma 3 p.m. TNT
Sat, June 28 Quaker State 400 Kentucky Speedway 7:30 p.m. TNT
Sat, July 5 Coke Zero 400 Daytona International Speedway 7:30 p.m. TNT
Sun, July 13 Camping World RV Sales 301 New Hampshire Motor Speedway 1 p.m. TNT
Sun, July 27 Crown Royal 400 Indianapolis Motor Speedway 1 p.m. ESPN
Sun, Aug. 3 GoBowling.com 400 Pocono Raceway 1 p.m. ESPN
Sun, Aug. 10 Cheez-It 355 at The Glen Watkins Glen International 1 p.m. ESPN
Sun, Aug. 17 Pure Michigan 400 Michigan International Speedway 1 p.m. ESPN
Sat, Aug. 23 Irwin Tools Night Race Bristol Motor Speedway 7:30 p.m. ABC
Sun, Aug. 31 AdvoCare 500 Atlanta Motor Speedway 7:30 p.m. ESPN
Sat, Sept. 6 Federated Auto Parts 400 Richmond International Raceway 7:30 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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