Sprint Cup Chase 2014: NASCAR Standings and Schedule After Quaker State 400

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Sprint Cup Chase 2014: NASCAR Standings and Schedule After Quaker State 400
Garry Jones/Associated Press

An exciting finish at the Quaker State 400 has led to a shift at the top of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings.

Brad Keselowski will move up to fourth place after his impressive win at Kentucky on Saturday, climbing up from his previous spot of fifth. Still, Jeff Gordon remains in first place with 618 points and a 24-point lead over both Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Things were not as good for rookie Kyle Larson, who dropped two spots to No. 12 after ending his day in 40th place, totaling just 75 laps before ending his day.

Here is a look at the latest standings in the Chase for the Sprint Cup as of June 28, via NASCAR.com:

2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Standings (as of June 28)
Pos. Driver Car Points Behind Wins
1 Jeff Gordon 24 618 Leader 1
2 Jimmie Johnson 48 594 -24 3
3 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 88 594 -24 2
4 Brad Keselowski 2 560 -58 2
5 Matt Kenseth 20 555 -63 0
6 Carl Edwards 99 536 -88 2
7 Joey Logano 22 519 -99 2
8 Ryan Newman 31 514 -104 0
9 Kevin Harvick 4 509 -109 2
10 Kyle Busch 18 508 -110 1
11 Paul Menard 27 488 -130 0
12 Kyle Larson 42 474 -144 0
13 Greg Biffle 16 474 -144 0
14 Clint Bowyer 15 473 -145 0
15 Kasey Kahne 5 465 -153 0
16 Tony Stewart 14 460 -158 0
17 Denny Hamlin 11 455 -163 1
18 Austin Dillon 3 455 -163 0
19 Brian Vickers 55 442 -176 0
20 Marcos Ambrose 9 438 -180 0

via NASCAR.com

The Quaker State 400 featured plenty of excitement from start to finish, but it was clearly Keselowski who dominated the competition. He led for 199 of the 267 laps and came away with an easy win when all was said and done.

While he did lose the lead a few times during the race, he showed off his skill while passing Joey Logano around the midway point, via ESPN:

However, Kyle Busch built up a big lead as the race started to come to a close, according to Jeff Gluck of USA Today:

Once again, though, Keselowski was able to take over the lead and close out a strong performance:

After the win, the 2012 champion discussed his plans going forward this season:

If he can perform the way he did in Kentucky, Keselowski certainly has a good chance. Of course, he will still have tough challenges like he did Saturday from Busch, who finished in third place. Darrell Waltrip of Fox Sports discussed the strong efforts from those who did not earn the checkered flag:

This result really makes things interesting heading into the last couple of months before the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup. There are nine races remaining before the cutoff, with only 16 drivers getting one of the elusive spots.

Obviously, big-name competitors like Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin will have to look to get better in the coming weeks if they want a chance at the title.

Here is a breakdown of the upcoming races for the remainder of the 2014 season:

2014 NASCAR Remaining Schedule
Date Race Where Time (ET) TV
July 5 Coke Zero 400 Daytona International Speedway 7:30 p.m. TNT
July 13 Camping World RV Sales 301 New Hampshire Motor Speedway 1 p.m. TNT
July 27 The John Wayne Walding 400 at The Brickyard Indianapolis Motor Speedway 1 p.m. ESPN
Aug 3 GoBowling.com 400 Pocono Speedway 1 p.m. ESPN
Aug 10 Cheez-It 355 at The Glen Watkins Glen International 1 p.m. ESPN
Aug 17 Pure Michigan 400 Michigan International Speedway 1 p.m. ESPN
Aug 23 Irwin Tools Night Race Bristol Motor Speedway 7:30 p.m. ABC
Aug 31 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series August Atlanta Race Atlanta Motor Speedway 7:30 p.m. ESPN
Sept 6 Federated Auto Parts 400 Richmond International Speedway 7:30 p.m. ABC
Chase for the Cup
Sept 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series September Chicagoland Race Chicagoland Speedway 2 p.m. ESPN
Sept 21 Sylvania 300 New Hampshire Motor Speedway 2 p.m. ESPN
Sept 28 AAA 400 Dover International Speedway 2 p.m. ESPN
Oct 5 Hollywood Casino 400 Kansas Speedway 2 p.m. ESPN
Oct 11 Bank of America 500 Charlotte Motor Speedway 7:30 p.m. ABC
Oct 19 GEICO 500 Talladega Superspeedway 2 p.m. ESPN
Oct 26 Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 Martinsville Speedway 1:30 p.m. ESPN
Nov 2 AAA Texas 500 Texas Motor Speedway 3 p.m. ESPN
Nov 9 Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 Phoenix International Raceway 3 p.m. ESPN
Nov 16 Ford Ecoboost 400 Homestead-Miami Speedway 3 p.m. ESPN

via NASCAR.com

Next week's race is a big one, as it will take place at the famed Daytona International Speedway. The Coke Zero 400 will help separate the true contenders from those who cannot handle the difficult course.

Earnhardt was able to win the Daytona 500 earlier in the year, and he will hope to replicate his success the next time out.

That race will be followed by a trip to the Northeast at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. With a total of nine events remaining to make an impact on the standings, the pressure is certain to rise in the coming weeks.

 

Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for the latest breaking news and analysis.

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