The second of three races in the first round of NASCAR's Chase for the Sprint Cup is in the books, as Matt Kenseth took the checkered flag Sunday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Kenseth's win ensures that he will advance to the round of 12 as four drivers are set to be cut after the race at Dover next week.
A majority of the 16 drivers have work to do in the next week as we take a look at the updated points standings and remaining schedule after the Sylvania 300:
|NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase Standings|
|Rank||Driver||Points||Sylvania 300 Finish|
|9||Martin Truex Jr.||2,071||8|
|12||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||2,057||25|
|2015 Sprint Cup Chase Remaining Schedule|
|Date, Time (ET)||Event||Location|
|Sunday, Oct. 4, 2:30 p.m.||AAA 400||Dover International Speedway|
|Field Cut to 12|
|Saturday, Oct. 10, 7 p.m.||Bank of America 500||Charlotte Motor Speedway|
|Sunday, Oct. 18, 2:15 p.m.||Hollywood Casino 400||Kansas Speedway|
|Sunday, Oct. 25, 2:30 p.m.||CampingWorld.com 500||Talladega Superspeedway|
|Field Cut to 8|
|Sunday, Nov. 1, 1:15 p.m.||Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500||Martinsville Speedway|
|Sunday, Nov. 8, 2 p.m.||AAA Texas 500||Texas Motor Speedway|
|Sunday, Nov. 15, 2:30 p.m.||Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500||Phoenix International Speedway|
|Field Cut to 4|
|Sunday, Nov. 22, 3 p.m.||Ford Ecoboost 400||Homestead-Miami Speedway|
Things are looking good for Denny Hamlin, who won the first race of the Challenger Round at Chicagoland last week. He followed up his win with a second-place finish and sits just six points behind Kenseth for the lead.
Brad Keselowski, who sits in eighth in the standings, had a great chance to separate himself from the bottom of the pack when he made his way toward the lead with fewer than 60 laps left.
But NASCAR penalized him on the restart after deeming that he accelerated too early.
Kentucky Speedway caught a quote from Keselowski after the race on his penalty:
Yet Keselowski isn't in as much trouble as Kyle Busch, Paul Menard, Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer, who sit in the cut spots entering the final race of the first round.
Harvick is trying to dig out of a hole that he created when he finished 42nd at Chicagoland after Jimmie Johnson hit his car, blowing out one of his tires. He didn't improve much Sunday, finishing 21st.
One of the more consistent drivers this season, Harvick has two wins and 18 top-five finishes, making his appearance in the bottom four this early in the Chase surprising.
Kyle Busch is also a name that many fans probably didn't think would be on the first cut list. With four wins and six top-five finishes this year, Busch finished 37th at New Hampshire on Sunday.
With one race remaining before the cuts, there is going to be some desperate driving that will create plenty of drama around NASCAR. Tensions and emotions will continue to rise as the Chase makes its way to Dover, Delaware, but the quality of racing should rise as well before the field prepares to cut down to 12 racers.
Stats courtesy of NASCAR.com.