NASCAR Chase score card: leaving Auto Club Speedway
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With his win in the Auto Club 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., on Sunday, Kyle Busch added himself to the list of 2014 race winners and all but guaranteed himself a spot in the 16-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup championship post-season. He became the fifth winner, so far, five races into the season, joining Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards.
Edwards is the overall points leader, with Earnhardt in second, so of course, they lead the way, points-wise, among the five race winners. Keselowski is third of the five, Busch fourth and Harvick fifth.
Among the rest, a.k.a. drivers who have yet to win a race, Jeff Gordon is the leader with a tally of 184 points. That puts him third overall. With five drivers already winners this year, that would leave 11 other Chase berths open. If the Chase were to start now, those other 11 drivers would include:
1. Jeff Gordon, 184 points
2. Matt Kenseth, 179
3. Jimmie Johnson, 165
4. Ryan Newman, 150
4. Austin Dillon, 150
6. Joey Logano, 146
7. Denny Hamlin, 140
8. Jamie McMurray, 138
9. Brian Vickers, 137
10. Paul Menard, 134
11. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., 132
This weekend, the circuit heads to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway for Sunday’s STP 500. Hamlin, who missed the Auto Club race as a result of vision problems has been cleared to race on Sunday. Hamlin, a native of Chesterfield, Va., is a four-time winner at Martinsivlle, including three-straight wins, ending with the October race in 2010. He finished seventh the last time the circuit visited Martinsville in Oct. 2013, but missed the spring race last year because of a back injury. Gordon and Johnson are the Martinsville win leaders among active drivers, each with eight trips to victory lane at the Virginia short track.
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