NASCAR: Jimmie Johnson Takes Over Chase Lead

By James Williams
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Kenseth came to Talladega this weekend as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point’s leader of a scant four points. However, after Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 500 was over, Jimmie Johnson was on top of the standings. The script got flipped on Kenseth, who now trails Johnson 2,254 points to 2,250 points. Yes, that is only a four-point margin.

While Jamie McMurray won the race, the key stat of the day was Johnson coming home in 13th spot followed by Kenseth in the 20th position and thus the reversal of fortunes. The rest of the top-five changed as well as Kenseth’s Joe Gibbs Racing partner Kyle Busch jumped two spaces up to third while Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon each dropped a spot.

That it is a two-driver Chase with four races remaining seems to be the way things are playing out. While, Busch, Harvick and Gordon remain in the mix they don’t seem to be gaining any ground on the top two Chase leaders. The next race coming up is one of the most interesting of the final four.

The short paper clip shaped track at Martinsville is the shortest track on the entire NASCAR series at on 0.526 miles with only a 12-degree banking. Needless to say this is one of those tracks where everyone is trading paint and getting a lap down can happen in a blink of an eye. That said making up for an early race mistake is also in order when it comes to Martnsville.

The final three races are at Texas Motor Speedway a mile and a half track, then comes the flat 1-mile Phoenix track, and the season comes to a close at Homestead-Miami on Nov. 17. The track in south Florida is another mile and a half track like Texas.

Here are the most up dated standings:

1. Jimmie Johnson

2. Matt Kenseth -4

3. Kyle Busch – 26

4. Kevin Harvick – 26

5. Jeff Gordon -34

6. Dale Earnhardt Jr. -52

7. Greg Biffle -53

8. Clint Bowyer -57

9. Kurt Busch -61

10. Carl Edwards -68

11. Ryan Newman -72

12. Joey Logano -75

13. Kasey Kahne -101

For comparison’s sake, here are the standings coming into Talladega:

1. Matt Kenseth

2. Jimmie Johnson -4

3. Kevin Harvick -29

4. Jeff Gordon -36

5. Kyle Busch -37

6. Greg Biffle -58

7. Kurt Busch -59

8. Clint Bowyer -63

9. Dale Earnhardt Jr. -66

10. Carl Edwards -67

11. Joey Logano -75

12. Ryan Newman -78

13. Kasey Kahne -81

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