Chase for the Sprint Cup blitz: No longer Big 3 at the top

Posted Friday, Oct. 11, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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More information Chase standings
Pos. DriverChase winsSeason winsPointsLast week
1. Matt Kenseth272,1831
2. Jimmie Johnson152,1802
3. Kevin Harvick132,1585
4. Jeff Gordon002,1514
5. Kyle Busch042,1483
6. Greg Biffle012,1396
7. Kurt Busch002,1369
8. Dale Earnhardt Jr.002,12910
9. Clint Bowyer002,1288
10. Joey Logano012,12412
11 Carl Edwards022,12311
12. Ryan Newman012,1107
13. Kasey Kahne022,10013
Results, Schedule
RaceWinner
ChicagoMatt Kenseth
New HampshireMatt Kenseth
DoverJimmie Johnson
KansasKevin Harvick
DateSiteTime, TV
SaturdayCharlotte6:30 p.m., WFAA/8
Oct. 20Talladega1 p.m., ESPN
Oct. 27Martinsville12:30 p.m., ESPN
Nov. 3TMS2 p.m., ESPN
Nov. 10Phoenix2 p.m., ESPN
Nov. 17Homestead-Miami2 p.m., ESPN

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The “Big Three” has been broken up. NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup is closer to a two-man race after Kyle Busch’s slide to No. 5 after his accident at Kansas last week. It left Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson separated by three points at the top of the standings and with a 22-point gap between them and the rest of the field. Kevin Harvick moved up to third with his victory last week. It was the first win of the Chase this year by a driver not named Kenseth or Johnson. “To sit on the pole and win the race is obviously a great weekend, and controlling our own destiny by doing that, putting ourselves closer to where we need to be with the championship race,” Harvick said. “We’ll just keep having fun and keep doing what we’re doing.”

Stock up

Another nice finish has Jeff Gordon at least in the conversation. He was third at Kansas last week, following up on a fourth at Dover. Since three races before the Chase began, he has had a top-10 finish every week except one.

Stock down

That wreck last week not only got Kyle Busch on the wrong side of Brad Keselowski. It also dropped Busch out of the company of Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson. Busch had been running side by side with them. Now he’s 30-plus points behind them.

Notable

The number: The leader after four Chase races has gone on to win the championship in six of nine times.

Rare feat: Only two drivers have swept the Charlotte races in their championship year: Dale Earnhardt Sr. in 1986 and Richard Petty in 1975. Kevin Harvick won the May race.

Only one: Jimmie Johnson is the only Chase driver to record top 10s in the four Chase races so far.

Quotable

“Charlotte is my favorite racetrack for a lot of reasons. Just growing up watching races on TV, I loved watching the All-Star race under the lights and the 600 with all the sparks flying and all the guys going after hard-fought, hard-racing wins. The Nationwide Series has been good to me there. The Truck Series has been pretty good to me there, too. But a Cup Series win has eluded me there.” — Kyle Busch

4 Chase drivers who have not won this year: Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Bowyer.

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