Standings Shuffle: Logano hot, Gordon not
September 01, 2013, Taylor Starer, NASCAR.com
STANDINGS *Wild Card
|7.||Dale Earnhardt Jr.
|Pos.||Driver||Pts back of 10th||Wins|
|13.||Martin Truex Jr.*
Drivers who control their Chase fate the following Richmond results:
*Dale Earnhardt Jr.: 32nd or better
*Joey Logano: 11th or better
*Greg Biffle: 9th or better
*Kurt Busch: Win
*Jeff Gordon: Win
*Ryan Newman: Win
*Martin Truex Jr.: Win
IN THE GREEN
Joey Logano (Change: 10th to 8th)
Logano had his fair share of ups and downs in Atlanta. Pitting early after feeling vibrations coming from the left rear caused by three loose lug nuts, Logano also lost steam at his pit stops. He still managed to finish second to Kyle Busch and improved to eighth place in the standings. With six straight top-10 finishes, Logano sits 10 points ahead of Kurt Busch in 10th place.
Kurt Busch (Change: 12th to 10th)
With three wins already under his belt at Atlanta, Kurt Busch stayed pretty quiet until the end. Neck-and-neck with his brother, Kyle, Kurt ended up finishing fourth and went from being outside a Chase qualifying position to holding the 10th spot. After Bristol, Busch found himself in the red, but he managed to pull off a strong finish in Atlanta to get back in the green.
Kevin Harvick (Change: 4th to 3rd)
It wasn't a monumental change for Harvick, but after qualifying 30th in Atlanta, the bump up to third was impressive. Making slight contact with Casey Mears early on, Harvick didn't let that faze him. With two wins this season and six top-five finishes, Harvick finished ninth and clinched a Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup berth.
IN THE RED
Brad Keselowski (Change: 11th to 15th)
With less than 100 laps left at Atlanta, Keselowski lost steam, along with two cylinders. Keselowski was not only in the fight for a chance at the Chase, but he was also hoping to secure his first win in 2013. Once a hopeful Chase qualifier, Keselowski now stands 15th in the running.
Kasey Kahne (Change: 8th to 12th)
Kahne collected damage early after experiencing contact on a restart with Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Burton. It was reported that his oil cooler and radiator were knocked out of the car and his pit stop involved clean-up and repairs. Kahne headed back into the race 31 laps down. Finishing 36th made his standings drop four spots, but Kahne is still a Wild Card with two wins this season as well as eight top-10 finishes.
Carl Edwards (Change 3rd to 4th)
Edwards saw the lead numerous times in Atlanta, but it wasn’t until he pitted after complaining of tightness in the center that he ended up finishing 18th. Edwards moves down one spot and into a tie with Harvick, but Edwards did clinch a Chase spot despite his troubles in Atlanta.
Jeff Gordon (Change: 13th to 11th)
Gordon went into Atlanta knowing that he had to earn a win in order for his Chase chances to improve. Although he moved up in the standings, he still sits outside the Chase qualifications. At Lap 60 Gordon gained the lead until Edwards sent him to second. After fighting for the lead numerous times, Gordon came up short. A win at Atlanta could have meant a Wild Card opportunity for Gordon, but instead he settled for finishing sixth.
Clint Bowyer (Remained 2nd)
Although Bowyer hasn’t moved in the Chase qualifying standings, he still missed a big opportunity to overtake Jimmie Johnson for the points lead. Atlanta was dramatic for Bowyer as he was racing some of the fastest laps and repeatedly holding the lead. Doing this all while he was running on an experimental engine, he was continuously flip-flopping points with Johnson. Bowyer, who hasn’t seen a win all season, was sent to the garage as his car began smoking and dropping liquid at Lap 193.