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Standings Shuffle: Gordon rises; Edwards falls

September 30, 2013, Taylor Starer, NASCAR.com

Jeff Gordon makes biggest jump in the Chase standings

Updated standingsFull coverage

Three up

Three down

FULL SERIES COVERAGE
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Pos.

Driver

Pts back

+/-

1.

Matt Kenseth

--

0

2.

Jimmie Johnson

-8

+1

3.

Kyle Busch

-12

-1

4.

Kevin Harvick

-39

+2

5.

Jeff Gordon

-39

+3

6.

Greg Biffle

-41

-1

7.

Ryan Newman

-48

+2

8.

Clint Bowyer

-51

+2

9.

Kurt Busch

-55

-2

10.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

-57

+1

11.

Carl Edwards

-65

-7

12.

Joey Logano

-66

0

13.

Kasey Kahne

-78

0


IN THE GREEN

Jimmie Johnson (Change: 3rd to 2nd)
A win at Dover is exactly what Johnson needed to fuel his power in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, and that's exactly what he did. Starting eighth in the field, Johnson led 243 out of 400 laps and swiftly made his way to Victory Lane after a back-and-forth battle with Dale Earnhardt Jr. This is Johnson's record eighth career win at Dover International Speedway, passing Bobby Allison and Richard Petty in all-time wins at the Monster Mile. Johnson now sits just eight points behind  Matt Kenseth in the Chase

Jeff Gordon (Change: 8th to 5th)
With the most dramatic positive movement in the standings this week, the veteran Gordon proves he has what it takes to run with the young guns. Last week, Gordon finished 15th and slipped one spot in the standings. That must have lit a fire inside, because his time at Dover was quite different. Gordon qualified 16th, but quickly trimmed off positions and even led for three laps. Gordon ended up finishing fourth and now sits fifth in the Chase standings, tied in points with Kevin Harvick (who owns two wins to Gordon's zero, thus winning the tiebreaker with Gordon for fourth place).

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Change: 11th to 10th)
Earnhardt Jr. put up a good fight till the finish with Johnson. After winning the Coors Light Pole, Earnhardt Jr. led a total of 80 laps around the Monster Mile, but when it came down to it, he just couldn't come out on top. Finishing second, just .446 seconds behind Johnson, Earnhardt Jr. made enough of an impact for him to jump up one spot in the standings to 11th. This is Earnhardt Jr's sixth top-5 finish at Dover. For next week, Earnhardt Jr. will need to carry this momentum with him into Kansas in order to keep climbing in the standings. 

IN THE RED

Carl Edwards (Change: 4th to 11th)
Edwards faced some tough luck at Dover as he was the lowest-finishing Chase contender in 35th place. Edwards experienced a broken left-rear hub that sent him to the garage on Lap 377. Entering back into the race on Lap 391, he had no time to make up the ground he lost. While this finish hurt his title hopes significantly, there are still seven races left in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup before a winner is named. His dramatic plummet to 11th in the standings should be enough motivation for Edwards to kick it into gear for Kansas. 

Kurt Busch (Change: 7th to 9th)
For the second race in a row, Busch faced frustrations on pit road. Even after bringing in members from Richard Childress Racing's Nationwide Series pit crew, Busch still couldn't pull through. After starting in the ninth position, Busch faded back to two laps down after an early green-flag pit stop that preceded the second caution on Lap 166. Busch eventually finished 21st and dropped two positions in the standings. He now sits 55 points behind Chase leader Kenseth going into Kansas.  

Greg Biffle (Change: 5th to 6th)
Although Biffle dropped back only one position in the standings, more was expected of him after the fight he put up in New Hampshire. Going into Dover, Biffle had two previous Sprint Cup career wins at the Monster Mile, but qualifying 19th didn't give him the boost he needed to make that kind of impact in this race. Biffle's quiet day ended up with him finishing ninth, right in front of fellow Chase contender Clint Bowyer. Going into Kansas, Biffle has earned two wins at the track -- in 2007 and 2010.

MISSED CHANCES

Kyle Busch (Change: 2nd to 3rd)
Before Dover, Busch sat second in the Chase standings -- that was until Johnson skated by him. Starting 14th, Busch moved his way up to the lead and held it for 30 laps around the Monster Mile. But the heated battle for the lead between Johnson and Earnhardt Jr. took over and Busch eventually finished fifth. With seven races left in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Busch still has time to try to take second place back from Johnson -- or maybe do even more.

Joey Logano (No change)
Logano calls Dover International Speedway his favorite track, but during this race the Chase first-timer came up short. Although Logano finished third, his position as 12th in the standings remains the same. Perhaps Dover has built his momentum back up after having not-so-hot outcomes in Richmond and Chicago, and maybe we'll see the kind of driving that got him into the Chase to begin with. 

MORE:

WATCH: Victory Lane:
Johnson wins at Dover

WATCH: Final Laps:
Johnson breaks record

WATCH: Dale Jr.:
misses pit road

WATCH: Keselowski
brings out caution

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