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Standings Shuffle: Keselowski, Truex in top 10

August 11, 2013, Pat DeCola,

Drivers position themselves for stretch run to postseason; inactive Stewart drops Updated standings | Lap-by-Lap breakdown | Race highlights | Full coverage

Three up

Three down

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Pos. Driver Pts back +/-
1. Jimmie Johnson -- --
2. Clint Bowyer -75 --
3. Carl Edwards -80 --
4. Kevin Harvick -101 --
5. Kyle Busch -115 +1
6. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
-138 -1
7. Matt Kenseth -149 --
8. Brad Keselowski
-174 +4
9. Greg Biffle -181 +1
10. Martin Truex Jr.
-183 +4
Pos. Driver Pts back of 10th Wins
11. Kurt Busch -2 0
12. Kasey Kahne* -3 2
13. Jeff Gordon
-15 0
14. Ryan Newman* -20 1
15. Jamie McMurray
-25 0

 In the green

Kyle Busch (Change: Sixth to fifth)
It’s only one spot in the standings, but it puts Busch -- one of just three drivers with three wins this season -- back into the top-five. Jimmie Johnson’s top spot may be out of reach, but there’s certainly room to move up some more, as the other three drivers above him (Clint Bowyer, Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick) have combined for as many wins as Busch.

Brad Keselowski (Change: 12th to eighth)
Perhaps there never was much of a need to worry about Keselowski; after all he IS the defending champion. The Penske Racing driver is on a mini hot streak and has positioned himself back in the Chase.

Martin Truex Jr. (Change: 14th to 10th)
Because of his Sonoma victory, Truex was already holding onto a Wild Card Chase spot in 14th, but now that he’s in the top-10 after another exceptional road course finish, he can enjoy a little more stability.

In the red

Tony Stewart (Change: 11th to 17th)
Talk about insult to injury. This one’s obvious, but Stewart took the biggest hit of the day as he watched the race from his hospital bed. Max Papis filled in admirably in the No. 14, which is good for owner’s points, but Stewart’s title chances have been all but put to rest with the fallout from his broken leg.

Jeff Gordon (Change: Ninth to 13th)
Gordon, fresh off five top-10 finishes in his last six races and a runner-up at Pocono last week, never had much of a chance at Watkins Glen. In need of his first win of 2013, Gordon met the wall with a hard, head-on collision on Lap 14 which put him dozens of laps down as his team made repairs.

Kasey Kahne (Change: Eighth to 12th)
Kahne was involved in a late, nasty wreck with teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. that ended his day. Despite his win last week at Pocono, he holds onto an unstable Wild Card spot with a winless Kurt Busch technically above him in the standings, ready to pounce.

Missed chances

Marcos Ambrose (Change: 22nd to 23rd)
Ambrose was the most dominant of this race, leading an event-best 51 laps, but his late-race wreck that knocked him out put a damper on what may have been his only chance at getting back in the Chase.

Aric Almirola (Remains 18th)
Aric Almirola blew a tire coming around Turn 5 on Lap 59 and hit the tire barriers head-on, ending his day, and likely his Chase chances. There was a glimmer of hope after the Stewart injury, but this all but seals the deal.


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