NASCAR Sprint Cup: Updated Standings And Commentary After Texas

NASCAR Sprint Cup: Updated Standings And Commentary After Texas

After the race at Texas, and with just one race left before the season finale at Homestead-Miami, here is a look at the updated NASCAR standings, with some commentary.

Stevie Larson

Jimmie Johnson stole a win on Sunday afternoon from Brad Keselowski, who could have used the win, seeing as how he is in the Chase For The Sprint Cup. In the updated standings, Keselowski now sits in sixth place, outside of the Top four. Here is a look at the rest of the top eight heading into this weekend's race at Phoenix Raceway.

Jeff Gordon (Leader)

Gordon is in a fantastic spot. He clinched his spot in the final four at Martinsville, and can now just kick back and enjoy his final few races before he retires. He leads the points, and has set himself up for a potential storybook ending to his career.

Kyle Busch (+11)

Kyle Busch is in the next best position. He's in second place, and is 11 points above the cut line. He basically controls his own destiny at Phoenix. If he gets a good run, he will lock himself into the final four, where he will have the chance to win his first ever Sprint Cup championship.

Kevin Harvick (+10)

Kevin Harvick knows how to win in pressure situations. Just look at last season, when he entered this race needing nothing short of a win to make the final four. He got his win, then went on to win the championship the next week. The win was his fourth win at the track in the last five races. Add onto that the fact that he also won this year's spring race at Phoenix, and he looks to be the driver to beat.

Martin Truex Jr. (+7)

Truex Jr. has not won this season since the spring race at Pocono, and has never won at Phoenix. His seven point cushion over fifth place can, and probably will shrink, meaning that he has to do better then his average finish of 17th at the track if he hopes to be in contention when the series rolls into Miami.

Carl Edwards (-7)

Edwards has two wins this season, including his win at Darlington right before The Chase started. He also has two wins at Phoenix, with his most recent one coming in the fall race in 2013. His results since then at Phoenix haven't exactly been the best. He has ran four races their since then, and has one top 10 finish. In the spring, he finished 13th, which is good, but will not cut it this weekend. In order to advance, he either needs a win, or he needs a very good run, with some help from the people in front of him.

Brad Keselowski (-19)

Keselowski was dominant on Sunday, as he led the most laps of anybody, but he finished second to Jimmie Johnson, who passed him with just three laps to go. That leaves him 19 points behind fourth, meaning that he either needs a win, or a top five finish plus some help from somebody along the line.

Kurt Busch (-28)

Busch simply needs a win this weekend. Yes, it is possible for him to make the final four without a win, but he would need a lot of help, coupled with a top five finish. He has never won at Phoenix, but has finished in the top 10 three out of the last four races there, including a fifth place finish in the fall. 

Joey Logano (-63)

Logano has been the recipient of the worst luck so far in the eliminator round. He had the dominant car at Martinsville, but was wrecked by Matt Kenseth, who is now serving a suspension for it, then at Texas, he had issues early, and finishes at the back of the pack. He needs an absolute miracle this weekend, in terms of he needs a win, not a top five and some help, he needs a win. His situation is similar to the situation that Harvick was in last season.