Sunday's NASCAR race at Talladega Superspeedway turned into an elimination race for several drivers.
Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch wrecked midway through the race. Kurt Busch wrecked late. Jimmie Johnson was never able to rally after running in the back for most of the day.
As such, the Chase is down to four drivers – or maybe five – with four races remaining in the 2011 season.
Carl Edwards expanded his points lead to 14 (which is worth 14 positions) over Roush Fenway Racing teammate Matt Kenseth.
Darkhorse Brad Keselowski is still hanging around in third place, 18 points back, and Tony Stewart is 19 points behind.
Harvick dropped to fifth in the standings – 26 points back – which makes it seem unlikely he could win his first NASCAR title. Still, it's too early to count him out (particularly since he's good at Martinsville).
For drivers sixth and lower, though, it seems the Chase is over. That includes five-time champ Johnson, whose reign appears to be coming to a rapid end.
Here's a look at the NASCAR Chase standings after Talladega:
- Carl Edwards
- Matt Kenseth -14
- Brad Keselowski -18
- Tony Stewart -19
- Kevin Harvick -26
- Kyle Busch -40
- Jimmie Johnson -50
- Kurt Busch -52
- Dale Earnhardt Jr. -74
- Jeff Gordon -82
- Denny Hamlin -84
- Ryan Newman -88