NASCAR Point Standings: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Has Sprint Cup Series Lead

Dale Earnhardt Jr. took advantage of a top-five run to become the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point leader for the first time since Sept. 19, 2004 on Sunday at the Brickyard.

But that's not the only news about leading the points on Sunday.

Jimmie Johnson's third win of the season tied him with Brad Keselowski and Tony Stewart for the most victories in 2012 – which means those three drivers would start the Chase with the most bonus points.

Meanwhile, the wild card race also tightened as it became clearer that Carl Edwards and Jeff Gordon would have to win races to make the Chase.

Here's a look at the NASCAR standings and how they relate to the Chase:

  1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. +143 inside Chase
  2. Matt Kenseth +129
  3. Greg Biffle +121
  4. Jimmie Johnson +116
  5. Denny Hamlin +79
  6. Kevin Harvick +65
  7. Martin Truex Jr. +65
  8. Tony Stewart +64
  9. Brad Keselowski +61
  10. Clint Bowyer +55
  11. Kyle Busch -55 from Chase (Holds No. 2 Wild Card with one win)
  12. Carl Edwards -61 from Chase (no wins)
  13. Kasey Kahne -64 from Chase (Holds No. 1 Wild Card with two wins)
  14. Ryan Newman -70 from Chase, -15 from No. 2 Wild Card (one win)
  15. Jeff Gordon -79 from Chase (no wins)
  16. Paul Menard -79 from Chase (no wins)
  17. Joey Logano -99 from Chase, -44 from No. 2 Wild Card (one win)
  18. Marcos Ambrose -124 from Chase (no wins)
  19. Jamie McMurray -135 from Chase (no wins)
  20. Jeff Burton -138 from Chase (no wins)
  21. Juan Pablo Montoya -168 from Chase (no wins)
  22. Aric Almirola -171 from Chase (no wins)
Note: Drivers 23rd and below have virtually no shot of making the Chase this season.
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