The Sprint Cup Series enters the second half of its 26-race regular season with the first of two visits to Pocono Raceway this Sunday. So now drivers will be keeping a close eye on the standings as the start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship gets closer. The top 10 drivers in the points standings get in along with two more wild cards based on wins from among drivers ranked 11th through 20th. 

With his victory at Dover, Tony Stewart jumped from 20th to 16th place in the standings and he’s the only driver outside of the Top 10 with a victory, so right now he would be in the Chase as a wild card.

Defending Cup champion Brad Keselowski stands 10th entering the weekend, but Jeff Gordon is just eight points behind in 11th. Neither of them have won a race this season.

Gordon won at Pocono last August and it helped him earn the final wildcard spot in last year’s Chase. It was his sixth victory at the 2.5-mile triangle, and he’s the all-time lap leader there. He has 18 top-fives and 28 top-10s in 40 starts at Pocono.

Keselowski has fallen from first to 10th since leading the pack after the March 17th race at Bristol. And earlier this week his team was hit with its second penalty of the season by NASCAR. His car failed post-race inspection at Dover with a front end that was too low. He had six driver points taken away dropping him two spots in the standings. His crew chief Paul Wolfe was fined $25,000 and Roger Penske was docked six owner points.

It was back in April that Keselowski lost 25 points and some members of his team were suspended after illegal parts were found on his car before the race at Texas.

Joey Logano is the defending race winner. He’s also the youngest driver to win a Cup race at Pocono. He was 22 when he won last year.

The Nationwide series is at Iowa. The trucks are running at Texas.

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