Roush Fenway's Carl Edwards currently leads in the standings, with Kevin Harvick just behind him. But five-time defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson has jumped into third after a big victory at Kansas Speedway on Sunday. Brad Keselowski and Matt Kenseth round out the top five, although the way the current standings are right now, this season's title is completely up for grabs.
As we head down the stretch, it's a good time to look at the six remaining tracks on which the drivers will be vying for the Cup title.
Drivers will be racing under the lights next Saturday on the 1 1/2-mile quad-oval track at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Turns are banked at 24 degrees and the straightaways are banked at five degrees.
The following Sunday (Oct. 23), it's off to Talladega, which will give drivers the opportunity to play for a $100,000 bonus. The driver who leads the most laps will receive the bonus if there are 100 or more lead changes. The current track record stands at 88, which is the most of any venue on the Sprint Cup circuit.
Talladega Superspeedway features the longest NASCAR oval (2.66 miles), and it's known for its steep banking and unique start/finish line placement.
The following Sunday, on the eve of Halloween, it'll be a 1:30 p.m. start at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. At 0.526 miles, Martinsville, a staple in NASCAR since 1948, features the shortest track in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Seven days later, the drivers will kick off November's slate of races at Texas Motor Speedway for the AAA Texas 500. The track is very similar to Charlotte's, as it's also a 1 1/2 mile quad-oval.
On Nov. 13, Phoenix International Raceway will play host to the Kobalt Tools 500. It'll mark the second race that the one-mile tri-oval track will host this season.
Then finally, on Sunday, Nov. 30, the season will conclude with the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The 1 1/2-mile track could be home to one of the more memorable Sprint Cup finishes we'll ever see if the standings remain as close as they are right now.
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