NASCAR Schedule and Standings: Next Sprint Cup Race Phoenix Raceway Sunday As Dale Earnhardt Jr. Leads Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin

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Feb 24, 2014 01:41 PM EST
NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Dale Earnhardt Jr
NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Dale Earnhardt Jr (88) celebrates winning the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. (Photo : Reuters) "

The NASCAR season started up with an exciting Daytona 500 and now the standings has Dale Earnhardt Jr., in first place as the schedule next heads to Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday before Las Vegas and now Junior is first in the rankings over Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, teammate Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, while Matt Kenseth is in sixth.

Earnhardt won the 500 after a lengthy delay in Daytona for the weather and after six hours he was able to emerge out of the delay victorious and he was helped along with a push from Gordon. Junior, Denny Hamlin, Keselowski, Gordon and Johnson finished in the top five and Austin Dillon is now at number nine in the standings after winning the pole for the Great American Race.

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The Subway Fresh Fit 500 is next at Phoenix International Raceway and that comes after Carl Edwards won last season, while the week after that is the Las Vegas Cup at Las Vegas Motor Speedway before the Food City 500 and that is at Bristol Motor Speedway and those last two races were won last year by Matt Kenseth and Kasey Kahne respectively.

Check here for the Sprint Cup Standings and for the NASCAR schedule.

Here is a look back on the race from before the Daytona 500 and Austin Dillon winning the pole for his first major event on the Sprint Cup circuit. In fitting fashion, Dillon is bring back the number three car of Dale Earnhardt this season and after a number of seconds place finishes, Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Daytona 500 and now is in first in the standings.

The Daytona 500 pole results had Austin Dillon on top in the return of the No. 3 car on Sunday for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Season opener on Sunday at Daytona International Raceway and he will be in the top position, taking over where Danica Patrick left off after she won last year and that put No. 3 back at number one for the time being after he put up a 196.019 in qualifying.

Dillon was comfortable and fast on Sunday and he has been in the number three car for some time and now he comes to NASCAR and he made his start in a loud way. Martin Truex Jr. is in second on the grid after coming in with a 195 on Sunday and he will be there ahead of Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and Ryan Newman in the top five.

Dillon is now the second rookie in a row to come in and win the pole at the Daytona 500, as Danica Patrick did that last year and she led for a moment in the race and ended up finishing in the top 10 after placing eighth overall in Florida. Jimmie Johnson, the Sprint Cup defending champion, did it back in 2002 and he finished in 15th and now Dillon has the chance to make some noise in his first Sprint Cup race. Patrick had some issues on her run in practice and had problems with her engine along with Tony Stewart and he was making his return to racing after breaking his leg last year. Patrick finished 22nd in the second practice session, while Stewart was in 38th.

The Sunday event started up at 1 pm ET on FOX for the Daytona 500 in Florida and Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the winner.

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