Clint Bowyer won Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Richmond, Va. Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., and Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw are among the 12 drivers in the 10-race Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship.
RICHMOND, Va. — Clint Bowyer won the Federated Auto Parts 400 and the 12-driver field for the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship was set Saturday at Richmond International Raceway.
Bowyer stretched his fuel and held off Jeff Gordon to prevail after three rain delays.
Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., and Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw are among the drivers in the 10-race Chase.
Kahne and Gordon earned the two wild-card spots, which go to drivers 11th to 20th in points with the most victories. Kahne will be the 11th seed and Gordon will be the 12th seed.
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Kahne entered the race as the only wild-card contender with multiple victories, putting him somewhat at ease.
“It feels a lot more calm, for sure,” Kahne said before the race. “I’ve missed by a few points and made it by just a few points. We’ve had pressure here a lot of times with the way the Chase all works out and where I’ve run in points over the years.”
Gordon got the final wild-card spot because of the combination of his runner-up finish and Kyle Busch’s 16th-place effort. Gordon, who battled an ill-handling car early in the race, had three points more than Busch.
“I was pretty ticked off that we got that far behind,” four-time Cup champion Gordon said. “When you have that kind of a start to a race, you don’t have a lot of hope that you’re going to get it turned around.”
Team owner Joe Gibbs met Busch on pit road afterward and leaned into the car window to console the upset driver.
“We missed. That’s it. Plain and simple,” said Busch, noting Gibbs told him to handle the setback the right way.
“There’s no right way to handle this situation,” Busch said.
Denny Hamlin will start the Chase next weekend at Chicagoland Speedway with the No. 1 seed and Biffle will be seeded fifth.
Hamlin gets the top seed because of his series-leading four “regular-season” victories.
Biffle finished ninth in Saturday’s race and Kahne was 12th of 43.
Last weekend, Gordon failed to move Hamlin out of the way on the final restart in Georgia, a decision that probably cost him a victory and ate away at him all week.
“I went from last week, being the most disappointed I’ve ever been to finish second, to this week, being the most excited I’ve ever been to finish second,” Gordon said.
|Chase for Sprint Cup|
|The field of 12 drivers for the 10-race Chase is set.|
|Denny Hamlin||No. 11 Toyota|
|Jimmie Johnson||No. 48 Chevrolet|
|Tony Stewart||No. 14 Chevrolet|
|Brad Keselowski||No. 2 Dodge|
|Greg Biffle||No. 16 Ford|
|Clint Bowyer||No. 15 Toyota|
|Dale Earnhardt Jr.||No. 88 Chevrolet|
|Matt Kenseth||No. 17 Ford|
|Kevin Harvick||No. 29 Chevrolet|
|Martin Truex Jr.||No. 56 Toyota|
|Kasey Kahne*||No. 5 Chevrolet|
|Jeff Gordon*||No. 24 Chevrolet|
|* wild-card spot|