Bowyer wins as Gordon knocks Busch out of Chase
Clint Bowyer has won the final race of the ‘regular’ NASCAR season, taking the win in the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway.
Bowyer won a race dominated by rain delays, fuel and strategy, with Jeff Gordon taking second place – doing enough to secure the final wildcard spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Gordon’s finishing place secured all four of Hendrick Motorsports entries a spot in the Chase, and knocked Kyle Busch out of the Chase after a failed pit strategy led to his demise from this year’s title fight.
When a light rain caused the sixth caution on Lap 275, Busch stayed out while others came to pit road for fuel. A slow pit stop under green on Lap 334 did further damage to his chances and allowed Gordon to sneak into the Chase by a three-point margin.
The results will see Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Brad Keselowski, Greg Biffle, Bowyer, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr, Kasey Kahne and Gordon contest for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup.
The victory was Bowyer’s second of the season, his second at Richmond and the seventh of his career. Behind Bowyer and Gordon was Mark Martin, followed by Stewart and Kenseth, Jeff Burton, Keselowski, Ryan Newman, Biffle and Harvick.
Australian Marcos Ambrose entered the Richmond event with a small chance of making the Chase, but went down two laps in the early stage of the race.
The Tasmanian fought back to finish 15th, on the lead lap, but out of title contention.
“I just tried my hardest tonight and it wasn’t our night,” Ambrose said.
“We had a bad car early on and went two laps down and had to fight our way back to the top-15. I will take that. Obviously we wanted the win, but it wasn’t meant to be tonight.”
|1||4||15||Clint Bowyer||Toyota||5-hour Energy||47/1||400||Running|
|2||2||24||Jeff Gordon||Chevrolet||Drive to End Hunger||43/1||400||Running|
|3||6||55||Mark Martin||Toyota||Aaron’s Dream Machine||41/0||400||Running|
|4||28||14||Tony Stewart||Chevrolet||Office Depot / Mobil 1||41/1||400||Running|
|5||17||17||Matt Kenseth||Ford||Best Buy||39/0||400||Running|
|7||10||2||Brad Keselowski||Dodge||Miller Lite||37/0||400||Running|
|8||14||39||Ryan Newman||Chevrolet||Quicken Loans||37/1||400||Running|
|9||23||16||Greg Biffle||Ford||3M / Owens & Minor||35/0||400||Running|
|11||11||22||Sam Hornish Jr.||Dodge||Shell / Pennzoil||0||400||Running|
|12||21||5||Kasey Kahne||Chevrolet||Quaker State||33/1||400||Running|
|14||1||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||Diet Mountain Dew / National Guard||31/1||400||Running|
|15||22||9||Marcos Ambrose||Ford||Mac Tools||29/0||400||Running|
|18||7||11||Denny Hamlin||Toyota||FedEx Express||28/2||400||Running|
|19||12||83||Landon Cassill||Toyota||Burger King||25/0||400||Running|
|21||9||56||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||NAPA Auto Parts||24/1||400||Running|
|22||26||1||Jamie McMurray||Chevrolet||Bass Pro Shops / Allstate||22/0||398||Running|
|23||25||27||Paul Menard||Chevrolet||Menards / Moen||21/0||398||Running|
|24||3||78||Regan Smith||Chevrolet||Furniture Row / Farm American||20/0||398||Running|
|25||29||47||Bobby Labonte||Toyota||Bush’s Baked Beans||19/0||397||Running|
|27||32||93||Travis Kvapil||Toyota||Burger King / Dr Pepper||17/0||397||Running|
|28||30||51||Kurt Busch||Chevrolet||Phoenix Construction||16/0||396||Running|
|30||8||20||Joey Logano||Toyota||The Home Depot||14/0||396||Running|
|31||35||38||David Gilliland||Ford||Mossy Oak / Pursuit Channel||13/0||395||Running|
|32||27||34||David Ragan||Ford||Taco Bell||12/0||395||Running|
|33||33||36||Dave Blaney||Chevrolet||Tommy Baldwin Racing||11/0||395||Running|
|34||37||10||David Reutimann||Chevrolet||Inc. 5000 / @TMone 6-peat||10/0||393||Running|
|35||39||32||Ken Schrader||Ford||Federated Auto Parts||9/0||393||Running|
|36||36||33||Stephen Leicht *||Chevrolet||Special Ops OPSEC||8/0||390||Running|
|37||31||30||David Stremme||Toyota||Inception Motorsports||7/0||127||Running|
|38||34||87||Joe Nemechek||Toyota||AM / FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves||0||90||Running|
|39||38||23||Scott Riggs||Chevrolet||North Texas Pipe||5/0||78||Running|
|40||40||119||Mike Bliss||Toyota||Plinker Tactical||0||70||Running|
|41||19||98||Michael McDowell||Ford||Phil Parsons Racing||4/1||63||Running|
|42||41||26||Josh Wise *||Ford||MDS Transport||2/0||57||Running|
|43||43||191||Reed Sorenson||Chevrolet||Plinker Tactical||0||57||Running|
Chase for the Sprint Cup
|7.||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||2003|
|10.||Martin Truex Jr.||2000|