Kevin Harvick wins at Richmond
Kevin Harvick has won his fourth race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season at a wild Wonderful Pistachios 400 at Richmond International Raceway.
In what was the final race of the year before the Chase for the Sprint Cup over the final 10 races of the season, Harvick scored his 18th career win while Dale Earnhardt Jr., Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin secured the Chase spots they held provisionally entering the race.
Harvick beat Jeff Gordon out of the pits after a stop under caution on Lap 385 of 400 and drove away from the four-time champion. Carl Edwards passed Gordon for the second spot and challenged Harvick for the win, but Edwards ran out of time.
With four victories each, Harvick and Kyle Busch are the top seeds for this year’s Chase.
This race had everything. Hamlin and Earnhardt Jr. recovered from a multicar wreck on Lap #8 to finish with high enough to secure spots in the Chase. While Stewart kept his nose clean to finish seventh and also make the Chase.
Two drivers to watch in the coming week will be Kurt Busch and Jimmie Johnson, as once again their battles on the track spilled over knocking each other on at least two occasions at Richmond. Busch got the better of things coming home fifth to Johnson’s 31st.
Australia’s Marcos Ambrose salvaged a 21st place finish after a tough night. He was in the middle of the first multi-car wreck on lap #8. Then he was caught-up in an incident involving both Red Bull Toyotas. Brian Vickers vented his anger with Ambrose deliberately turning into the #9 Ford. NASCAR parked Vickers for his actions.
It ended any hopes Ambrose had on making the Chase, if he won the race it would have vaulted the Tasmanian into the second wildcard spot reserved for drivers outside the top-10 with the most wins in the first 26 races.
“It’s a shame, but right from the start it was just not going to be our night,” said Ambrose.
“The team never gave up on me, everyone dug deep all night long to get me to the finish.
“Not making the Chase is a disappointment no doubt, but we’ll bounce back from this and finish the final ten races strongly”
The points for the top-12 have been re-set heading into the opening race of the Chase for Cup next week at Chicago. For Ambrose it’s all about chasing another victory and improving on his 20th place position in the standings.
Check out the video of the Ambrose incident and Vickers’ reaction
RESULTS: Wonderful Pistachios 400 – Richmond
|2||Carl Edwards||Ford||Kellogg’s / Cheez-it||43/1||400||Running|
|3||Jeff Gordon||Chevrolet||Drive to End Hunger||42/1||400||Running|
|4||David Ragan||Ford||UPS “We Love Logistics”||40/0||400||Running|
|5||Kurt Busch||Dodge||Shell / Pennzoil||40/1||400||Running|
|7||Tony Stewart||Chevrolet||Office Depot / Mobil 1||37/0||400||Running|
|8||Ryan Newman||Chevrolet||U.S. Army – 9 / 11||36/0||400||Running|
|9||Denny Hamlin||Toyota||FedEx Express||35/0||400||Running|
|10||Mark Martin||Chevrolet||Quaker State / GoDaddy.com||34/0||400||Running|
|11||A.J. Allmendinger||Ford||Best Buy||33/0||400||Running|
|12||Brad Keselowski||Dodge||Miller Lite||32/0||400||Running|
|13||Greg Biffle||Ford||3M “Honoring Our Heroes”||32/1||400||Running|
|14||Jamie McMurray||Chevrolet||Bass Pro Shops / Tracker||31/1||400||Running|
|16||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Chevrolet||Amp Energy / National Guard||28/0||400||Running|
|18||Regan Smith||Chevrolet||Furniture Row Companies||26/0||400||Running|
|19||Dave Blaney||Chevrolet||Pepsi Max||25/0||400||Running|
|20||Bobby Labonte||Toyota||Scott Products||24/0||400||Running|
|22||Clint Bowyer||Chevrolet||Cheerios / Hamburger Helper||22/0||400||Running|
|23||Matt Kenseth||Ford||Ollie’s Bargain Outlet||22/1||400||Running|
|24||Stephen Leicht||Chevrolet||Golden Corral||20/0||400||Running|
|25||Landon Cassill||Chevrolet||Thank A Teacher Today / Security Benefit||0||400||Running|
|26||David Reutimann||Toyota||Aaron’s Dream Machine||18/0||400||Running|
|27||David Gilliland||Ford||Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation||17/0||397||Running|
|28||Travis Kvapil||Ford||Long John Silver’s||0||394||Running|
|30||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||NAPA Brakes||14/0||391||Running|
|31||Jimmie Johnson||Chevrolet||Lowe’s / Power of Pride||14/1||362||Running|
|32||Andy Lally *||Ford||Interstate Moving Services||12/0||357||Running|
|33||Brian Vickers||Toyota||Red Bull||11/0||328||Running|
|34||Paul Menard||Chevrolet||Moen / Menards||10/0||319||Running|
|35||Joey Logano||Toyota||The Home Depot||9/0||296||Out of Race|
|36||Mike Bliss||Ford||Safe Skies TSA Luggage Locks||0||198||Out of Race|
|37||Robby Gordon||Dodge||Speed Energy||7/0||51||Running|
|38||Kasey Kahne||Toyota||Red Bull||6/0||50||Running|
|39||Michael McDowell||Toyota||HP Racing LLC||5/0||46||In Pit|
|40||David Stremme||Chevrolet||Inception Motorsports||4/0||42||Running|
|41||Joe Nemechek||Toyota||AMFMEnergy.com / Pellet & Wood Stoves||0||24||Running|
|42||J.J. Yeley||Ford||Front Row Motorsports||2/0||22||In Pit|
|43||Scott Speed||Ford||Green Stuff Absorbent||0||7||Running|
Unofficial Driver Standings: Race 26 of 36
|10||-1||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||2000||-12||26||1||0||3||9|
|17||-1||Martin Truex Jr.||690||-1322||26||0||0||2||8|