Harvick Sweeps Richmond, Chase For The Nextel Cup is Set

Kevin Harvick passed Kyle Busch on second to last lap to win his second race in as many days. Friday night Harvick dominated the Busch Series race at Richmond, much like he has the whole season.

The surprise of the night though might be Tony Stewart. The defending Nextel Cup Championship finds himself leaving Richmond on the outside of this years Chase. His 18th place finish at Richmond dropped him from 8th going into this week to 11th, one spot out of where he needed to be to defend his title. Rounding out the top 5 in the Chevy Rock N' Roll 500 were Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Dave Blaney and Mark Martin.

Tony Stewarts mis-fortune propelled a hard charging Kasey Kahne into his first Chase for the Nextel Cup. Kahne, last weeks winner at California was able to make up the ground he needed by coming home 3rd at Richmond and Stewart finishing 18th to secure his spot in the chase.

Matt Kenseth is the points leader going into the Chase. The rest of the drivers who will race for this years Nextel Cup Championship are Jimmie Johnson, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton and Kasey Kahne.

After this weeks race the Chasers points are reset to reflect a 5 point gap between all the racers. With Kenseth the leader that puts Jimmie Johnson 5 points behind Kenseth and 10th place Kasey Kahne only 45 points behind Kenseth.

Next week the Nextel Cup Series heads to New Hampshire for the first race of the Chase. Only 10 races remain in the Nextel Cup season, the season will end November 19th at Homestead Miami Speedway.

by Michael Cash - thespread.com - Email Us

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