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 APNewsNow. Eds: With BC-CAR--NASCAR-Richmond.
By JENNA FRYER
AP Auto Racing Writer
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Nine drivers have already clinched spots in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. NASCAR's new wild-card provision has left a variety of possibilities for the final four positions headed into Saturday night's race at Richmond International Raceway.
The 12-driver field will be set after Richmond, and under the new format, the final two spots will go to the drivers not already eligible who have the most ``regular season'' victories.
Clinched spots got to five-time defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman and Brad Keselowski. That leaves 14 drivers mathematically eligible for the final four positions.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is ninth in points, Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, Greg Biffle and Mark Martin are among the drivers vying for a spot. Martin is 19th in points and can only make Chase if he wins and Keselowski moves into the top 10.

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