Three drivers have locked themselves into the post season Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup after an exciting Saturday night short track race in Bristol this past weekend.
Two-time Kansas Speedway winners Greg Biffle and Jimmie Johnson are currently first and second in the standings and are locked into the Chase, as well as NASCAR’s most popular driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“It feels really good to be locked in with two races to go,” said current point leader Biffle. “It was a tough night here (at Bristol) but we did lock ourselves in.”
Biffle maintains the points lead but unless he earns another victory in the final two races before the Chase begins, he will give up that lead to the driver with the most wins of the season. Currently Johnson, Brad Keselowski, Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin are tied for the most victories of the season with three.
Hamlin earned his third victory of the season this past weekend in Bristol after passing Carl Edwards with 39 laps to go and holding off Johnson to the finish by 1.1 seconds. Jeff Gordon finished third followed by Brian Vickers and Marcos Ambrose.
Edwards had a strong run on Saturday, leading 45 laps and pacing the field until Hamlin caught up. Edwards stayed out of the pits to try to gain track position, but lost it when he gambled on fuel and faded to a 22nd-place finish. The Missouri native is currently 12th in the standings but looking up at six other drivers in the wild-card race without a victory this season.
Clint Bowyer gained one position in the standings to sixth after a seventh-place finish in Bristol. The Kansas native has put himself in good position to contend for the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship in 2012.
The Chase standings continue to change weekly as Johnson gained two positions to take over second, Earnhardt maintains third, Matt Kenseth lost two positions to fourth, Martin Truex Jr. gained one position to fifth, Bowyer gained one position to sixth, Keslowski lost two positions and fell to seventh, Hamlin climbed two positions to eighth, Kevin Harvick fell to ninth and Stewart fell to 10th.
Kasey Kahne currently holds the first wild card position with two wins. Kyle Busch took over the second wild card position from Ryan Newman, and holds the position by 16 points over Gordon, 19 points over Newman, 28 over Marcos Ambrose and 69 over Joey Logano, who are the other contenders with one victory apiece this season.
Tickets to the Hollywood Casino 400, the sixth race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, are on sale now by calling 866-460-RACE (7223) or logging onto www.kansasspeedway.com. Tickets to the Kansas Lottery 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race and the Kansas Lottery 98.9 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards race are also on sale now.
Parking is always free at Kansas Speedway and fans can bring their own food and drink into the grandstands in a 14x14x14-inch soft-sided cooler.