Event: Federated Auto Parts 400 (Round 26 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Location: Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (.75-mile oval)
Winner: Carl Edwards of Roush Fenway Racing (Ford)
SHR Finish: Ryan Newman (Started 24th, Finished 3rd / Running, completed 400 of 400 laps)
Mark Martin (Started 16th, Finished 9th / Running, completed 400 of 400 laps)
Danica Patrick (Started 36th, Finished 30th / Running, completed 396 of 400 laps)
SHR Points: Ryan Newman (14th with 741 points – OUT OF THE CHASE)
Tony Stewart (23rd with 594 points – OUT OF THE CHASE)
Danica Patrick (27th with 473 points – OUT OF THE CHASE)
Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 39 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, led the three-car Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) contingent Saturday night at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway by finishing third in the Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. Newman led four laps before scoring his sixth top-five of 2013 and his sixth top-five in 24 career Sprint Cup starts at Richmond.
Mark Martin, interim driver of SHR’s No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS as he subs for the injured Tony Stewart, finished ninth. It was Martin’s 31st top-10 in 56 career Sprint Cup starts at the .75-mile oval.
Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 30th in her 36th career Sprint Cup start and her second at Richmond. Patrick, who is competing for Rookie of the Year honors against Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished 20 spots behind Stenhouse, who placed 10th for his first career top-10.
Carl Edwards won the Federated Auto Parts 400 to score his 21st career Sprint Cup victory, his second of the season and his first at Richmond.
Kurt Busch finished .668 of a second behind Edwards in the runner-up spot, while Newman, Jamie McMurray and Paul Menard rounded out the top-five. Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex Jr., Jeff Gordon, Martin and Stenhouse comprised the remainder of the top-10.
There were five caution periods for 29 laps, with three drivers failing to finish the 400-lap race.
Richmond marked the last race of the regular season, as the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins.
The top-10 drivers in points are eligible to compete in the Chase, along with two wild-card drivers – Kasey Kahne and Truex – who were admitted to the Chase field by having the most wins among the drivers who were between 11th and 20th in the standings. NASCAR recalibrated the points for the 12 drivers as soon as the Richmond race was over, with each driver getting 2,000 points. With the exception of wild-card entrants Kahne and Truex, drivers also received three bonus points for each of their respective wins during the 26-race regular season. For drivers starting the Chase with identical point totals, their seed was determined by the traditional tiebreaker of best finishes beyond race victories.
Newman just missed the Chase, as his third-place finish in the Federated Auto Parts 400 put him in a tie with Truex for the second and final wild-card spot. But Truex won the tiebreaker as he had more second-place finishes than Newman.
Ranked in order of where their bonus points seeded them, the drivers competing for this year’s championship are:
1. Matt Kenseth (2,015 points)
2. Jimmie Johnson (2,012 points, -3)
3. Kyle Busch (2,012 points, -3)
4. Kevin Harvick (2,006 points -9)
5. Carl Edwards (2,006 points, -9)
6. Joey Logano (2,003 points, -12)
7. Greg Biffle (2,003 points, -12)
8. Clint Bowyer (2,000 points, -15)
9. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2,000 points, -15)
10. Kurt Busch (2,000 points, -15)
11. Kasey Kahne (2,000 points, -15)
12. Martin Truex Jr. (2,000 points, -15)
The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule – the first race of the Chase – is the Geico 400 on Sept. 15 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill. The race begins at 2 p.m. EDT, with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a pre-race show at 1 p.m.