Bowyer, others left on outside of Chase looking in despite efforts

Despite finishing a strong third in Saturday's Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway, Clint Bowyer didn't have much to smile about.

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The final curtain fell on the championship hopes of some of NASCAR’s top drivers following Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway.

Brad Keselowski led 383 of 400 laps to win the race easily, while Ryan Newman and Greg Biffle secured the final two spots in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. The Richmond race was the 26th and final in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and that means the Chase field is now set.

Missing out this year on NASCAR’s playoff round were Clint Bowyer, Jamie McMurray, Kyle Larson, Danica Patrick and Tony Stewart, among others. 

Bowyer, who finished third at RIR behind Keselowski and Jeff Gordon, was the first driver to miss the cut and after the race acknowledged his Michael Waltrip Racing team isn’t where it needs to be to contend for a championship at this point. 

"If you make the Chase you want to compete for a championship," said Bowyer. "Truth be told, we’re not there right now. A lot of work to do.  We’ve got to continue to build on momentum like we had here tonight.  You know, it’s definitely frustrating not making that Chase, but like I said, when you do make the Chase, you want it to be for a championship, not just ride around in it."

Bowyer has now gone 67 races without a victory. 

"We still haven’t won a race, and this 5-Hour Energy Toyota team, everybody on this 15 team deserves a win by the end of the year, and I’ll see to it they get it," said Bowyer.

VIDEO: Brad Keselowski dominant in leading 383 laps en route to victory at Richmond