Crash-filled Kentucky race shakes up run to the Chase
The race to make the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup took another interesting twist Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway, where Brad Keselowski nursed his fuel mileage in the final laps to win the Quaker State 400 over Carl Edwards.
Keselowski’s victory was his second straight and fourth of the year, tops in the Cup series.
Eleven drivers have won races already this year and are all but assured of Chase spots.
Behind Keselowski, Kyle Busch has three victories, while Edwards and Jimmie Johnson have two each.
Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin and Tony Stewart have one win apiece.
With eight races to go in NASCAR’s regular season, there are five winless drivers who are currently eligible for Chase spots.
After the Kentucky race, the top winless driver in points is Chase Elliott, who now has 492 points.
Despite crashing out of the Kentucky race, Elliott leads Ryan Newman (463), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (461), Austin Dillon (460) and Jamie McMurray (439).
The big loser on the night in terms of points was Ryan Blaney who came into the race on the Chase bubble, but fell to 18th in points after colliding with Elliott.
Conversely, Tony Stewart’s excellent fifth-place finish allowed him to remain 30th in points, which makes him Chase eligible, but extended his lead over 31st-place Brian Scott to 31 points. Stewart is now a virtual lock to make the Chase.