Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Two Chase Spots Remain

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Two Chase Spots Remain

Article excerpt

There are only two spots in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship up for grabs headed into NASCAR's regular-season finale Saturday night at Richmond, Va., where a first-time winner this season could snag a last-minute berth.

Kasey Kahne did it Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where his first win of the season earned him an automatic berth in the 16- driver field. Matt Kenseth, who is winless on the year, also became eligible based on points. They became the 13th and 14th drivers locked into the Chase with only one race remaining.

"It was just an unbelievable way to make The Chase," Kahne said. "I told a couple friends ... 'I have to win. I have to win Sunday night.' It was all that I could think about. I knew Atlanta was a better opportunity for myself to win at than Richmond."

There are 17 drivers who have a win-and-in shot at making the Chase at Richmond. They are: Ryan Newman, Greg Biffle, Clint Bowyer, Kyle Larson, Paul Menard, Austin Dillon, Jamie McMurray, Brian Vickers, Marcos Ambrose, Casey Mears, Martin Truex Jr., Tony Stewart, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Danica Patrick, Justin Allgaier, Michael Annett and David Gilliland.

There are only four drivers who could possibly get in on points if they don't win: Newman, Biffle, Bowyer and Larson, and only Newman controls his own fate. Newman can make the Chase if he finishes 41st or better, or 42nd with at least one lap led, or 43rd and the most laps led. If there is a new winner that is not Kenseth, Newman is guaranteed a Chase spot with a finish of 18th or better.

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* Euroleague champion Maccabi Tel Aviv and two other clubs, from Israel and Brazil, will be part of what the NBA said will be a record nine preseason games featuring international teams in North America. …

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