Harvick wins at Richmond as the Chase field is set

Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR

Short track racing on a Saturday night – perfection for any true blooded NASCAR fan. Tonight’s race was the final race in the NASCAR pre-season, setting the field for our version of the playoffs, the Chase to the Sprint Cup begins next weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.

Starting the evening off, NASCAR paid tribute to the tenth anniversary of September 11th, cars were adorned with patriotic paint schemes and as usual at NASCAR events, military presence was strong. This weekend though, there was extra special meaning to that, honoring those we lost on 9/11. Paying further tribute, NASCAR threw a caution at lap 9, handed flags out to the fans and crews and announcers went silent in remembrance.

Kevin Harvick claimed his fourth victory and 13th top-10 finish of the season after surviving the melee at Richmond. With the win, Harvick is tied for bonus points with Kyle Busch, the separating factor is 2nd place finishes – giving Busch the upper hand, seeding him first.

At the conclusion of the race, one thing was for sure the 2011 Chase field is not definite. Those drivers racing for the Sprint Cup are: Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards, Jimmie Johnson, Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin. 

Race highlights and lowlights:
  • David Reutimann starts on pole but was passed by Jamie Murray just after the green flag.
  • lap 4 – caution #1 flies early after an accident between the No. 71 of Lally and the No. 32 of Mike Bliss.
  • lap 9 – Just prior to the competition caution, a melee occurred. Originally Clint Bowyer went around while racing David Reutimann hard for the fourth position. In the aftermath, a multicar wreck occurred and involved the cars of the 00, 88, 46, 11, 34, 13, 56, 17, 9, 38, 55, 7.
  • lap 28 – The No. 4 of Kasey Kahne hits the wall in turn 2 to bring out the 3rd caution.
  • lap 38 – (cautions breed cautions) Dale Earnhardt Jr. gets into the Ambrose, Ambrose wrecks and brings out the 4th caution.
  • lap 53 – Marcos Ambrose (No.9) makes contact with Brian Vickers (No. 83) and Vickers hits his teammate, Kasey Kahne. Tempers flared on track, Vickers rammed Ambrose, sending Vickers to the garage to repair further damage.This is a product of “Boys have at it.”
  • lap 118 – Mike Bliss and the No. 32 car bring out the 6th caution
  • lap 154 – The 38 of Kvapil and Dale Earnhardt Jr. hit to bring out No. 7
  • lap 164 – Landon Cassil’s No. 51 spun out on the frontstretch
  • lap 173 – Paul Menard spins in turn 2 for the 9th caution
  • lap 187 – Kurt Busch gets into Jimmie Johnson, spinning him. Collected in the incident as well, Juan Pablo Montoya, and the 10th caution flag fell.
  • lap 247 – Johnson seeks revenge on Busch and on scanner it was heard saying “I got your number.” Once again, boys have at it, but you are fighting for that Sprint Cup, remember that.
  • lap 286 – The No. 31 on Jeff Burton hit the wall after a tire went down. Caution No. 12
  • lap 298 – Ambrose and the No. 35 of Dave Blaney bring out the caution flag at the same time Joey Logano looses an engine.
  • lap 310 – Bowyer, Reutimann and Johnson fight for the same territory and it ends in a Bowyer and Reutimann sandwich. Caution No. 13.
  • lap 385 – The game changer for those needing pit stops. Menard spins on the front stretch. We would restart with just 12 laps to go.
Race results:
  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Carl Edwards
  3. Jeff Gordon
  4. David Ragan
  5. Kurt Busch
  6. Kyle Busch
  7. Tony Stewart
  8. Ryan Newman
  9. Denny Hamlin
  10. Mark Martin
  11. AJ Allmendinger
  12. Brad Keselowski
  13. Greg Biffle
  14. Jamie McMurray
  15. Juan Pablo Montoya
  16. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  17. Casey Mears
  18. Regan Smith
  19. Dave Blaney
  20. Bobby Labonte
  21. Marcos Ambrose
  22. Clint Bowyer
  23. Matt Kenseth
  24. Stephen Leicht
  25. Landon Cassill
  26. David Reutimann
  27. David Gilliland
  28. Travis Kvapil
  29. Jeff Burton
  30. Martin Truex Jr.
  31. Jimmie Johnson
  32. Andy Lally
  33. Brian Vickers
  34. Paul Menard
  35. Joey Logano
  36. Mike Bliss
  37. Robby Gordon
  38. Kasey Kahne
  39. Michael McDowell
  40. David Stremme
  41. Joe Nemecheck
  42. J J Yeley
  43. Scott Speed
Harvick wins at Richmond as the Chase field is set Harvick wins at Richmond as the Chase field is set Reviewed by Unknown on Sunday, September 11, 2011 Rating: 5