Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Driver Finishes 15th in Federated Auto Parts 400
Date: Sept. 6, 2014
Event: Federated Auto Parts 400 (Round 26 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Location: Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (.75-mile oval)
Start/Finish: 19th/15th (Running, completed 400 of 400 laps)
Point Standing: 26th with 569 points
Winner: Brad Keselowski of Team Penske (Ford)
Tony Stewart had a silent but strong run in the Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series raceSaturday night at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.
The driver of the No. 14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1 Chevrolet SS for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) started 19thand worked his way into the top-10 by lap 310 of the 400-lap race. But a pit road miscue during a caution period on lap 331 derailed Stewart’s top-10 effort. A missing lugnut on the left-rear tire meant that Stewart had to return to pit road on the following lap to have the lugnut installed. Instead of restarting among the top-10, Stewart restarted in 15th.
With plenty of traffic in front of him and too many laps behind him, Stewart had little time to make up the lost ground with only 64 laps remaining. He held steady in 15th, earning his 11th top-15 finish of the season.
It was a solid outing among a strong overall performance by SHR, with each SHR driver finishing among the top-16.
Leading the way for SHR was Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet SS. Harvick finished fifth to capture his eighth top-five of 2014 and his eighth top-five in 27 career Sprint Cup starts at Richmond.
Kurt Busch, driver of the No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet for SHR, finished seventh to score his seventh top-10 of 2014 and his 10th top-10 in 26 career Sprint Cup starts at Richmond.
Danica Patrick, driver of the No. 10 GoDaddy Chevrolet SS for SHR, finished 16th in her 71st career Sprint Cup start and her fourth at Richmond.
Brad Keselowski won the Federated Auto Parts 400 to score his 14th career Sprint Cup victory, his series-leading fourth of the season and his first at Richmond.
Jeff Gordon finished .797 of a second behind Keselowski in the runner-up spot, while Clint Bowyer, Jamie McMurray and Harvick rounded out the top-five. Joey Logano, Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman and Aric Almirola comprised the remainder of the top-10.
There were four caution periods for 27 laps, with only one driver failing to finish.
Richmond marked the last race of the regular season, and the 16-driver, 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins.
NASCAR recalibrated the points for the 16 Chase drivers as soon as the Richmond race was over, with each driver getting 2,000 points. 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.
Positions 1-13 in the Chase field were determined by the drivers with the greatest number of wins after the first 26 races. Positions 14-16 went to the drivers who, while winless during the regular season, were the highest in points.
Harvick qualified for the Chase by virtue of his two wins at Phoenix International Raceway and Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. His two regular-season victories were each worth three bonus points. Harvick carries six bonus points into the Chase to slot sixth among the 16 drivers. Harvick finished the regular season ranked seventh with 788 points. This is Harvick’s fifth consecutive Chase appearance and his eighth since the inception of the Chase in 2004. He finished fourth in his Chase debut in 2006, 10th in 2007, fourth in 2008, third in 2010, third in 2011, eighth in 2012 and third in 2013.
Busch qualified for the Chase via his win at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. He’ll start the Chase 10th with three bonus points. Busch finished the regular season ranked 20th with 651 points. This is Busch’s second straight Chase appearance and eighth overall. He won the championship in his Chase debut in 2004, then finished 10th in 2005, seventh in 2007, fourth in 2009, 11th in 2010, 11th in 2011 and 10th in 2013.
Ranked in order of where their bonus points seeded them, the 16 drivers competing for this year’s championship are:
1. Brad Keselowski (2,012 points)
2. Jeff Gordon (2,009 points, -3)
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (2,009 points, -3)
4. Jimmie Johnson (2,009 points, -3)
5. Joey Logano (2,009 points, -3)
6. Kevin Harvick (2,006 points, -6)
7. Carl Edwards (2,006 points, -6)
8. Kyle Busch (2,003 points, -9)
9. Denny Hamlin (2,003 points, -9)
10. Kurt Busch (2,003 points, -9)
11. Kasey Kahne (2,003 points, -9)
12. Aric Almirola (2,003 points, -9)
13. AJ Allmendinger (2,003 points, -9)
14. Matt Kenseth (2,000 points, -12)
15. Greg Biffle (2,000 points, -12)
16. Ryan Newman (2,000 points, -12)
The next event on the Sprint Cup schedule – the first race of the Chase – is the Sept. 14 MyAFibStory.com400 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois. The race begins at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by ESPN beginning with a prerace show at 1 p.m.