September 9, 2012 in Sports

Bower wins race; Gordon makes Chase with second place

Jim Utter Charlotte Observer
 

RICHMOND, Va. – Clint Bowyer won the race and Jeff Gordon won an improbable race into the NASCAR Chase.

Bowyer stretched his gas and held off Gordon to win the Federated Auto Parts 400 which ended early Sunday morning at Richmond International Raceway after three rain delays.

The win is Bowyer’s second of the season. Gordon’s second-place finish combined with Kyle Busch’s 16th-place finish allowed Gordon to claim the second of two wild-card spots in the Chase.

Ten of the 12 spots in the Chase were already spoken for prior to Saturday night’s race.

Denny Hamlin will start the Chase next weekend at Chicagoland Speedway with the No. 1 seed.

Others in the Chase are Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski, Bowyer, Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr.

Kahne and Gordon locked up the two wild-card spots, which go to drivers 11th to 20th in points with the most wins. They will start the Chase as the 11th and 12th seeds, respectively.

The start of the race was delayed by approximately an hour and a half because of rain.

Clint Bowyer and Juan Pablo Montoya made contact on Lap 235 which left Bowyer spinning out on the front stretch. On the restart on Lap 240, Hamlin continued to lead followed by Kahne and Truex.

Five laps later, Truex made his way around Hamlin to take the lead for the first time.

Hamlin retook the lead on Lap 249 and was still out front when rain again brought out a caution on Lap 277.

On Lap 312, Bowyer claimed the lead for the first time in the race.

With 50 laps remaining, Bowyer continued to lead the way.

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