NASCAR added Jeff Gordon to the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship field Friday, a stunning and unprecedented step in the fallout from at least two attempts to manipulate the results at the regular-season-ending race at Richmond last weekend.
NASCAR chairman Brian France expanded the field to 13 drivers for the first time since the format was implemented 10 years ago.
Front Row Motorsports asked for a deal from Penske Racing at Richmond and then helped make sure Penske’s Joey Logano made the Chase field by having one of its drivers, David Gilliland, slow down, according to an Associated Press review of radio communications.
NASCAR said Thursday it was still looking into the incident.
France said NASCAR could not determine a deal was made, but still believed the move was necessary and he placed both teams on probation the rest of the season.
NASCAR has already replaced Martin Truex Jr. in the Chase with Ryan Newman after deciding that Michael Waltrip Racing manipulated the outcome of Saturday night’s race at Richmond to help Truex.
Also Friday, hours after being placed on probation, Joey Logano turned a lap at 189.414 mph around Chicagoland in Joliet, Ill., to help Penske Racing sweep the front row in qualifying for the first race of the Chase.
Jeff Gordon will start sixth on Sunday.
Kyle Busch has won his 34th career Truck Series race by beating Brad Keselowski at Chicagoland Speedway.
Ryan Blaney finished third driving for Keselowski and was followed by series leader Matt Crafton, who now leads James Buescher by 47 points in the standings. Buescher was eighth.
IRL IndyCar Series
Kurt Busch will miss the IndyCar season finale in Fontana, Calif., on Oct. 19, claiming the deadline has passed that he and Andretti Autosport needed to notify Chevrolet they’d need an engine. Busch said he’s not giving up on trying to run Indy next season for Andretti and is still seeking a sponsorship package.