Chase Field Set, Three Fords Are In, as Contenders Hold Positions at Richmond

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Nascar Chase ContendersDenny Hamlin won the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday evening ending the hopes of anon-winning driver capturing a Chase playoff spot with an upset victory in the final qualifying race. A race record 16 cautions wreaked havoc with a number of chase contenders, but ultimately everyone did what was necessary to hold their positions allowing Chris Buescher to grab the final qualifying spot for race winners. Non-winners Chase Elliott, Austin Dillon, and Jamie McMurray qualified on points. Buescher joins Brad Keselowski, who finished fourth, and Joey Logano, tenth on the night, as the only Ford drivers in the 16-member group to Race for the Sprint Cup.The major accident of the race occurred with 37 laps to go and involved David Ragan and Ryan Newman. Ragan was unable to continue, which essentially assured Buescher would qualify for the Chase. Newman, who tangled with Tony Stewart to start the melee, was racing for the final non-winner’s spot and the wreck ended his slim hopes of making the playoff field.The Round of 16 in the Chase begins next Sunday at Chicago, moves to New Hampshire the following week, and concludes Sunday October 2nd at Dover where the field of contenders will be narrowed to 12. Keselowski and Logano both finished in the top 10 at Chicago last year and will be looking for a repeat performance this year to get off to a strong start in the 2016 edition of the championship playoffs. It will be interesting to watch as NASCAR rookies Buescher and Elliott compete against 14 Cup veterans to see how far they can advance in the elimination style playoff Chase.

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Steve Sweitzer
Steve is the Sports Editor for the Lasco Press and highlights our coverage of NASCAR and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Steve is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association and a nationally published author of automotive related articles for industry trade magazines. He is also a freelance technical writer and accomplished photographer. A 25-year resident of Southeast Michigan, Steve’s passion for reporting on our community, it’s residents, and our automotive connections allow us to use his skills to cover a number of events. Steve’s ability to seek out the unique behind the scenes accounts that tell the often-overlooked aspect of a story makes for entertaining reading. Follow Steve at thelascopress.com with weekly NASCAR updates and featured articles.