News & Media

Harvick all but locks up Chase bid with second win

April 12, 2014, Staff report,

Pole winner passes Earnhardt Jr. in green-white-checkered finish

Kevin Harvick practically locked up a bid in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup after winning his second race of the season on Saturday.

Harvick dominated the Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, leading 238 of the 374 laps, but had to pass Dale Earnhardt Jr. in a green-white-checkered finish to earn the victory.

Combined with his win at Phoenix, Harvick has all but assured himself one of the 16 spots in the new postseason format. As long as he finishes among the top 30 in points and attempts to qualify for every race, his ticket is punched.

Earnhardt Jr. placed second on Saturday, marking his fifth top-three finish in eight races this season.

Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle completed the top five Saturday, while Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, rookie Kyle Larson, Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman were among the top 10.

Gordon held on to the series points lead with 297, just one ahead of Kenseth -- both have six top-10 finishes this season, but neither has a win.

Carl Edwards, who placed 13th, is third in the points standings (278), followed by Earnhardt Jr. (271) and Johnson (270).

Joey Logano, who won at Texas the week before, led the first 37 laps but had tire trouble late and finished 35th. He dropped four spots to eighth in the points standing, but has the win to fall back on when it comes to the Chase standings.

Logano is one of six drivers seeking a second win this season, along with Kurt Busch (Martinsville), Kyle Busch (Fontana), Brad Keselowski (Las Vegas), Edwards (Bristol) and Earnhardt Jr. (Daytona).

Drivers with one win through the first 26 races, and a top-30 ranking in the points standings, could also potentially qualify for the Chase.

After the eighth race of NASCAR's regular season, here is how the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings look:

Pos. Driver Chase berth
1. Kevin Harvick
Winner: Phoenix, Darlington
2. Carl Edwards
Winner: Bristol
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Winner: Daytona
4. Kyle Busch
Winner: Fontana
5. Brad Keselowski
Winner: Las Vegas
6. Joey Logano
Winner: Texas
7. Kurt Busch
Winner: Martinsville
8. Jeff Gordon
Points leader
9. Matt Kenseth 2nd in points
10. Jimmie Johnson
5th in points
11. Ryan Newman
9th in points
12. Austin Dillon
10th in points
13. Greg Biffle
11th in points
14. Tony Stewart
12th in points
15. Brian Vickers
13th in points
16. Kyle Larson
14th in points


READ: Latest

WATCH: Latest
NASCAR video

Fantasy Live