Wild Week In NASCAR Kicks Off Championship Chase
A week of controversy and surprise announcements served as the prelude to NASCAR’s playoff season known as the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Two unprecedented actions were taken by NASCAR this week after officials reviewed radio communications from last week’s Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway and conducted interviews with team personnel. The wild week began with the decision on Monday that knocked Martin Truex Jr. out and put Ryan Newman in the Chase field, and ended with Friday’s announcement that Jeff Gordon would be added as a first-time ever 13th driver who is now able to contend for the title.
NASCAR concluded that several teams had acted during the race at Richmond to manipulate the results that impacted the Chase field.
Penske Racing driver Joey Logano stayed focused despite being a driver who benefited from the manipulations to make the Chase field and won the pole for Sunday’s Geico 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in Illinois. Logano’s team was put on probation just hours before qualifying began on Friday. Penske teammate Brad Keselowski qualified second.
In addition to Logano starting on the front row, the 12 other Chase drivers and their starting positions at Chicago include: Kasey Kahne (4th), Jeff Gordon (6th), Greg Biffle (7th), Carl Edwards (8th), Jimmie Johnson (9th), Matt Kenseth (10th), Kyle Busch (12th), Kurt Busch (16th), Kevin Harvick (17th), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (18th), Ryan Newman (20th) and Clint Bowyer (24th).
Here is the complete starting lineup.