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Harvick wins, champion Stewart misses cut.

Kevin Harvick sealed his place in the end-of-season Chase for the Championship with victory in the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond, but Chevrolet's evening was dampened by the news that reigning Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart would miss the 2006 post-season after a last-race shake-up.

Ironically, Stewart's place in the Chase has gone to close friend Kasey Kahne, who finished third at Richmond to haul himself into the top ten.

Having won the Busch race on Friday, Harvick duly replicated Matt Kenseth's feat of winning both events on the same weekend, passing Kyle Busch with a couple of laps to go. Kahne, having started 20th, hauled his Dodge up to third place to give himself the bet shot of making the cut, while the top ten was completed by Dave Blaney, Greg Biffle, chase contenders Mark Martin and Jeff Burton, Ken Schrader, points leader Matt Kenseth and Scott Riggs.

Stewart, who had had to qualify and start in the spare #20 Home Depot machine after crashing his primary car in practice, battled from 40th on the grid, but eventually made it only as far as 18th, finishing the night 16 points behind Kahne.

Chase contenders Harvick, who started the night from fifth on the grid and third in points, was joined as race leader by Richard Childress Racing team-mate Burton, Kenseth and Busch, but other chase contenders had tougher evenings. Jimmie Johnson, fortunately already guaranteed a spot in the Chase after a stellar start to the year, tangled with Carl Edwards on lap 81, dropping him to the rear of the field and leaving him 23rd at the chequer.

At the halfway point, Kenseth, Johnson, Harvick, Busch, polesitter Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jeff Gordon, Burton, Kahne and Stewart were in the ten Chase positions, but Martin refused to give up on his final chance to take the Cup crown, and battled back to sixth position, securing seventh spot in the championship. Earnhardt made the cut despite an anonymous night at Richmond, while Gordon, who missed the cut a year ago, squeezed into this year's Chase in ninth position after claiming a lowly 31st position in the race.

Kenseth retains the points lead heading to next weekend's first Chase round at New Hampshire.


Related Pictures

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Kevin Harvick, driver of the GM Goodwrench Chevy Monte Carlo, wins the NASCAR Nextel Cup Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol,TN-4/3/05.©Dorsey Patrick
Tony Stewart - Home Depot/Joe Gibbs Chevrolet    [pic credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images]
Kasey Kahne, Evernham Motorsports Dodge, Brickyard 400 testing. [Pic Credit IMS Media/Ron McQueeney]
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Patriotic Chevrolet, is involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet, Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Office Toyota, lead the field into turn one during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 24, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, finished in ninth place, Sunday, May 24, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to a sixth place finish, Sunday, May 24, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Martin Truex, Jr, driver of the #78 Furniture Row/Visser Precision Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to a fifth place finish, Sunday, May 24, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finished in third place, Sunday, May 24, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, and Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #6 Cheez-It Ford, lead the field past the green flag to start the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Sarah Crabill/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, celebrates winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #33 Rheem Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series Hisense 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Cessna/McDonald`s Chevrolet, sits in his car during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #25 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 23, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Michael S. Duskin is honored on the car as part of the 600 Miles of Remembrance program.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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