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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]
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Quicken Loans Chevrolet SS, races to an eighth place finish with Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS who finished in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Chase Elliott, driver of the #24 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet SS, stops in his pit on his way to a fifth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Elliott takes over the #24 car from retired driver Jeff Gordon.  (Photo by Ashley R Dickerson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet SS, races to a fourth place finish Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Alan Marler for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Saturday night, April 9, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by Brian Cleary for Chevy Racing)
Brian Vickers, driver of the #14 Janssen Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation Chevrolet SS, finishes in seventh place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #14 Target Chevrolet SS, finishes in third place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Kroger/Butterfinger/Coffeemate Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place, Sunday April 3, 2016, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet, leads Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 2, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, races to his 77th career victory, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career win with a victory lap and checkered flag, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory with a wave of the chequered flag Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Garry Eller for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Superman Chevrolet SS, celebrates his 77th career victory, Sunday, March 20, 2016 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. (Photo by Harold Hinson for Chevy Racing)

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