Controversial finish at Richmond International RacewayPublished 10:54am Friday, September 13, 2013
JIM HART/Contributing Writer
Richmond International Raceway was host this past Saturday night for the “Last Race Before The Chase” for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
It ended with an exciting finish and one of the most controversial finishes in NASCAR history. With only 5 cautions for a total of 29 laps with 3 of those being for debris and 2 for spins, most of the night focused on plain old side-by-side racing.
However, a late spin by Clint Boyer with only 6 laps to go to the finish set the field up for a real change in the final point standings setting the field for “The Chase.”
It would later come to surface that NASCAR would levy fines ($300,000) against Michael Waltrip Racing, and suspend Ty Norris, general manager of Michael Waltrip indefinitely. Additionally, Martin Truex Jr. was removed from “The Chase” and Ryan Newman was added to “The Chase” due to the infractions that occurred.
Not making “The Chase” and being the first one out of “The Chase” was Jeff Gordon, who missed it by one point after all the dust settled. Gordon was the fastest in qualifying, winning the Coors Lite Pole Award with a record qualifying lap of 20.674 seconds, 130.599 mph. This is his 73rd pole in 715 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, third on the all-time list. This is his 6th pole in 42 races at RIR. He led from the pole for the first 49 laps and then fell back and at one time in the mid point of the race was 2 laps down. He managed to climb back in the standings and finished eighth after a strong recovery.