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Chase field shuffled after Bristol incidents

- jfeldman@charlotteobserver.com
Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013
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  • NASCAR Bristol Auto Racing

    AP

    Ryan Newman (39), Brad Keselowski (2), Denny Hamlin (11) Kevin Harvick (29), Brian Vickers (55), David Stremme (30) and Ken Schrader crash during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

  • 177606650

    Getty Images

    Clint Bowyer, driver of the No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, and Bobby Labonte, driver of the No. 47 Bush's Beans Toyota, are involved in an on-track incident during Saturday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 53rd Annual IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tenn.

  • 177507067

    Getty Images

    BRISTOL, TN - AUGUST 23: Safety crews arrive to assist Brian Vickers, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, after an on-track incident during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2013 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

  • 177507062

    Getty Images

    BRISTOL, TN - AUGUST 23: Parker Kligerman, driver of the #77 TOYOTA Toyota, is involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2013 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

  • 177606635

    Getty Images

    BRISTOL, TN - AUGUST 24: Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, and Bobby Labonte, driver of the #47 Bush's Beans Toyota, are involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 53rd Annual IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 24, 2013 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

A multi-car crash with 53 of 400 laps left Saturday night changed the playoff odds for numerous NASCAR teams.

The wreck ended the day for Martin Truex Jr., who entered the night 12th in points. He fell to 14th after collecting a 35th place finish. Truex was visibly frustrated exiting his car, but said he suffered no injuries.

“I’m doing fine, just disappointed,” Truex said. “…Just frustrated right now because we had a good car and we didn’t deserve that tonight.”

Brad Keselowski also took damage in the pileup. He came into Bristol eighth in the standings but just eight points ahead of 11th place. Keselowski leaves 11th in points, though he was able to finish 30th.

Greg Biffle, Joey Logano and Kasey Kahne, who finished second Saturday, all jumped ahead of the defending champion in the standings. With two races remaining before the Chase, Keselowski sits four points behind Logano, who is 10th.

The wreck started with contact between Brian Vickers and Denny Hamlin on Lap 447. Hamlin lost control and slid up the track, catching two other cars on the way.

One of those victims was Kevin Harvick, who is still fourth in the standings after a 34th-place finish. Harvick was clearly upset following the wreck: He stopped in Hamlin’s pit stall on his way off the track to show his frustration.

Hamlin later said that he and Harvick settled their differences.

“He just told me his version of it,” Harvick said of the discussion. “It’s all good. It’s Bristol racing.”

Ryan Newman was the other driver taken out by Hamlin’s sliding 11 car. Newman entered the night 15th in points and is still in that spot after finishing 21st Saturday.

Despite being involved in the accident, Newman and Truex Jr. remain in line for wild cards. The crash drew the night’s only red flag, which lasted nearly 4 1/2 minutes.

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