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ThatsRacin.com


Chase field shuffled after Bristol incidents

- jfeldman@charlotteobserver.com
Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013

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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