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RELATED: Full coverage of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup format changes " Official news release " Changes explained " Chase Facts and FAQ " Chase Grid (PDF)
Kevin Harvick practically locked up a bid in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup after winning his second race of the season on Saturday.
Combined with his win at Phoenix, Harvick has all but assured himself one of the 16 spots in the new postseason format. As long as he finishes among the top 30 in points and attempts to qualify for every race, his ticket is punched.
Earnhardt Jr. placed second on Saturday, marking his fifth top-three finish in eight races this season.
Gordon held on to the series points lead with 297, just one ahead of Kenseth -- both have six top-10 finishes this season, but neither has a win.
Carl Edwards, who placed 13th, is third in the points standings (278), followed by Earnhardt Jr. (271) and Johnson (270).
Joey Logano, who won at Texas the week before, led the first 37 laps but had tire trouble late and finished 35th. He dropped four spots to eighth in the points standing, but has the win to fall back on when it comes to the Chase standings.
Drivers with one win through the first 26 races, and a top-30 ranking in the points standings, could also potentially qualify for the Chase.
After the eighth race of NASCAR's regular season, here is how the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup standings look:
|1.||Kevin Harvick ||Winner: Phoenix, Darlington |
|2.||Carl Edwards ||Winner: Bristol |
|3.||Dale Earnhardt Jr. ||Winner: Daytona |
|4.||Kyle Busch ||Winner: Fontana |
|5.||Brad Keselowski ||Winner: Las Vegas |
|6.||Joey Logano ||Winner: Texas |
|7.||Kurt Busch ||Winner: Martinsville|
|8.||Jeff Gordon ||Points leader |
|9.||Matt Kenseth||2nd in points|
|10.||Jimmie Johnson ||5th in points|
|11.||Ryan Newman ||9th in points|
|12.||Austin Dillon ||10th in points|
|13.||Greg Biffle ||11th in points|
|14.||Tony Stewart ||12th in points|
|15.||Brian Vickers ||13th in points|
|16.||Kyle Larson ||14th in points|