Jeff Gordon has been added as the 13th driver in the Chase for the Sprint Cup field, with NASCAR determining the manipulation of last week's race by multiple drivers put Gordon at a disadvantage in his attempt to earn one of the 12 qualifying spots.
"It's an unprecedented and extraordinary thing," NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France said. "But it's also an unprecedented and extraordinary set of circumstances that unfolded in multiple different ways on Saturday night, and we believe this was the right outcome to protect the integrity, which is the number one goal of NASCAR."
NASCAR leveled penalties against Michael Waltrip Racing on Monday that bumped Martin Truex out of the Chase field in favor of Ryan Newman. Penske Racing and Front Row Motorsports were also put on probation for the remainder of the season after FoxSports1 reported on Wednesday about apparent collusion between the teams to allow Joey Logan to pass David Gilliland late in the race.
NASCAR determined the combined result of the events likely prevented Gordon from finishing in a position to qualify for the Chase.
"We believe, in looking at all of it, there were too many things that altered the event and gave an unfair disadvantage to Jeff and his team, who would have qualified, and I have the authority to do that," said France.
Gordon, who was critical of NASCAR's actions on Twitter on Monday, said he's simply happy to have an opportunity to be a part of the Chase.
"What a roller-coaster ride of emotions this week, and an unprecedented set of circumstances - I've never been a part of anything like this before," Gordon said. "But for my team and my fans, who have been overwhelming supportive, and for the tough decisions NASCAR has to make."
Gordon will enter the Chase as the No. 13 seed, with 2,000 base points, 15 behind top-seeded Matt Kenseth.
"Wow we just gained 1250 points! Very appreciative of @NASCAR consideration on this matter as well as fans overwhelming support," Gordon tweeted Friday after NASCAR's announcement. "Think this is the first time I could actually hear the excitement in all of your tweets not just read them. Thank you all! #Team24"
Information from The NASCAR Wire Service contributed to this report.