Harvick stays alive in the chase; Johnson eliminated in Dover

For some drivers having already been eliminated from the chase for the Sprint Cup, Dover was just another stop on the schedule.

But for others looking to make a statement, or better yet, advance in the Cup playoffs, the AAA 400 meant everything.

With Jimmy Johnson reaching a career milestone with his 500th career start, and Jeff Gordon racing at the Monster Mile for the final time, the story lines were plentiful at Sunday’s Triple-A 400.

Heading into the race, Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin clinched spots in the next round of the cup playoffs.

Meaning only 10 spots in the 12-driver Contender Round were up for grabs.

“We’ll see what happens. There’s still two more rounds to figure out who’s going to Homestead.”, Said Kyle Busch.

Among those on the bubble heading into the race were Kevin Harvick, who before Sunday was fifteenth in the chase standings.

Finding himself in a “win and you’re in” scenario, Harvick turned in an impressive performance.

Running in the top spot for 355 laps, he led the field in laps led on his way to victory lane.

“For us we all knew what we had to do and it was no different preparation then what we would do on a weekly basis. all in all it was business as usual.”

While it was an exciting day for Harvick, it was a disappointing one for Jimmie Johnson.

A 10-time Dover winner, he entered 5th in the standings, nearly guaranteeing himself a spot in the next round.

However, unexpected issues with his car ruled out the possibilities of him advancing.

His Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Dale Earnhardt Jr., did the opposite.

Sitting in the 11th spot, Junior needed a solid finish to move on.

“We had a pretty good car. I thought we were about the third to fifth best car, and we just fought all day for track position, and we passed a lot of cars and had a lot of fun.”, Said Earnhardt Jr.

Dover is now in their rear view and Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch, Carl Edwards, Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamilin, Jeff Gordon, and Ryan Newman are one step closer to that coveted sprint cup.

Here are the official results from Sunday’s AAA 400:

  1. Kevin Harvick
  2. Kyle Busch
  3. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  4. Jamie McMurray
  5. Aric Almirola
  6. Kasey Kahne
  7. Matt Kenseth
  8. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  9. Kyle Larson
  10. Joey Logano
  11. Martin Truex Jr.
  12. Jeff Gordon
  13. Greg Biffle
  14. Clint Bowyer
  15. Carl Edwards
  16. Brad Keselowski
  17. Kurt Busch
  18. Denny Hamlin
  19. Ryan Newman
  20. Sam Hornish Jr.
  21. Danica Patrick
  22. David Ragan
  23. Austin Dillon
  24. Casey Mears
  25. Paul Menard
  26. Tony Stewart
  27. Justin Allagaier
  28. Cole Whitt
  29. AJ Allmendinger
  30. David Gilliland
  31. Trevor Bayne
  32. Alex Bowman
  33. Reed Sorenson
  34. Matt DiBendetto
  35. J.J. Yeley
  36. John Wise
  37. Michael Annett
  38. Alex Kennedy
  39. Timmy Hill
  40. Landon Cassill
  41. Jimmie Johnson
  42. Brett Moffitt
  43. Jeb Burton

Only seven races remain until we see another Sprint Cup Champion crowned.

Next Saturday, the Bank of America 500 kicks off the Contender round in Charlotte.

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