The history of Furniture Row Racing and full crew for Martin Truex Jr.
Driver-by-driver news and notes from the opening race of the Chase MORE: Full race results " Updated series standings " Chicagoland photos " Gallery of winners RELATED: Track your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge and Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota Editor's Note: Drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup will appear in italics. 1. Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Ford, Team Penske. The 2012 champion started 25th and had the lead by Lap 46. Keselowski had to come back to pit road for a loose wheel on Lap 186 that took him from second at the time to restarting in 16th. Crew chief Paul Wolfe told him, "I don't want to take a chance." It was a good thing they didn't. Keselowski worked his way back up through the field and went between Larson and Harvick to take the lead for good on Lap 252. The win automatically punches Keselowski's ticket into the Contender Round of 12 drivers in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Watch how Keselowski got the lead 2. Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports. For the second straight week, Gordon finished as the runner-up to Keselowski. He led 26 laps on the afternoon and really never left the top 10. Gordon was the fastest car during green flags (176.271 mph) and fastest on restarts (176.701 mph). The four-time champion said afterwards "the whole team was extremely solid and that's a great way to get started." See Gordon's race highlights 3. Kyle Larson, No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. The rookie nearly played spoiler in the opening race of the Chase. He led 20 laps, the most he has led in a race in his Sprint Cup career. He had plenty of speed, with 17.2 percent of the fastest laps run (tied for the most), the third-fastest car on restarts at 175.847 mph and he did it all in a backup car after wrecking his main car in Saturday's practice session. After the race, the rookie lamented how close his was to earning his first Sprint Cup victory, telling ESPN, "Man, I was so close." See Larson's race highlights 4. Joey Logano, No. 22 Ford, Team Penske. Logano had his worst starting position since the July Daytona race, starting 28th, but he made up plenty of ground. He recorded 103 green flag passes (the fourth-highest total in the race) and was the best "closer" of the race. He picked up nine spots in the final 27 laps of the race for his fifth top-five finish in eight races, in which he has had an average finish of 5.3. Watch Logano's post-race interview 5. Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Harvick had to pit again after a Lap 68 stop for a wheel going down. He originally pitted in fifth and restarted in 21st. By Lap 151, he had the lead and held it for 79 laps, the most of anyone in the race. He had speed, but had a tough time holding off a hard charging Larson and then Keselowski. He had 16.7 percent of the fastest laps run in the race and earned his sixth top-10 finish in eight races. See Harvick's race highlights 6. Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Hamlin expressed some early fears that he was having engine trouble, but that turned out to not be the case. In Darian Grubb's return to the pit box, Hamlin continued to carry the good mojo from his strong run with interim crew chief Michael Wheeler. Hamlin had 109 green flag passes (tied for the most in the race) and spent the third-least amount of time on pit road. For in-race pit road data, subscribe to RaceView today 7. Kyle Busch, No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . "Rowdy" led 46 circuits and never left the top 15 all race long. He showed some speed, laying down the fastest lap of the race on Lap 2 at 185.096 mph. For a team that had struggled in a big way entering the Chase, this top 10 finish -- their first in seven races -- was a huge step for the No. 18 team. See Kyle Busch's race highlights 8. Kurt Busch, No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Talk about an up-and-down day. "The Outlaw" spun entering pit road on Lap 46 and had to serve a pass-thru penalty for a commitment line violation, putting him in 30th place on Lap 60. How did he make up the ground? He tied for most green flag passes in the race with 109 and he closed strong, picking up seven spots in the final 27 laps of the race, despite some minor contact with his brother with 30 laps to go. See Kurt Busch's race highlights 9. Jamie McMurray, No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. McMurray continued his late season surge by leading 32 laps on the day and spending all but one lap in the top 15. He spent the least amount of time on pit road and earned his third top-10 finish in four races. For in-race pit road data, subscribe to RaceView today 10. Matt Kenseth, No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Kenseth recovered well after spinning out on his way onto pit road on Lap 148. Part of that recovery can be attributed to his pit crew, with Kenseth's team earning the fastest average time on pit road (from pulling in to leaving) at 35.267 seconds. 11. Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports. Dale Jr. struggled in final practice but made some early gains in the race and spent significant time in the top five. Earnhardt had 50 quality passes on the afternoon, which was the fifth-most for the race. But just missing out on a top-10 finish left Junior a little disappointed, as he said over the radio, "I should have done a better job." See Dale Jr.'s race highlights 12. Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports. As he began his pursuit for title No. 7, Johnson spent much of the afternoon in the top 10 but dropped out late. He was the second-fastest car early in a run at 177.930 mph, according to loop data. However, he was just the 11th-fastest car late in a run. Perhaps that explains part of the dropoff. It was Johnson's first finish outside of the top 10 since Watkins Glen. 13. Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports. Talk about being opportunistic. Kahne spent only 15.4 percent of the race running in the top 15, but those laps happened to fall in the latter part of the race. The result places him 11th in the standings. 14. Martin Truex Jr., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing . Truex earned his best finish since Watkins Glen, a stretch of five races. He did that in part by being one of the better "closers" in the race. According to loop data, Truex moved four spots in the final 27 laps of the race. 15. Ryan Newman, No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Newman had two separate issues with tires during the races. The second of which -- a tire rub issue on Lap 155 -- led to Newman sternly saying over the radio, "find out why that tire started rubbing and make sure it doesn't happen again, please!" He was two laps down at one point and rallied for a top-15 finish. He is just outside the transfer spot to the Contender Round but can improve over the next two races to advance. For more in-car audio, subscribe to RaceView today 16. Austin Dillon, No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . In his best result since Watkins Glen, Dillon registered the fourth-most quality passes of the afternoon with 51. He also spent 59.9 percent of the laps in the top 15 -- not bad for a rookie who looks to get better in the latter half of the season. 17. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . The second-year Sprint Cup driver was credited with the most quality passes in the MyAFibStory.com 400 with 63. He had a little run-in with his girlfriend on the track, but managed to earn his sixth top-20 result in the past seven races. He had just seven top-20 finishes in the 20 races before that. 18. Tony Stewart, No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . It was a quiet day for "Smoke," who has put together back-to-back top-20 finishes. He ran well at Loudon in the summer and that one-mile track could be where Stewart gets his first win of 2014. He has three victories there in his Sprint Cup career. 19. Danica Patrick, No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Danica has now scored three straight top-20 finishes for the first time in her Sprint Cup Series career. However, there was a little dust up late when Stenhouse Jr., her boyfriend, made contact with her, bringing out a caution. See the contact between Danica and Ricky 20. Carl Edwards, No. 99 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Edwards showed plenty of speed in practices and looked to be one of the cars to contend with here. After starting third, he was out of the top 10 by Lap 60 and spent only 39.7 percent of the laps in the top 15. Edwards holds the final transfer spot in the standings, but his hold on that spot is anything but secure with two more races in the Challenger Round. 21. Paul Menard, No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . With his first top 10 starting spot since the August Michigan race, this was not the result Menard was hoping for. It was also the sixth straight race at Chicagoland where Menard finished in a worse position than where he started. 22. AJ Allmendinger, No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing . Allmendinger's first career Chase race did not go badly, but it could have gone better. The result leaves him in 14th place in the standings and in need of better results at Loudon and Dover, which are not exactly two of his strongest tracks. 23. Greg Biffle, No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . It was a tough day for "The Biff," who never mounted a charge out of a mid-20s position. Over the radio, the Chase driver sounded frustrated, telling his crew on Lap 257 "that this thing goes from hauling (expletive) to junk." Biffle will need two solid finishes at Loudon and Dover to advance to the Contender Round of the Chase. For more colorful in-car audio, subscribe to RaceView 24. Brian Vickers, No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . Vickers has fared well at Chicagoland in the past with three top-finishes in his first five starts at the track, but this year's race continued a trend in the opposite direction. In the past two races at the venue, he has finished 38th and 24th, well below his average finish of 14.9 at the 1.5-mile track. 25. Marcos Ambrose, No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports. Ambrose is leaving NASCAR after this season, but the Tasmania native is hoping to go out strong. This was his best finish since the August race at Michigan and he completed 67 green flag passes on the day. 26. Casey Mears, No. 13 Chevrolet, Germain Racing . Mears scored his sixth top-30 finish in seven races, while also earning his best Chicagoland finish since 2009. 27. Justin Allgaier, No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports. After making some gains in the late summer, Allgaier has dropped off a bit of late. He has finished no better than 26th in his last three races, after finishing inside the top 20 in three of the previous four races. 28. Landon Cassill, No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Racing . This was Cassill's first top-30 finish in three races and his best finish in a Sprint Cup race at Chicagoland. 29. Reed Sorenson, No. 36 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing . For the ninth straight week, Sorenson finished in a better spot than where he started. In the past four weeks, Sorenson has bounced between finishing 24th, then 29th, then 24th and 29th. So should we expect a 24th-place finish at Loudon? 30. Cole Whitt, No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing . It seemed like the rookie was heading for a really bad day with reports of engine trouble but Whitt was able to stay on the track to carry the flag for BK Racing for his fourth straight 30th-place finish. 31. David Ragan, No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports. Ragan has had a knack over the past two months for finishing in a better spot than where he started. That continued this weekend as he started 39th, earning the ninth straight race of finishing in a better spot than where he started. 32. Michael McDowell, No. 95 Ford, Leavine Family Racing . The part-time driver finished exactly where he started but it was his best result in five starts at Chicagoland. 33. Josh Wise, No. 98 Chevrolet, Phil Parsons Racing . The past three races have seen Wise average a finish of 32.7. This finish at Chicagoland was the best of his career at the 1.5-mile track. 34. David Gilliland, No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports. After six straight weeks of top-30 finishes, the veteran regressed with his result at Chicagoland. 35. Alex Bowman, No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing . For the 12th straight race, the rookie was running at the finish, although he was six laps down. He did, however, have 71 green flag passes on the afternoon. 36. Joe Nemechek, No. 66 Toyota, Jay Robinson Racing . Nemechek improved his position from start to finish for the second straight week. This result was his best since a 35th-place showing at Michigan nearly a month ago. 37. Joey Gase, No. 32 Ford, FAS Lane Racing . The Nationwide Series regular was making his Sprint Cup debut. The 37th-place showing was right around where this car has been all year. 38. Travis Kvapil, No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport. Kvapil finished 11 laps down for his worst finish at Chicagoland finish since 2008. 39. Clint Bowyer, No. 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . After the disappointment of not making the Chase following a strong run at Richmond, Bowyer found the wall a few times on the way to his second finish of 38th-or-worse in the past three races. Over the radio after the second time of hitting the wall, Bowyer's frustration was evident, "damn it, hit the (expletive) wall again." Another smack of the wall led to some significant right side damage and a trip to the garage. For more in-car audio, subscribe to RaceView 40. Michael Annett, No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing . The rookie is trending the wrong way in recent weeks, as this was his fourth finish of 37th-of-worse in the past five races. 41. Aric Almirola, No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports. A promising run for the Chase underdog was cut short by engine woes. He spent much of the day in the top 10 and led two laps before the disappointing end on Lap 231, at which he radioed in, "we blew up guys, push it back. Wasn't a tire, push it back." He has no margin for error now in the final two Challenger Round races. See how Almirola's day ended 42. Ryan Truex, No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing . An oil leak and a broken wheel bearing are never a good combination and the rookie paid the price for both. Truex finished in 42nd place for the second straight week, and it was his eighth DNF of the season. 43. Mike Bliss, No. 37 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing . Making his fifth start of the season, Bliss finished 254 laps down due to a vibration for his third last-place finish this season. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Furniture Row Racing driver honored for support of children's hospital
Get to know the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing over-the-wall gang
Furniture Row Racing announces that Martin Truex Jr. will drive the No. 78 in 2014.
Seven will relay information to teams in the postseason Photo credit: Tony Gibson's Twitter account (@TonyOldman10) RELATED: Play Perfect Chase Grid Challenge and Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota Seven NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who are not a part of this year's 16-team Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup field are taking part in a Goodyear tire test today at Homestead-Miami Speedway . Per NASCAR, drivers that qualified for this year's 10-race Chase are not allowed to take part in the one-day test. As a result, the following drivers will take part in the test: • Justin Allgaier (HScott Motorsports) is testing for Hendrick Motorsports . All four HMS drivers -- Jimmie Johnson , Jeff Gordon , Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne -- qualified for this year's postseason; • Ryan Blaney , currently third in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points standings with Brad Keselowski Racing , is testing for Team Penske drivers Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano , who are both in the Chase; • Austin Dillon ( Richard Childress Racing ) is on hand to test for RCR Chase participant Ryan Newman and the No. 31 team; • Sam Hornish Jr. , competing in a limited number of NASCAR Nationwide Series races this season for Joe Gibbs Racing , is representing JGR drivers Matt Kenseth , Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin ; • Stewart-Haas Racing , which saw drivers Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch qualify for the Chase, is represented by Danica Patrick ; • Roush Fenway Racing 's two Chase participants, Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle , have teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. handling testing duties for the RFR group and are expected to share information with the Ford team of Aric Almirola of Richard Petty Motorsports ; • Rounding out the drivers on hand is Martin Truex Jr. , of Furniture Row Racing , representing the single-car operation of JTG Daugherty Racing and Chase driver AJ Allmendinger . Homestead will host the fourth and final round of this year's Chase, the Championship Round, in which four drivers, pared down from the initial 16, will battle for the series' championship. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: NASCAR Chase Grid games WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
See where each driver finished at Atlanta and what put them there MORE: Gallery of 2014 winners " Best Atlanta photos 1. Kasey Kahne, No. 5 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports. Kasey Kahne basically had to win, so that's what he did. And the journey Kahne took to get to Victory Lane was long and winding, but ultimately rewarding after the driver notched his first win of 2014 and punched his postseason ticket following two attempts at a green-white-checkered finish. "You're a badass!," spotter Kevin Hamlin said. "Nice job." Watch Kahne's highlights here. 2. Matt Kenseth, No. 20 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . A late call for two tires gave Kenseth the best chance to win. And although the veteran couldn't quite hold off Kasey Kahne, he's getting closer to his first win of 2014. He finished third last week and second Sunday. Oh, and he clinched a berth in the Chase Grid, too. Watch the final laps here. 3. Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Hamlin consistently gained ground on pit road and his pit crew rated the highest of the night, according to RaceView data. His average crew time (11.8 seconds), average driver time (24.3 seconds) and average total time (36.1 seconds) on pit road all ranked first for the night. To get live data during pit stops and post-race rankings, subscribe to RaceView. 4. Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports. Johnson's car wasn't ridiculously fast, but it was good. The strategy was sound, as always, and "Six-Time" avoided the trouble that befell so many of Sunday's front-runners for his second consecutive fourth-place finish. The driver and crew chief Chad Knaus were also a delight over the radio. To subscribe to RaceView and get uncensored in-race audio, click here. 5. Carl Edwards, No. 99 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . This was a weird race for Edwards. During the race's first caution, he had to come in for a new transponder but was awarded his spot in the field back. Then late, he was involved in a wreck on the first attempt at a green-white-checkered restart. But there was Edwards, barreling down the track and securing his sixth top-five of the year by the end of the night. 6. Danica Patrick, No. 10 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . Danica Patrick said the race felt like "700 miles." All good things come to those who wait. Patrick restarted fourth with two laps to go and wound up sixth, a career-best effort. "I was starting to think holy (expletive), we can win here," she crowed to her team in celebration. To see her highlights, click here. 7. Ryan Newman, No. 31 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Newman notched his first top-10 in nearly a month, which was crucial to his postseason chances after Kasey Kahne won for the first time in 2014. He was able to do so by being the best closer of the race -- he moved up 12 positions over the final 33 laps. 8. Kyle Larson, No. 42 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing . Larson slid through his pit box early and lost critical positioning. During a long run at the midway point, he fell from fifth to 12th. Yet there was this rookie up front by the end, recording his 11th top-10 of the year and sixth top-12 in his past seven starts. On RaceView, crew chief Chris Heroy called out that a ladybug had landed on his visor -- isn't that supposed to bring good luck? To subscribe to RaceView, click here. 9. Aric Almirola, No. 43 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports. Almirola was one of two drivers to gain more than 10 positions on the track over the final 10 percent of the race -- in this case, 33 laps. It led to a finish that should give his team a jolt with the Chase starting in two weeks. 10. Greg Biffle, No. 16 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Despite smacking Dale Earnhardt Jr. on Lap 269 and nearly getting sent off the track, Biffle recovered. The same can be said about his season. The veteran now has five consecutive top-10s after finishing 10th for the third consecutive race. He's currently the final driver in the Chase Grid. To see his highlights, click here. 11. Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports. Tony Stewart's disintegrated tire on Lap 173 strewed debris all over the track. Some of hit Junior's Chevrolet, and it ruined his chance of winning -- but not his night. Earnhardt had to come down pit road multiple times to fix his grille, but managed to stay on the lead lap. Click here to see Junior's highlights. 12. Jamie McMurray, No. 1 Chevrolet, Chip Ganassi Racing . McMurray and teammate Kyle Larson continue to have strong cars. And they've gotten good finishes out of them, too. After all, it was Chip Ganassi Racing -- not Team Penske -- as the two-car team to place both its drivers in the top 12. 13. Kurt Busch, No. 41 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . The 'Outlaw' led more than 20 laps (22 total) for the fifth time this year, and his Chevrolet was in top form … at least until he blew a right rear tire around the midway point. His No. 41 hit the outside wall hard, knocking a chunk of the vehicle off and forcing Busch to play catch-up all night. To see his highlights, click here. 14. Joey Logano, No. 22 Ford, Team Penske. Certainly, Marcos Ambrose' engine blowing up wasn't good for the No. 9 team. It was for Logano and Co., however. The lengthy time it took to clean the track allowed Logano to get his mind cleared. "Probably a good thing we had this caution," he told crew chief Todd Gordon. "I needed a chill pill." A more calm and cool Logano took the track, and he remained in a zen-like mode … all the way up to a wreck on the first attempt at a green-white-checkered restarted, that ruined his chance at winning. To get in-race audio, subscribe to RaceView. 15. Brian Vickers, No. 55 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . Vickers' worst finish at Atlanta over the past six races was due to a speeding penalty on pit road. That happened with fewer than 50 laps remaining, and it sent the driver well outside the top 10 -- where he had been running. 16. Kyle Busch, No. 18 Toyota, Joe Gibbs Racing . Near the midway point, Busch broke loose and smacked Tony Stewart, who got into the wall. Just before the white flag dropped, he ran Martin Truex Jr. into the wall and later barreled into his car once the caution flag came out. It's been a rough month for 'Rowdy' and company. Click here to see Sunday's highlights. 17. Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Chevrolet, Hendrick Motorsports. A spate of bad luck continued for Gordon, who has started in the top 10 for four consecutive races yet has just one top-15 to show for it. Sunday's showing, in which he started ninth and drove up to second early, was marred by a blown right front tire on Lap 78. He lost a lap getting repairs, then another after he had to come back down. Somehow getting back on the lead lap is a victory in its own right. 18. Paul Menard, No. 27 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . The only surefire way the No. 27 team could crash the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup was by winning one of the final two regular-season races. It's why crew chief Slugger Labbe called for two tires on a pit stop before the first green-white-checkered restart, and Menard restarted second. He couldn't find his grip, though, and cars stacked up behind him, eventually leading to a wreck. 19. Kevin Harvick, No. 4 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . For a while, it looked like Harvick had nine lives Sunday -- fascinating, of course, because the driver claims he nearly ran over a cat (or was it a squirrel?). Harvick consistently made up for lost time on pit road and led a whopping 195 laps before slamming the fence in a multicar incident on the penultimate restart. 20. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., No. 17 Ford, Roush Fenway Racing . Much like he did last season, Stenhouse is finding some consistency late in the year. While a 20th-place effort isn't a reason to celebrate, it's his fifth consecutive top-20 performance. That is easily his longest streak of the year. 21. Michael Annett, No. 7 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing . Annett's 21st-place finish was his best showing in the past seven races, and he was the highest finisher for Tommy Baldwin Racing . Finishing one lap down on such a long race after two consecutive weeks of DNFs is a boon for this team. 22. Casey Mears, No. 13 Chevrolet, German Racing . If nothing else, Mears is consistent. His average career finish at Atlanta is 22.5. His finish last year was 22nd. His finish this year? 22nd. 23. Martin Truex Jr., No. 78 Chevrolet, Furniture Row Racing . For the second time in four races, Truex had a run-in with Kyle Busch. This one happened on Lap 324, with Busch essentially dumping Truex. The Furniture Row Racing driver leaned into Busch's car to talk to him after the race, but it didn't get physical. "The 18 will come on your outside," crew chief Todd Berrier said over the radio after the incident. "Getting pissy in my ear, cut it out, we'll take care of it in our own way." Click here to get in-race audio and telemetry. 24. Austin Dillon, No. 3 Chevrolet, Richard Childress Racing . Dillon's rookie season isn't over -- there are 11 more races, after all -- but his chance of advancing to the postseason based off points is kaput. It's simple at Richmond -- winning is the only way into the Chase Grid. 25. Ty Dillon, No. 33 Chevrolet, Circle Sport Racing . Not a bad finish for the NASCAR Nationwide Series regular in his first career Sprint Cup start. We're willing to bet he wished to be flipped with the person who finished 24th, though. Let's just say there was an extra incentive. 26. Justin Allgaier, No. 51 Chevrolet, HScott Motorsports. Allgaier's 26th-place run wasn't his worst showing of late. But when you take away races in which he was knocked out early due to a crash, Sunday was his worst finish since Indianapolis. 27. David Ragan, No. 34 Ford, Front Row Motorsports. Ragan was consistent Sunday, and actually ended up as one of the night's biggest gainers. Considering he started 38th, 27th wasn't a bad showing for the No. 34 team. 28. David Gilliland, No. 38 Ford, Front Row Motorsports. For the sixth time this year, Gilliland and teammate David Ragan finished in consecutive order. Like his teammate, the driver of the No. 38 gained incremental positions throughout the night. 29. Reed Sorenson, No. 36 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing . For the fifth consecutive race, Sorenson finished inside the top 30 -- although just barely at Atlanta. Before this stretch, he had five top-30s in the first 20 races. 30. Cole Whitt, No. 26 Toyota, BK Racing . Whitt was whistled for speeding late in Sunday's event, the result of which sent him back down pit road for a pass-through penalty in what would be his second consecutive 30th-place finish. Denny Hamlin also called him out on the radio for not signaling to pit, causing a stack-up. 31. Landon Cassill, No. 40 Chevrolet, Hillman Racing . What is it about quirky intermediate tracks that has Cassill boosting his game? He hasn't done well on the "cookie-cutter" 1.5-mile tracks, but his effort at Atlanta (1.54 miles) mirrored his above-expectations finish at Darlington (1.37 miles) earlier this year. 32. J.J. Yeley, No. 32 Ford, GO Fas Racing . Driving the No. 32 car , Yeley finished 32nd for his second-best finish of the season. 33. Josh Wise, No. 98 Chevrolet, Phil Parsons Racing . Wise found his name being mentioned at the end of Sunday's race, although it was not in the manner he would have preferred. Brad Keselowski's hopes were dashed after he smacked Wise late while cars tried to figure out their pit strategy. 34. Brett Moffitt, No. 66 Toyota, Jay Robinson Racing . These races are supposed to be learning experiences for the 22-year-old Moffitt, so ideally he learned something he can use for the future when he was caught speeding on pit road. 35. Alex Bowman, No. 23 Toyota, BK Racing . Bowman finished just ahead of rookie teammate Ryan Truex. Those two were the only drivers to complete exactly 326 (of 335) laps. 36. Ryan Truex, No. 83 Toyota, BK Racing . Truex brought out the caution Lap 116 when he took a spin. Other than that, it was a relatively quiet night for the No. 83 team. 37. Joe Nemechek, No. 77 Ford, Randy Humphrey Racing . Sunday was Nemechek's 13th start in 25 races this year (he failed to qualify for five others) and it fell in line with his stats. His average finish this year is 36.3. 38. Clint Bowyer, No. 15 Toyota, Michael Waltrip Racing . If there was ever a time to subscribe to RaceView for uncensored audio, it was when Bowyer realized something was seriously wrong with his vehicle. Expletives flew as the driver took his car behind the wall with a busted gear shifter. He returned to the track 22 laps down -- and in real danger of missing out on the postseason after Kasey Kahne's win. Subscribe to RaceView here. 39. Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Ford, Team Penske. "We're here to win," Keselowski told his team over the radio before the race. "That's all that really matters right now." Those hopes all but ended when pitting following a Lap 209 caution, Keselowski severely overshot his stall. He came in second, and was out in 16th place. He explained over RaceView: "I couldn't see it, I'm sorry. It's so dark out here." Things got worse later, and a wreck with a lapped car sent Keselowski to the garage for good after 296 laps. For in-driver audio during races, subscribe to RaceView here. 40. AJ Allmendinger, No. 47 Chevrolet, JTG Daugherty Racing . Tires were twice a problem for Allmendinger and his team. Blowing a right tire on Lap 38 put him a lap down, and he blew another tire later and had to go behind the wall. It was a cruel blow to the one-car JTG Daugherty organization, which had pieced together three consecutive top-15s -- including a win at Watkins Glen. 41. Tony Stewart, No. 14 Chevrolet, Stewart-Haas Racing . In his first race in nearly a month following a tragic sprint car accident, Stewart's car was among the best in the field early. He gained five spots in the first two laps and was running in the top five early. Trouble started on Lap 122 when contact from Kyle Busch put the No. 14 into the wall, and a blown right front tire ended his night for good on Lap 173. "Sorry guys," Stewart said in driving his battered Chevy behind the wall. "You deserved better." See Stewart's highlights here. 42. Marcos Ambrose, No. 9 Ford, Richard Petty Motorsports. Ambrose has had good runs at Atlanta, but Sunday wasn't one of them. His No. 9 Ford blew an engine on Lap 123, ending his night. The Australian driver's slim hopes of advancing into the postseason on points alone are done. He must win next week. 43. Mike Bliss, No. 37 Chevrolet, Tommy Baldwin Racing . Sunday served as the third NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start of the season for the 49-year-old. He had previously finished 43rd at New Hampshire and 41st at Kentucky.
Bruce: Truex Jr. returns to Richmond 25th in the standings RELATED: Full coverage of "One Night in Richmond" series MORE: #MyChaseNation " Current Chase Grid It's been said that Martin Truex Jr. was simply a victim of circumstances, the one Michael Waltrip Racing driver that seemed free and clear of any wrongdoing. Yet when the dust finally settled in the wake of last year's Richmond scandal, it was Truex Jr. who found himself knocked out of NASCAR's postseason, the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Five teams would eventually be penalized; two drivers would go from missing the Chase to getting a second chance. But few paid the price of Truex Jr., who went from making his second consecutive Chase appearance, and third overall, to finding himself embroiled in a controversy not of his making. MWR's actions led NAPA, primary sponsor for Truex Jr. and the No. 56 team, to eventually withdraw its sponsorship. Without funding, MWR was forced to trim its operation from three full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams to two. And without a team, Truex Jr. was left to look for a ride. That isn't to say others weren't affected when NASCAR penalized MWR for attempting to manipulate the outcome of the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Ryan Newman was initially knocked out of a Chase berth and a potential win following Clint Bowyer's spin with seven laps remaining. Jeff Gordon , battling for the one of the final points positions, fell one point shy of cracking the top-10 and earning a spot in the Chase, due in part to the actions of Bowyer, teammate Brian Vickers and what officials eventually determined was yet another act of misconduct, this one involving Penske Racing (now Team Penske) and Front Row Motorsports . And Brian France, chairman and CEO of NASCAR, was left to sort it all out, a puzzle of 43 pieces dropped in he and his executives' collective lap while fans everywhere waited to see what, if anything, would come of the Richmond debacle. What eventually happened was unprecedented. Like Truex, MWR teammates Bowyer and Vickers were docked 50 driver points. Crew chiefs were placed on probation and MWR was fined a record $300,000, a figure NASCAR President Mike Helton at the time called "the most major fine in our history in terms of a dollar amount." But Bowyer, seventh before the Chase re-set, remained title eligible. Vickers, running a split schedule in the team's No. 55 entry, was racing for NASCAR Nationwide Series points with Joe Gibbs Racing , thus earning no Cup points for his efforts. The points penalty took Truex Jr. out of the Chase picture, and put Newman back in. Then, two days before the Chase was scheduled to get underway, officials announced penalties, in the form of probation, against the Penske and Front Row organizations. They also added one more team to the Chase field, expanding it from 12 (10 based on points as well as two wild-card entries) to 13, by reinserting Gordon into the field. "It wasn't one set of circumstances that led us to this decision," France said at the time. "It's a multiple set of circumstances that any one of them could have altered and given (Gordon) a disadvantage." NASCAR also made changes to the spotters' stand, where team members are in constant communication with drivers on the track and crew members in the pits. Beginning with last year's first Chase race, teams were limited to one spotter per team on the stand, and each spotter could have no more than two analog radios, in addition to a scanner and Fan View mobile device. How much of the Richmond fallout still lingers for those caught up in the fallout? Each has moved on, some finding success, while others are still searching for it. With the Sprint Cup Series headed back to Richmond this weekend, once again with Chase berths up for grabs, two of those involved in what took place last year -- Gordon and Joey Logano -- have already secured spots in this year's 10-race playoff. Gordon, a four-time champion, has enjoyed a stellar season, winning three times and heading to Richmond with the points lead. Logano, fourth in points, has also won three times, doubling his career victory total through this year's first 25 races. The others are still in contention, and a win by Newman, Bowyer, Vickers or Truex Jr. would secure a spot in the 16-team field. Various scenarios could put one or more in, or keep them out. It had already been announced that Newman would depart Stewart-Haas Racing at the end of '13. Two days after the Richmond race, he was named to driver for Richard Childress Racing for the '14 season. Although winless since capturing the Brickyard 400 a year ago, Newman has consistently finished among the top 15 this season. Ninth in points, he stands a good chance of advancing into the Chase for what would be the sixth time in his career. MWR regrouped following the loss of NAPA, and continues to carry sponsorship from two other primary partners -- 5-hour Energy and Aaron's. But while Bowyer (12th in points) and Vickers (18th) can still make the Chase, their seasons have been far from exceptional, with only six top-five finishes between the pair. Truex Jr. eventually landed at Furniture Row Racing , one of the few single-car teams in the series but one that made the Chase with driver Kurt Busch in 2013. That likely won't be the case this season, although the "win and you're in" format certainly leaves the door open. Truex Jr. is 25th in the standings, his lowest point heading into Richmond's fall event since he began racing full time in the Sprint Cup Series. He's managed just three top-10s, including one at Richmond earlier this year. A year after the fact, and with the Chase looming, NASCAR officials don't dwell on "what-ifs." "I think we drew a line in the sand last year at Chicago, and have lived up to that in every sense," Helton said. "Once we reacted to Richmond last year, that pretty much settled it from our side. So whatever decisions we made about the Chase or anything else, that issue had been resolved and didn't play a role in that." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news WATCH: Latest NASCAR video PLAY: NASCAR Fantasy Live FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
See the order the Sprint Cup drivers will roll off (Friday, 4:40 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1) RELATED: Track your picks in the Perfect Chase Grid Challenge and Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota # Car Driver Team 1 9 Marcos Ambrose Stanley Ford 2 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Ground Toyota 3 77 Corey Lajoie(i) Fochler Veterans Law Ford 4 32 Timmy Hill US Chrome Ford 5 36 Reed Sorenson American Muscle Driving Experience Chevrolet 6 66 Mike Wallace(i) Royal Teak Collection Toyota 7 13 Casey Mears Geico Chevrolet 8 42 Kyle Larson # Target Chevrolet 9 4 Kevin Harvick Budweiser Designate a Driver Chevrolet 10 55 Brian Vickers Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota 11 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's Chevrolet 12 43 Aric Almirola Smithfield Ford 13 41 Kurt Busch Haas Automation Chevrolet 14 27 Paul Menard Sylvania/Menards Chevrolet 15 10 Danica Patrick GoDaddy Chevrolet 16 47 AJ Allmendinger Bush's Beans Chevrolet 17 14 Tony Stewart Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevrolet 18 99 Carl Edwards Aflac Ford 19 78 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Chevrolet 20 38 David Gilliland Clean Harbors Ford 21 31 Ryan Newman Quicken Loans Chevrolet 22 40 Landon Cassill(i) Snap Fitness Chevrolet 23 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. EcoPower Oil Ford 24 51 Justin Allgaier # PlanBSales.com Chevrolet 25 5 Kasey Kahne Time Warner Cable Chevrolet 26 24 Jeff Gordon Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet 27 83 Travis Kvapil Burger King Toyota 28 18 Kyle Busch M&M's Toyota 29 34 David Ragan Taco Bell Ford 30 23 Alex Bowman # Dr Pepper Toyota 31 15 Clint Bowyer 5-Hour Energy Toyota 32 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet 33 98 Josh Wise Phil Parsons Racing Chevrolet 34 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 35 26 Cole Whitt # Rinnai Toyota 36 3 Austin Dillon # Cheerios Chevrolet 37 2 Brad Keselowski Miller Lite Ford 38 33 David Stremme Little Joe's Autos Chevrolet 39 16 Greg Biffle Ortho Ford 40 1 Jamie McMurray Belkin/WEMO Chevrolet 41 20 Matt Kenseth Dollar General Toyota 42 7 Michael Annett # Feed the Children/Golden Corral Chevrolet 43 93 Clay Rogers Iowa City Capital Partners Toyota MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView
Current Michael Waltrip Racing driver will replace Kurt Busch, confirms multiyear deal