|Kevin Harvick wins for the fourth time this season (Getty)|
Harvick, who finished third in last year’s standings, is joined by four-time series champion Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet (third seed); five-time defending champion Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe’s Power of Pride Chevrolet (sixth); Ryan Newman, No. 39 U.S. Army Chevrolet (eighth); two-time champion Tony Stewart, No. 14 Office Depot/Mobil 1 Chevrolet (ninth); and Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88 Amp Energy/National Guard Chevrolet (10th). Stewart needed to finish 18th or better, and Earnhardt Jr. needed to finish 20th or better to clinch spots in the Chase. Stewart was seventh at RIR; Earnhardt Jr. was 16th. The other four Team Chevy drivers had previously secured positions.
Johnson is the only driver to qualify for each of the eight Chases (2004-10). Both Gordon and Stewart qualified for the seventh time. Johnson (2006-10) and Stewart (2005) have combined to win the last six driver’s championships.
Harvick now has four victories in 2011, one short of his career best. He was joined in the top 10 at Richmond by Gordon (third), Stewart (seventh), Newman (eighth) and Mark Martin, No. 5 Chevrolet (10th).
The 10-race Chase opens next Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway and concludes November 20 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
- from Chevy PR release