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One Race Left Until NASCAR’s Chase For The Title

Kyle Busch salutes the crowd after winning Sunday’s night race at Atlanta Motor Speedway (Getty Images)

Only five slots left and one race to go before NASCAR’s chase for the Sprint Cup Championship begins.

Kyle Busch cashed an entry by winning Sunday night’s race at Atlanta, but defending Cup champion Brad Keselowski needs to win at Richmond on Saturday night in the worst way if he hopes to defend his title. Keselowski was leading when his engine gave out. He ran on six cylinders for a while to gain as many points as he could until his motor just quit. And it cost him in the standings dropping from 11th to 15th.

Earlier Clint Bowyer was leading and had actually moved past Jimmie Johnson to take over the points lead when his engine quit. At the end of the race, Bowyer was still in second place in the standings, while Johnson finished in the bottom third for the third straight race.

So entering Saturday night at Richmond, Johnson, Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth are in, plus Kasey Kahne has clinched the first wild card spot.

Dale Earnhardt, Jr. will likely make it in, and Martin Truex, Jr. will likely be the other wild card, but on the bubble are Joey Logano, Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon, Greg Biffle and Ryan Newman.

Harvick won Saturday’s Nationwide race, holding off Kyle Busch over the final laps, and Bill Elliott’s 18-year-old son Chase Elliott won Sunday’s truck series race on a road course in Bowmanville, Ontario. He plowed into Ty Dillon on the final turn of the last lap to move into the lead and went on to his first series victory. Dillon was furious afterwards and vowed Elliott won’t finish next week’s Truck Series race at Iowa.

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