The field is set for the chase for the Sprint Cup Championship.

Carl Edwards won Saturday night’s race at Richmond, and the final seven spots in the chase were decided, but along with it came controversy and late race surprises.

Edwards’ win was questionable because he might have jumped the final restart when Paul Menard spun his tires. Edwards said if he waited for Menard to get going, both he and Menard would have been run over by the rest of the field.

And it looked like Ryan Newman had position to claim a spot in the chase when he passed Edwards with 10 laps left, but three laps later, Clint Bowyer spun out on his own, causing a caution, which eventually cost Newman his spot in the run for the championship. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. was following Bowyer and claimed it looked like he did on purpose to benefit teammate Martin Truex, Jr. And it looked that way to a number of other people. Blake Shelton even tweeted about it: “Y’all should all follow #Clint Bowyer!!! The definition of a team player!!!”

Whether it was intentional or not, it caused the field to come in for a pit stop, and it’s where Newman lost the lead and wound up finishing third. And that was just enough to give the final wild card spot to Truex.

Kasey Kahne claimed the first wild card spot.

Kurt Busch finished second to become the first driver from a single car company to make the chase.

Joey Logano claimed a spot in the chase for the first time in his career.

So now entering the final 10 races of the season, all 12 of the racers in the chase for the Sprint Cup Championship have their points reset to 2,000, with each victory during the regular season earning three extra points. It means that Matt Kenseth, with five victories, is the points leader. So after 26 races, here are the standings:

  • Matt Kenseth 2,015
  • Jimmie Johnson 2,012
  • Kyle Busch 2,012
  • Kevin Harvick 2,006
  • Carl Edwards 2,006
  • Joey Logano 2,003
  • Greg Biffle 2,003
  • Clint Bowyer 2,000
  • Dale Earnhardt, Jr. 2,000
  • Kurt Busch 2,000
  • Kasey Kahne 2,000
  • Martin Truex, Jr. 2,000

Out of the championship this year are Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman and defending Cup champion Brad Keselowski.

The season continues with the first chase race Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway.

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