Denny Hamlin is where he's been much of the night - sitting out front - at the halfway point in the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond, but the faces tailing him have changed.
Clint Bowyer currently holds down the second position, followed by teammate Martin Truex Jr. The Michael Waltrip Racing Camrys are both locked into the Chase - the first two of Waltrip's teams to ever qualify for the playoff -and have been consistent enough throughout the summer that they cannot be eliminated from discussion of drivers who could potentially win the championship.
Kasey Kahne runs fourth in his No. 5 Chevrolet and seems certain to make the Chase via the first wild card position, while teammate Jimmie Johnson holds down fifth. Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr. - who either led or ran second to Hamlin for much of the race before sliding back on the most recent restart - Sam Hornish Jr., Tony Stewart, and Brad Keselowski complete the top-five.
Kyle Busch is a frustrated 12th, but he sits well ahead of his rivals for the second and final wild card spot. It will take a disaster such as a blown engine or an accident to deny the Joe Gibbs pilot of a Chase berth.