Kevin Harvick has been dominant in the first half of tonight's Wonderful Pistachios 400 at the RIchmond International Raceway, but the big story has been the ten caution flags that have flown throughout the first half of this race. Unlike most races, every caution has been brought out by an accident of some sort.
The most recent came out when Kurt Busch locked his tires going into the first turn, hitting Jimmie Johnson in the left-rear corner and sending the five-time defending series champion into the turn one wall. Johnson is now assured of entering the Chase with just one victory, his worst total ever heading into the playoff.
Paul Menard's slim Chase hopes ended on the caution flag prior when he slammed the turn one wall in a jam up that also involved Matt Kenseth and Regan Smith. Menard's Chevrolet went to the grage, ensuring that he will fall out of the top-20 in points and be unable to pick up one of the two wild card spots in the Chase even if Brad Keselowski should displace Dale Earnhardt Jr. or Tony Stewart.
Stewart is currently shown in the 14th position, inside the top-18 where he must finish to mathematically clinch his spot in the playoff. Earnhardt meanwhile, after a contact-filled night, runs 25th.
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