Gordon added to Chase field
Jeff Gordon has been added to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup as the 13th driver, NASCAR Chairman and CEO Brian France announced Friday at Chicagoland Speedway in a joint press conference with NASCAR President Mike Helton.
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“It is an unprecedented and extraordinary thing, but also an unprecedented and extraordinary set of circumstances that unfolded multiple different ways on Saturday night,” France said. “We believe this is the right outcome to protect the integrity, which is our No. 1 goal, of NASCAR.”
Gordon finished one point behind Joey Logano for 10th place in the standings after the regular-season finale at Richmond -- Logano would have owned the tiebreaker had they finished with the same number of points. The top 10 in the standings were guaranteed a berth in the postseason.
Gordon will be seeded 13th in the postseason.
Shortly after the announcement, Gordon posted on Twitter: "Wow we just gained 1250 points! Very appreciative of @NASCAR consideration on this matter as well as fans overwhelming support."
He later added: "Think this is the first time I could actually hear the excitement in all of your tweets not just read them. Thank you all! #Team24"
Since the checkered flag fell at Richmond, Michael Waltrip Racing has been fined $300,000 and docked driver and owner points following a NASCAR investigation for attempting to manipulate the outcome of a race.
MWR's three drivers were all docked 50 points, which knocked Martin Truex Jr. out of the postseason in favor of Ryan Newman.
In addition to Gordon being added into the postseason, Front Row Motorsports and Penske Racing are on probation until the end of the year, Helton announced. There was question over whether those two teams had improper communication during the Richmond race.
"More than anything, it’s just right thing to do,” France said in making the Gordon announcement. “There were too many things that went on Saturday night that provided a clear disadvantage."
Gordon's addition into the postseason means all four Hendrick Motorsports cars are in the running for the championship.
“I applaud NASCAR for taking the time for a full review," Rick Hendrick said in a press release. "What occurred at Richmond was not of their making, and they’ve had to wrestle with some very difficult decisions throughout the week. I know everything done by NASCAR has been a sincere effort to be fair and ultimately do what’s best for our sport and our fans.
“We’re extremely proud to have all four cars in the Chase for the second consecutive season. Jeff and the No. 24 team earned this spot, and we’re going to leave everything on the race track during these last 10 (races). The support this week from our fans and partners has been incredible, and I’m proud of everyone at Hendrick Motorsports for the effort that’s gotten us here. The Chase is going to be exciting.”