Kevin Harvick Advances in NASCAR Chase with Kansas Win [VIDEO, PHOTOS]

Kevin Harvick has earned an automatic advance on the NASCAR Chase Grid to the Round of Eight with his win at Kansas Speedway in the Hollywood Casino 400.

The Sunday afternoon race (10/16) was filled with many Round of 12 Chase drivers having issues. Some were able to fight back for a decent finish while others now find themselves in a deep hole heading to the elimination race this coming week in the Sprint Cup series.

While there were 16 lead changes among 10 different drivers, some of those came as a result of the eight caution periods when a driver led the race for a lap or two before pitting or the re-start of the race.

Matt Kenseth led the most laps in the race with 116 laps in the front of the 267 lap race. Of course, as we all know it is that last lap that really counts. On the final re-start of the race following the last yellow flag period, Kevin Harvick was able to get out to the lead and hold it for the final 30 laps to win and advance to the next round of The Chase.

Carl Edwards finished the race in second place with third place going to Joey Logano. Jimmie Johnson claimed a fourth place finish and Kyle Busch rounded out the top five in fifth place. See the complete race results for the Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway here.

Of course advancing on the Chase Grid is now the most important factor for the remaining contenders. However, points will still matter to all but one person at the end of the season. Following the Kansas race Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth and Kyle Busch remain in first through third respectively in the point standings. Carl Edwards moved up two spots to fourth place with Kurt Busch holding steady in fifth place. See the complete NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings here.

The Chase Grid had some major shuffling take place after Kansas. The win by Kevin Harvick moves him to an automatic advance to the Round of Eight with Charlotte winner Jimmie Johnson. The drivers who will start this weekend’s elimination race below the cut line are Austin Dillon, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Chase Elliot. See the NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase Grid here.

This weekend the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup will be at Talladega Superspeedway. The Chase Grid drivers that have not locked themselves into the next round will have tons of pressure on them as anything can happen at “Dega” and the “Big One” is always looming. The Alabama 500 will determine which four drivers will be eliminated from championship contention starting at 1:00 PM central time (2:00 PM eastern time) Sunday, October 23rd.

By: Buck Stevens

(Photos courtesy of Images)