NASCAR Sprint: Bowyer wins race, Gordon beats Busch for Chase

By: AP
By: AP

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Clint Bowyer won the rain-delayed race at Richmond, and Jeff Gordon drove his way into the title picture by grabbing the last wild-card berth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
Bowyer came back from a mid-race spin to pick up his second win of the season. The Saturday night victory gave the Michael Waltrip Racing driver another three bonus points to take into the Chase.
But the night belonged to Gordon, who struggled most of the race but pulled off a big-time rally to beat Kyle Busch by three points for the final spot in the 12-driver Chase field.
The complexion of the race changed dramatically after the third and final rain delay. Busch had a firm grasp on the wild-card spot until that last shower.
A steady shower soaked the track about 90 minutes before the scheduled start, and the delay prevented Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney from giving the command to start the engines. Romney was long gone when the race started almost two hours late.
Jeff Gordon, who started on the front row in his bid to grab the final slot in the 12-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup championship field, struggled from the start. The four-time series champion went into Saturday night needing to either win the race or outrun Kyle Busch for one of the two wild card slots into the Chase, which begins next Sunday at Chicago.

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