Race to Chase update: Keselowski leads Glen movers and shakers

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Sunday’s Cheez-It 355 at Watkins Glen was the 22nd of 26 regular season races before NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup. Kyle Busch held off Brad Keselowski, who came up just short at Watkins Glen again, to score his third victory of the season. Keselowski desperately needed his first win of the year but with others around him in points having issues, he jumped from 12th place to eighth in the standings.

Keselowski and Kasey Kahne swapped spots, the Pocono winner falling to 12th but still the first Wild Card driver a 34th place finish at the Glen. Martin Truex Jr. also gained four spots to move into 10th, while Jeff Gordon’s crash cost him four spots. Tony Stewart, like Denny Hamlin, will now miss the Chase in 2013 after his injuries. Fortunately, he’s out of the hospital and recovering.

Here’s where things sit as of now:

1. Jimmie Johnson, 808 points, 4 wins
2. Clint Bowyer, 733, 0
3. Carl Edwards, 728, 1
4. Kevin Harvick, 707, 2
5. Kyle Busch, 693, 3
6. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 670, 0
7. Matt Kenseth, 659, 4
8. Brad Keselowski, 634, 0
9. Greg Biffle, 627, 1
10. Martin Truex Jr., 625, 1
11. Kurt Busch, -2 behind Truex, 0 wins
12. Kasey Kahne, -3, 2
13. Jeff Gordon, -15, 0
14. Ryan Newman, -20, 1
15. Jamie McMurray, -25, 0
16. Joey Logano, -27, 0
17. Tony Stewart, -31, 1
18. Aric Almirola, -64, 0
19. Paul Menard, -66, 0
20. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., -94, 0

We’ll feel comfortable saying that six of the 12 Chasers seem pretty definitive at this point with four races to go. One already is, as Jimmie Johnson clinched his berth Sunday.

LOCKED IN: Johnson
VIRTUAL LOCKS: Bowyer, Edwards, Harvick, Kyle Busch, Kenseth
ALMOST LOCKS: Earnhardt Jr., Kahne
GOOD FOR NOW: Keselowski, Biffle, Truex, Newman

IN RANGE: Kurt Busch, Gordon, McMurray
OUT OF RANGE: Logano
VIRTUALLY ELIMINATED: Stewart, Almirola, Menard, Stenhouse Jr.

PREVIOUS RACE TO CHASE UPDATES: Indianapolis, Pocono 2

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
James Gilbert/Getty Images
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.