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Under normal circumstances, Jeff Gordon said, he would have declined NASCAR’s 12th-hour offer to make him the 13th driver in the 12-man Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship.
But NASCAR’s regular-season finale was run under anything but normal circumstances. The outcome of the Federated Auto Parts 400 was called into question by allegations it had been manipulated by Michael Waltrip Racing.
When the dust had settled on NASCAR’s investigation, Gordon and Ryan Newman were installed as the 12th and 13th drivers in the Chase and Martin Truex Jr. was bumped.
Nevertheless, the two drivers don’t feel they were handed anything — they believe they earned their way in.