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RICHMOND, Va. – Jamie McMurray clinched his first career berth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship Saturday night at Richmond.
McMurray only needed the green flag to drop to become the 12th driver to make the 16-driver field. Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon, Paul Menard and Clint Bowyer are among the drivers racing for the final Chase spots in the race that will set the field for next week's playoff opener at Chicagoland Speedway.
McMurray, who made the Chase on points, has won a Daytona 500 and a Brickyard 400 but never parlayed that into a spot in NASCAR's playoffs. McMurray is only the second driver to make the Chase for team owner Chip Ganassi, following Juan Pablo Montoya in 2009.
McMurray missed the cutoff for the Chase by one spot in 2004 and lost the final spot after a crash at Richmond in 2005. He also lost out on the final Chase spot at Richmond in 2014.