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Interim crew chiefs for Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer at Richmond are set

Kevin Harvick is the recipient of some good luck at Darlington, Ryan Blaney is in an early points hole, Alex Bowman and William Byron are surging for Hendrick Motorsports, and Austin Dillon could be a playoff dark horse.

Kyle Busch and Clint Bowyer each will have an interim crew chief for Saturday’s Cup race at Richmond Raceway.

Crew chiefs Adam Stevens and Johnny Klausmeier each are suspended for Saturday night’s race. They are out because the cars of Busch and Bowyer each had two lug nuts not safe and secure after last weekend’s Southern 500. The penalty in Cup for that is a one-race and $20,000 fine to the crew chief.

Greg Zipadelli, vice president of competition at Stewart-Haas Racing, will serve as Bowyer’s crew chief at Richmond (7:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN). Zipadelli fills in for Klausmeier.

Zipadelli won three of four Xfinity races while filling in as Chase Briscoe’s interim crew chief this season. Zipadelli also served as Bowyer’s crew chief at the first Michigan race in August. Klausmeier missed that race because Bowyer’s car had two lug nuts not safe and secure after the New Hampshire race.

Bowyer enters Saturday’s race outside a playoff transfer spot. He’s tied with Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Aric Almirola for the final transfer spot to the second round. Almirola owns the tiebreaker, which is best finish in the round. Almirola was ninth at Darlington; Bowyer 10th.

Jacob Canter will serve as Busch’s interim crew chief Saturday night. Canter, an engineer, has been Busch’s crew chief in the four Xfinity races Busch has run. Busch will make his final Xfinity start of the season Friday night (7 p.m. ET on NBCSN). Canter will be Busch’s crew chief in that race also.

Canter served as Busch’s interim crew chief in 2017 for one race.

Busch goes to Richmond 10th in the standings. He is seven points above the cutline.