Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., picked up 30 points in the Sprint Cup standings with his 15th-place finish at the NASCAR AdvoCare 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway Sunday, and is currently the circuit's points leader.
Another driver with Northwest roots, Enumclaw''s Kasey Kahne, finished 23rd, but his chances for a wild-card spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup remain good.
The winner was Denny Hamlin, who won his second straight Sprint Cup race.
Hamlin made a wise move to stay out of the pits after a crash late in the in race, and it paid off as he passed other drivers. Hamlin was also the first one out of the pits after another crash with three laps to go.
The 12-driver Chase starts after next weekend's race in Richmond, Va., and Hamlin is in prime position to go in as the leader.
Jeff Gordon, Brad Keselowski and Martin Truex Jr. finished second, third and fourth. Truex was in position to win until the latest crash, and he came out of the pits behind Hamlin.