HAMPTON, Ga. -- Kasey Kahne scored a popular victory at a suddenly popular race weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Kevin Harvick came up short in his quest to end his 95-race winless streak but his performance showed promise his resurgence. Yet when the dust settled late Sunday in the Pep Boys 500, how had the race to secure a spot in the 12-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup changed? Not a lot. The same drivers who held the top 12 positions in the series standings were still there, although the margins and some positions changed. The driver in the most danger of falling out with only Saturday's race at Richmond, Va., left -- Matt Kenseth -- still remains so, while those with the best chance to replace him -- Brian Vickers and Kyle Busch--are still in the hunt. "It's so close. I don't know if it's been eight weeks, six weeks, four weeks, but it has been a while where the points have been so close from sixth to 14th, 15th, 16th," said Kahne, who earned his second Cup win of the season and 11th of his career. "Something could happen early in the race at Richmond, you could lose a lot. We just need to keep working hard, communicating (and) doing things to make our car race good on Saturday night. That's key." Kahne significantly improved his standing with the win, which came after a pass of then-leader Kevin Harvick with 11 of 325 laps remaining. Kahne would have 20 bonus points from his wins, which would help his seeding when the Chase field is set, and his No. 9 Richard Petty Motorsports team appears to be gelling at just the right time. "This team has just stepped up," said Kahne, now sixth in points. "The pit stops were awesome. The calls from (crew chief) Kenny Francis were perfect." Team co-owner Richard Petty called Sunday night's win "a good start to the last part of the season." "I guess you go into any season saying, 'OK, if we have a good year, we got a chance of winning a championship,"' Petty said. "We've been up and down, bouncing around, got off to a bad start at Daytona then just kept plugging away. Maybe like some of the football teams or whatever, maybe we got off to a slow start." Kahne remains the lone bright spot at RPM. Teammates A.J. Allemendinger (25th in points), Elliott Sadler (26th) and Reed Sorenson (28th) long ago were eliminated from the Chase. Combined those three drivers have two top-five and seven top-10 finishes this season. While Kahne has been most consistent of the RPM teams, Petty said circumstances still played a role in the outcome. A late caution produced a restart with 11 laps left and Harvick -- who appeared well on his way to victory -- was not good on short runs. "No matter how you run or how good you run or how bad, there are circumstances beyond anybody's control," Petty said. "Circumstances fell our way on that last caution flag, and that put us in position for the pit crew to do their job and the drive to do his."