Found September 07, 2012 on
Race Review Online:
Martin Truex, Jr.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
There's but one race to go until NASCAR's Chase begins, and drivers on the points bubble will be scrambling to claim the last available wild card spot.
I could go on, but Sportscenter and NASCAR on ESPN have covered those points enough. What they haven't covered is Power Rankings with the following degrees of accuracy and foresight. No egotism implied in that statement. Here are the men most likely to gain even more time on Sportscenter after Saturday evening.
Pole Position: Jeff Gordon
Gordon has come close to a Richmond win several times over the past couple of years, and he's a shark after Chase berth blood right now. Fear this.
Outside Pole: Kyle Busch
Most certainly the highest ranking Shrub has received in months, KyBusch, like Gordon, is a man on a Chase mission, and Kyle's four-win Richmond resume reminds us all that this track couldn't be better for his scheduling needs. But he looks pretty worried in that photo from media availability on Thursday at Richmond. And perhaps he should be, with Gordon having received a higher power ranking...
Position 3: Denny Hamlin
Fresh off of two consecutive wins on the vastly different Bristol and Atlanta circuits, Hamlin has current speed and power in addition to his duties as teammate protector. Expect him to go for the win and try to keep Gordon and others from snatching Wild Card #2 from teammate Kyle Busch.
Position 4: Kevin Harvick
Harvick gets a mega boost in the rankings this week, with a stellar, at times dominant, Atlanta performance coupled with a return to a race he won last year (this event one year ago).
Position 5: Jimmie Johnson
Johnson slots in at P5 simply because it would almost be criminal to rank him lower.
Position 6: Martin Truex Jr.
Truex smells victory again, and after coming much too close to taking the checkers at Atlanta last week, he won't be shy about parlaying his secure Chase status into an all-out performance this Saturday night.
Position 7: Matt Kenseth
Quiet yet usually consistent at Atlanta, Kenseth looks to run silent, and perhaps a bit deadly, in Richmond while Team #17 continues to waltz easily into the Chase with championship preparation already in mind.
Position 8: Brad Keselowski
Brad righted the ship at Atlanta, bringing home a terrific third-place finish to balance off a Bristol disappointment. Watch for BK to look extra sporty as the Chase looms.
Position 9: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Super consistency still persists as Junior's trump card in 2012, but all-out win contention continues to be item #1 on his bucket list. Richmond was once the man's bread and butter track (after restrictor-plate venues of course), and he'll look to recapture some of his past Virginia glories this weekend.
Position 10: Greg Biffle
Like teammate Kenseth, Biffle looks to take one last shot at an extra win in the regular season. He has motivation to do so, as several other Chase-bound drivers have more wins, and therefore more future Chase points, headed into the start of the NASCAR playoffs.
Position 11: Joey Logano
If only from sheer force of will as the Chase gets large and his chances grow small, look for JoLo to muster up at least a top-10 night as his last chance at a Chase berth comes for the taking.
Position 12: Clint Bowyer
He only has one top-five at the track, but he also has seven top-10's, an average finish of 10.2, and a win in 2008 at the Richmond joint. Expect quiet contention for a top-10 run.
Lucky Dog: Tony Stewart
Photo courtesy of NASCARmedia.com
BEST OF MAXIM
Jeff Gordon never gave up.
He promised his team - and his fans - that he wouldn't go down without a fight. And fight he and his No. 24 team did, with a second-place finish at Richmond International Raceway to snag a ticket to the 2012 NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup.
With 12 points separating Gordon from 12th-place Kyle Busch entering the 26th and final race of the regular...
Dale Earnhardt Jr. posted his first career pole at Richmond on Friday.
"I'm surprised as anybody," Junior said after scoring his 11th career Sprint Cup pole in 461 races.
But it was advantage Jeff Gordon, who qualified second. Gordon desperately needs a solid finish on Saturday to leapfrog over fellow wild-card contenders in the Federated Auto Parts 400 to earn the...
NASCAR trotted out eight drivers Thursday who are all mathematically eligible to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
In reality, Saturday night's ''regular season'' finale is a race between Kyle Busch and Jeff Gordon for the final berth in the 12-driver field.
The two wild card berths are both technically open. But with two wins on the season, Kasey...
NASCAR says eight drivers are racing for the last two berths in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
It's really down to two for one wild-card berth in the 12-driver field.
The last spot is likely a race between Kyle Busch or Jeff Gordon, who both talk as if they are only racing each other Saturday night.
Busch can clinch a berth by winning the race, or by losing 12...
Teammates Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne grab wild cards for Chase…
It's a Hendrick Motorsports front row at Richmond International Raceway.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the pole for Saturday night's ''regular-season'' finale. He turned a lap at 127.023 mph in his Chevrolet to bump teammate Jeff Gordon from the top starting spot.
It's the first pole for NASCAR's most popular driver since the 2011 Daytona 500, and it'...
NASCAR on Thursday passed a rule that will curb the ability of teams to set their cars up in a way that gives the driver easier rear steer.
The technical bulletin issued by NASCAR goes into effect next week at Chicago, when the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship begins, and many believe it is aimed directly at powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports.
Drivers have alleged for months...
Jeff Gordon said other teams are using rear suspensions similar to what Hendrick Motorsports runs…
Hendrick Motorsports claimed both front-row starting spots for Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway during pole qualifying on Friday.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. claimed his first-career Richmond pole and his first pole starting spot of the season with a 21.256-second qualifying lap.
“The car drove really...
Win and your in. It's actually simpler than than. Give up no more than 12 points to Jeff Gordon and no more than 40 points to Marcus Ambrose, and hope that fellow single win drivers Gordon, Ambrose, Ryan Newman nor Joey Logano win on Saturday night, and Rowdy makes The Chase. “Richmond is definitely a place where we would like to win. Obviously, that would really make things...
Clint Bowyer won the rain-delayed race at Richmond, and Jeff Gordon drove his way into the title picture by grabbing the last wild-card berth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.
Bowyer came back from a mid-race spin to pick up his second win of the season. The Saturday night victory gave the Michael Waltrip Racing driver another three bonus points to take into the Chase...
Eight drivers are eligible to claim the two remaining spots during the Federated Auto Parts 400, “One Last Race to Make The Chase.”
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series “regular season” draws to an end this weekend as “The Road to Richmond” culminates at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, September 8 with the Federated Auto Parts 400—“One Last Race to Make The...
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet, turned in the fastest lap of the 43 car field and claimed the pole for Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at the Richmond International Raceway. Following him on the starting grid was Jeff Gordon and Regan Smith. Below is their transcript from when they talked to the media afterwards.
RICHMOND – Dale Earnhardt, Jr. captured his first pole of 2012, setting the fastest lap today at Richmond International Raceway (RIR) for Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400.
Piloting the No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet, Earnhardt, Jr. circled the .75-mile track in 21.256-seconds/127.023 m.p.h. It is his first career pole at RIR, and the 11th of his...