Found September 05, 2013 on Fox Sports:
Can things can get any crazier in NASCAR? So far, this week alone: - Kyle Busch won his fourth Sprint Cup race of the season; - Brad Keselowski likely got knocked out of a chance to make the Chase for the Sprint Cup and defend his series championship; - Max Papis got slapped by a road-course ringer's girlfriend; - Tony Stewart made his first public appearance since breaking his leg a month earlier; - Dale Earnhardt Jr. got a new sponsor; - Jeff Burton announced he won't be back at Richard Childress Racing next year; and - Juan Pablo Montoya visited the Furniture Row Racing shops with an eye on possibly joining that squad next season. And it's only Thursday. The real fun hasn't even begun yet. No, the real fun begins Friday at Richmond International Raceway, coming to a rousing crescendo on Saturday night with the running of the Federated Auto Parts 400, the 26th and final race in NASCAR's long regular season. Heading into RIR, seven drivers are already in the Chase field: Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth are locked into the top 10 in points, while Kasey Kahne is guaranteed at least a wild-card spot by virtue of his two race victories. Seventh-place Dale Earnhardt Jr. is pretty safe, too: He makes it into the Chase with a finish of 32nd or better, 33rd and leading at least one lap or 34th and leading the most laps. Eighth-place Joey Logano and ninth-place Greg Biffle each have one race victory, so even if they get knocked out of the top 10 should be in good shape for a wild card slot. But Kurt Busch has no victories and is in 10th place, just six points ahead of the also-winless Jeff Gordon. Kahne has the first wild card, while Martin Truex Jr. has a narrow five-point lead over Ryan Newman for the second wild card. Keselowski remains mathematically alive but would need to win the race and have Truex and Newman both post poor finishes, an unlikely combination of events. Saturday night's short-track showdown at Richmond should be a fantastic battle, with the main subplots being Kurt Busch and Gordon competing for the last spot in the top 10, and Truex and Newman slugging it out for the final wild-card slot. Busch said he's got to run his own race on Saturday night. "It's been our goal at Furniture Row Racing from the beginning of the year to make the Chase, and we enter the final pre-Chase race (at Richmond) controlling our own destiny by being in 10th place," he said. "We need to get it done on our own Saturday night and not worry about what the other Chase contenders are doing." But that might be easier said than done. And for guys already locked in, they are plenty glad not to be on the bubble now. "We've been on that side of the fence as far as being in the position of trying to race your way into the Chase, or racing to hold onto our position to get into the Chase," said Harvick. "It's an intense race and portion of the season, for sure. It's tough on your body, mind, team and everyone involved." "I'll tell you what: This is a humbling sport," said Kyle Busch, last weekend's winner in Atlanta. "You look at last year's champion (Keselowski) and what he's going through right now." The younger Busch knows whereof he speaks. Last year, he was knocked out of the Chase at Richmond. "It was the same scenario for us," Kyle said. "You've got to be able to take the highs and the lows, and certainly I am not very good at taking the lows. I'll be the first to admit it. But when the highs come your way, you've got to treasure them because you never know how many more you'll get."

Stewart: I support Kurt Busch hire

What a difference a week makes. Eight days ago, Stewart-Haas Racing founder and co-owner Gene Haas sat on stage at the team's shop in Kannapolis, N.C., and told reporters that the hiring of Kurt Busch and expanding to four cars next year was his idea and his alone, coming over the objections of his partner, Tony Stewart. "I don't think Tony was exactly enthralled with...

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Of the three former Sprint Cup champions still eligible for the Chase but sans wins for the season, only Kurt Busch is among the top 10 drivers in the point standings.

Gordon, Kurt Busch set for battle

There's an odd sense of dejà vu at Richmond International Raceway this time around. Jeff Gordon comes into Saturday night's Federated Auto Parts 400 in 11th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup points standings, just six points behind 10th-place Kurt Busch. Last year at this race, Gordon rolled in seven points behind Kyle Busch for the final wild-card spot in the Chase for the...

Gordon wins pole at Richmond, Kurt Busch second

Jeff Gordon will try to race his way into NASCAR's playoffs from the pole position. The four-time champion turned a track-record qualifying lap of 130.599 mph at Richmond International Raceway on Friday night to win his 73rd career pole position, and his first this season. His lap pushed Kurt Busch to the outside of the front row. Busch and Gordon are among 10 drivers in a...

RotoWire NASCAR Barometer 090413

This weekend's race at Richmond International Raceway is the final event on the NASCAR Sprint Cup calendar before the 10-race Chase for the Championship kicks off. No team wants to arrive at this week's race needing to still book a spot in NASCAR's playoffs, yet every season there are drivers on the brink of popping in, or falling out. Drivers to keep an eye on at the...

Montoya in running for Furniture Row

Juan Pablo Montoya took a tour of Furniture Row Racing on Tuesday. FRR general manager Joe Garone confirmed to FOX Sports that Montoya visited the Denver-based shop and remains on the team's shortlist to replace Kurt Busch in 2014. Montoya, 37, was informed Aug. 13 that his services would no longer be needed at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing. He had joined the Chip Ganassi-owned...

Pit stops could loom large at RIR

So we are down to it. It's one race for all the marbles Saturday night at Richmond. Some drivers are going to leave the track late Saturday evening very happy and some not so much. Being a former crew chief, I am biased when I say this, but I can easily see this whole thing being settled on pit road Saturday night. If that does end up being the case, then in my book, Jeff Gordon...

Stewart wants to return for Daytona

FOX Sports NASCAR Insider Lee Spencer was there when Tony Stewart made his first public appearance since his sprint car accident. He showed up in a wheelchair at Stewart-Haas Racing to provide a prognosis on his leg, when he expects to return to racing and what he really thinks of co-owner Gene Haas’ decision to enlist Kurt Busch for a fourth team in 2014.

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Indianapolis, IN- It’s becoming a perfect storm for the Izod IndyCar Series. The racing is better than anywhere else in the world and the action is intense. Also, parity is a reality as 10 different drivers have won the 16 races in 2013 and many underfunded teams are having the same amount of success as the upper echelon teams. Another big thing coming is how good the Indianapolis...
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