The final race is here before the Chase for the Nascar Nextel Cup Championship. The race will be run on Saturday night under the lights which is always exciting. Richmond is a 3/4 mile Oval Track with a 14 degree banking. Back on May 14th of this year Kasey Kahne grabbed the pole and wound up with a 1st place finish becoming the first driver to do that since Bill Elliott back in 1992. Jeremy Mayfield and Dale Earnhardt Jr took the checkered flag at Richmond in the two 2004 races.16 drivers remain in the Chase for the Nextel Cup.
Tony Stewart leads the way and is followed by Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson, Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin and Kurt Busch. All of these drivers have secured a position in the chase. Drivers in 7th through 10th in the standings are Jeremy Mayfield, Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth and Jamie McMurray.
These drivers are in as of right now, but drivers in 11th through 16th in the standings still have a shot to get into the Top 10. Ryan Newman is in 11th only 1 point out of the chase, Jeff Gordon enters the race in 12th, Elliott Sadler comes in at 13th, my favorite driver Dale Jarrett is in 14th, Kevin Harvick in 15th and Front Row Joe Nemecheck comes in in the 16th and final place. Some big names that are mathematically eliminated are Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jeff Burton and Bobby Labonte.
Richmond is considered a short track on the circuit. Tony Stewart, our points leader has 3 wins in 13 starts at the D-Shaped Oval. Rusty Wallace has 29 Top 10 finishes out of 43 starts here including 6 wins. Wallace and Mark Martin will be competing in their final Nextel cup race here as both are retiring at the end of the season.
McMurray sitting in 10th better figure out this track. He has only 2 Top 10 finishes here and only an average finish of 19.6.
Ryan Newman who is right on his bumper in the points has an average finish of 10.9. McMurray and Kenseth need good finishes because I feel like Newman and Gordon are better than they are at Richmond. I feel that McMurray will definitely drop out of the hunt with the last position up for grabs between Gordon and Newman. Don't look for drivers 13th through 16th to crack the top 10 this week.
Recommended Driver to win race: Rusty Wallace +1400 .
.Rocky Atkinson is a documented member of The Professional Handicappers League. Read more of his articles and get his premium plays here.