NASCAR Sprint Cup SeriesSaturday, September 7 Ė 7:00 p.m. EDT
Federated Auto Parts 400
Richmond International Raceway Ė Richmond, VA
The last race before the Chase for the Cup takes place Saturday night in Richmond, the third straight night race for the NASCAR circuit. Seven different drivers will secure a spot in the Chase with a win in this race -- Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano, Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Jeff Gordon, Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Newman. Defending points champion Brad Keselowski, Jamie McMurray and Paul Menard are all still mathematically alive for a berth in the NASCAR playoffs. Richmond International Raceway is a 0.75-mile short track built as a D-shaped oval with varying degrees of banking from 2 to 14.
Odds to Win Race
|Dale Earnhardt Jr.||15-to-1|
|Martin Truex Jr.||20-to-1|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||100-to-1|
|FIELD (Any other driver)||100-to-1|
Drivers to WatchKyle Busch (5/1) - Although he's the favorite, how can you not put a wager on Busch at this short track? In his past nine starts in Richmond, he has four wins, two runner-ups, a 5th-place finish and a 6th-place finish. In total, Busch has top-5 finishes in 12-of-17 (71%) career starts at Richmond, and 28 career top-5's in 52 starts on short tracks. Heís also been racing extremely well heading into racing's second season with two wins in his past four starts and top-8 showings in eight of his past 13 races. The payoff isnít too exciting, but the smart play on Saturday night is definitely the No. 18 car.
Clint Bowyer (12/1) - The defending champion of this fall race has already clinched a spot in the Chase, so he'll go all out to win at this track for the third time since 2008. Bowyer also finished second at this track in April, marking his sixth top-7 finish in his past eight Richmond races and lowering his career average finish to 9.1 at this venue. His average finish this season has been 11.8 thanks to 11 top-6 showings, five of which have occurred in his past 10 races. With double-digit odds, Bowyer is certainly worthy of a sizable wager here.
Jeff Gordon (10/1) - One of many desperate drivers, Gordon also needs this win for a shot at making 2013 a meaningful campaign. He has put himself in this position with four strong finishes in his past six starts -- 7th at Brickyard, 2nd at Pocono, 7th at Bristol and 2nd at Atlanta last week. Although Gordon hasnít won at Richmond since 2000, heís been awfully close recently with a pair of runner-ups and two third-place showings in his past eight starts on this track. Gordon's odds are favorable enough to justify a small wager here.
Martin Truex Jr. (20/1) - Truex Jr. continues his late-season surge, banging out four top-3's in his past 11 starts despite crashing twice during this span. One of those came last week in Atlanta. Although Truex has never won on a short track, he does have five career top-5 finishes at this length. His Richmond history isn't checkered with much success, but three straight starts of ninth or better is at least something to build on. He also tested on this track, which can only improve his chances. Donít wager more than a unit on this darkhorse, but increasing that unit 20 times is not too shabby of a payoff.