Everything you need to know about Saturday’s race at Richmond International Raceway, in three minutes:
Three things to watch
1. Richmond’s fall race is all about who makes the 16-driver Chase, which begins next week in Chicago. Three spots remain open, with several drivers still having a chance to qualify if any one of them wins. Chris Buescher, who has one victory, needs to hang on to that No. 30 spot in the standings if he wants to make it.
2. The biggest loser of the week was Ryan Newman, who was docked 15 points for failing postrace inspection at Darlington. Newman is now 15 points behind No. 16 Jamie McMurray, must now make up at least 22 points (and spots in the race) on McMurray to get inside the top 16. A victory, however, would also get Newman in.
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3. Virginia-native Denny Hamlin starts from the pole, with Kyle Larson also on the front row. It’s Hamlin’s first pole of the season.
▪ Hamlin has won 28 career Cup races, more than any other driver from Virginia. That list includes NASCAR Hall of Famers Joe Weatherly, Curtis Turner, Glen Wood and Wendell Scott, as well as Ricky Rudd.
▪ Motorsports promoter Lanny Edwards died Friday. Edwards, 76, was co-founder of the Chili Bowl Nationals sprint-car race in Tulsa, Okla.
▪ Kevin Harvick wasn’t kidding when he complained about his pit crew at Darlington. Front-tire changer Eric Maycroft and front-tire carrier Matt Holzbaur were shifted from Danica Patrick’s Stewart-Haas Racing team to Harvick’s. Front-tire changer Tim Sheets and front-tire carrier Todd Drakulich move from Harvick’s team to Patrick’s.
▪ It’s Fan Appreciation Weekend at Richmond International Raceway, where fans can interact with drivers in contention for the Chase before the race. Prizes for fans include iPad Mini and a firesuit worn by Miss Sprint Cup.
▪ McMurray, who is in contention for a Chase spot, and Greg Biffle, who isn’t unless he wins, both make their 500th career starts Saturday.
Three picks for your fantasy team:
Kyle Larson: Not great on short tracks, but will start second and is continuing to build on momentum from victory at Michigan two weeks ago.
Carl Edwards: He won Richmond’s spring race by bumping Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch out of the way on the last lap.
Kurt Busch: He’d like to be in position to win again, and he had the fastest car through two rounds of qualifying. He starts fifth.
He said it
“It means a ton. Obviously, it’s everything.” -- Austin Dillon, on how important making the Chase is to him.
Federated Auto Parts 400
Where: Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.
Track type: 3/4-mile D-shaped asphalt surface.
Race distance: 300 miles, or 400 laps.
Green flag: 7:44 p.m.
Weather: Low of 73, 40 percent chance of storms.
TV: NBC Sports Network.
Radio: Motor Racing Network.