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NASCAR at Richmond: What you need to know: Dale Jr., others get last shot at playoffs

Barring an unlikely victory, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will miss his last chance to contend for the championship in the 16-driver playoffs in his final Cup Series season. He’s 22nd in the standings.
Barring an unlikely victory, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will miss his last chance to contend for the championship in the 16-driver playoffs in his final Cup Series season. He’s 22nd in the standings. AP

Race: Federated Auto Parts 400

Distance: 400 laps, or 300 miles.

Where: Richmond Raceway, a .75-mile, asphalt D-shaped short track in Richmond, Va.

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

TV: NBCSN.

Radio: MRN.

Last year’s winner: Denny Hamlin.

Also this week: Virginia529 College Savings 250, Xfinity Series, Richmond Raceway, 7:30 p.m., Friday, NBCSN.

Worth mentioning: Barring an unlikely victory, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will miss his last chance to contend for the championship in the 16-driver playoffs in his final Cup Series season. He’s 22nd in the standings.

Who’s Hot/ Who’s Not

HOT

Denny Hamlin: His victory at Darlington was his second this season, and it gives him a momentum boost going into the regular-season finale.

Erik Jones: The rookie has ended three consecutive races in the top 5, and he’ll be hoping to win his first Cup race this weekend.

NOT

Clint Bowyer: He finished last at Darlington, something he couldn’t afford as the odd man out in the playoff standings.

Daniel Suarez: Cup rookie finished 38th at Darlington, and then lost his Subway sponsorship after a TV segment in which he handed out doughnuts to fans.

Brendan Marks

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