ThatsRacin

NASCAR Federated Auto Parts 400 preview in 3 minutes

As soon as the green flag drops Saturday night in Richmond, Jamie McMurray will clinch a spot in the Chase for the first time in his career.
As soon as the green flag drops Saturday night in Richmond, Jamie McMurray will clinch a spot in the Chase for the first time in his career. AP

Everything you need to know about Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway in three minutes:

3 things to watch

1. It’s desperation time for drivers who haven’t won this season – and who are also outside the Chase grid – to secure a place in the postseason. Clint Bowyer (16th and winless) hopes that doesn’t happen.

2. As soon as the green flag drops, Jamie McMurray will clinch a spot in the Chase for the first time in his career.

3. How Denny Hamlin fares driving with a torn ACL in his left knee will be interesting. He said he doesn’t think the injury will have an impact on how he drives.

Observations

▪  Rain is a possibility Saturday night at Richmond. There’s a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms. If the race is shortened by the weather, that might mean a previously winless driver might sneak into the Chase.

▪  Roush Fenway Racing is in danger of not having a driver in the Chase for the first time. RFR’s Greg Biffle, Trevor Bayne and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. are all winless and mathematically eliminated from making the top 16 unless they win Saturday.

▪  It’s hard to read too much into Kyle Larson and Matt Kenseth being fastest during Friday’s two practices. The practices were were held in the heat of the day; the race, of course, will be run under the lights.

Best bets

Three picks for your fantasy team:

Joey Logano: Starting on pole and has four consecutive top 10s, including victories at Bristol and Watkins Glen.

Kevin Harvick: Points leader has finished out of the top 10 just three times all season (winning three times and finishing second 10 times). He’s due another victory (last one came at Phoenix in March).

Kyle Busch: Isn’t it about time he won again? He’s on a five-race winless streak, which, after winning four of five during one stretch, qualifies as a dry spell.

He said it

“It makes it tougher, knowing you don’t have any room for error.” – Kyle Larson, on the pressure he faces having to win Saturday to make the Chase.

N@SCAR

Getting there

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Richmond+International+Raceway/@37.5857483,-77.4223085,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x89b1171dbafcd5e9:0x83313b96ce433376

Race facts

Federated Auto Parts 400

Where: Richmond (Va.) International Raceway

Track type: .75-mile banked oval

Race distance: 300 miles, or 400 laps

Green flag: 7:44 p.m.

Weather: High of 72, 60 percent chance of thunderstorms

TV: NBC Sports Network

Radio: Motor Racing Network

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