• Remember the new Bristol vs. old Bristol arguments? It seems the racing at Richmond International Raceway may face the same see-saw, at least as long as Goodyear continues to use the tire combination it did on Saturday night. There were no issues with the tires, but they allowed drivers to compete on several different lines around the track, thus making passing easier and reducing the chances of fender-banging incidents. That’s exactly what the repaving of Bristol Motor Speedway did to the racing there and many fans were none too happy about it.
• I’m not sure what is more disturbing – that a fan climbed the catchfence in Turn 4 and sat atop it for several minutes before he was enticed to climb down, or that no one who witnessed the fan climb the fence bothered to do anything to stop him. That’s not the actions of a fan, but a seriously disturbed individual. Had he actually fallen on to the track while the race was underway, he likely would have been killed. Can you imagine the ramifications of that incident?
• On Friday, Jimmie Johnson predicted the three best cars this weekend would be those of Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick. They finished first, second and fifth, respectively. The six-time Cup series champion clearly knows what he’s talking about.
Johnson treated for dehydration: Jimmie Johnson, already locked in the Chase with three victories, never got the chance to join his fellow 15 competitors on stage after Saturday night's race.
After exiting his No. 48 Chevrolet on pit road after his eighth-place finish, Johnson said he began to cramp and slumped to the ground. He stood back up and began to get dizzy, so he laid back on the ground near his car.
Medics took Johnson to the infield care center where he was released about an hour-and-a-half later after receiving five liters of intravenous fluids.
“I got dehydrated in the car and I'm not exactly sure what led to it. We need to see what happened,” Johnson said. “I started cramping when I got out of the race car and when I was cramping I was trying to stand up and I got dizzy, so I sat back down.
“I was hot in the car, so I need to make sure the fans were working and stuff like that. It was a scary moment. I'll have to learn from it and make sure it doesn't happen again.”
Bowyer comes up short: Clint Bowyer missed the cut to make the Chase by seven points although he put up a gallant fight to try to win his way in Saturday night.
“You know, if you make the Chase you want to compete for a championship. Truth be told, we’re not there right now,” said Bowyer, who finished third in the race.
“We have a lot of work to do. We’ve got to continue to build on momentum like we had here.”
And Newman makes eight: Ryan Newman’s ninth place finish at Richmond was enough to earn a trip to the Chase in his first season with Richard Childress Racing. He’s also one of eight Chevrolet drivers to make the Chase.
Newman was one of three drivers (Matt Kenseth and Bowyer were the others) to make the 16-driver Chase field on points.
“We’ve shown a lot of consistency and I think that can pay off at times with the exception of Homestead, so if we make it that far, we’ll hopefully have some improvements in a little bit of everything,” he said.
Kenseth has bad night: Thankfully, Matt Kenseth did not need to win his way into the Chase. He slammed the wall around Lap 100 and had to go to the garage for extensive repairs.
“I wish we had some wins piled up and I wish we ended tonight on a high note, but the next 10 weeks are the important ones,” he said. “I think we're ready to go racing as hard as we can and see where it ends up.”
Five key moments
1 . Brad Keselowski immediately took control of the race and led the first 42 laps, on his way to leading a race-high 383.
2 . Kevin Harvick took the lead on Lap 43 – the only other driver to lead a lap in the race.
3.Keselowski retook the lead during pit stops on Lap 53.
4 . On Lap 330, caution was displayed when a fan climbed the catchfence in Turn 4 and sat at the top for several minutes. He was immediately arrested.
5 . The caution did little to slow Keselowski, who bolted to a big lead again on the restart on Lap 337 and was never seriously challenged.