Watching NASCAR: One Spot Left in Chase with One Race To Go

Denny Hamlin crossed the finish line first for the second week in a row, this time in a two lap dash against Jeff Gordon. The win, Hamlin’s forth of the season, also benefited teammate Kyle Busch by preventing Gordon from winning and possibly clinchi

ng one of the last wild card spots in the Chase. After the race Gordon said that he regrets not bumping on the last lap.

The race had a lot of similarities to the Nationwide one the previous day. A late caution harmed the chances of the front runner, Martin Truex Jr. led with seven laps to go but could not hang on as not only Hamlin and Gordon passed him but also Brad Keselowski. Truex finished fourth while Kevin Harvick in fifth.

This Week: Federated Auto Parts 400

The teams are headed to the Richmond International Raceway and its 0.75 mile oval for the Federated Auto Parts 400. With this the last week to qualify for the Chase, and a good number of drivers bunched up behind the top ten, the importance of the next race cannot be underestimated, at least for those on the cusp of qualifying.

With one of the two wild card spots already taken by Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne is the next in line for the second spot followed by Busch, Gordon, Marcos Ambrose and Ryan Newman. Should make for a great finish this weekend.


It looks like after Matt Kenseth has replaced Joey Logano At Joe Gibbs but Logano did not have long to wait for a new team as he has hooked up with Penske Racing.

Broadcast: Sept. 8 at 7 pm ET on ESPN


Sprint Cup Series Standings

1) Greg Biffle
2) Dale Earnhardt Jr. -8
3) Matt Kenseth -21
4) Jimmie Johnson -31
5) Martin Truex Jr. -41
6) Brad Keselowski -48
7) Denny Hamlin -57
8 ) Clint Boyer -68
9) Kevin Harvick -72
10) Tony Stewart -110

Nationwide Series

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. may not have knocked Elliott Sadler out of the top spot in the Nationwide standings but with his fourth win of the season he has certainly made a statement about his desire to win and his ability.

Benefiting from a late push from Brad Keselowski he managed to pass Kevin Harvick with less than a lap to go. Up to that point it certainly looked as if the race was Harvick’s to win. The issue of the bump, and what caused the caution just before it was a matter of some contention in the post race comments as Harvick blamed Keselowski for throwing a water bottle out on the track and causing the caution.

Stenhouse and Keselowski finished first and second with Harvick an agnry third and Elliott and Justin Allgaier filling out the top 5.

This Week: Virginia 529 College Savings 250

Broadcast: Sept. 7 at 7 pm ET ESPN

Nationwide Series Standings

1) Elliott Sadler
2) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. -12
3) Sam Hornish Jr. -32
4) Austin Dillon -37
5) Justin Allgaier -94

Virginia is for Lovers, and this weekend NASCAR

Last week’s run in Kansas resulted in a nice win by Denny Hamlin, his second of the year by passing Martin Truex Jr. on the 31st to last lap and then hanging on for the checkered flag. Truex hung on for second while the rest of the top five was filled out by Jimmie Johnson and Greg Biffle.

Who would have believed that a little sunlight had that much of an effect on the race? For most of the race Truex was dominating in the cloudy weather and then as the conditions changed with the arrival of late afternoon sun, his car started performing poorly, becoming very loose while Hamlin’s #11 car had the exact opposite experience. Well they are once again under the lights this week.

Sprint Cup Standings
1) Greg Biffle
2) Martin Truex Jr. -15
3) Matt Kenseth -17
4) Dale Earnhardt Jr. -21
5) Denny Hamlin -23

The Track
This week they are running at Richmond International Raceway in the Capitol City 400 Presented by Virginia is for Lovers, a race that marks the 60th anniversary of racing at the RIR. The track is a ¾ mile D shaped oval.

Coverage begins at 7 pm ET on Fox

Twitter feeds
@RISinsider- Tracks official Twitter feed
@NASCAR-Official NASCAR feed
@NationwideNNS-Nationwide Official Twitter
@NASCAR_NNS-NASCAR Nationwide feed
@NASCARONFOX-Fox Sports feed
@AllWaltrip-3 Time NASCAR Champ and Fox announcer
@PRNLive-Performance Racing Network
@EdHintonESPN-ESPN Columnist Ed Hinton

Nationwide Series
The Nationwide Series also returns to the lights, this time on Friday night with the running of the Virginia 529 College Savings 250. The highlight of the race could be the debut of Travis Pastrana, at least he has been heavily touted by ESPN, which maybe not coincidentally is broadcasting the race.

Still he has taken an interesting road to get a car in Nationwide. He has been a winner at a variety of other tangentially related sports including supercross, motorcross, freestyle motorcross and rally racing.

He formed a partnership with Michael Waltrip to form the Pastrana-Waltrip Racing. He was originally expected to start racing last year but after one race was injured in an accident in the X-Games which put off his racing efforts until this year. It will be interesting to see how well he does and if his X-Games following will cross over to NASCAR. Anybody want to make a prediction?

Friday 7 pm ET ESPN 2

Nationwide Series Standings
1) Elliott Sadler
2) Ricky Stenhouse Jr -4
3) Austin Dillon -20
4) Sam Hornish Jr. -54
5) Michael Annett -64

Video of the week

Brad Keselowski is rapidly becoming my favorite racing personality. First he sends an in-track Twitter of an exploding race car and now I find this. He has a series of Q&As on YouTube that are just silly but well worth viewing, especially if you just need to perk up your day.