"Road to Richmond" Travels to Pocono

Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup

Who will be spraying the celebratory champagne after this year's Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond?



Five Races Remain Before NASCAR Returns to Richmond International Raceway for “One Last Race to Make The Chase”

The attention turns to Pocono Raceway this week as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Pennsylvania for the fifth race in the 10-event “Race to The Chase,” which will culminate at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, September 12 for “One Last Race to Make The Chase”—the Chevy Rock & Roll 400.

Since the most recent stop at Pocono in June this year, three drivers have fallen outside the top 12 in the driver point standings, including David Reutimann (currently 13th), Kyle Busch (14th) and Jeff Burton (17th).  Drivers who have made a move into Chase-eligible spots since the last race at Pocono are Kasey Kahne (8th), Mark Martin (9th) and Juan Pablo Montoya (10th).

Busch’s 38th-place finish at Indianapolis last weekend dropped him from 10th to 14th, while Greg Biffle capitalized by climbing from 13th to 11th, buoyed by a top-five finish.

Valuable positions are on the line this week. Here’s a look at some notable drivers and how they fare at Pocono:

Denny Hamlin   The Chesterfield, Virginia native has the highest driver rating at Pocono (111.3).

Hamlin scored two wins in 2006 and has two third-place finishes there. Overall, his average finish is 10.7 at Pocono.  He is currently in the middle of The Chase pack at sixth.

Mark Martin       He has an average finish of 11.0 at Pocono, to go along with the sixth best driver rating (98.1).  He has posted consistent top-10 finishes in Pennsylvania, notching 31 in 45 starts.  Although his 9th-place standing is nice now, he’s only 110 points ahead of 13th-place Reutimann.

Brian Vickers    Let’s not forget about someone who has an outside chance—but a chance, nonetheless.  Vickers is currently 15th and has two other Chase “outsiders” ahead of him, but he is just 120 points away from the 12th spot (Matt Kenseth).  Vickers has two runner-up finishes at Pocono and has the ninth best driver rating there.

All three of these drivers are looking to be in The Chase field, whether it’s holding on to a spot or racing their way in when returning to Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, September 12 for “One Last Race to Make The Chase”—the Chevy Rock & Roll 400.  Once the checkered flag flies, the field will bet set for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Only those in the top 12 will be eligible for the championship over the final 10 races of the season.

Tickets for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, September 12, are on sale now.  Tickets start at $40 and can be purchased by logging on to www.rir.com or calling 866-455-RACE (7223). 

The weekend begins on Friday, September 11, with a full day of on-track activity, featuring the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race, Fas Mart Pole Qualifying for the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 and WRIC-TV8 Pole Qualifying for the Nationwide Series.  Friday’s tickets are $45 (reserved) and $35 (general admission) in advance.  Children 12 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult in general admission sections on Friday only.  Log on to www.rir.com or call 866-455-RACE (7223) for tickets and information.

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