"Road To Richmond" Crosses The Brickyard This Weekend
Jimmie Johnson (right) and crew chief Chad Knaus kissed the bricks after Johnson's win at Indy last season.
After an off weekend, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to action on Sunday afternoon with its annual stop at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Last year at the Brickyard, Jimmie Johnson took the checkered flag at the Brickyard to jump start his run to a third consecutive Sprint Cup Series championship. Johnson would go on to win five more races in 2008, including the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway and three in The Chase, to become just the second driver to win three Sprint Cup Series titles in a row.
Considering that seven times in the 15-year history of NASCAR racing at Indianapolis, the race winner has gone on to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup championship, drivers are more determined than ever to take home the checkered flag this weekend. But all eyes continue to be on the “Road to Richmond” even as drivers race for their opportunity to “kiss the bricks” this weekend in Indianapolis.
“How you get into the Chase is the same way you win the Chase,” explained current points leader Tony Stewart. “You’ve got to go out there and you’ve got to be good. You’ve got to be good in 26 races to get in the Chase, and then you’ve got to be good for 10 races after that to win the Chase.
"[Richmond’s] definitely a place I enjoy coming to, and considering how it factors into the Chase, it’s definitely an important stop for us,” Stewart continued.
So, who should you be watching this weekend on the “Road to Richmond?”Tony Stewart:
Stewart has the highest driver rating (111.2) at his hometown track. With two wins, four top fives and six top 10s, Stewart knows his away around the 2.5-mile track.Denny Hamlin:
The Virginia native ranks second on the driver ratings list this week. He’s got the second-fastest green flag average speed at Indianapolis at 169.825 mph.Jeff Burton:
Another Virginia native ranks in the top three in this week’s driver ratings from NASCAR. Burton also has the third-best average running position of 10.3.
All three “drivers to watch” this week know their way around Richmond International Raceway. Stewart’s first Sprint Cup Series victory came at Richmond International Raceway in September 1999, while Burton earned a Richmond Sprint Cup Series victory in September 1998 and has two Nationwide Series wins. Hamlin, who has made it no secret that he won’t be happy until he wins a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway, won the May 2008 Nationwide Series event at Richmond.
When NASCAR returns to Richmond for the doubleheader weekend September 11-12, drivers will be battling it out to be one of the top 12 in The Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Anything can happen on the “Road to Richmond!"
Get your tickets now to see the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers battle it out “under the lights” for “One Last Race to Make The Chase.” Tickets for the Saturday, September 12, 2009 Chevy Rock & Roll 400 start at $40 and can be purchased by calling the Richmond International Raceway ticket office at 866-455-RACE (7223) or clicking here. Additionally, tickets are also available for Friday night’s Virginia 529 College Savings 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race. Tickets start at $35 and include WRIC-TV8 Pole Qualifying and practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series, as well as Fas Mart Pole Qualifying and practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Children 12 and under are admitted free with a ticketed adult in general admission sections on Friday only.