The "Road to Richmond" Twists and Turns Through Watkins Glen International
Kyle Busch (#18) will look to gain valuable position on the "Road to Richmond" at Watkins Glen this weekend.
THE “ROAD TO RICHMOND” TWISTS AND TURNS THROUGH WATKINS GLEN INTERNATIONAL THIS WEEKEND
Four Races Remain Before NASCAR Returns to Richmond International Raceway for “One Last Race to Make The Chase”
Richmond, VA (August 6, 2009)—After some movement among the top 12 drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings, the Race to The Chase shifts from the “Tricky Triangle” of Pocono to the 11-turn road course at Watkins Glen International. Following this weekend’s event, there will only be three races remaining before the “Race to The Chase” culminates at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, September 12 at the Chevy Rock & Roll 400—“One Last Race to Make The Chase.”
Although no driver dropped out of the top 12, there was some shuffling from spots five through 12, with Juan Pablo Montoya representing the biggest gainer, climbing two notches from 10th to 8th. Ryan Newman fell two spots to 9th, while Greg Biffle is hanging on at 12th.
Everything gets a little bit interesting when you go to a road course. While many of the top 12 drivers are great on ovals, some haven’t been as impressive on the road courses. Let’s take a look at some facts about some notable Chase hopefuls and how they have fared at The Glen.
*(Keep in mind that 10th-place and the 13th spot are separated by only 160 points.)
- Mark Martin (10th) has an average finish of 6.9 and has 16 top-10s in 19 starts.
- Matt Kenseth (11th) has an average finish of 16.2 and has three top-10s in nine starts.
- Greg Biffle (12th), who represents the final driver currently in The Chase, has only one top-10 and a dreadful 28.7 average finish.
- Kyle Busch (13th; 101 points behind Biffle) has a win, one top-five and three top-10s in four starts. Take out his first trip to The Glen in 2005 when he finished 33rd, and his average finish is 5.7.
- Brian Vickers (14th; 104 points behind Biffle) has only one top-10 finish in five starts, with an average finish of 22.6.
- Clint Bowyer (15th; 115 points behind Biffle) has never finished in the top-10 but has an average finish of 17.7 in three starts.
Look for this week to shake up the standings a little bit. Busch, Vickers and Bowyer are all knocking on the door, and none of the drivers previously mentioned in the top 12 can feel too safe with the standings being as tight as they are.
Expect these drivers to be in the thick of the 2009 Race to The Chase, as the road ends at 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.