Keep an eye on these five drivers in Saturday night’s Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway.
A well-timed bump from teammate Carl Edwards kept Busch from claiming his fifth Richmond win back in April. Nonetheless, Busch’s four wins and 6.9 average finish there leads all active drivers. An interesting note, however, is that none of those four wins have come in the fall (best fall Richmond finish – second, three times).
With 12 top-10 finishes in his last 16 races, Keselowski enters the Chase on solid footing. As for Richmond, he looks to recapture the form he had during fall 2013 and both of the 2014 races there. Across those three races, Keselowski led more than half the total laps (639 of 1200) – including 383 in a dominant fall ’14 win. But in the three Richmond races since, he’s only led 15 laps combined.
Like his Team Penske teammate, Logano has maintained impressive consistency over the summer with 11 Top-10 finishes in his last 13 races. He’s also been a front-runner at Richmond in recent years. Since 2013, Logano has posted six top-10 finishes in seven RIR starts, including a win in the 2014 spring race.
Sitting on the Chase bubble, McMurray got some help when Ryan Newman lost 15 points this week for failing post-race inspection at Darlington. In his last six Richmond races, McMurray has posted three top-5 finishes and has finished no worse than 16th. Provided someone currently outside the Chase doesn’t score a surprise win, another run in that top 10-15 range likely pushes McMurray over the top.
Kahne has only had two top-5 finishes this year, but one of them came at Richmond in April with a foutth-place finish. This weekend is a must-win for Kahne, who sits 44 points behind the cutoff. But as he proved at Atlanta two years ago, he’s capable of saving his season with a late victory.