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Preliminary entry lists for NASCAR at Richmond

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After a trip out west, NASCAR returns to the south this weekend for its second visit of the year to Richmond Raceway.

Cup teams will hold their second playoff race Saturday night while the Xfinity Series kicks off its postseason Friday.

Here are the preliminary entry lists for each race.

Cup – Federated Auto Parts 400 (7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday on NBCSN)

There are 40 entries for the race.

Joey Gase is entered in StarCom Racing’s No. 00 Chevrolet.

Regan Smith is entered in his third race as a substitute driver for Kasey Kahne in the No. 95 Chevrolet.

Kyle Busch won the spring race at Richmond, beating Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin in overtime. Kyle Larson won this race last year, beating Joey Logano and Ryan Newman.

Click here for the entry list.

Xfinity – GoBowling 250 (7:30 p.m. ET on Friday on NBCSN)

There are 41 entries for the race.

Full-time Cup drivers are not permitted to compete in the playoff races.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will make his first NASCAR start since retiring from full-time Cup competition. He will drive the No. 88 Chevrolet.

Ross Chastain, who earned his first-career win last weekend, will make his last scheduled start in Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 42 Chevrolet.

Katherine Legge will make her third start of the year for JD Motorsports in the No. 15 Chevrolet. It’ll be her first race on an oval.

Christopher Bell won the spring race, beating Noah Gragson and Elliott Sadler. Brad Keselowski is the defending race winner.

Click here for the entry list.

Who is hot and cold entering Richmond

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The Cup playoffs continue this weekend with the second race of the first round, Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

It’s the first of two short tracks the series will visit during the playoffs, the second being Martinsville Speedway.

After a crash fest in the opener at Las Vegas impacted more than half of the playoff field, here’s who is hot and cold entering Richmond.

Who is Hot

Brad Keselowski
• Won at Las Vegas (13th in Stage 1, 1st in Stage 2, 75 laps led)
• Won three straight races for 1st time in career
• Finished in top 2 in 4 of last 5 races
• Advanced to Round of 12 for 5th consecutive season
• Finished 8th or better in 6 of last 9 Richmond races, 8th in April
• Started 15th, 21st stage 1, 5th stage 2. Finished 11th in this race one year ago
• Three top 10s in the last five short track races

Kyle Busch
• Finished 7th at Las Vegas (6th in Stage 1, 15th in Stage 2, 1 lap led); pit for a 2nd time on Lap 113 due to missing lugs on right-front tire; spun off Turn 4 on Lap 233 while running 18th and went through the grass
• Finished 8th or better in 3 straight races and 8 of last 9 races
• Won 6 of last 21 races
• Finished in top 5 in 10 of last 15 races
• Finished in the top 10 in 14 of last 16 races
• Finished in the top 5 in 17 of 27 races this season
• Finished top 10 in 6 of last 8 Richmond races, including win in April
• Started 7th, 1st in Stage 1, 10th in Stage 2, 38 laps led, finished 9th in this race one year ago
• Won 4 of last 7 short track races
• Top 10 six of the last seven short track races

Paul Menard
• Finished 10th at Las Vegas (22nd in Stage 1, 27th in Stage 2)
• Finished in Top 10 in the last two races, his first back-to-back top 10s this season
• Finished 15th or worse in 9 straight Richmond races, including 24th in April
• Started 26th, 22nd in Stage 1, 19th in Stage 2, finished 28th in this race one year ago
• No top 10s in the last 15 short track races, his last top 10 was at Martinsville in April 2016

Ryan Newman
• Finished 9th at Las Vegas (10th in Stage 1, 11th in Stage 2)
• Finished in top 10 in the last two races
• Top 10 in two of the last three Richmond races but finished outside the top 10 in five of the last seven
• Finished 3rd in this race one year ago
• One top 10 in the last five short track races

Who is Cold

Austin Dillon
• Finished 11th at Las Vegas (18th in Stage 1, 13th in Stage 2); started in the rear due to illegal body modifications
• Finished outside the top 10 in 8 of last 9 races
• Finished 12th or worse in 19 of last 22 races
• Finished outside top 10 in 23 of 26 races since Daytona 500 win
• Never finished better than 13th in 9 career Richmond starts, including 15th in April
• Started 31st, 16th in Stage 1, 21st in Stage 2, finished 21st in this race one year ago
• No top 10s in the last nine short track races, his last top 10 on a short track was at Martinsville in April of 2017

Chase Elliott
• Finished 36th at Las Vegas (5th in Stage 1, 7th in Stage 2); DNF – collected in wreck with Jamie McMurray on Lap 212 while running 6th.
• Finished 15th or worse in the last two races
• Finished in top 10 in 6 of last 8 races
• Top 10s in last 2 Richmond races, including 2nd in April
• Started 9th, 9th in Stage 1, 12th in Stage 2, finished 10th in this race one year ago
• Finished top 10 in 3 of last 4 short track races

Jimmie Johnson
• Finished 22nd at Las Vegas (17th in Stage 1, 4th in Stage 2); hit the wall on Lap 256 while running 7th
• Finished 16th or worse in six of the last seven races
• Finished outside the top 10 in 11 of last 13 races
• Currently on a 50-race winless streak (longest of career)
• Top 10 in six of the last eight Richmond races
• Started 20th, 15th in Stage 1, 13th in Stage 2, finished 8th in this race one year ago
• Top 10 in the last three short track races

Alex Bowman
• Finished 19th at Las Vegas (3rd in Stage 1, 9th in Stage 2); penalized for uncontrolled tire on Lap 162 while running 9th; hit the wall on lap 256 while running 9th
• Finished 19th or worse in 3 straight races and 14th or worse in 5 of last 6
• Never finished better than 18th in 5 career Richmond starts (18th in April)
• Finished top 10 in 3 of last 4 short track races

Alon Day to make second Cup start at Richmond

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Driving the No. 23 BK Racing Toyota, Alon Day will attempt to make his second Cup start and first on an oval this weekend at Richmond.

Day made his Cup debut last year at Sonoma. He finished 32nd.

In August 2016, Day became the first driver from Israel to compete in one of NASCAR’s top series when he started 22nd and finished 13th in the Xfinity Series at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

Day made two starts on oval tracks in the Camping World Truck Series that same year with a best of 24th at New Hampshire.

Last year, Day won the Whelen Euro Series Elite 1 championship on the strength of four victories. In 2018, he has already matched that mark with four wins through eight of the 12 races.

Sponsorship will come from Best Bully Sticks, a Richmond-based company specializing in natural dog treats.

“I am so excited to be back in the Monster Energy Cup Series again this year and to be sponsored by Best Bully Sticks,” Day said in a press release.

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NASCAR announces inspection change for Richmond

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NASCAR has announced a change to next month’s schedule for Cup teams at Richmond Raceway. Inspection after qualifying will be moved from Friday night to Saturday, the day of the playoff race.

That means that the results from Friday’s qualifying session won’t be official until the next day.

After qualifying, all cars will be impounded and inspected the next day. Any car that fails inspection, which will serve as post-qualifying/prerace inspection, will have its qualifying time disallowed and start at the rear. There will be no pre-qualifying inspection.

NASCAR has inspected cars this way two other times this season, doing it at Pocono in July and Watkins Glen in August. At Pocono, 13 teams – including both cars on the front row – lost their starting spot after failing inspection the day after qualifying. At Watkins Glen, two cars failed inspection the day after qualifying and lost their starting spot.

NASCAR will have a similar schedule at three of the remaining 12 races: Indianapolis, Richmond and Martinsville.

At each of those events, Cup teams are on site two days. At Indianapolis, Cup qualifying is after the Xfinity race. At Richmond, Cup qualifying will be before the Xfinity race. At Martinsville, Cup qualifying will be after the Camping World Truck Series race.

By moving inspection to the next day (the day of the race), NASCAR can limit how long crews, including NASCAR officials, are at the track the day of qualifying. It takes around 2 hours, 30 minutes to inspect a Cup field. That can be longer if many cars fail and have to go through inspection more than once.

Such schedules also allow teams more time to work on their cars after final practice instead of having a limited amount of time before needing to get in line for inspection before qualifying.

 

 

 

Cup teams taking part in two-day test at Richmond Raceway

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NASCAR is holding a two-day organizational test at Richmond Raceway Monday and Tuesday ahead of the Sept. 22 night race at the short track.

One car from each team is permitted to take part in the test.

Drivers taking part in the test: Jimmie Johnson, Bubba Wallace, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Blaney, Paul Menard, Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon, AJ Allmendinger, David Ragan, Justin Allgaier, Cole Custer, and Drew Herring.

Grandstands are open Monday from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. ET and Tuesday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET.

Fans can enter the track via the Main Gate at the corner of Laburnum Ave. and Richmond-Henrico Turnpike.

Coolers are permitted into the grandstands.