This past week, Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia hosted night races for both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series. The Nationwide Series ran the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 on Friday night and the Sprint Cup Series’ Federated Auto Parts 400 was featured on Saturday night. The Camping World Truck Series returns to action for the American Ethanol 200 on Saturday night September 15th at Iowa Speedway.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Dale Earnhardt Jr. won the Coors Light Pole Award for the Federated Auto Parts 400 with a lap of 127.023 mph. This is the No. 88 Chevrolet driver's 11th pole in 461 NSCS races. It is his first pole and ninth top-10 start in 2012. His last pole came at the 2011 Daytona 500, 60 races ago. This is Earnhardt's first pole in 27 races at Richmond International Raceway. He led 67 laps and finished the race in 14th place.
Did Not Qualify:
No. 37 J.J. Yeley and No. 0 Mark Green.
Clint Bowyer won the Federated Auto Parts 400, his seventh victory in 243 NSCS races. This is the No. 15 Toyota driver's second victory and 15th top-10 finish in 2012. It is his second victory and eighth top-10 finish in 14 races at Richmond International Raceway. After seeding for the Chase, he is sixth in the standings.
Rookie of the Race:
Stephen Leicht, the No. 33 Chevrolet driver, started 36th and finished 36th. This was ahead of the rest of the 2012 Rookie of the Year contenders earning him the Rookie of the Race award. Leicht, who made 12 of the 26 races so far this season, is currently 41st in the points.
- Denny Hamlin won the $5,400 3M Lap Leader Award for leading the most laps (202 of 400).
- Hendrick Engines won the $5,000 Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race award. They supplied the engine in Jeff Gordon’s No. 24 Chevrolet that started second and finished second.
- Kevin Harvick won the $5,000 American Ethanol Green Flag Restart award for recording the fastest average speed on restarts and finishing the race on the lead lap. The No. 29 Chevrolet driver started 13th and finished in 10th place.
- Clint Bowyer’s crew chief, Brian Pattie, won the DIRECTV Crew Chief of the Race award. The $5,000 cash award is presented to the crew chief of the driver who demonstrates the best qualifying and race finish for each event. Bowyer started the No. 15 Toyota fourth in the lineup and won the race.
- Steve Addington, crew chief on Tony Stewart’s No. 14 Chevrolet, won the Moog Problem Solver of the Race award. The $5,500 award goes to the crew chief that improves the most from the first half of the race to the second half utilizing the 40 best lap times (improved 0.059 seconds).
- Tony Stewart won the $5,000 USG Improving the Finish Award which goes to the driver who improves the most from start to finish. Stewart started 28th in the lineup and improved 24 places to finish in fourth place.
- Clint Bowyer won the $5,000 Mobil 1 Command Performance Driver of the Race award given to the winner of the race or the next-highest finishing driver displaying the Mobil 1 decal.
Denny Hamlin leads the point standings by 3 points over Jimmie Johnson.
NSCS Top 12 (G/L):
(Drivers, current ‘seeded’ points, poles, wins, top-10s and G/L from last week.)
1. Denny Hamlin 2012 2 4 11 +6
2. Jimmie Johnson 2009 1 3 17 +2
3. Tony Stewart 2009 1 3 12 +7
4. Brad Keselowski 2009 0 3 15 +2
5. Greg Biffle 2006 2 2 15 -4
6. Clint Bowyer 2006 0 2 15 +2
7. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 2003 1 1 17 -5
8. Matt Kenseth 2003 1 1 16 -5
9. Kevin Harvick 2000 0 0 11 0
10. Martin Truex Jr. 2000 1 0 14 -5
11. Kasey Kahne 2000 2 2 13 0
12. Jeff Gordon 2000 1 1 12 +1
Next NSCS Race:
GEICO 400, Sunday, September 16th at Chicagoland Speedway.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
NASCAR Nationwide Series
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. received a $3,400 check for winning the Coors Light Pole Award for the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 with a lap of 122.822 mph. This is the No. 6 Ford driver's eighth pole in 98 NNS races. It is his fourth pole and 21st top-10 start in 2012. This is Stenhouse's first pole in six races at Richmond International Raceway. He led 65 laps and finished the race in second place.
Did Not Qualify:
No. 52 Joey Gase, No. 50 David Starr, No. 89 Morgan Shepherd and No. 74 Mike Harmon.
Sprint Cup driver (No. 29) Kevin Harvick won the Virginia 529 College Savings 250, his 38th victory in 288 NNS races. Harvick moves into a tie with Carl Edwards for third on the all-time series wins list. This is the No. 33 Chevrolet driver's first victory and eighth top-10 finish in 2012. His last win came at Richmond on Sept. 10, 2010, 30 starts ago. This is Harvick's sixth victory and 18th top-10 finish in 23 NNS races at Richmond International Raceway.
Rookie of the Race:
Austin Dillon, the No. 3 Chevrolet driver, started second and finished sixth. This was ahead of the rest of the 2012 Rookie of the Year contenders earning him the Sunoco Rookie of the Race award.
- James Buescher makes the most improvement in the series since his 11th place finish was 12 places better than his last NNS finish. This earned the No. 30 Chevrolet driver a $2,600 check and the Featherlite Most Improved Driver award. Buescher, a Camping World Truck Series regular, is ineligible for driver points in this series.
- Austin Dillon won the $2,000 Mobil 1 Driver of the Race award given to the winner of the race or the next-highest finishing driver displaying the Mobil 1 decal.
- Kevin Harvick won the $2,200 3M Lap Leader award as the eligible driver leading the most laps (141 of 260) in the No. 33 Chevrolet.
- Earnhardt-Childress Racing Engines won the $2,100 Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race award. They built the engine in Harvick’s No. 33.
Elliott Sadler leads the point standings by 1 point over Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
NNS Top 10 (G/L):
1. Elliott Sadler 0
2. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 0
3. Austin Dillon +1
4. Sam Hornish Jr. -1
5. Justin Allgaier 0
6. Michael Annett 0
7. Cole Whitt 0
8. Mike Bliss 0
9. Joe Nemechek +2
10. Brian Scott -1
Next NNS Race:
Dollar General 300, Saturday, September 15th at Chicagoland Speedway.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series:
Timothy Peters leads the standings by 6 points over James Buescher.
Next NCWTS Race:
American Ethanol 200, Saturday (night), September 15th at Iowa Speedway.