Watch NASCAR Federated Auto Parts 400 from Richmond streaming online live by following the link at the bottom of this preview article. Danica Patrick and Tony stewart are among the drivers who need a win to qualify for the Chase for the Cup.
Going into today’s NASCAR Federated Auto Parts 400, 13 of the 16 Chase for the Sprint Cup positions are already filled. The following drivers have, by virtue of having won races, already earned their spot in the 16-car field for the Chase:
- Jeff Gordon(3 wins)
- Dale Earnhardt Jr. (3 wins)
- Joey Logano (3 wins)
- Brad Keselowski (3 wins)
- Jimmie Johnson (3 wins)
- Carl Edwards (2 wins)
- Kevin Harvick (2 wins)
- Kasey Kahne(1 win, last week)
- Kyle Busch (1 win)
- Denny Hamlin (1 win)
- Kurt Busch (1 win)
- Aric Almirola (1 win, with a little help from prayer)
- AJ Allmendinger (1 win)
Whoever wins today’s race will also earn a spot in the Chase for the Cup, as will the top two in the points standings among drivers who have not yet won a race this season. If the Chase were to start today, Matt Kenseth (794 points), Ryan Newman (747 points), and Greg Biffle (728 points) would qualify for the Chase for the Cup based on their NASCAR points standings. The drivers just on the outside looking in are Clint Bowyer (705 points) and Kyle Larson (704 points). You can see the full points standings here.
It would take a great race by anyone below Biffle, combined with Biffle falling apart and either not finishing or finishing laps down at the end of the pack for Bowyer, Larson, or anyone behind them to catch up on points. It would be impossible for Bowyer or Larson to catch Newman on points unless they either win today’s race (which would qualify them anyway) or finish second and earn bonus points for leading laps. Look for both drivers on the cusp to run hard today in an effort to lead laps.
Tony Stewart and Danica Patrick are among the notable drivers without a win this year. Stewart took three races off after the accident in New York, in which he struck and killed sprint car driver Kevin ward Jr. Danica Patrick, meanwhile, is still seeking her first NASCAR victory in today’s NASCAR Federated Auto Parts 400.
Despite the fact that most drivers need a win to qualify for the Chase for the Cup, the qualifying results look like a case of the rich get richer, with seven of the top ten — and all of the top five — drivers having already qualified for the Chase. Brad Keselowski starts at the pole, with Jeff Gordon beside him in the 2 position. Jimmie Johnson starts third, with Kevin Harvick fourth. Joey Logano is fifth, with Clint Bowyer — who still has a long shot chance to qualify for the Chase on points with a second place finish — starts in sixth. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Kyle Larson start seventh and eighth, respectively. Both need a win to secure a spot in the Chase. Kurth Busch starts in ninth and Carl Edwards starts in tenth. You can see the full qualifying order here.
Who would you like to see pull off a win in today’s NASCAR Federated Auto Parts 400 and qualify for the Chase?
Whoever you’re pulling for, you can watch the NASCAR Federated Auto Parts 400 streaming online live here starting at 7:30 P.M. Eastern Time.