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Race 10 – Crown Royal 400 at Richmond Preview

Posted by chadmusselman on May 1, 2008

Well, this weekend the boys are running under the lights on a Saturday night in Richmond, Virginia. This is the short track that thinks it’s a super speedway. The ¾ mile track should give us a little bit of everything; high speeds, bumping, and good racing.

Kyle Busch
With the win last week Kyle Busch trimmed Jeff Burton’s points lead 58 points, down to just 22. Kyle has done really well at Richmond in his career. In six races he’s only finished out of the top 5 once (20th last year). Even though his two worse finishes of the season came on the short tracks at Bristol (17th) and Martinsville (38th), don’t look for him to finish that bad in Richmond. The D shaped track should fit Kyle’s aggressive style, so he should continue to do well.

Denny Hamlin
The third year driver has been having a solid, but fairly quiet year so far. He’s fourth in points with six top 10s, four top 5s and one Win. In four career races at Richmond he’s finished in the top 10 three times. His worst qualifying position has been 7th, so look for him to do well and run up front most of the night.

Kevin Harvick
Harvick’s career started out kind of rough at Richmond. In his first eight races (2001 – 2004) he only finished in the top 10 twice. Since then he has six consecutive top 10 finished with three top 5s. It’ll be hard to bet against those numbers.

Jeff Burton
Not much gets said about the Sprint Cup points leader and his chances to win races. It seems that Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, or the Hendrick drivers take a lot of the spotlight. Jeff has had a solid season so far with one Win and his worst finish being 13th in Daytona. Unfortunately I don’t think that success will translate to Richmond. Since 2004 (a span of 8 races) Jeff has only finished in the top 10 once. In the eight races before that (2000 – 2003) he had finished in the top 10 six times. That’s quite a drop off in performance. He may do okay and finish in the top 15, but I don’t see him challenging for a victory.

Tony Stewart
Smoke needs to start heating up. After the crash in Talladega and a 38th place finish Stewart dropped to 9th in the standings. Historically he’s done well at Richmond, and should have a shot at success on Saturday night. He has twelve career top 10s and three Wins at the track in 18 races. Look for him to be aggressive and push to the front.

4 with a real shot to win
· Kyle Busch – He’s been hot all season, and he does well in Richmond.
· Jimmy Johnson – Won last two, and is looking more like the Jimmy that dominated last year
· Denny Hamlin – He has a 6th, 3rd, 2nd in 3 of the last 4 in Richmond.
· Kevin Harvick – Six consecutive top 10s at a track is hard to ignore.

2 others that could do well
· Tony Stewart – 2nd, 8th, 6th in 3 of last 4, and ready to make up points after last week’s wrecks
· Jeff Gordon – Finished 4th in the last two races here, looking to get back in the top 12

Sleeper
· David Ragan – He’s only had two career races at Richmond, but finished 3rd in last fall’s race. He may be able to get another top 5 or 10 finish this weekend if he can avoid wrecks.

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