Date: Saturday, April 28, 2012
Location: Richmond International Raceway
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET time
Distance: 400 laps/ 300 miles
Broadcast: TV- Fox with coverage starting at 7 p.m. ET
Radio: Motor Racing Network (MRN), Sirius XM Channel 90
Notes and Analysis:
Joe Gibbs Racing has been the dominant team as of late at the Richmond International Raceway.
Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin have combined to win five of the last six races held at RIR, with Busch taking the win in the past three spring races at the track.
And in last year’s spring race, Hamlin was right behind his teammate, Busch, finishing the race in second (at the time his best finish of the season).
But when the fall race cam around, it was Kevin Harvick in his Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet picking up his final win of the 2011 season.
After RCR teammate, Paul Menard, spun his No.27 Chevrolet in the closing stages, Harvick was able to hold off challenges from Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards to take the checkered flag.
Coming off his second victory of the season after winning Sunday’s race at the Kansas Speedway, Denny Hamlin comes into this weekend’s race with not only momentum, but the comfort of being back in his home track.
When Hamlin picked up his first win at RIR in 2009, he was elated with joy. Grinning from ear-to-ear in victory lane, Hamlin emphasized how much winning at home meant to him.
And with all the things that coming back to a home track provides, race number nine of the 2012 season could very well equate to Hamlin’s third victory of the young season.
Speaking of momentum, the Michael Waltrip Racing clan will be looking to reclaim momentum for all three cars in the team this weekend after two of the three suffered engine failures on the day.
The one bright spot however for the team was Martin Truex Jr. Truex Jr. , who was out front for 173 of the 267 laps at Kansas Speedway last Sunday, comes into Richmond looking to find the same magic his No.56 team has last weekend at Kansas as well as in this race just last year.
Being second in the points, Truex Jr. and his team obviously have what it takes to score a victory here in the early part of the 2012 season. For them, it’s a matter of closing the deal and getting through the entire race without needing to big themselves out of a hole.
When you look at the recent winners at RIR, you’ll only see two teams in that list. Those are JGR and RCR as those two organizations have combined to win the past six races at the 3/4 mile oval.
With that being said, the two “powerhouse” organizations of Roush-Fenway Racing and Hendrick Motorsports haven’t found all too much success at RIR over the recent years.
RFR’s most recent when at the 3/4 mile track came back in 2005 when Kurt Busch won the fall race driving the No.97 Ford. The same race in which he treated the start-finish line at RIR like the one at Indianapolis Motor Speedway by “kissing” it after winning the final race before the Chase
As for HMS, it’s not much better. Jimmie Johnson delivered that organizations most recent win in 2008. Since then, HMS and Johnson have found minimal success at RIR.
By the Numbers:
- 13—The most wins at RIR in the track’s history, set by none other than “The King”, Richard Petty.
- 22—The total number of races won from the pole in 111 Sprint Cup races at the track.
- 31st—The furthest back a RIR race winner has started.
- 8— The number of poles Bobby Allison has at RIR, the most of any driver.
- 22—The amount of times a race at RIR has finished with only one driver on the lead lap. 1975 was the last time this happened.
- “A” Drivers: Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick
- “B” Drivers: Clint Bowyer, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Newman, AJ Allmendinger
- “C” Drivers: Dave Blaney, Stephen Leicht
- #1 Jamie McMurray (McDonald’s)
- #2 Brad Keselowski (Miller Lite)
- #5 Kasey Kahne (Farmer’s Insurance)
- #9 Marcos Amrbose (Stanley)
- #10 David Reutimann (Tommy Baldwin Racing)
- #11 Denny Hamlin (FedEx Freight)
- #13 Casey Mears (GEICO)
- #14 Tony Stewart (Mobil 1)
- #15 Clint Bowyer (5-Hour Energy)
- #16 Greg Biffle (3m/ Give Kids a Smile)
- #17 Matt Kenseth (Ford EcoBoost)
- #18 Kyle Busch (M&M’s Brown)
- #20 Joey Logano (Home Depot)
- #22 AJ Allmendinger (Shell-Pennzoil)
- #23 Scott Riggs (North Texas Pipe)
- #24 Jeff Gordon (DuPont)
- #26 Josh Wise (Morristown Driver’s Service)
- #27 Paul Menard (Menard’s/Nibco)
- #29 Kevin Harvick (Jimmy Johns)
- #30 David Stremme (Inception Motorsports)
- #31 Jeff Burton (BB&T)
- #32 Reed Sorenson (TBA)
- #33 Stephen Leicht (Little Joe’s Auto)
- #34 David Ragan (TBA)
- #36 Dave Blaney (Seal Wrap)
- #38 David Gilliland (Long John Silver’s)
- #39 Ryan Newman (U.S. Army)
- #42 Juan Pablo Montoya (Target)
- #43 Aric Almirola (Smithfield)
- #47 Bobby Labonte (Bush’s Beans)
- #48 Jimmie Johnson (Lowe’s)
- #49 JJ Yeley (JPO Absorbents)
- #51 Kurt Busch (Phoenix Construction)
- #52 TBA (Crusader Staffing)
- #55 Mark Martin (Aaron’s)
- #56 Martin Truex Jr. (NAPA Brakes)
- #74 Stacey Compton (Turn One Racing)
- #78 Regan Smith (Furniture Row)
- #83 Landon Cassill (Burger King- Dr. Pepper)
- #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (National Guard)
- #93 Travis Kvapil (Burger King- Dr. Pepper)
- #98 Michael McDowell (Curb Records)
- #99 Carl Edwards (Ford EcoBoost)