Bowyer Will Wear Largest Chase Target at RIR Saturday
Ten of the 12 drivers eligible this season's Chase for the Sprint Cup have been identified rolling into the final race before the start of the 10-race showdown.
Twelfth-place Richard Childress Racing driver Clint Bowyer will have the largest target on his back when the green flag waves at Richmond International Raceway on tomorrow night. He leads 13th-place Stewart Haas Racing driver Ryan Newman by 117 points and 14th-place Chip Ganassi Racing competitor Jamie McMurray by 128 points.
Bowyer, who earned a May 3, 2008 Richmond victory from the 31st starting position, owns a total of one top-five and four top-10 finishes at the Virginia track through nine career starts. His average Richmond finish is 10th. He needs a finish of 28th or better to lock down his Chase spot and is averaging a 12th-place finish in his past four Richmond starts. He placed 12th during the series first visit to the track this season.
The Kansas-born driver hasn't finished lower than 18th at Richmond. His Crew Chief Shane Wilson iindicates that solid form should be enought to deliver his driver a third Chase appearance.
"You have to go to Richmond and execute all day. Hopefully it'll take care of itself. There's been times this year we haven't gotten it done at the end of the race, but I think that just takes time and everyone believing in everybody. Getting into the Chase was one our goals. As we accomplish some goals and have better runs, that just helps all that stuff. "I we get in that 12th seed, that's a really good spot to be in because no matter what happens, you won't worse than where you came in. It takes the pressure off because you get to race almost how you grew up racing," Wilson said.
Roush Fenway Racing driver Greg Biffle enters the Richmond race 11th in the series standings with a 44 point lead over Bowyer. Biffle has picked up two top-five and five top-10 finishes in 16 career Richmond starts. He is averaging a 16th-place finish at the track and needs to place 42nd or better on Saturday to firm up his championship eligibility. He's averaging a 17th-place finish in past four Richmond races. His career worst finish at the track was 39th on Sept. 8, 2007.
Kevin Harvick will take this season's pre-Chase championship. He possesses a 219-point lead over four-time series title winner Jeff Gordon. Harvick netted his second consecutive top-10 Richmond finish with a third-place run in May. He took a Sept. 9 victory and a total of four top-five and 10 top-10 finishes in his past 11 starts at the track.
Kyle Busch took the first Richmond victory of the season from the pole position on May 1. He placed in the top five in the past two series races including his Bristol Motor Speedway victory. Tomorrow's coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. on ABC. Motor Racing Network radio and Sirius XM 128 will start coverage at 6:30 p.m.
Story by Mike Schmaltz