A little more to chew on while waiting for the green flag at Richmond International Raceway:
JUST THE FACTS
What: Dan Lowry 400.
Where: Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.
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Track type: Three-fourths-mile mostly flat tri-oval.
Race distance: 400 laps or 300 miles.
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Weather: Partly cloudy with high in the low 80s.
TV: Fox Sports.
Radio: Motor Racing Network.
3 THINGS TO WATCH
1 - Jimmie Johnson owned this track last season, winning both races at Richmond on his way to a 10-win season and his second Sprint Cup Series championship. Strong performances at Martinsville and Phoenix should bode well for him.
2 - Kyle Busch is coming off his second Cup win of the season and already found victory in Richmond this weekend with a win Thursday night in a Late Model race. NASCAR's hottest driver is still looking for his first short-track win of the season.
3 - Richmond has sold out every Cup race since the 1992 season, but Saturday night's race looks like it will include several empty seats. Is it a sign of the economic times or of something more ominous?
Dale Earnhardt Jr. appears to be throwing everything he has into ending his career-long 71-race winless streak this weekend and started by topping Friday's practice session. Mark Martin was second fastest and logged 91 laps in practice. Kasey Kahne was third fastest, Denny Hamlin fourth and Elliott Sadler fifth.
Richard Childress Racing has been solid all season but the team still needs to add to its highlight reel. I think that’ll happen.
Winner: Kevin Harvick.
The last time Dale Earnhardt Jr. won a race was here at Richmond two years ago and local favorite Denny Hamlin finished second. This time, it's Hamlin who comes out on top and keep’s Earnhardt Jr.'s winless streak intact.
Winner: Denny Hamlin.