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NASCAR

Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Prerace Notes

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

NASCAR returns to Richmond International Raceway for the Federated Auto Parts 400. Tonight it is all about the Chase for the Sprint Cup, those drivers who will be in and those who will not that is. This is the last race of the Sprint Cup Series regular season and the last chance that several drivers have at the championship for 2013.

Jeff Gordon is one of those drivers who currently are on the outside looking in. He is doing what he needs to do in order to race his way into the Chase. Jeff Gordon won the Coors Light Pole Award and will start the race up front.

Kurt Busch is currently in the Chase for the Sprint Cup but barely. He is currently tenth in the standings but needs to finish the race in third place or better to stay there. He will start the race alongside of Jeff which is only fitting as they are racing each other for that spot in the Chase.

The last four of the top ten spots in the Chase and the two wild card spots are up for grabs tonight. There are a great many scenarios on how a driver might get in or out. A simplified look at these scenarios and how Kasey Kahne might be the spoiler can be found here. http://www.rantsports.com/nascar/2013/09/04/nascar-driver-kasey-kahne-could-be-a-spoiler-at-richmond/

Besides those drivers looking to get into the Chase there are other drivers already in or not, that want to win this race. According to the statistics a favorite to win the race is Kyle Busch.

Regan Smith practiced and qualified the No. 48 for Jimmie Johnson while he was at home welcoming him and his wife Chandra’s new baby girl. Since the No. 48 team changed drivers after qualifying they will have to give up Smith’s tenth place qualifying effort and start the race at the rear of the field. They do get the benefit of their pit stall selection. It doesn’t matter much as Jimmie is still leading the standings and solidly in the Chase.

The weather at Richmond is forecast to be near perfect for racing so that should not be a factor.

If you can’t get to Richmond International Raceway Saturday night September 7th, it will be broadcast on national TV, ABC.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for RantSports.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary, or on Facebook, Pinterest, and Google.