NASCAR Preview

Last Updated Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 5:27 pm, EDT

Chevy Rock & Roll 400

Status: Final Richmond International Raceway

Race Capsule

Richmond International Raceway
  • What:

    Race 26 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit

  • Where:

    Richmond International Raceway, Richmond, VA

  • When:

    September 6, 2003 7:30 pm EDT

  • Laps:


  • Track Length:

    0.75 miles

  • Race Length:

    300.00 miles

  • Purse:


Drivers to Watch

Mark Martin Holds the track record of all-time Busch series wins at Richmond with five; tops the Winston Cup series with 16 top-10 finishes, and is one of five drivers with at least eighth results in the first five; a disappointing season by his standards, with just five top-5 finishes; sits 15th in the standings.
Jeff Gordon More struggles for the four-time champion as he finished 32nd at Darlington; placed no better than 24th in six of last seven races, exception being the fourth at the Brickyard 400; Richmond Raceway has been good to Gordon over the years; owns two wins including this event under the lights in 2000, four poles (last in 2001), nine top-fives and 13 top-10 finishes in 21 starts.
Jeff Burton The stop at Richmond is a homecoming of sorts for the South Boston, Virginia native; winner of this race in 1998; started from the pole in 2000, led four times but faltered toward the end and came home in fifth place; was not a factor last season, finishing 39th; without a victory this year, but scored seven top-10 finishes, good for 13th in the points.
Tony Stewart This is the track where he recorded his first career NASCAR Winston Cup victory at this race in 1999; obviously a track he likes after also finishing suxth in the Virginia 500 earlier in the season; last fall he placed a lap down in 30th; lone victory for the reigning Winston Cup champion this year was in the Pocono 500 in June; broke back into the top 10 standings after six races outside.
Bill Elliott Owns one win, three poles, eight top-fives and 15 top-10s at this track; led 12 races at Richmond for a total of 492 laps; his three poles here tie him with Rusty Wallace for second-most among active drivers (Jeff Gordon has four); best finish was a win from the pole in spring of 1992; scored lone runner-up finish at the track in fall of 1993.
The renowned short-track expert leads all active drivers with six victories at Richmond, all occuring at the 3/4-mile configuration; overall, he is tied with Darrell Waltrip for most wins at the track; Richard Petty leads all drivers with seven wins in the fall race at Richmond and 14 overall; Wallace won four races in the spring and two in the fall; was eighth in the spring race and 15th last September.
Matt Kenseth A model of consistency all season, with lowest finish being a 22nd in the Virginia 500 here in April; stands first in the points since the season's fourth week and is 389 points ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr.; leads series with 19 top-10 finishes and is tied with Bobby Labonte with 10 finishes among the top five; defending champion of the fall race at Richmond passing Ryan Newman with seven laps to go; led total of 134 laps; earlier this season finished seventh.
Kurt Busch Fourth victory this season came at Bristol, and he finished 13th at Darlington to remain sixth in points for the second straight week; also closed to within 13 points Jeff Gordon and is looking to get back among the top five in the title race since being ranked fifth following win at Michigan in June; has just one top-10 finish in five career starts at Richmond, but the performance came in most stop when qualified seventh and finished eighth.
Jimmie Johnson Third-place in the Southern 500 was second straight top-five finish; remained fourth in standings; came close to a top 10 last September here, but 13th was best he could come up with; won the Coca-Cola 600 and New England 300 this year as well as The Winston All-Star event; one of just two drives (Michael Waltrip) in the top 10 standings for entire season; lowest position was seventh in mid-season; tops series in earnings with $4,164,955; in three career starts at Richmond, won one pole from last year's Chevy Rock & Roll 400 but still seeks first top-10 finish; best effort also came in last year's fall event when he finished 13th; was 19th in the spring this season.
Kevin Harvick Finished second to Terry Labonte at Darlington for his third consecutive runner-up finish and fifth straight top-five effort; the five-race run moved him from seventh to a season-best third for the second straight week and has allowed him to trim 119 points from Matt Kenseth's advantage to 415; has not started better than 22nd in five career appearances at Richmond, but has managed a pair of top-10 finishes; best effort at the .75-mile oval was second in this event in 2001;other top-10 was in his most recent appearance in May when he finished sixth after starting 36th.
Terry Labonte First victory in some four years at Darlington could be a boost for the veteran driver coming to this track; recorded three wins at Richmond, with success in the spring of 1995 and 1998 and also in this race in 1994; a decent season with four top fives and seven among the first 10 finishers; results are good for 11th in points standings.