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The Daly Planet

Friday's Top 10

Friday's Top 10
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By Carol Einarsson | 09/09/2011
Category: Friday's Top 10

10 racers have an average finish of 10th at Richmond, most of them started fewer than 10 races, however. Two that didn't - Benny Parsons and Cale Yarborough who raced 29 and 22 times respectively. Benny got two wins, and Cale got three.

9 was a good number for Rusty Wallace and he has the most consistent numbers at the highest level of anyone. His average start was 9.0 and his average finish was 9.3. That means in 44 races, he only let an average of 1/3 of a race car pass him each race.

8th on the all-time win list for Richmond is a tie between me, Jimmy Spencer, Fred Lorenzen, Juan Pablo Montoya, and about a thousand other drivers who have never won a race at Richmond. 7th on the all-time win list, however, is a 22-way tie with one win. Nine of those 22 will be in this weekend's race.

7 points and one victory separate Marcos Ambrose from the Chase. If he wins and makes up those seven points to get inside the top 20, he'll get a wild-card entry.

6 races in a row were won here by Chevy until Toyota came to town, and nobody else has won since.

5 races at Richmond have been run since the last time someone other than Denny Hamlin or Kyle Busch won. And that last race before their streak was run in the fall 2007 and won by Jimmie Johnson.

4 times Brad Keselowski has raced at Richmond, and among active drivers, he has the best average starting spot, 7.5. As he's trying everything he can get to get in the Chase, this may not be the best time to mention that BK's average finish is 25.8. It should be pointed out, though, that these are his pre-injury stats.

3 trophies have been taken home from RIR by Dale Earnhardt, Jr, two shy of his dad's accomplishment, but Junior also got his three wins in 24 starts, and "Don't-call-me-Senior" needed 44 starts for his five. We're pretty sure, though, that his dad would have pointed out that his Richmond stats are a better-than-50% record for top-10's, while Junior's is only 33%.

2 races have been won by Denny Hamlin at Richmond. They were both run in September, and his wins were last year and the year prior. If he wins on Saturday night, it will not just be his third straight fall Richmond win, but it will guarantee him a spot in the Chase.

1 race is now all that remains between hope and reality for all of the drivers who are so close to the Chase. And that one race is a Saturday-night-under-the-lights-3/4-mile-oval where anything can happen.



Bill B
09/09/2011 6:04 am (1)
I just hope the races go as planned this week. The remnants of Lee have been hanging over the mid-Atlantic since Monday. Every day we have gotten 2-4 (or more) inches of rain in the Baltimore area. Arks are starting to pop up in a few places.
09/09/2011 6:48 am (2)
Carol said: If he wins on Sunday, it will not just be his third straight fall Richmond win, but it will guarantee him a spot in the Chase. (referring to Denny Hamlin)

Guess Denny will have to give up on getting into the Chase this year - the race is on Saturday, not Sunday. Too bad, Denny...

Sorry, Carol, I just couldn't resist!
09/09/2011 10:13 am (3)
...sigh... foiled again.

But I fixed it, now. :-) Thanks, SRF

09/09/2011 10:53 am (4)
Heard an interview with Mike Ford yesterday about Denny "needing" to win Richmond to make the Chase, and he said a couple times that "we don't have to win to be in"- almost like he was already admitting defeat.

Technically, no. Denny doesn't have to win to make the Chase. But if he does, then it doesn't matter what anyone else does- he is in.
It sounded like defeat has already taken over in Mike Ford's mindset...
09/09/2011 1:33 pm (5)
I am astounded that Rusty Wallace (and Earnhardt Sr) have twice as many starts at Richmond as Cale Yarborough, given his career spanned over 25 years. I do recall, tho, that Richmond was not a very popular track before being rebuilt into a 3/4 (Richard Petty in particular hated it), so perhaps Yarborough skipped that race most years.


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