Richmond Handicaps

Matt Kenseth- It took Kenseth a few tries to get a feel for this place, but he’s scored top 10 finishes in the last three Richmond Cup races and won this event last year.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.- Junior typical runs well here with six top 10 finishes in eight Cup races at Richmond. He won at Richmond in 2000 after hitting race leader Tony Stewart on pit road and flattening a tire on the 20. Third here this spring.

Kevin Harvick- Harvick’ sixth place finish here this spring was his second top 10 Cup finish at Richmond in five stabs at the joint. Almost won here in ’01 when he spun Ricky Rudd out of the lead to take the point, but Rudd caught back up to him and returned the favor. Harvick finished second that night.

Jimmie Johnson- Johnson has yet to score a top 10 at Richmond. His best finish here was thirteenth in this race last year. Nineteenth here in the spring.

Jeff Gordon- Gordon is a two time winner at Richmond most recently in this race back in 2000. He’s been in a bit of a slump at Richmond as of late with just three top 10 finishes in the last nine Cup races run here. It’s always exciting when Rusty Wallace and Gordon are running together at Richmond. Sometimes a little too exciting for Gordon’s tastes.

Kurt Busch- Busch scored his first top 10 finish in five Richmond starts this spring coming home eighth. BOOOOOOO!

Ryan Newman- Newman finished second in both Richmond races last year but finished 39th here this spring. That’ll screw up your average.

Bobby Labonte- Labonte has never won a Cup race at Richmond but did finish second here this spring and in this race back in 1999. But Labonte finished 32nd in both races here last year. That’s not the sort of consistency drivers strive for.

Michael Waltrip- Waltrip is about hopeless at Richmond. Has failed to score a top 10 finish in his last 25 starts here in a Cup car. Twelfth this spring was his first top 15 finish here since 1996. Maybe if they ran restrictor plates at Richmond?

Tony Stewart- Stewart won his first career Winston Cup victory as a rookie here back in 1999 and has won two more Cup races here since. For good measure he also won a truck race here last year. In nine career starts at Richmond Stewart has six top 10 finishes. This spring he wrecked and finished 41st here. Afterwards when asked by the press for comment he said, “Screw you guys, I’m going home” or something along those lines. Still this is where the smart money is this weekend.

Terry Labonte- Labonte is a three time winner at Richmond but his most recent victory was the spring race in 1998. He’s batting slightly over .500 here with a 26 top tens in fifty career Cup starts at Richmond. But his last top 10 here was a second place result in the spring of ’00. Will the real Terry Labonte please stand up?

Robby Gordon- Gordon finished fourth here this spring. Color me baffled. His previous three starts at Richmond all resulted in finishes outside the top 25.

Jeff Burton- Burton won here in 1998 prevailing in a epic side by side battle with Jeff Gordon to the line. He typically runs very well here with ten top 10 finishes in eighteen Cup starts here including his ninth place result here this spring.

Bill Elliott- While better noted for his superspeedway prowess Elliott did win here back in 1992 as part of a four consecutive race streak. But he has just one top 10 finish in his last eleven races here.

Mark Martin- Mr. Peabody set the Way Back Machine to the spring of 1990. That’s when Martin won his sole Cup victory here at Richmond. But he does bring a streak of three straight top 5 finishes at Richmond into this weekend.

Sterling Marlin- This isn’t Marlins track. His best finish here was fourth (1999) and he has only three top 5 finishes in 35 Cup starts here. Better get back to Tennessee, Jed.

Rusty Wallace- Before they invented Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart, Wallace owned this place with six Cup wins here. (The most recent was way back in the spring of 1997.) He’s got some remarkable stats here with twenty top 5 finishes in 39 Cup Richmond starts. This is probably Wallace’s best chance to win a race until Martinsville later this fall, and after a rough two weeks even making it to the halfway point of a race would be a moral victory.

Greg Biffle- Biffle seemed baffled in his first Cup start at Richmond this spring coming home seventeenth.

Elliott Sadler- In nine Cup starts at Richmond Sadler has never finished better than 17th. 37th here this spring. At least Michael Waltrip will have someone to race with.

Ricky Craven- Craven has just one top 10 finish here in his last eight starts at Richmond.

Others To Watch

Ward Burton- Burton is still looking for his first top 5 finish at Richmond in nineteen starts. Best career Richmond Cup finish was sixth back in ’00.

Joe Nemechek- “Will Drive For Food” Nemechek won the spring race here at Richmond. As he once again searches for a new ride (or an outside shot at keeping the 25 seat) another win here would be incredibly timely.

Related Topics:

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, 2003

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