Racingone Rewind: Richmond

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Complete Results | Box Score | Lap Summary | Driver Ratings | Photos

RICHMOND, Va. - A look back at Dale Earnhardt Jr's 17th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series win in Saturday's Crown Royal 400 at Richmond International Raceway including news, notes and observations by RacingOne's own Pete Pistone and Jeff Wackerlin.

Inside Line
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. took the lead from Kyle Busch with 50 laps to go and went on to win Saturday night's Crown Royal 400 at Richmond International Raceway, his 17th career NEXTEL Cup win.

Keys to Victory Lane
When Kevin Harvick didn't pit for tires with the rest of the leaders on lap 281, it opened the door for Earnhardt, Jr., who made the most of the opportunity to work to the front and eventually worked around Busch for the top spot and raced on to the win.

Zero to Hero
Greg Biffle started from the pole but more troubles shuffled him all the way to the rear of the field before he mounted a furious charge back to the front and scored a fourth, his first top five of the season.

Hero to Zero
Kasey Kahne was looking for back-to-back wins in the race but early trouble put him nearly five laps down and he never was able to recover, eventually finishing 34th.

Notables
Ryan Newman started his May comeback with an eighth-place finish. Sterling Marlin came from the 32nd starting spot to finish ninth. And Virginia native son Elliott Sadler started 37th and finished 13th.

Rookie of the Race
Denny Hamlin locked up this award with yet another impressive finish and had the house rockin' when the Virginian took the lead late. Clint Bowyer notched another top 10 bringing home the No. 07 Chevrolet 10th.

What's the Points?
Johnson maintained the point lead with Stewart now second 55 points back and Kenseth, Martin and Harvick rounding out the top five.

Where Are They Now?
Where last year "Chase for the NEXTEL Cup" competitors currently are in the standings: Jimmie Johnson (first), Tony Stewart (second), Matt Kenseth (third), Mark Martin (fourth), Carl Edwards (13th), Kurt Busch (18th), Greg Biffle (20th), Ryan Newman (23rd) and Jeremy Mayfield (34th).

Pit Stops
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. captured his 17th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series win in his 229th start. The win was also his third at Richmond and ninth top 10 overall. Detailed Active Driver Wins
  • Earnhardt Jr. won the 23rd race - third at Richmond - for Dale Earnhardt Inc. Detailed Active Car Owner Wins
  • Stewart became the 32nd driver overall to win a race from the 10th starting position. Starting Position Facts
  • Earnhardt Jr., who led three times for 47 laps, has now been up front for 322 laps in his career at Richmond. Lap Summary
  • Earnhardt Jr. gave Chevrolet their sixth win in 2006. It was also the 576 overall win for Chevrolet. All-Time Manufacturer Wins
  • Denny Hamlin (second) scored his career-best NASCAR NEXTEL Cup finish in his 17th start.
  • Kevin Harvick led the most laps with 272 en route to his third-place finish.
  • Greg Biffle (fourth) has now finished eighth or better in the last four races at RIR.
  • Kyle Busch's fifth-place finish was his third consecutive top five in three career starts.
  • Tony Stewart scored his 10th top-10 finish in his 15th start at Richmond with his sixth-place finish.
  • Carl Edwards (seventh) captured his first top 10 since finishing sixth in his first start at RIR in 2004.
  • Ryan Newman's eighth-place finish was his sixth top 10 in nine starts at Richmond.
  • Sterling Marlin scored his first top-10 finish of the season after he brought home his MB2 Motorsports Chevrolet in ninth.
  • Clint Bowyer finished 10th in his first NEXTEL Cup race at RIR.
  • The 400-lap race saw 12 lead changes among six drivers and an average speed of 97.061 mph.
  • 11 caution flags were thrown for 61 laps.
  • Tonight's Crown Royal 400 lasted 3 hours, 5 minutes, 27 seconds.

    Lug Nuts
  • Amazing that everyone except Todd Berrier knew the call to not pit for tires was wrong.
  • And if you were listening to Kevin Harvick's scanner frequency, you knew what the driver thought.
  • From the looks of it on the media center television, looks like FOX was almost perfect on missing every restart of the race. But they were sure showing off those Emmys they won all weekend.
  • Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahnw and Jeff Gordon have all done well at Richmond before. Saturday night was not one of those times.
  • Kurt Busch looked like Kevin Costner's character in "Tin Cup," when he kept hitting the ball into the water time-after-time on the last hole. First he pits for a flat tire, than penalized for an equipment infraction on pit road then gets hit for speeding on pit road. And just like that, the No. 2 car was out of contention for the night.

    Garage Talk
  • "I could just feel myself lifting off the gas pedal down the straightaway because my foot was shaking so hard." - Denny Hamlin, on taking the lead.
  • "I should be OK. I did this at Bristol last year, so I've got experience." - Virginia Tech football coach Frank Beamer on waving the green flag.
  • "You think you're almost not invincible, but you don't think you can do a lot of things wrong." - Kevin Harvick

    Media Center
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr.talks about his winning run. Listen
  • Earnhardt Jr. talks about keeping an eye on the point standings. Listen
  • Denny Hamlin talks about how his hand injury affected his performance. Listen

    RacingOne Rating
    On a scale of one to ten ice cold Budweisers (what the heck, Junior won), we'll give Saturday night's Crown Royal 400 a solid eight. Richmond proved again it is one of if not the best tracks for fans and drivers with side-by-side racing, multiple grooves and of course, the glamour of night racing. The grandstands shook when Denny Hamlin took the lead and shook even more when the No. 8 crossed the start-finish line first. All in all, an enjoyable night in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Now it's off to the birthplace of NASCAR superspeedway racing - Darlington Raceway and another Saturday night of racing.
    
            
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