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Pre-Race Notes and Quotes: Richmond

JR Motorsports | Race Preview Published 4/23/2014
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EVENT: Toyota Owners 400
DATE: Saturday, April 26, 2014
TRACK: Richmond International Raceway
LENGTH: .75-mile D-shaped oval
TV: FOX (Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET)
RADIO: MRN (Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET)

News & Notes

POINTS REPORT: Eight races into the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, Dale Earnhardt Jr. ranks fourth in the driver standings on the strength of one win, five top-five finishes and five top-10s. He trails leader and teammate Jeff Gordon by 26 points.

AT RICHMOND: In 29 Sprint Cup starts at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, Earnhardt has recorded three wins, one pole position, nine top-five finishes and 12 top-10s. He has led a total of 494 laps and completed 99.2 percent of all laps he's attempted at the short track (11,513 laps of 11,609 total).

RICHMOND WINS: Among active competitors, Earnhardt is one of four drivers ranked tied for second with three Cup victories at Richmond. Earnhardt most recently went to Victory Lane at Richmond on May 6, 2006, after leading 47 laps.

CHASSIS CHOICE: This weekend, crew chief Steve Letarte will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-857. Earnhardt most recently raced this chassis to a second-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway in March.

DRIVER RATING: According to NASCAR's loop data statistics, Earnhardt ranks 13th in the driver rating category at Richmond with a score of 85.4 in the last 18 races. The driver rating is a formula that combines wins, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. The maximum a driver can earn in each race is 150 points. The driver rating number is used pre-race as a prediction tool and post-race as a performance evaluator.

HENDRICK AT RICHMOND: In 60 Cup events (190 starts) at Richmond, Hendrick Motorsports has 10 wins, 51 top-five finishes and 90 top-10s. Jeff Gordon leads all active, full-time drivers at the 0.75-mile short track with 16 top-five finishes, 26 top-10s, 1,464 laps led and an average starting position of 7.6. Jimmie Johnson most recently went to Victory Lane there for the organization on Sept. 7, 2008.

30TH ANNIVERSARY: In 2014, Hendrick Motorsports is celebrating its 30th anniversary in NASCAR. The organization began in 1984 with five employees and 5,000 square feet of work space. It has grown to more than 500 employees with a 430,000-square-foot facility that sits on 140 acres. Driver Geoff Bodine won the Martinsville (Va.) Speedway spring race on April 29, 1984, marking Hendrick Motorsports’ first victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

30TH SWEEPSTAKES: To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Hendrick Motorsports is giving away 30 prizes in 30 days from March 27 to April 25. The sweepstakes launched at http://30years.HendrickMotorsports.com. In addition to 30 daily prizes, fans can enter to win one of the four grand prizes: the special-edition 30th anniversary firesuits worn by Hendrick Motorsports drivers Kahne, Gordon, Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. recently at Martinsville Speedway.

Quotes

DALE EARNHARDT JR. (ON RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY.): “We’ve had a good start to the season, and I’m looking forward to getting back in the car. It was nice to have a weekend off and enjoy some time with friends, but I’m excited to get to the track and in the car for practice and see where we are at. On Saturday, everybody's going to be hunting for the bottom line. The guys that get through the middle, can keep that left-front working that line, are going to have good runs. If you get off the bottom, it's just so slick, you can't really make any ground up there.”

Standings
After Camping World RV Sales 301
Rank +/- Driver Points Behind
1 -- Jeff Gordon 670 0
2 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr. 658 -12
3 +1 Brad Keselowski 634 -36
4 +1 Matt Kenseth 621 -49
5 -2 Jimmie Johnson 598 -72
6 +1 Carl Edwards 574 -96
7 +1 Ryan Newman 573 -97
8 +1 Kyle Busch 567 -103
9 -3 Joey Logano 551 -119
10 +2 Clint Bowyer 548 -122
11 -1 Paul Menard 541 -129
12 +2 Denny Hamlin 530 -140
Full Standings