Last chance to make the “Chase” at Richmond Saturday

From the Crossville Chronicle – Crossville, Tn. Friday September 7, 2007

by Joe Dunn joe@onpitroad.com
The Nascar Nextel Cup rolls into Richmond, Va. this weekend for the Chevy Rock and Roll 400. This also marks race #26 and the last opportunity to in the 12 car chase to the championship.
Those top 12 teams will compete over the final 10 races to determine the 2007 Champion. Going into Richmond, only one team has a chance to crack into the 12, but it is a long shot. Dale Earnhardt Jr, who trails 12th-place Kevin Harvick by 128 points, must finish no lower than fifth Saturday to have hope of making the Chase. He also must lead the most laps and Harvick, the defending race winner at Richmond, must finish 43rd (last). After Saturday, the rest of the teams will fight for 13th place.
Still no number for Junior, but it was announced this week that Casey Mears will move from the 25 national Guard team to the 5 Kellogg’s / Carquest car for 2008. I predicted earlier in the season that Hendrick motor Sports would not enter 2008 without a number 5 car, too much Hendrick history with the number. No word on the number, but the rumor is that Juniors sponsor will be Mountain Dew, AMPS energy drink and the National Guard
Joe Gibbs racing will be in Toyota’s next year with Kyle Busch in the 18 car. Hall of Fame Racing, a satellite team of Gibbs sold controlling interest to two Baseball executives from the Arizona Razorbacks organization. They will remain associated with Gibbs and move to Toyota, with JJ Yeley replacing Tony Raines next year. Yeley had been mentioned as a replacement for Ricky Rudd in the Yates 88 car, but that opens up hope for Kenny Wallace. Wallace will be replacing Rudd this week at Richmond as Ricky recovers from a separated shoulder resulting from a wreck at California.
Last week was Ricky Rudd’s 900th race a real milestone for the driver who announced that he would retire at the end of the season. This week bobby Labonte rolls into Richmond in the 43 Richard Petty car to take the green flag for his 500th race in Nascar’s top series.
The Busch series races Friday night with Carl Edwards still holding a commanding lead in the points. The Nascar Craftsman Truck Series is off this weekend, returning to action next week at New Hampshire.
Local Racing action is coming to close soon here as the tracks start cutting back as fans turn to high School and VOLS football. The Advance Auto Parts Thunder Series race moved from Crossville Raceway last Saturday to Wartburg Speedway was rained out, The rescheduled event will take place Friday Sept. 21st at Wartburg. Spring City Raceway has a $1,000.00 Limited Late Model race scheduled for Sept. 29th.