|NASCAR 2012 Federated Auto Parts 400 Picks & Predictions|
|Written by ATSSportsline.com|
|Saturday, 08 September 2012 16:00|
Federated Auto Parts 400 Free Picks
RICHMOND, VA (ATS Consultants) - The Sprint Cup Series heads to the Richmond International Raceway for the 26th Cup race of 2012 on Saturday at 7:30PM ET. It’s the Auto Parts 400.
With just one race to go in the regular season, this should be a wild ride as drivers jockey for position heading into the race for the Chase. The battle for the wild card will be the story as Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman have done well here. With his win last week, Denny Hamlin clinched a spot for the Sprint Cup Championship. He's also the hottest racer having won two straight.
Junior has three career wins here also and will be looking to have a better race than he had at Atlanta last weekend. Any good run is a confidence booster to a team that is looking to build momentum for the Chase. In twenty-six career starts here, Earnhardt Jr. has collected three wins among nine top 5s and has averaged a finish of 13.9. He ran 2nd here back in April and should run in the top 5 again on Saturday night.
Harvick is the only non-Joe Gibbs driver to win at Richmond in the last seven races. He would really like to get a win heading into the Chase. Every bonus point gets a driver that much closer to the top of the standings. He led for 202 of 400 laps last year to get the win. Jeff Gordon held thelead when the track-record 15th caution came for an incident involving Paul Menard. Harvick reclaimed the top position when he beat Jeff Gordon coming out of the pits with 16 laps left.
Newman has finished 15th or better in six of the last seven races at Richmond. The #39 is more comfortable here and a win would be huge. Statistically this is Ryan’s second-best track on the circuit. He has an average finish of 11.8 in twenty-one career starts and finishes inside the top 10 more often than not.
Race Date: Saturday, September 8
Location: Richmond International Raceway
Start Time: 7:30pmET
Green Flag: Approx. 7:43PM ET
TV Coverage: ABC
Radio Coverage: Motor Racing Network (MRN/Sirius NASCAR Radio)
Track Type: 0.75 mile 400 laps, 300 miles
2011 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet, 89.910 mph
2010 Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 104.096 mph
2009 Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 96.601 mph
2008 Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 92.680 mph
2007 Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 91.813 mph
Last year’s top 5
1. Kevin Harvick (Start: 7)
2. Carl Edwards (8)
3. Jeff Gordon (17)
4. David Ragan (20)
5. Kurt Busch (11)