Wonderful Pistachios 400 Predictions
(The Spread) – Once again, we’ll be treated to some good ol’ night racing on Saturday when NASCAR rolls into Richmond International Raceway for the Wonderful Pistachios 400.
As if night racing wasn't exciting on its own, this is the final chance for drivers to lock in a spot for NASCAR's Chase for the Championship. Three drivers will be fighting this week for the three spots in the chase. Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. need to finish 20th or better to secure a spot, which leaves just one opening to a slew of other drivers who will need a victory to lock in a spot.
Denny Hamlin can secure a spot in the Chase with a win, so look for him to let it all hang out Saturday night. Hamlin grew up near Richmond International Raceway and knows this track well. In the last six races at Richmond, Hamlin has two wins and four top-5s. Hamlin has won this race the last two years, which shows he has this track figured out and we think he has a great chance to emerge victorious again in order to lock in a spot in the chase.
Like Hamlin, Stewart is fighting for a spot in the chase and while he doesn't need to win we can't see him playing it safe this week. In his last 14 races at Richmond, Stewart has only finished outside of the top 10 four times and has an average finish of 11.0 in 25 starts. With no wins thus far, this year we he’ll be up front all night long and could steal a win from those drivers playing it safe.
Bowyer was pretty much knocked out of the chase last week at Atlanta and if you watched his interview you saw that he wasn't very happy afterwards. Other than a few races it’s been a bad year for Bowyer (who could be looking for a new ride next year) and a win Saturday would certainly help him secure a top ride. In 11 starts at Richmond, Bowyer has one win and has only finished outside the top 12 once. With nothing to lose he could surprise the field with a win.
2011 Wonderful Pistachios 400 Information
Race Date: Saturday, Sept. 10
Location: Richmond International Raceway, Richmond, VA
Pre-Race: 6:30PM ET
Green Flag: Approx. 7:43PM ET
TV Coverage: ABC
Radio Coverage: MRN
Track Type: Oval (400 laps)Twitter and Facebook or Subscribe to Our News Feeds!