Richmond II top ten

FIRST Jeff Gordon finished second in the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway and remained first in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings. This marked his seventh straight top-10 finish, extending a streak that began at New Hampshire.

FIRST
Jeff Gordon finished second in the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway and remained first in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings. This marked his seventh straight top-10 finish, extending a streak that began at New Hampshire. He extended his lead to 342 points over second-place Ricky Rudd, the largest point lead of the season. Despite his large point lead, the difference is not insurmountable considering the number of races that remain and past history. Alan Kulwicki overcame Bill Elliott's 278 point lead with six races remaining in 1992. Gordon could actually miss a race and still hold the lead in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings. Also to consider is that a 43rd-place finish by Gordon and a victory by Rudd could tighten the points race by as much as 151 points in just one race. Gordon is the only driver with 16 top-five finishes in 25 races in 2001, including victories at Las Vegas, Dover Downs, Michigan, Indianapolis and Watkins Glen. Gordon has earned 150 lap leader bonus points, leading at least one lap in 20 of the 25 races this season, more than any other driver. He has earned 85 more lap leader/bonus points than second-place Ricky Rudd, who has earned just 65 lap leader/bonus points. Gordon has posted 12 top-10 finishes, including two victories, in his 17 races at Richmond. He won this race one year ago and finished second there in May.

SECOND
Ricky Rudd finished seventh in the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway and remained second in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings. He remained at his highest points position in 2001. Rudd now trails first-place Jeff Gordon by 342 points and is ahead of third-place Sterling Marlin by 136. He has scored 17 top-10 finishes in 2001, one less than point leader Gordon. Rudd has one victory in 45 races at Richmond occurring there in the spring of 1984. He has scored 25 top-10 finishes in those 45 races including top-10 finishes in his last three races at the Virginia short track (56 percent). He finished ninth in this race one year ago and fifth there in May.

THIRD
Sterling Marlin finished 16th in the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway and climbed from fourth to third in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings. He now trails second-place Ricky Rudd by 136 points and point leader Jeff Gordon by 478. Marlin is the only driver who has remained in the top 10 in points all season. He is one of just five drivers to score 13 or more top-10 finishes in the first 25 races of the season. Marlin has scored just eight top-10 finishes in his 31 races at Richmond and has never won at the Virginia track. His best Richmond finish, fourth, came in this race in 1999. He has not scored a top-10 finish at Richmond since. He finished 20th in this race one year ago and 11th there in May.

FOURTH

Dale Jarrett finished 34th in the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway and dropped from third to fourth in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings. Jarrett has posted five finishes outside the top 10 in the last six races. Since his victory in Race No. 19 at New Hampshire, where he and Gordon were tied each with 2,695 points, Jarrett has fallen 493 points behind Gordon. Jarrett has four victories this season: Darlington, Texas, Martinsville and New Hampshire. He has scored nine top-five and 12 top-10 finishes in the first 25 races of the season. He and Jeff Gordon are the only drivers to score four or more victories in 2001. Jarrett has two victories in 27 races at Richmond. He has finished fourth or better in nine of the last 12 races at the Virginia track. He finished 31st in this race one year ago and 15th there in May.

FIFTH
Tony Stewart finished fourth in the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway and remained fifth in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings. Stewart is now 498 points behind point leader Jeff Gordon and trails fourth-place Dale Jarrett by just five points. He has scored 13 top-10 finishes in 2001. Stewart has scored four top-10 finishes including two victories in his five races at Richmond. He finished sixth in this race one year ago and won there in May.

SIXTH
Bobby Labonte finished third in the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway and climbed from eighth to sixth in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings. He is 93 points behind fifth-place Tony Stewart. He has scored six top-five and 13 top-10 finishes in 25 races in 2001 but also has four DNFs. Labonte has scored only five top-10 finishes in his 17 races at Richmond. His best Richmond finish (second) and one of just two top-five finishes at Richmond, came there in this race in 1999. He finished 15th in this race one year ago and 10th there this past May.

SEVENTH
Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 17th in the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway and dropped from sixth to seventh in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings. He has 10 top-10 finishes this season, including his victory in the Pepsi 400 at Daytona. Earnhardt Jr. trails sixth-place Bobby Labonte by 38 points and first-place Jeff Gordon by 629. He has scored three top-10 finishes, including his career first short-track victory in four races at Richmond. He finished 13th in this race one year ago and seventh there this past May.

EIGHTH
Rusty Wallace finished 22nd in the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway and dropped from seventh to eighth in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings. Wallace trails seventh-place Dale Earnhardt Jr., by just 19 points. He has scored 11 top-10 finishes in the 25 races this season, including a victory at California. Wallace has finished seventh or better in 24 of the last 29 races at Richmond. Wallace leads all active drivers with six victories at Richmond. He finished 34th in this race one year ago and third there in May.

NINTH
Kevin Harvick finished eighth in the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway and remained ninth in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings, just five points behind eighth-place Rusty Wallace and 24 behind seventh-place Dale Earnhardt Jr. He is the only driver among the top-10 in points that has only 24 starts in 2001. He has scored 11 top-10 finishes, including victories at Atlanta and Chicago, and is one of just four drivers with multiple victories in 2001. Harvick finished 17th at Richmond this past May, his only NASCAR Winston Cup appearance there.

10TH
Johnny Benson finished 14th in the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway and climbed from 11th to 10th in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings. He has posted 10 top-10 finishes in 2001. Benson trails ninth-place Kevin Harvick by 91 points and holds the 10th-place position by 105 points over Steve Park. He has scored four top-10 finishes in his 11 races at Richmond with his best being a sixth-place finish this past May. He finished seventh in this race one year ago.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , Rusty Wallace , Kevin Harvick , Sterling Marlin , Johnny Benson , Steve Park. , Alan Kulwicki