* Recent High School Grads Clauson, Cassill Meet At Richmond NBS Etc. * Leicht Turns 50: Stephen Leicht (No. 90 CitiFinancial Ford), the youngest of the drivers ranked in the top 10 in the point standings at age 20, is set to make his 50th...
* Recent High School Grads Clauson, Cassill Meet At Richmond
* Leicht Turns 50: Stephen Leicht (No. 90 CitiFinancial Ford), the youngest of the drivers ranked in the top 10 in the point standings at age 20, is set to make his 50th start in the NASCAR Busch Series Friday night at Richmond. Leicht debuted at Memphis Motorsports Park in the fall of 2005 and this season is competing in his first full year in the series after sharing his ride last year with four other drivers. He's posted one win, two top fives and six top-10 finishes in his career -- all but one top 10 have come this season.
* Edwards Surpasses $1 Million: Series driver point standings leader Carl Edwards became the second-fastest to surpass $1 million in winnings in a season following last week's race at California. Edwards has eanred $1,000,910 after 27 events. Only Martin Truex Jr., the 2004-05 NASCAR Busch Series champion, was faster to $1 million. Truex accomplished the feat in 2005 following the season's 20th race. He finished the year with $3,123,692 in winnings, the series record.
* Richmond Has International Flair: This week's event at Richmond has an international twist thanks to four drivers entered from three different countries. In addition to the usual domestic contingent of drivers, Australia's Marcos Ambrose (No. 59 Kingsford Ford) -- currently eighth in the series point standings -- is joined by John Graham (No. 37 Kickbutt Amped Energy Ballz Ford) who hails from Toronto, Canada. Graham's fellow countryman, St. Thomas native D.J Kennington (No. 72 McDonald Motorsports Dodge) is entered along with Alex Garcia (No. 98 Dixien-Omni Source Chevrolet) who is from Caracas, Venezuela. Garcia is the only one of the international quartet seeking to make his first series start at Richmond.
Richmond International Raceway Stats & Facts
* Kevin Harvick has only one finish outside the top 10 in his last nine races at Richmond -- he was 12th in the 2005 fall race. He has four wins during that span, including the last two fall races.
* Matt Kenseth (No. 17 Arby's Ford) has finished in the top eight in 13 of his last 14 races at Richmond, including 10 top fives. He's finished in the top three in the last four races at RIR.
* David Reutimann (No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota), currently third in the driver point standings only three points behind Harvick, made his NASCAR Busch Series debut at Richmond in the spring race in 2002. He finished 16th.
Rookie Spotlight: Teenagers Claussen, Cassill Set For Different Debuts At Richmond
* Teen Twosome: Two 18-year-olds -- Bryan Clauson (No. 41 Memorex Dodge) and Landon Cassill (No. 24 National Guard-32nd Infantry Brigade Chevrolet) will be making NASCAR Busch Series debuts of different kinds at Richmond. Clauson -- who turned 18 while observing the race weekend for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates at Kentucky Speedway last June after graduating from high school in May -- will make his overall series debut after coming out of midget and sprint cars where he has had tremendous success despite his young age. Cassill will make his first start at Richmond after competing in his first two series events over the summer at Gateway International Raceway and O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis. Cassill turned in an impressive sixth-place starting position in his first qualifying effort at Gateway. He improved his best finish in his limited action to date two places at ORP (30th).
* Rookie Etc.: Time is beginning to run out on Marcos Ambrose's effort to catch leader David Ragan (No. 6 Discount Tire Ford) in the standings. Ragan put two more points between him and Ambrose following California where Ragan posted his seventh top-10 finish of the season. Ambrose was strong, but finished 13th. Ragan had the upper hand at Richmond last spring as well with a 14th-place showing compared to Ambrose's 26th. ... Only two Raybestos Rookies have won the fall race at Richmond -- Bobby Hamilton in 1989 and Steve Park in '97 -- while Andy Santerre ('98) is the only Raybestos Rookie to capture a Busch Pole in the fall event at RIR.
Chevrolet Rocks & Rolls At Richmond In NASCAR Busch Series Competition, Too
After Dodge interrupted Chevrolet's two-race winning streak two weeks ago at Bristol Motor Speedway, Chevy bounced back with Jeff Burton's win at California last Saturday to expand its lead in the Bill France Performance Cup standings to 43 points over second-place Ford with eight races remaining on the schedule.
And if past history at Richmond is any indication, Ford, third-place Dodge and fourth-place Toyota may be on the outside looking in after Friday night's race.
Chevrolet leads all manufacturers with 18 NASCAR Busch Series wins at Richmond and has won the last four races in a row, including Kevin Harvick's victory at this event last year and his RCR teammate Clint Bowyer's win there this past May.
In fact, it's been 11 years -- the fall race in 1996 and the spring race in '97 won by Ford -- since Chevrolet has been dealt more than a one-race hiccup in between at least two consecutive wins.
But those breaks were each compliments of Ford -- which has 13 wins at Richmond, second-most at the track. The last 29 races at Richmond have been won by either Chevrolet or Ford.
Up Next: RoadLoans.com 200 At Dover International Speedway
Following an open week -- its first since mid-May -- the NASCAR Busch Series gets back to work at Dover International Speedway for the Sept. 22 RoadLoans.com 200. The race will be televised live on ESPN2 beginning at 3:00 p.m. ET.
Clint Bowyer won this race a year ago after Scott Wimmer captured the Busch Pole. Only three races at Dover have been won from the pole, two of those having come in the fall event.
Todd Bodine leads all race winners at Dover with three victories, although he has won the fall race only once -- as part of a season sweep in 1993. Bodine is one of three drivers (Robert Pressley in 1992 and Randy LaJoie in '96) to register season sweeps at Dover. Driver standings leader Carl Edwards can add to that list this season as he won the first race at the 1-mile speedway on June 2.
The Race: Emerson Radio 250
The Place: Richmond International Raceway
The Date: Sept. 7, 20071
The Time: 8:00 p.m. (ET)
TV: ESPN2, 7:30 p.m. (ET)
Track Layout: .75-mile oval
Race Purse: $1,123,290
2006 Winner: Kevin Harvick
2006 Pole: Jeff Burton
Pre-Race Schedule: Friday -- Practice, 8:30 - 9:40 a.m.; Rookie Practice, 9:40 - 10:10 a.m.; Final Practice, 10:10 - 11:10 a.m.; Qualifying, 4:05 p.m.