BUSCH: Richmond II: Round 28 preview

Tight quarters: Bowyer, second in points, pushing for position DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 7, 2005) -- Clint Bowyer's (No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet) goal is a simple one -- put as many points as possible between he and NASCAR Busch Series championship...

Tight quarters: Bowyer, second in points, pushing for position

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Sept. 7, 2005) -- Clint Bowyer's (No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet) goal is a simple one -- put as many points as possible between he and NASCAR Busch Series championship points leader Martin Truex Jr. (No. 8 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet) in the season's remaining eight races.

Bowyer attained that goal in a big way last Saturday at California with his third-place finish. Truex, meanwhile, was 15th, his worst finish in five races.

Bowyer, who has been second to Truex since the July race at Daytona, was able to gain 52 points on the defending series champion. He enters Friday night's Emerson 250 at Richmond International Raceway 142 points behind the leader - 3,874 to 3,732, respectively.

"It was a good points night for us, as we closed the gap a little on Truex," Bowyer said. "We sure aren't giving up on our title hopes. I can promise you that."

Bowyer has kept Truex in sight by posting two top-five finishes in his last two races, four in his last seven outings. The native of Emporia, Kan., hopes a similar scenario plays out this week as it did in June at Richmond, when Bowyer finished ninth while Truex stumbled to a 38th-place finish.

The duel between Bowyer and Truex isn't the only one in the NASCAR Busch Series top 10.

Carl Edwards (No. 60 Charter Communications Ford), who won his fourth race of the year at California, moved up to third, his highest ranking since losing his points lead following the June race at Dover. Edwards, who also will be trying to secure a spot in the Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup at Richmond, is 22 points ahead of fourth-place Reed Sorenson (No. 41 Discount Tire Co. Dodge). The latter fell from third for the first time in nine weeks following California.

Only seven points separates fifth-place Chesterfield, Va., native Denny Hamlin (No. 20 Rockwell Automation Chevrolet) from sixth-place Kenny Wallace (No. 22 AutoZone Ford). Wallace has a strong series history at Richmond, having won three races -- two fall events -- and posting nine top fives and 17 top 10s in 23 races at the .75-mile track.

David Stremme (No. 14 U.S. Navy Dodge) and Paul Menard (No. 11 Menard's Chevrolet) are looking at a nine-point deficit between their respective seventh and eighth-place standings. But 1994 NASCAR Busch Series champion David Green (No. 27 Kleenex Ford) is closing in, just four points behind Menard in ninth - (3,021 to 3,017), respectively. Green, a former Busch Pole winner at Richmond, can't just look ahead of him. Just 48 points behind in 10th is Jason Keller (No. 35 McDonald's Ford), the series' all-time earnings leader with over $10 million in prize money. Keller is a former winner at Richmond, having captured the June 2002 event.

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Jason Keller , Kenny Wallace , David Green , Martin Truex Jr. , Paul Menard , Carl Edwards , David Stremme , Clint Bowyer , Reed Sorenson