POINTS REPORT: Dale Earnhardt Jr. picked up his 14th top-10 finish of the season after taking eighth at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sept. 1. He ranks seventh in the driver standings and leads the 11th-place driver by 37 points with one race remaining until the Chase field is set. Earnhardt will clinch a top-10 Chase spot this weekend if he achieves one of the following: a finish of 32nd or better; a finish of 33rd with at least one lap led; or a finish of 34th with the most laps led.
AT RICHMOND: In 28 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Richmond International Raceway, Earnhardt has recorded three wins, one pole position, nine top-five finishes and 12 top-10s. He has led a total of 494 laps and completed 99.1 percent of all laps he’s attempted at the short track (11,113 laps of 11,209 total).
RICHMOND WINS: Among active drivers, Earnhardt is one of four drivers ranked tied for second with three Cup victories at Richmond. Earnhardt most recently went to Victory Lane at Richmond on May 6, 2006, after leading 47 laps.
CHASSIS CHOICE: This weekend, crew chief Steve Letarte will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-721. Earnhardt most recently tested this chassis at Richmond in August. He last raced this chassis to a 14th-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July.
DRIVER RATING: According to NASCAR’s loop data statistics, Earnhardt ranks 13th in the driver rating category at Richmond with a score of 85.6. The driver rating is a formula that combines wins, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. The maximum a driver can earn in each race is 150 points. The driver rating number is used pre-race as a prediction tool and post-race as a performance evaluator.
HENDRICK AT RICHMOND: In 59 Cup events (186 starts) at Richmond, Hendrick Motorsports has 10 wins, 51 top-five finishes and 89 top-10s. Jeff Gordon leads all active, full-time drivers at the .75-mile short track with 16 top-five finishes, 25 top-10s, 1,415 laps led and an average starting position of 7.8. Jimmie Johnson most recently went to Victory Lane there for the organization on Sept. 7, 2008.
DALE EARNHARDT JR., DRIVER, NO. 88 TIME WARNER CABLE CHEVROLET SS (ON RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY.): “It will be good to go to Richmond with a really nice cushion on the guys behind us. We tested at Richmond so hopefully that’s going to pay off for us. I’m ready to make the Chase and get to Chicago.”