The NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series head to Richmond this weekend.   After a break for Easter, Sprint Cup drivers will be back under the lights Saturday night at the ¾ mile Richmond International Raceway.  Of the 23 racetracks on the current Sprint Cup schedule, Richmond is considered one of the most popular among the drivers and the fans.

So from the high speed Talladega they head to a challenging short track known for tight racing and lots of crumpled fenders.  Jeff Gordon has a pair of wins there.  

Clint Bowyer has finished 12th or better in nine of his 10 starts there with one victory.

Kyle Busch has finished fifth or better in his last four races at Richmond, including wins in last two spring races.  He finished second to Denny Hamlin last fall.

This will be the first race this season that Daytona 500 winner Trevor Bayne is not entered in.  His Wood Brothers Racing team is skipping  several events this year because they don’t have the sponsorship.   Bayne will also miss Darlington and Dover.  He is entered in the all-star race at Charlotte on May 21st and then the 600-mile event there the following weekend.

Bayne will race in the Nationwide race at Richmond tonight.  He stands fourth in the Nationwide standings, just four points back of the leaders.  New rules this year force drivers to choose which series they want to compete for the championship in because they can’t do more than one.  Even though he won the biggest race in the Sprint Cup Series,  Bayne already decided to concentrate on the Nationwide Series this year.