Racing Preview For Richmond
The 9th race of the Sprint Cup season is under the lights this week at the ¾ mile Richmond International – one of the oldest tracks in racing, open since 1946. It was a dirt track until they paved it in 1968. Lights were installed in 1991.
There have been two Cup races there every year since 1959. Richard Petty holds the track record with 13 career victories including seven in a row.
Among active drivers Kyle Busch is the leader with four victories and all of them have been in the spring race the last four years. His win atRichmondlast year was his only victory of the season.
Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin each have held the pole five times.
NASCAR came down heavy on Matt Kenseth’s Number-20 team after his car failed post-race inspection after winning last week’s race at Kansas Speedway. NASCAR determined his engine had illegal parts. So both Kenseth and car owner Joe Gibbs have been docked 50 points. The penalties include a $200-thousand fine and crew chief Jason Ratcliff has been suspended for six Cup races as well as next month’s Sprint Unlimited non-points All-Star race. It ranks as among the biggest penalties in NASCAR history. They plan to appeal.
Meanwhile, NASCAR says they will hear the appeal of penalties against Penske Racing next Wednesday. The cars of both Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano were found to have illegal suspension systems before the race atTexas. The crew chiefs and car chiefs both drivers were suspended, fined $100-thousand and placed on probation.
Keselowski and Logano were both fined 25 driver points.
None of those penalties have been assessed yet because it’s under appeal.