NASCAR at Richmond: What you need to know: Dale Jr., others get last shot at playoffs – Charlotte Observer

Race: Federated Auto Parts 400

Distance: 400 laps, or 300 miles.

Where: Richmond Raceway, a .75-mile, asphalt D-shaped short track in Richmond, Va.

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

TV: NBCSN.

Radio: MRN.

Last year’s winner: Denny Hamlin.

Also this week: Virginia529 College Savings 250, Xfinity Series, Richmond Raceway, 7:30 p.m., Friday, NBCSN.

Worth mentioning: Barring an unlikely victory, Dale Earnhardt Jr. will miss his last chance to contend for the championship in the 16-driver playoffs in his final Cup Series season. He’s 22nd in the standings.

Who’s Hot/ Who’s Not

HOT

Denny Hamlin: His victory at Darlington was his second this season, and it gives him a momentum boost going into the regular-season finale.

Erik Jones: The rookie has ended three consecutive races in the top 5, and he’ll be hoping to win his first Cup race this weekend.

NOT

Clint Bowyer: He finished last at Darlington, something he couldn’t afford as the odd man out in the playoff standings.

Daniel Suarez: Cup rookie finished 38th at Darlington, and then lost his Subway sponsorship after a TV segment in which he handed out doughnuts to fans.

Brendan Marks

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