Kyle Busch will have to drive his way into a wild card spot in the 12-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup. His favorable path to a 12th place finish puts him in prime position.
The younger Busch currently stands in the final spot for the 12-man race. History indicates that he’ll hold on.
Busch knows Richmond International better than most; he has won there four times and has an impressive average finish of 4.7—the best of any driver in contention for a wild card berth.
Caught in a talented group of drivers with the smell of desperation, Busch can clinch a wild card with a win at the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway.
Carl Edwards and Jeff Gordon, established names in their own right, will look to bump Busch from his 12th rank in the Sprint Cup standings.
Gordon has the starting best position of any driver under the lights at Richmond. However, he does not have the recent winning experience of Busch, with no win at this track in over a decade.
Edwards was in the thick of the Cup championship hunt last year, losing a tiebreaker to Tony Stewart at the series conclusion. Now he has to fight for his Sprint Cup life at Richmond. He will need to get over the initial shock of being outside of the party, via NASCAR.com:
"Guys like that are very good race car drivers -- as good as they get -- so it shows you how tough this sport is."
It will be a fight to the finish, between Busch, Edwards and Gordon, among others.
With one race at Richmond to go, Busch and the No. 18 Toyota will win and get in.