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NASCAR Nationwide Series at Richmond 2014: Full Schedule, Standings and Preview

HAMPTON, GA - AUGUST 30:  Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., owner of Jr. Motorsports, pose with the trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 30, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia.  (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
Jeff Curry/Getty Images
R. Cory SmithSenior Writer ISeptember 3, 2014

The dominance for JR Motorsports continues in the Nationwide Series.

Whether it's Chase Elliott, Regan Smith or one of the full-time Sprint Cup drivers behind the wheel, a JRM car always looks strong. In Atlanta, one of the team's cars was atop the leaderboard throughout the event, leading every single lap.

Kevin Harvick and Elliott paced the field, with Harvick leading the final 159 laps to rout the field. But in terms of championship contenders, Elliott was the big winner with a fifth-place finish behind the Sprint Cup drivers.

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In terms of the points standings, Elliott still leads over teammate Smith, but he has a crowded field behind him. Ty Dillon trails by just 35 points, with Elliott Sadler behind him within 50 points of the 18-year-old leader.

With the field heading to Richmond for the second time this season, here's a look a the schedule, standings and preview for the Virginia 529 College Savings 250.

 

Virginia 529 College Savings 250 Information

Where: Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hampton, Georgia

When: Friday Sept. 5, 7:30 p.m. ET

Watch: ESPN2

Live StreamWatchESPN

2014 Nationwide Standings
Pos.DriverPointsWinsTop 5Top 10
1Chase Elliott87431118
2Regan Smith8591620
3Ty Dillon8391417
4Elliott Sadler8261517
5Brian Scott8200414
6Trevor Bayne8030416
7Chris Buescher713139
8Brendan Gaughan694115
9Ryan Reed658011
10James Buescher646002
NASCAR.com

 

Race Preview

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Not to belabor the point, but this has been a phenomenal season for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his team. At both the Sprint Cup and Nationwide level, the sport's most popular driver has enjoyed success.

Heading into Richmond, the team has eight wins between four drivers, with four of those coming from championship contenders. Despite the on-again-off-again success of the Sprint Cup drivers at the lower level, Elliott has been the brightest star for the team.

But even with a top-five finish in Atlanta, Elliott came away frustrated after a late mistake on pit road. Elliott spoke about the disappointing end to his day, per NASCAR on ESPN:

Ironically enough, the last time out in Richmond was a memorable one for JRM. With Harvick earning the win back in April, Elliott came up just short in second to earn 42 points in the standings.

But outside of the unreal performances by Junior's team, Dillon also has championship aspirations in his rookie campaign. Unfortunately, he heads to a track where he finished 14th back in April in his lone race at the Nationwide level.

Prior to his first Sprint Cup race in Atlanta, Bob Pockrass of Sporting News shared his thoughts on the young driver:

He has a lot to learn in a Cup car. Not only is he looking for more speed, but Cup cars with extra horsepower will push the tires to the brink sooner than in a Nationwide car.

... Dillon doesn't know when his next Cup race will be. He will compete in Nationwide for a second season in 2015. If his path is anything like older brother Austin's, he'll be in a Cup car in 2016.

With his brother, Austin Dillon, still in contention for a spot in the Chase at the Sprint Cup level, Ty Dillon is sitting at third in the Nationwide standings. As the season winds down, he will need to start beating out Elliott by a wide margin to close the window.

While points will be crucial for the young drivers, they will have to take down a strong contingent of Sprint Cup contenders in town. Names like Harvick and Kyle Busch will likely be near the top of the leaderboard, with both looking for a fourth win.

 

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