Spectator Vs. Spotter: Final Bid To Make the Chase: Richmond Edition

Rebecca SpenceCorrespondent ISeptember 9, 2009

RICHMOND, VA - MAY 02:  Brian Vickers, driver of the #83 Red Bull Toyota, drives leads the field past the grandstand during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Crown Royal Presents the Russ Friedman 400 at Richmond International Raceway on May 2, 2009 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Perhaps the most exciting race in the season, Richmond ends the Race to the Chase with the Chevy Rock and Roll 400, a favorite among spectators.  They watch from the edge of their seats, some never sitting at all to see who will wreck, who will win, and who will clench the remaining spots in the coveted top 12 in points.

Fans love Richmond. For years it has rivaled Bristol for the race hardest to get tickets for. It’s famous for the temper flaring, bumping and banging, plus wild racing that makes short track racing under the lights the fantastic site that it is.

And this year it has more life breathed into it as 11 drivers are going to be pulling for the eight remaining spots in the 2009 edition of the Chase for the Championship.

To shed a little light on this night of shear chaos, I spoke with T.J. Majors, spotter for the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet driven by Dale Earnhardt Jr.

“I really can’t wait to get to Richmond.  We usually run well there and it’s never a dull moment,” Majors said.

From the Spotters standpoint of racing at Richmond he added, “Lots of close racing but it’s a big enough track where you don’t want to beat the fenders in because aero still matters.  I really feel like that track owes us something. (After) passing for the lead with a few laps to go; and then being taken out.”

Referring to the May 2008 race at Richmond where Kyle Busch spun the National Guard Chevy with just three laps remaining.

Majors also said, “I like night races in general.  The atmosphere is different and you can just feel it’s different than a normal day race. We all have a list of car numbers we keep an eye on for crashing but it is really bad at Richmond.  Over the years you kind of learn who puts themselves in bad situations and who doesn’t.  Richmond isn’t very kind for people who choose to be in a bad spot.”  

“I don’t think this track is any different of a challenge for our team than any other track,” he replied, pertaining to any unique issues posed at Richmond.

When it comes to the team chances he is optimistic.

“We have finally got some momentum and had a couple small things go our way for once.  It seems like it’s been a year since we have had some good luck and it’s really nice to get a little back right now.  Hopefully we can continue to put ourselves in positions to take advantage of things that happen during the race.”

Majors will be high above RIR, guiding Earnhardt Jr. through the mayhem. Keep an eye on the track this weekend as the No. 88 rocks and rolls through Richmond.

Featured Spotter Bio

Name: TJ Majors

Hometown: Born in New Castle PA, grew up in East Bethany NY, now live in Mooresville NC

Team Spotter Since: Been with Dale Jr. since the final 10 races of 2007

Favorite Sport (other than racing): Football of course

Favorite Food:  Really enjoy Italian.

Favorite Music/Song:  I like lot of music, everything from rap to some country.

Favorite Movie:  I like Comedies and Horror movies!

Favorite off Track Activity:  Sim racing of course.  Possibly some Madden on the 360 as well.

Follow on twitter:  Rob Dyrdek, TO, and a few others.

Follow him:  @Tjmajors 

Be sure to come back next week as the Chase to the Sprint Cup begins in New Hampshire. SVS Loudon Edition will Feature Shannon McGlamery, spotter for the No.24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet driven by Chase contender Jeff Gordon.


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