NASCAR: Tips From The Pros On Surviving The Rumble at Richmond

Sandra MacWattersCorrespondent IApril 29, 2010

PHOENIX - APRIL 09:  (R-L) Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Toyota, talks with Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Office/March of DimesToyota, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Subway Fresh Fit 600 at Phoenix International Raceway on April 9, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

A thunderous sound will resonate between the Virginia foothills and Chesapeake Bay when 43 NASCAR Sprint Cup cars roar to life at Richmond International Raceway for a guaranteed battle amongst the drivers.

Who better to give tips on surviving the rumble in Richmond than Kyle Busch who won the spring Nationwide and Sprint Cup race and Virginia's son Denny Hamlin who won the Fall Sprint Cup race at RIR in 2009.

Only two drivers have won three times at RIR, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Now Denny could be telling Kyle that he finished fourth in Talladega only by the hair of his chinny -chin -chin. He probably told him to give Jimmie a wide berth being that he is the reigning champion and intends to remain such no matter who gets in his way.

As for Dale Jr. it could be pointed out that he will probably have a strong car once again and is really serious about bringing an end to the 66 consecutive races he has not won.

Bump drafting is certain to happen even on the three-quarter mile D-shaped oval. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is apt to be right against the rear of the car in front of him, so it might bear importance to  keep that in mind when you hit the 14 degree banking in the turns.

Now as for Kevin Harvick, he is on a real roll after winning a squeaker at Talladega. He is also second in the points standings and ready to drive past Jimmie Johnson like he was tied to a tree.

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This race is the Crown Royal presents the Heath Calhoun 400. It may be wise to keep an eye on the purple car that says Crown Royal on it. 

The driver is Matt Kenseth and by the way he is fourth in the points. He will try every move he can come up with to get that Ford in the winner's circle.

Another pointer for the race at Richmond International Raceway is to listen very closely to your spotter should you approach two Hendrick cars bearing the No. 24 and No. 48 respectively. As of late they seem to be colliding, so allow them room to tangle.

Kyle would have to give fair warning to all the drivers of his intent to back up his wins from last spring. After all, he does have eight top-five finishes in 10 starts at RIR. He was really, really dejected when Denny took the fall win.

Now Hamlin has a bit of bragging to do as well. He has had two wins in the last four races and a fourth at Talladega. At RIR Denny has five top-10 finishes in eight starts. 

Being a Virginia kind of guy, he would love to get a win in his home state. The Joe Gibbs Toyota is sure to mix it up with the front-runners.

The spotters should have great vantage points at the Richmond short track. They won't catch near as much flack as they did at Talladega and their words should be taken seriously.

Another issue to be aware of is the GoDaddy No. 5 car driven by Mark Martin. He lurks mid-pack and somehow slithers toward the front with the inevitable wrecking that takes place toward the end of the race.

This is short track night racing and chaos is sure to ensue. The green-white-checker finish is guaranteed. Tempers will flair with lots of fender banging and those on-track racing incidents will be in abundance.

So in summary, Kyle has stated his intent to win as has Denny. Jimmy and Jeff will continue to battle. Dale Jr. is out for that illusive win. The other 38 drivers all want to win and the way things are going lately, any one of them could very well get one Saturday night.

Fans are in for a some great action when the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers get ready to rumble in Richmond.

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