By Dennis Bickmeier, President of RIR
The Chase Grid. It's more than just the final field for drivers who have a shot for NASCAR's coveted title. It represents success, that your driver has raced their way into Victory Lane during NASCAR's grueling regular season, or has raced well enough to remain among the point leaders after that season comes to a close in Richmond.
It also represents a chance, and that Road to Richmond is filled with those chances. Every race represents an opportunity for a driver to race their way onto the Chase Grid and secure their place in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
Sure the likes of McMurray, Menard, Newman, Gordon and Bowyer are in for now, but those on the outside looking in can score a win this weekend at Bristol, in two weeks at Darlington or in the Last Race to Make the Chase at RIR on September 12. Kasey Kahne is one of those drivers searching for his win on the Road to Richmond, and his success in Thunder Valley could lead him to put everything on the line this weekend.
Ever since The Chase was born in 2004, our September event has been "The Last Race to Make the Chase." But when the Chase Grid was born last year and winning meant everything, what did it mean for Richmond International Raceway?
Everything. It means everything. It all comes down to Richmond.
When the checkered flag falls for the Federated Auto Parts 400, 16 drivers will officially have their name on the official Chase Grid. As it stands today, five spots are still up in the air. There will be a lot of drama over the next few weeks as the on track action heats up and the pressure to win becomes even fiercer.
It all culminates in Richmond, the cut-off race before NASCAR's 10-race playoff kicks off in Chicagoland. Who's in and who's out, you'll want to join us in Richmond to find out.
And when the field is set, join us on the track for our Post Race Party and celebrate the 16 drivers who qualify for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship. It's a unique opportunity in our sport, unlike the 'stick and ball sports.' All the competitors with a chance to compete for the Sprint Cup championship in the same place at the same time. It's a celebration of their accomplishments over the first 26 races and an opportunity to blow off some steam and then get ready for the Chase, and our Post Race Party is we put you right into the action.
Everyone with a ticket to the race can come down on the track after the race to celebrate with the drivers.