What to watch for The short track at Richmond will have the Car of Tomorrow factor to consider. Last year, Kevin Harvick won in September and finished third in May, leading a total of 326 laps between the two races. Harvick has four top-10 finishes and 494 laps led over his last four races in Virginia.
Kyle Busch was in line for the checkers last September before Harvick swooped in for the win, forcing Busch to settle for a runner-up despite leading 248 of the 400 laps. But, if recent history outweighs the new ride, 2007 could be the year Busch finally earns a victory at Richmond. In four career runs, Busch has four top-5 finishes. It is only a matter of time before the younger Busch is able to match his older brother, Kurt Busch, who won at Richmond in September 2005.
Another past champ, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been a force to contend with in May, taking home trophies in the spring of 2000, '04 and '06. The Budweiser Chevy also finished second in September 2004 and was third in May 2003. As it stands, Junior needs two more wins to match the Intimidator, who took the checkers at Richmond five times from 1985-1991.
Kasey Kahne turned in a dominant performance in May 2005, starting from the pole and leading 242 laps on his way to victory. In the three races since, Kahne has two top 10s, including a third in his September run last year.
With a string of five consecutive top-10 finishes, Greg Biffle has to be one of the top contenders to finally put his name in the win column.
Keep an eye on... Dave Blaney -- The Caterpillar team had a strong run in last season's fall event, finishing fourth. The Toyota and COT issues come into play here, but if this team did figure something out Blaney may be up for another solid run.
Denny Hamlin -- Hamlin finished a close second to Junior in the spring race here last season and followed that up by points racing to a 15th. He qualifies well here too, earning a pole and a seventh-place starting position at his home track.
Jeremy Mayfield -- Although he'll be in a Toyota this year, he's had considerable success at RIR in the past, posting five top-10 finishes since 2002, including a win in 2004.
Tony Stewart -- Strong just about everywhere, Stewart had a sixth here last year and finishes of second and seventh in 2005.