The finish to last weekend's race at Kanas should have reminded everyone just how tough it is to win at the Cup level. Martin Truex Jr. had the field covered the entire afternoon. His crew chief didn't make any bad adjustments, his pit crew knocked out fast stops, and Truex didn't make any mistakes behind the wheel. Even though the No. 56 team did everything right, Truex still had to settle for second because the final set of tires put on the car made his Toyota just a tick too loose. Seriously, how much tighter can the competition can't than when races can be won and lost based on the slight differences in tire compounds?
Teams are so close these days that even the dominant drivers have trouble getting to Victory Lane. Case in point, Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick are all winless heading into this weekend's race at Richmond International Raceway. Granted, winning isn't everything, and Johnson, Harvick and Edwards are all inside the top 10 in points despite a goose egg in the win column. However, it says a lot about the depth of the series when the title favorites are finding victories tough to come by.
The silver lining for the big names listed above is that Saturday's trip to Richmond could end the winless drought - at least for one of them. After all, Busch is the defending winner of the race and a three-time winner at the track. Johnson has three wins at RIR, as well, and Harvick won the fall event at the track last season. Edwards finished fifth and second in the two races at Richmond last year, and Gordon has three finishes of third or better in his last five starts. In fact, these five drivers have combined to win seven of the last 10 races at Richmond.
About Brian Polking
Racing has been part of Brian's life ever since he can remember, and he spent his childhood at dirt tracks throughout Ohio and Kentucky watching his father race. NASCAR naturally became his favorite sport, and he has been following the Cup, Nationwide and Truck Series for most of his life. Brian majored in journalism and economics at Ohio State University and becoming a sports writer has always been his dream. Although he has covered everything from minor league baseball to the NCAA tournament, his passion has always been NASCAR. Brian has served as a NASCAR writer for a variety of sites, eventually becoming head editor of the NASCAR section for Fanball.com. His knowledge of NASCAR comes from his life-long love of racing, and he tries to add a personal touch to every article he writes. Brian is always up for talking NASCAR with anyone that wants to. Brian joined KFFL's team in 2011.
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