Carl Edwards wins the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway.
Ryan Newman, Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr, and Jeff Gordon discuss the events that took place during the Federated Auto Parts 400.
Goodyear tire test set for Tuesday, open test slated for Wednesday BROOKLYN, Mich. -- A week after testing at Darlington Raceway , it's off to Richmond International Raceway for Goodyear officials and a handful of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. The official tire supplier for NASCAR will test with four teams Tuesday at the 0.75-mile track in preparation for this year's Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup cutoff race, the Federated Auto Parts 400 scheduled for Sept. 12. Kyle Larson ( Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates), Trevor Bayne ( Roush Fenway Racing ) and David Ragan ( Michael Waltrip Racing ) are scheduled to take part in the Goodyear tire test. NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Brian Scott ( Richard Childress Racing ) will also take part, stepping into the No. 27 for driver Paul Menard . The four will join several others on Wednesday for an open team test. According to officials, those scheduled to be on hand are Jeff Gordon ( Hendrick Motorsports ), Carl Edwards ( Joe Gibbs Racing ), Joey Logano ( Team Penske ), Sam Hornish Jr . ( Richard Petty Motorsports ), Jeff Green (The Motorsports Group) and Clay Rogers (Beard Motorsports). "We had a good race there (in the spring); we had a good tire that lasted a gas stop, which is not that easy at Richmond," Stu Grant, Goodyear's general manager for global race tires, said Sunday at Michigan International Speedway . "We're wondering if we can do a better job to make the racing a little bit better, so we're seeing what we can do from a tire standpoint to go back and improve that setup." Some teams were not satisfied with the multi-zone tread used at RIR for the spring race. The tire featured a smaller, more durable inside compound that enhances durability combined with a wider, softer outside designed for grip. Similar multi-zone tires have been used at several Sprint Cup events since debuting in 2013. Grant said several options would be considered. "We've got a pretty good baseline at Richmond," he said. "I don't want to move too far off of that. We're not going to test a whole lot of different things. We ran a (multi-) zone tread at Richmond; we'll try a couple of zone treads, we'll try a couple of non-zone treads to see what happens … we don't have a real big program (scheduled) so we can get that done in a day." Wednesday's test will be open to fans, with access to the grandstands through Gate 70 only. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
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Robin Pemberton, NASCAR Vice President of Competition and Racing Development, hints at last year's Richmond incident in drivers' meeting RELATED: Play Perfect Chase Grid Challenge for chance at $100,000 prize NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton issued a brief, but firm warning in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers' meeting Saturday afternoon in light of the scandal that rocked the sport in this race a year ago. "Keep it straight ... please," Pemberton said two hours before the green flag for the Federated Auto Parts 400 (7:30 p.m. ET, ABC). "Do a good job and good luck." The reminder came as the series prepares to set the 16-driver field for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup playoff field in Saturday night's regular-season finale. Two spots are up for grabs among 19 possible drivers eligible to secure postseason berths, either through their position in points or a clinching victory. Last season, Michael Waltrip Racing incurred historic penalties after it was determined that the team manipulated the results of the 400-lapper to allow Martin Truex Jr. into the Chase. The team was fined $ 300 ,000, Truex was removed from playoff contention and each of its three drivers were stripped of 50 points in the championship standings. There will also be a competition caution at Lap 50 of Saturday's race. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: NASCAR Chase Grid games WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase standings • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
Bruce: Truex Jr. returns to Richmond 25th in the standings RELATED: Full coverage of "One Night in Richmond" series MORE: #MyChaseNation " Current Chase Grid It's been said that Martin Truex Jr. was simply a victim of circumstances, the one Michael Waltrip Racing driver that seemed free and clear of any wrongdoing. Yet when the dust finally settled in the wake of last year's Richmond scandal, it was Truex Jr. who found himself knocked out of NASCAR's postseason, the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Five teams would eventually be penalized; two drivers would go from missing the Chase to getting a second chance. But few paid the price of Truex Jr., who went from making his second consecutive Chase appearance, and third overall, to finding himself embroiled in a controversy not of his making. MWR's actions led NAPA, primary sponsor for Truex Jr. and the No. 56 team, to eventually withdraw its sponsorship. Without funding, MWR was forced to trim its operation from three full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams to two. And without a team, Truex Jr. was left to look for a ride. That isn't to say others weren't affected when NASCAR penalized MWR for attempting to manipulate the outcome of the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Ryan Newman was initially knocked out of a Chase berth and a potential win following Clint Bowyer's spin with seven laps remaining. Jeff Gordon , battling for the one of the final points positions, fell one point shy of cracking the top-10 and earning a spot in the Chase, due in part to the actions of Bowyer, teammate Brian Vickers and what officials eventually determined was yet another act of misconduct, this one involving Penske Racing (now Team Penske) and Front Row Motorsports . And Brian France, chairman and CEO of NASCAR, was left to sort it all out, a puzzle of 43 pieces dropped in he and his executives' collective lap while fans everywhere waited to see what, if anything, would come of the Richmond debacle. What eventually happened was unprecedented. Like Truex, MWR teammates Bowyer and Vickers were docked 50 driver points. Crew chiefs were placed on probation and MWR was fined a record $ 300 ,000, a figure NASCAR President Mike Helton at the time called "the most major fine in our history in terms of a dollar amount." But Bowyer, seventh before the Chase re-set, remained title eligible. Vickers, running a split schedule in the team's No. 55 entry, was racing for NASCAR Nationwide Series points with Joe Gibbs Racing , thus earning no Cup points for his efforts. The points penalty took Truex Jr. out of the Chase picture, and put Newman back in. Then, two days before the Chase was scheduled to get underway, officials announced penalties, in the form of probation, against the Penske and Front Row organizations. They also added one more team to the Chase field, expanding it from 12 (10 based on points as well as two wild-card entries) to 13, by reinserting Gordon into the field. "It wasn't one set of circumstances that led us to this decision," France said at the time. "It's a multiple set of circumstances that any one of them could have altered and given (Gordon) a disadvantage." NASCAR also made changes to the spotters' stand, where team members are in constant communication with drivers on the track and crew members in the pits. Beginning with last year's first Chase race, teams were limited to one spotter per team on the stand, and each spotter could have no more than two analog radios, in addition to a scanner and Fan View mobile device. How much of the Richmond fallout still lingers for those caught up in the fallout? Each has moved on, some finding success, while others are still searching for it. With the Sprint Cup Series headed back to Richmond this weekend, once again with Chase berths up for grabs, two of those involved in what took place last year -- Gordon and Joey Logano -- have already secured spots in this year's 10-race playoff. Gordon, a four-time champion, has enjoyed a stellar season, winning three times and heading to Richmond with the points lead. Logano, fourth in points, has also won three times, doubling his career victory total through this year's first 25 races. The others are still in contention, and a win by Newman, Bowyer, Vickers or Truex Jr. would secure a spot in the 16-team field. Various scenarios could put one or more in, or keep them out. It had already been announced that Newman would depart Stewart-Haas Racing at the end of '13. Two days after the Richmond race, he was named to driver for Richard Childress Racing for the '14 season. Although winless since capturing the Brickyard 400 a year ago, Newman has consistently finished among the top 15 this season. Ninth in points, he stands a good chance of advancing into the Chase for what would be the sixth time in his career. MWR regrouped following the loss of NAPA, and continues to carry sponsorship from two other primary partners -- 5-hour Energy and Aaron's. But while Bowyer (12th in points) and Vickers (18th) can still make the Chase, their seasons have been far from exceptional, with only six top-five finishes between the pair. Truex Jr. eventually landed at Furniture Row Racing , one of the few single-car teams in the series but one that made the Chase with driver Kurt Busch in 2013. That likely won't be the case this season, although the "win and you're in" format certainly leaves the door open. Truex Jr. is 25th in the standings, his lowest point heading into Richmond's fall event since he began racing full time in the Sprint Cup Series. He's managed just three top-10s, including one at Richmond earlier this year. A year after the fact, and with the Chase looming, NASCAR officials don't dwell on "what-ifs." "I think we drew a line in the sand last year at Chicago, and have lived up to that in every sense," Helton said. "Once we reacted to Richmond last year, that pretty much settled it from our side. So whatever decisions we made about the Chase or anything else, that issue had been resolved and didn't play a role in that." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news WATCH: Latest NASCAR video PLAY: NASCAR Fantasy Live FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, and Kevin Harvick talk about the finishing laps of the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway.
See how the drivers will line up on Saturday night (7:30 p.m. ET, ABC)
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A stat-based look ahead to the Sprint Cup Series stop at Richmond