By Kristina Chambers

The final race before the Chase is set for this Saturday under the lights at Richmond International Raceway and as the cover image showed you that is going to be the feel for this race; “Checkers or Wreckers” for a handful of drivers looking to get into the Chase to battle with the best for the Nascar Championship. And racing at Richmond is always an intense battle under the lights as we saw in the Spring when Carl Edwards got black flagged, the debris caution towards the end when a fan threw a beer can on the track (mind you, I first hand witnessed it) and Kyle Busch doing what he does best and that is winning at Richmond.

Last Night, Slicks and Sticks had numerous guests on the show including Dennis Bickmeier, Mike Lingerfelt, Nick ODell and Kyle Turner who were all talking about this final race before the Chase. Dennis and the crew at RIR have built the slogan “Racing Perfection” which can be seen at the RIR website and numerous other social media outlets that will tell you racing at Richmond is perfection! There is also a driver that seems to have mastered the perfection at Richmond and he’s also a driver in the Wild Card hunt for the elusive 12th spot to make the Chase and that driver would be Kyle Busch.

Kyle Busch has an amazing record at Richmond and in the Spring it was no different with Kyle finding his way to victory lane and in the picture to the left you can see Kyle sporting his Checkered Flag and celebrating before heading to victory lane. How does Kyle Busch find himself in this situation? Well, yes it is no lie that Kyle Busch is a damn good driver but; like other drivers in the series he has found some unfortunate luck throughout the series leaving him to race into the Chase. And the majority of the Slicks and Sticks nation went on to agree with Kyle Turner when he said, “My ‘money’ would be on Kyle Busch” to win Richmond and get himself into the Chase.  It would seem silly to not have the odds stacked for Kyle Busch racing at a track that he dominates so well. But, after Atlanta Kyle isn’t the Wild Card driver with the momentum leading into this race; that driver would be Jeff Gordon.

Jeff Gordon has not had the same fortune as Kyle Busch here at Richmond. Gordon was involved in a wreck here in the Spring which seemed to sum up almost the whole season for Jeff which was looking very dim at one point in time. But the #24 team battled back and caught some good fortune with winning at Pocono and his recent 2nd place finish at Atlanta has kept him afloat in the Wild Card Showdown. Jeff also said in his post-race interview at Atlanta he thought about wrecking Denny if he could have managed doing it without taking himself out as well.

All the fans are going to be tuning in to Richmond or at the track on the edge of their seats the whole time considering we all know what these drivers are capable of doing. Needless to say this isn’t just a battle between Jeff and Kyle because Carl Edwards, Paul Menard, Marcos Ambrose and Ryan Newman are all still in the hunt as well. And that only means one thing in the racing world and that is “Checkers or Wreckers” . Kasey Kahne holds the top Wild Card spot in the Showdown with his two wins on the season already and he had a strong outing the last time we were at Richmond so he could run away with the show as well and leave Kyle Busch, who holds the #2 Wild Card spot, to fend for himself in the Showdown. The crews for these teams have been under pressure all year long but this Saturday Night the pressure is double for Nick ODell and Mike Lingerfelt on their respected teams battling for the Chase. The guys said that there is no room for error especially coming on that money stop in Richmond.

The Wild Card Showdown at Richmond International Raceway is going to be one of the biggest battles of the season with some of the best night racing fans could ask for right before the Chase. Which driver will you be cheering on?