Of course, others are not heading into this race with the same level of anxiety. Martin Truex Jr. took home the opening playoff race in Las Vegas, marking the third time in the past four seasons he has opened the playoffs with a first-place finish. He last won the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2017 before finishing as the runner-up in 2018.
Tonights Cup race at Richmond: Start time, lineup and more
Truex has had success at the .75-mile track in Virginias capital, having led the race for 163 laps last year. But he wont enter this race as the favorite; that honor goes to fellow Joe Gibbs racer Kyle Busch, who won the race in 2018. Busch is currently fourth in the standings.
Kyle Busch touts support hes received for comments at Las Vegas
Brad Keselowski, fifth in the standings behind Busch, won the pole position for the race, finishing the distance in 21.229 seconds, .105 seconds better than Kevin Harvick.
Sporting News is tracking live lap-by-lap updates and highlights from the Federated Auto Parts 400. Follow along below.
8:11 p.m.: Truex has clung to his lead for more than 10 laps now and is ahead of Keselowski for 1.805 seconds. Hamlin is at third, Busch in fourth and Harvick at fifth.
8:07 p.m.: Truex, who won the first playoff race, has taken the lead ahead of Keselowski at lap 54.
The battle for the lead is on.@MartinTruex_Jr and @keselowski have cleared traffic and have the track to themselves. pic.twitter.com/G0KNgTqVkq
8:05 p.m.: Keselowski survives lap traffic and the race for third is now getting close between Busch and Hamlin with Hamlin holding a narrow edge at lap 51.
8:00 p.m.: Kyle Busch cracks the top five at lap 35. Hes trailed by Chase Elliott, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, Aric Almirola and Jimmie Johnson.
7:55 p.m.: Hamlin keeps moving up the positions. Hes now in third. Martin Truex Jr. is in fourth.
7:51 p.m.: Denny Hamlin passes Kyle Busch for fourth place, but Keselowski, Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott have stayed atop the standings. The top nine drives are all playoff drivers.
Two of the best at @RichmondRaceway are fighting for position in Stage 1.@dennyhamlin | @KyleBusch pic.twitter.com/PazhJZDdnO
Get to know everything about tonights race at @RichmondRaceway: Distance: 400 Laps/300 Miles Stages: 100/200/400 Pit Road Speed: 45 MPH Fuel Window: 110 laps pic.twitter.com/Ys3hERMV3y
HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) – Heavy traffic is expected in the Richmond Raceway after for NASCARs races on Friday and Saturday night.
The Go Bowling 250 Xfinity Series races gets underway at 7 p.m. Friday. Increased traffic is expected throughout the day, with the most congestion occurring mid-afternoon and leave evening.
The Federate Auto Parts 400 Monster Energy 2 NASCAR Cup Series starts at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, with heavy traffic expected all day.
The Hanover Sheriffs Office urges drivers to avoid Atlee Road both days and to use Shady Grove Road as an alternative.