Open Race Thread: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 | Richmond International Raceway

RICHMOND, VA - SEPTEMBER 07: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet, poses after winning the pole during qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 7, 2012 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)

I wish all of the races in NASCAR's 'regular season' had as much anticipation as this one does - well okay, maybe the Daytona 500 does but nothing else.

There are so many story lines heading into this Chase; Who will make it and who will not is major point of fan interest at the moment.

I'm guessing Jeff Gordon will get into the Chase and I'm also guessing that he will lead a lap early in the race, especially since his already Chase locked teamate, Dale Earnhardt Jr., is starting on the pole with Gordon in the P2 position. We won't talk about team orders here because there aren't supposed to be team orders in racing, right?

Tell you what, if Earnhardt really does let Gordon lead a lap and he gets in the Chase because of it wouldn't he feel pretty foolish if it was Gordon that ended up winning the Championship with him not too far behind in second place?

Let's face it team orders are team orders and if the boss wants you to move over you move over, if the boss wants you to follow you follow - just ask Mike Skinner about team orders, from what I've heard he was told to stay behind teammate Dale Earnhardt in 1998 so he could win the Daytona 500.

Starting line-up is after the jump. See you on the other side!

POS CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR SPEED TIME BEHIND
1 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Diet Mountain Dew / National Guard 127.023 21.256 Leader
2 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger 126.981 21.263 -0.007
3 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet Furniture Row / Farm American 126.910 21.275 -0.019
4 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 5-hour Energy 126.808 21.292 -0.036
5 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's 126.790 21.295 -0.039
6 55 Mark Martin Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 126.784 21.296 -0.040
7 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Express 126.671 21.315 -0.059
8 20 Joey Logano Toyota The Home Depot 126.600 21.327 -0.071
9 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 126.553 21.335 -0.079
10 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite 126.547 21.336 -0.080
11 22 Sam Hornish Jr. Dodge Shell / Pennzoil 126.410 21.359 -0.103
12 83 Landon Cassill Toyota Burger King 126.139 21.405 -0.149
13 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Budweiser 126.080 21.415 -0.159
14 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Quicken Loans 126.074 21.416 -0.160
15 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M's 126.033 21.423 -0.167
16 99 Carl Edwards Ford Kellogg's 126.033 21.423 -0.167
17 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Best Buy 125.974 21.433 -0.177
18 43 Aric Almirola Ford Smithfield 125.939 21.439 -0.183
19 98 Michael McDowell Ford Phil Parsons Racing 125.880 21.449 -0.193
20 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar 125.845 21.455 -0.199
21 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Quaker State 125.722 21.476 -0.220
22 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford Mac Tools 125.692 21.481 -0.225
23 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M / Owens & Minor 125.599 21.497 -0.241
24 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 125.546 21.506 -0.250
25 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Menards / Moen 125.511 21.512 -0.256
26 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Allstate 125.389 21.533 -0.277
27 34 David Ragan Ford Taco Bell 125.389 21.533 -0.277
28 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Office Depot / Mobil 1 125.371 21.536 -0.280
29 47 Bobby Labonte Toyota Bush's Baked Beans 125.342 21.541 -0.285
30 51 Kurt Busch Chevrolet Phoenix Construction 125.226 21.561 -0.305
31 30 David Stremme Toyota Inception Motorsports 125.052 21.591 -0.335
32 93 Travis Kvapil Toyota Burger King / Dr Pepper 124.988 21.602 -0.346
33 36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing 124.890 21.619 -0.363
34 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota AM / FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves 124.879 21.621 -0.365
35 38 David Gilliland Ford Mossy Oak / Pursuit Channel 124.746 21.644 -0.388
36 33 Stephen Leicht* Chevrolet Special Ops OPSEC 124.723 21.648 -0.392
37 10 David Reutimann Chevrolet Inc. 5000 / @TMone 6-peat 124.706 21.651 -0.395
38 23 Scott Riggs Chevrolet North Texas Pipe 124.539 21.680 -0.424
39 32 Ken Schrader Ford Federated Auto Parts 124.407 21.703 -0.447
40 119 Mike Bliss Toyota Plinker Tactical 124.315 21.719 -0.463
41 26 Josh Wise* Ford MDS Transport 124.161 21.746 -0.490
42 13 Casey Mears Ford GEICO 124.087 21.759 -0.503
43 191 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet Plinker Tactical 123.779 21.813 -0.557
Did Not Qualify
44 37 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet Max Q Workforce 123.468 21.868 -0.612
45 0 Mark Green Toyota Blue Ox 120.962 22.321 -1.065
+ Set by Owner Points
* Denotes Rookie
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