WHERE HE STANDS: After falling into a tie for sixth place after Texas, Dale Earnhardt Jr. climbed two spots in the standings after Darlington, and is now fourth. He trails points leader Jeff Gordon by 26 points, is seven points behind third-ranked Carl Edwards and leads fifth-ranked Jimmie Johnson by one point.

RICHMOND RECORD: 29 career starts, 3 wins, 9 top-5s, 12 top-10s, 1 poles. Best career finish: First in spring 2000, spring 2004 and spring 2006. Finished 10th in this race last year and was 13th in the final Chase qualifier there last summer.

LOOKING AHEAD: Preparing to make his 30th career Sprint Cup start there, Richmond is one of Earnhardt's favorite tracks, but since his last win there in spring 2006, he has managed just two top-five and one other top-10 finish in his subsequent 15 starts there.

LOOKING BACK: Earnhardt was sooooo close to his second win of the season, but couldn't quite hold on to defeat Kevin Harvick at Darlington. In turn, Harvick became the first two-time winner this season. Earnhardt earned his third runner-up finish.

ETC.: Earnhardt has completed an outstanding 99.2 percent (11,513) of the 11,609 total laps contested in 29 career starts at Richmond. His average start there is 15.9 and average finish is 13.8. He has one DNF there.

48 JIMMIE JOHNSON, Chevrolet

Team: Hendrick Motorsports

WHERE HE STANDS: Jimmie Johnson climbed one spot in the standings, from a tie for sixth-place into fifth-place after Darlington. He trails points leader Jeff Gordon by 27 points, is one point behind fifth-ranked Dale Earnhardt Jr. and is one point ahead of sixth-ranked Kyle Busch.

RICHMOND RECORD: 24 career starts, 3 wins, 5 top-5s, 8 top-10s, 2 poles. Best career finish: First in spring and summer 2007 and summer 2008. Finished 12th in this race last year, but tied-his career-worst showing with a 40th-place finish in last summer's final Chase qualifier there.

LOOKING AHEAD: Johnson is still looking for his first win of the 2014 season. He has excellent chances to do so in the next four upcoming races at Richmond (which will be his 25th career start there), Talladega, Kansas and Charlotte.

LOOKING BACK: Johnson came oh, so close, to winning at Darlington, but just didn't have quite as strong of a car as winner Kevin Harvick or runner-up Dale Earnhardt Jr.

ETC.: Johnson has completed 94.4 percent (9,075) of the 9,609 total laps contested in 24 career starts at Richmond. His average start there is 12.5 and his average finish is 17.3. He has one DNF there.

18 KYLE BUSCH, Toyota

Team: Joe Gibbs Racing

WHERE HE STANDS: Kyle Busch dropped one place in the standings after Darlington, falling to sixth. He trails points leader Jeff Gordon by 28 points, is one point behind fifth-ranked Jimmie Johnson and leads seventh-ranked Brad Keselowski by 23 each.

RICHMOND RECORD: 18 career starts, 4 win, 12 top-5s, 13 top-10s, 1 poles. Best career finish: First in spring 2009, spring 2010, spring 2011 and spring 2012. Finished a career-worst 24th in this race last year and 19th in the final Chase qualifier race there last summer.

LOOKING AHEAD: Richmond is arguably Busch's favorite track. He had a great string going there, having won four spring races in a row until finishing a disappointing 24th there in last spring's race. He's looking for a big rebound next Saturday there.

LOOKING BACK: Busch failed to lead any laps at Darlington, but ran consistently in the top 10 and finished sixth at the checkered flag.

ETC.: Busch has completed an outstanding 99.9 percent (7,215) of the 7,216 total laps contested in 18 career starts at Richmond. His average start there is 12.4 and average finish is an outstanding 7.2. He has zero DNFs there.

2 BRAD KESELOWSKI, Ford

Team: Penske Racing

WHERE HE STANDS: After losing seven places in the standings in the previous three weeks, Brad Keselowski earned back one spot - from eighth to seventh - after Darlington. He trails points leader Jeff Gordon by 51 points, is 23 points behind sixth-ranked Kyle Busch and leads eighth-ranked Joey Logano by one point.

RICHMOND RECORD: 9 career starts, 0 wins, 0 top-5s, 2 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: Seventh in summer 2012. Finished 33rd in this race last year and was 17th in the final Chase qualifier there last summer.

LOOKING AHEAD: Keselowski loves - and typically does very well - at short tracks. But for whatever reason, Richmond has vexed him, with just two top-10 finishes there. He's hoping to change that in his 10th career start there next Saturday.

LOOKING BACK: Keselowski led four laps at Darlington, but struggled with handling, ultimately finishing 17th.