By Jerry Bonkowski and Bob Moore
24 JEFF GORDON, Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: Jeff Gordon remained in first place for the second consecutive week after Darlington. He leads second-ranked Matt Kenseth by just one point and third-ranked Carl Edwards by 19 points.
RICHMOND RECORD: 42 career starts, 2 wins, 16 top-5s, 26 top-10s, 6 poles. Best career finish: First in spring 1996 and summer 2005. Finished 11th in this race last year and was eight (started from the pole) in the summer Chase-qualifying race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Gordon is still in search of his first win of 2014. But he is atop the points standings because he continues to have consistent runs. It's almost as if Gordon's philosophy this season is, "If you can't beat 'em, at least stay close to 'em."
LOOKING BACK: Gordon led eight laps at Darlington, but his car got tight near the end of the grueling 500-mile race, but was able to salvage a good seventh-place finish.
ETC.: Gordon has completed 93.2 percent (15,662) of the 16,809 total laps contested in 42 career starts at Richmond. His average start there is an outstanding 7.6 and his average finish is 14.1. He has seven DNF's there.
20 MATT KENSETH, Toyota
Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: For the third consecutive week, Matt Kenseth remained in second place in the Sprint Cup standings. He trails points leader Jeff Gordon by just one point and leads third-ranked Carl Edwards by 18 points.
RICHMOND RECORD: 28 career starts, 1 wins, 4 top-5s, 12 top-10s, 1 poles. Best career finish: First in summer 2002. Finished seventh in this race last year and was sixth in the final Chase qualifier there last summer.
LOOKING AHEAD: Kenseth has struggled at Richmond far too often, but his last four finishes - 11th, 5th, 7th and 6th - show that he's back in sync with the tough 3/4-mile track.
LOOKING BACK: Kenseth led 12 laps but couldn't catch eventual race winner Kevin Harvick in the final laps at Darlington, falling back slightly to a still strong fourth-place finish.
ETC.: Kenseth has completed 97.8 percent (10,964) of the 11,209 total laps contested in 28 career starts at Richmond. His average start there is 20.2 and his average finish is 15.8. He has one DNF there.
99 CARL EDWARDS, Ford
Team: Roush Fenway Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: Carl Edwards remained in third-place for the third consecutive week in the Sprint Cup standings after Darlington. He trails points leader Jeff Gordon by 19 points, is 18 points behind second-ranked Matt Kenseth and leads fourth-ranked Dale Earnhardt Jr. by seven points.
RICHMOND RECORD: 19 career starts, 1 win, 4 top-5s, 10 top-10s, 1 poles. Best career finish: First in summer 2013. Finished sixth in this race last year and was first in the final Chase qualifier last summer.
LOOKING AHEAD: In his 20th career Sprint Cup start there, Edwards is looking to make it two in a row at Richmond next Saturday, having won last summer's final Chase qualifying race there.
LOOKING BACK: Edwards continues to look for his first career win at Darlington, finishing 13th there last Saturday.
ETC.: Edwards has completed 97.1 percent (7,393) of the 7,616 total laps contested in 19 career starts at Richmond. His average start there is 13.3 and his average finish is an almost identical 13.7. He has one DNF there.
88 DALE EARNHARDT JR., Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports