TV Schedule Sept. 9-12

The Sprint Cup Series races under the lights at
Richmond in May. (Al Bello/Getty Images)

NASCAR goes racing under the lights for the second week in a row. After Atlanta, the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series head to Richmond for some short-track racing.

Saturday's Sprint Cup race will determine the 12-driver field in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. With 10 of the drivers already set and the final two all but locked in, there is little drama surrounding who'll make the playoffs. But the 0.75-mile track gives the Chase drivers one last chance to score a win and accumulate those much-coveted 10 bonus points, a boon when the points standings are reset. Tempers are also known to flare in Richmond's tight quarters, so it's very possible we will see a new feud - or two or three - emerge from Saturday's Air Guard 400.

Kyle Busch won the spring Cup event at Richmond in dominant fashion. Only a few weeks ago he dominated at another short track this season, Bristol, and made history winning in all three series. Will he sweep this year's Cup races at Richmond? Teammate Denny Hamlin is the defending fall race winner. If Hamlin wins at Richmond, traditionally a good track for him, he would lead the points standings with a season-high six wins, one more than reigning champion Jimmie Johnson. Can Hamlin overcome the bad luck he had at Atlanta to claim victory - and the points lead?

In the Nationwide Series, Friday night's race marks the return of the Nationwide COT. This is the third time the new model will be run this year and the first time on a short track. With this is mind, Thursday has been designated as a test day for the new car.

Though the new model brings with it a lot of unknowns, it's the drivers who will be the center of attention at Friday's race. Spring race winner Brad Keselowski is leading the championship standings by 332 over Carl Edwards. Though he has a solid lead in driver points, the No. 22 team is second in the owner points standings, 83 points behind Joe Gibbs Racing's No. 18 team. A win could either help Keselowski erase some of that deficit, or propel the No. 18 team further ahead. With Kyle Busch in the No. 18 this weekend, will we see another encounter between the two for the race win, a la Bristol? Keselowski's other sparring partner, Edwards, is defending fall race winner. Expect things to get interesting at Richmond on Friday night for the Virginia 529 College Savings 250.

The Camping World Truck Series is off this week and will return next weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

The following is a handy schedule of track events and TV coverage this weekend at Richmond. All times are in Eastern Standard Time (events without a channel listed will not be televised):

Thursday, Sept. 9:
9 a.m. NNS Practice
1 p.m. NNS Practice

Friday, Sept. 10:
10 a.m. NNS Final Practice
12 noon NSCS Practice, ESPN2
2:45 p.m. NSCS Final Practice, ESPN2
3:30 p.m. NASCAR Now, ESPN2
4 p.m. NNS Qualifying, ESPN2
5 p.m. NASCAR Now, ESPN2
5:30 p.m. NSCS Qualifying, ESPN2
7 p.m. NNS Countdown, ESPN2
7:30 p.m. NNS: Virginia 529 College Savings 250, ESPN2. Green flag: 7:43 p.m. (reruns at 3:30 a.m.)
11 p.m. Trackside at Richmond, SPEED. Guest: Marcos Ambrose.

Saturday, Sept. 11:
9 a.m. NASCAR Now, ESPN2
12:30 p.m. NASCAR Performance, SPEED
1 p.m. NASCAR Smarts, SPEED
1:30 p.m. NASCAR in A Hurry, SPEED
5 p.m. NASCAR RaceDay, SPEED
7 p.m. NSCS Countdown, ABC
7:30 p.m. NSCS: Air Guard 400, ABC. Green flag: 7:43 p.m. (reruns at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN2)
11 p.m. NSCS Post-Race, ABC
11:30 p.m. NASCAR Victory Lane, SPEED (reruns Sunday and Monday)

Sunday, Sept. 12:
12:30 a.m. NASCAR Now, ESPN2
2 a.m. Changing Lanes (episode #1), BET
3 a.m. Changing Lanes (episode #2), BET
8 p.m. NASCAR Victory Lane, SPEED (reruns at 2 a.m. and 9 a.m. Monday)
11 p.m. Langley NASCAR Whelen Modified Race (taped Sept. 4), VS
TV Schedule Sept. 9-12 TV Schedule Sept. 9-12 Reviewed by Rebecca Kivak on Thursday, September 09, 2010 Rating: 5