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Preview: Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s last chance to make 2017 playoffs at Richmond

RELATED: Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s complete history at Richmond Raceway

For his final full-time season as a driver, NASCAR.com will offer an analytical preview on Dale Earnhardt Jr. ahead of every remaining Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race.

Race: Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway

Date: Saturday, Sept. 9, 7:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Previous five results at Richmond: 30th, 13th, fifth, 14th, 12th

RELATED: All of Earnhardt’s Monster Energy Series wins

Notable: Richmond Raceway has been very good to Earnhardt over the years. Earnhardt’s first race at the .75-mile Virginia oval was on Sept. 11, 1999, one of five Monster Energy Series races he competed in prior to his full-time rookie season in 2000. Earnhardt started 21st and finished an impressive 10th. In 35 races at Richmond, Earnhardt has three victories, 10 top fives and 14 top-10 finishes with an average finish of 13.7. His last win at the track came in May 2006.

Memorable: Earnhardt had a night he will never forget at Richmond on May 6, 2000. Just four races after his first career Monster Energy Series victory in April at Texas Motor Speedway, Earnhardt gradually made his way to the front in his iconic No. 8 Dale Earnhardt, Inc. Chevrolet. Earnhardt would pass his father and car owner — the late seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt Sr. — for the lead with 31 laps remaining and never looked back.

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Quotable: “Richmond is a track that I’ve had a lot of success at, though not so much recently,” said Earnhardt. “It’s really hard to get a hold of and hard to figure out exactly what line we’re running and where you need to put your car to get it to work. It’s been a bit of a challenge for us over the last couple of trips, but it should still be a fun race.”