Congratulations to Jimmie Johnson, who is on a roll right now, on picking up his second consecutive win of the season. Kyle Larson came away with another top ten finish and remains the points leader at this stage of the season. Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are two of the big name who are both over two-hundred points behind Larson right now. Clint Bowyer had a great run at Bristol picking up a second place finish which is his best finish since winning in 2012.
TOYOTA OWNERS 400
This week the series stays on a short track as the drivers head to the Richmond International Raceway. This three-quarter of a mile D-shaped oval track is just the opposite of Bristol with very little banking anywhere. This track is a good test for a lot of drivers who feel they need to learn something here for when they return in the fall. This track has held the last race before the Chase since its inception.
Kyle Busch: Even though he has had some tough luck this year and seems to have a lot of tire issues, I have to stick with him to win the race this weekend at Richmond. In his twenty-three career starts at this track he has come away with four wins, fifteen top five, and seventeen top ten finishes. He is going to break out of it one of these weeks and this is probably going to be the week for him with stats like I just mentioned.
Denny Hamlin: Denny has three wins, and twelve top ten finishes in his twenty-one starts at this track. He has also lead more laps here than any other active driver. He won the fall race here last year and has finished in the top ten in his last three starts. He needs a win or another top five finish to move his way up from fifteenth in the standings and get a little more confidence for himself and his team.
Kevin Harvick: Kevin is no slouch here either. He has three wins, eleven top five and twenty top ten finishes in his thirty-two starts at this track. I think with Clint Bowyer as a teammate you will see Kevin learn a little bit more about what it takes to get around this track consistently fast and you might see him pick up his first win of the season this weekend.
Clint Bowyer: Clint has two wins and twelve top ten finishes at this track. If you take away the two races last year when he was driving for an under funded team his stats look even that much better. I think this team has made great strides already early in the first year of Clint driving for Stewart-Haas Racing and I think we are going to see him win a race sooner rather than later. Five years is a long time to wait for another win.
Kyle Larson: The points leader and most consistent driver on the circuit so far this season, Kyle is someone to watch out for every week this year. He has only run six races at Richmond in his short career to date and only has one top ten finish here. That was a runner-up spot in last fall’s race. The impressive this is he has never finished worse than sixteenth here and he just seems to get better every time he comes here. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him visit victory lane once again this weekend.
Ryan Newman: Ryan’s lone win at this track came way back in 2003, but he has run consistently well here throughout his career. He has finished in the top ten here in over half of his thirty starts and looks very good early on this year. With a win under his belt already this season I can see this teams confidence building and now they believe in themselves. Expect another good run from Ryan this week.
Joey Logano: Joey has finished in the top ten here in his last six starts including a win back in spring race of 2014. This team has been fast most every week the past couple of seasons and this is a track that Joey seems to have a pretty good handle on. I believe you are going to see him win multiple races this season and the first of those wins will be coming shortly.
Jimmie Johnson: Jimmie has won three races at this track in his career with the last one of those coming back in 2008. Going into last week’s race at Bristol he only had one win there. We have seen what this team can do when they start winning races. They can go on a tear and win multiple races in a row like they are doing right now. When they get into this kind of a groove you can never count them out on any type of track.
Matt Kenseth: Matt also has two wins at this track and has been very good here over the past eight races coming away with one of those wins and four top five finishes. Like I stated earlier, Matt needs to make up some ground on the points leader as he sits twentieth in points over two-hundred points behind Larson. No time like the present to start getting himself a string of top five and top ten finishes and keep himself in contention for the win late in a race.
Kurt Busch: Kurt has two wins at this track himself with the last of those coming in the spring race two years ago. He has also finished in the top ten in six of his last eight starts here. Since winning the Daytona 500 this team has struggled a little bit. Kurt is usually very good on the short flat tracks and this might be the week this team can turn their fortunes around.
YAHOO! FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
Yahoo Driver Group A
- Kyle Busch
- Denny Hamlin
Yahoo Driver Group B
- Clint Bowyer
- Kyle Larson
- Ryan Newman
- Kurt Busch
Yahoo Driver Group C
- Ty Dillon
- Daniel Suarez
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY
- Kyle Busch
- Denny Hamlin
- Kevin Harvick
- Kyle Larson
- Joey Logano
Dark Horse: Clint Bowyer
Stay Away From: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Big 18: Kyle Busch