Congratulations once again to Kyle Busch who came away with his second consecutive win of the season after battling the elements along with Kyle Larson for two days to visit victory lane at Bristol. This was an exciting race to watch when it wasn’t raining as there was a lot of passing all around the track, but eventually the two best cars on the weekend battled it out right to the end on Monday.
TOYOTA OWNERS 400
The drivers and their crews have a really short week ahead of them as they head to Richmond Raceway for the running of the Toyota Owners 400. The race this week is scheduled for Saturday night, so make sure you get your picks in in a timely manner. This is another short track on the circuit, but a bit different from Bristol. Richmond is a three-quarter mile D-shaped asphalt track just outside of Richmond, VA. This track has very low banking compared to the high banking we saw at Bristol last weekend, so it takes a whole different setup to run well here.
Denny Hamlin: I am going to pick Denny Hamlin to break Kyle Busch’s win streak this week at Richmond and win his first race of the season and get himself qualified for the playoffs. Denny has three career wins at this track and has finished sixth or better here in his last five starts. I think this team will put their pit road penalties behind them this week and turn in a winning performance.
Kevin Harvick: Kevin will be a nemesis for Denny once again this week. He has run consistently well here over the past five seasons coming away with six top five finishes in his last ten races at Richmond. Kevin probably feels like he hasn’t won for a long time and yet he still has three wins on the short season already. I think this team runs towards the front of the pack for the majority of the race on Saturday and will have a shot at the win late in the race.
Joey Logano: Joey won this race last year and was then failed post race inspection and that cost him the rest of his season. He has been running much better so far this year including a good run at Bristol last week. Nine of his last ten starts here have resulted in top ten finishes with him finishing first and second in the two races held here last season. This is the track where you can use Joey and he should get you good points no matter what.
Kyle Busch: The hottest driver on the circuit right now also leads all active drivers with four wins at Richmond. He has also finished runner-up here six times and has fifteen top five finishes in his twenty-five starts at this track. Once again he should probably be on your team this week, but how quickly can you use up his starts for the Driver Group Game?
Clint Bowyer: Clint has won twice at this track and has been running really well this season. After picking up the win at Martinsville earlier this year, Clint will be another big threat to win this weekend once again. I really like him on most all of the short flat tracks and Richmond fits the bill. Clint should be one of the better choices for the B Group of the Driver Group Game.
Kyle Larson: Kyle won the fall race here last year and almost came away with a win last week at Bristol. This team is right where they need to be at this time of the season to compete for wins on a weekly basis. They will be looking forward to getting back on track after coming so close to punching their ticket for the playoffs last weekend. Look for Kyle to run well here once again this weekend.
Ryan Newman: After having a horrible time during practice and qualifying last week at Bristol, Ryan still came away with a top ten finish. Now he heads to Richmond where he hasn’t won since back in the 2003 season. However, he has always run well at this track and came away with two top ten finishes last year here. He has also finished in the top ten in eighteen of his thirty-two starts here and should be on you roster this weekend.
Brad Keselowski: Brad finished second in this race last season and has seven top ten finishes in his seventeen starts at Richmond. He was running well at Bristol last weekend until a mechanical failure took him out of the race. The Ford drivers have all looked fast all season and this weekend should be no different for them. I think this team is on the verge of winning some races.
Martin Truex Jr.: At the beginning of his career he would have been a stay away from driver at Richmond, but in the past few seasons he has become someone to keep on you radar here. He has led almost four-hundred laps in the last two fall races here and has finished in the top ten in the last four spring races at this track. I still think there are better options to have in the Driver Group Game and will use Martin on the intermediate tracks for that game, but if you are in a different type of league he might be someone you could take a chance on this week.
Daniel Suarez: Daniel is my dark horse this weekend. He has shown he knows how to race a Cup car on the short flat tracks and just seems to get better and better every time he goes to one. In the only two races he has run here he has finished twelfth and seventh and I think he improves on those finishes this weekend. He had a good run at Bristol last week and I think this track is more suitable to his driving style.
DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR RICHMOND RACEWAY
Driver Group Game Group A
- Denny Hamlin
- Kyle Busch
Driver Group Game Group B
- Clint Bowyer
- Daniel Suarez
- Ryan Newman
- Kurt Busch
Driver Group Game Group C
- Alex Bowman
- Michael McDowell
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT RICHMOND RACEWAY
- Denny Hamlin
- Kyle Busch
- Joey Logano
- Kevin Harvick
- Kyle Larson
Dark Horse: Daniel Suarez
Stay Away From: Ryan Blaney
Big 18: Ryan Newman