Race: Federated AutoParts 400
Track: Richmond Raceway
Track Length: .75 miles (Asphalt)
Distance: 400 laps (300 miles)
Defending Champion: Kyle Larson
Welcome back race fans. Race 1 of the Chase is in the books and Brad Keselowski has continued his hot streak, making his win streak now 3. The Big Three made some noise with Truex running really well and Kyle Busch battling all day to end up 7th. However Harvick seemed to battle his car all day and ended up with tire trouble to end his day and he was vocal about how it was the tires fault. It’ll be interesting to see if Kes can keep his momentum going this week.
We’re headed to Richmond for some Saturday night short track racing. For those interested, Dale Earnhardt Jr. makes his return to racing as he will run the Xfinity race Friday night. But for the Cup drivers, it’s time for the drivers beneath the cut line to make a move. Another bad week for a couple of the drivers that had trouble last week and they could be in a real bad place.
The short track is a place that could provide some fireworks and plenty of action. Friday will be jammed packed with all practice and qualifying set to take place. There is a chance of some rain on Saturday but hopefully we can dodge the rain and get some raining under the lights. Denny Hamlin has had great success here, winning 3 of the L9 fall races here. Former Joe Gibbs teammate Matt Kenseth also won here 3 years ago but Kyle Larson is the defending champ in a Chevy. A mixed bag of winners at Richmond overall the last few years but there are some trends to pay attention to.
Drivers to Watch
Denny Hamlin $9,600: He’s worth mentioning because of his success here. In the L6 races, he has 4 T5s with a win at this race two years ago. His other 2 finishes? Both 6th place finishes. Denny’s tag dropped down to $9,600 which I feel is more his range and if he shows some speed in practice, could definitely be worth a part of your core.
Joey Logano $8,700: I expected a slight bump in price for Logano but instead he went down $100 after one of his best performances all year. He also has plenty of success at Richmond with T5s in his L3 races and won the April race last year. Penske teammate Brad Kes obviously found his speed to compete in the Chase and Logano looks very close to doing the same.
William Byron $6,800: Haven’t mentioned William Byron much this year in this section but in his one Cup race here, he started 9th and finished 12th. He’s a young driver and has been called up to be a work in progress and he has definitely gotten better as the year has gone along. His time behind the wheel has done nothing but benefited him. Has mostly ran mid pack all year but he has shown flashes of speed to contend and Richmond was one of those races. If he qualifies beyond the mid pack, he may be worth a look.
A lot of on track action Friday as I mentioned. After qualifying and the Xfinity race, I’ll be back for Made, Fade, & Trade for this Saturday’s race. Be sure to check back in and let me know if you have any questions leading up to Saturday!