|Kyle Busch has won a series-high 4 races at Richmond.|
The ninth race of the NASCAR Cup Series schedule brings us to Richmond Raceway's flat, 3/4-mile D-shaped oval for some Saturday night racing under the lights. This track provides the best of all worlds in racing with a little bumping and banging between drivers mixed in with speeds fast enough to satisfy every fans' need for speed.
This will be the third short track race of the season, the first two coming at Martinsville last month and Bristol last week. But they're really nothing alike. It's like apples and oranges.
“There’s really no comparison between racetracks, honestly, because Charlotte, Texas, Atlanta – they all look the same from overhead, but they all drive not even close to the same," Kyle Busch said. "Richmond and Bristol are more than oil and water, more than day and night. Bristol is an attack-type racetrack yet, when you attack, you can get yourself in trouble. Richmond is a very methodical racetrack and you have to be very – you’re very on edge there all the time, especially corner entry, getting into the corners."
I like to put Richmond into another category with the 1-mile flat tracks of Phoenix and New Hampshire. I noticed a long time ago that crew chiefs were using the same chassis on all three tracks during the season if having success and when I asked a few of them about it, they said the set-ups for Phoenix, Richmond and New Hampshire were similar. That's certainly good enough for me and it's helped me cash tickets more on these tracks than any other type over the past 25 years.
If looking at the results of the two races a season on all three tracks, you'll notice a lot of the same names in the top-five in all of them with drivers winning multiple times on them during a season. Whether it's Davey Allison, Rusty Wallace, Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano or Kevin Harvick, we've seen history repeat itself several times on these tracks during a season. If a driver does well on one of the tracks, he's likely to be good on all three of them.
The first piece of handicapping strategy I begin with takes me to the March 11 results at Phoenix where Martin Truex Jr. won the pole (136.945 mph), Kyle Busch led a race-high 128 of the 312 laps and Kevin Harvick ended up winning for a track record ninth time.