Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Richmond Betting Preview: 2018 Toyota Owners 400

Kyle Busch has won a series-high 4 races at Richmond.
More shorts tracks, please. Let's keep doing this every week, forever!

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.

Jimmie Johnson "ready to roll" at Richmond after strong Bristol run

Jimmie Johnson is 20/1 to win at Richmond.
FIRST TOP-FIVE FINISH: Jimmie Johnson and the No. 48 Lowe’s for Pros team departed Bristol Motor Speedway Monday afternoon on a positive note: Johnson scored his first top-five finish of the season with a third-place result. He qualified 17th but started the event at the rear of the field due to the post-qualifying discovery of a cut tire. His practice speeds throughout the weekend were in the top 10 and when rain forced NASCAR to postpone the event until Monday, Johnson was running eighth. In the race's final two stages, Johnson powered forward, running consistently inside the top five en route to the third-place finish. In the process, the No. 48 team jumped from 20th up to 17th in the point standings.

RICHMOND SWEEP: Johnson has three career wins at Richmond, and two of them came in the 2007 season, when the driver won both the spring and fall events, leading 104 and 105 laps in each event, respectively. His most recent win at the 0.75-mile track came in September 2008, when Johnson started third and led 32 laps en route to Victory Lane.

CONSISTENCY IS KEY: Over a seven-race span at Richmond since September 2014, Johnson has finished in the top 10 five times and just outside of it in 11th twice. That stretch has included a pair of top-five finishes -- both third-place results.

SHORT TRACK WINNER: Johnson has 14 total wins on short tracks around the NASCAR Cup Series circuit. In addition to his three victories at Richmond, Johnson has two at Bristol Motor Speedway and nine at Martinsville Speedway. His last win on a short track was in April 2017 at Bristol.

AT LEAST TWICE IS NICE: There are 17 tracks on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit where Johnson has multiple wins. Among them: Dover International Speedway (11), Martinsville Speedway (nine), Charlotte Motor Speedway (eight), Texas Motor Speedway (seven), Auto Club Speedway (six), Atlanta Motor Speedway (five), Indianapolis Motor Speedway (four), ISM Raceway (four), Las Vegas Motor Speedway (four), Darlington Raceway (three), Daytona International Speedway (three), Kansas Speedway (three), New Hampshire Motor Speedway (three), Richmond Raceway (three), Pocono Raceway (three), Bristol Motor Speedway (two) and Talladega Superspeedway (two).

CLIFF DANIELS' HOME TURF: The race this weekend at Richmond hits close to home for team engineer Cliff Daniels, who is from Smithfield, Virginia. Prior to becoming an engineer in NASCAR, Daniels was a driver himself, racing Late Model stock cars at Langley, Southside and South Boston Speedways in Virginia. He received a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and has been an integral part of the No. 48 team since December 2014.

NEXT UP, 84: Johnson's next trip to Victory Lane will be his 84th points-paying NASCAR Cup Series win. He secured his 83rd in June 2017 to tie NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough for sixth on the all-time wins list. An 84th win would tie Hall of Famers Darrell Waltrip and Bobby Allison for fourth all-time. Johnson is currently 10 wins behind former teammate Jeff Gordon, who has 93 victories and is third on the list. Johnson has the most wins of all active drivers and No. 48 team crew chief Chad Knaus has the most wins of all active crew chiefs with 81.

JJ LIVE ON FS1: Johnson will be a guest on FOX Sports 1’s “Special Edition of Race Hub Weekend” taking place live on Friday, April 21, at 3:30 p.m. ET from the Hollywood Hotel at Richmond Raceway. Johnson will banter along with NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Darrell Waltrip, and FOX analysts Jeff Gordon and Mike Joy discussing the “50 Greatest Drivers” in NASCAR history.

LAST WEEK TO NOMINATE FOR BLUE BUNNY HELMET OF HOPE: Nominations will be accepted through April 20 for the Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope through the Jimmie Johnson Foundation. Five non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations will be eligible to receive $25,000 grants through the program, totaling $125,000 and will be awarded in May. The program, which started in 2008, gives fans the chance to nominate their favorite education-based charities to receive a $25,000 grant, a Blue Bunny ice cream party and special recognition on Johnson’s race helmet. Since its inception, the Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope program has given over $1 million to 101 different charities. To nominate a charity click here.

Jimmie Johnson on racing at Richmond after a top-five finish at Bristol:
“The finish in Bristol is exactly what this team needed. I’ve known that every week we have been getting better, but it's nice to finally have a finish to back that up. Now if we could just fix these bouts of bad luck we have been having. I’m already ready to get back in the Lowe’s for Pros Chevy and looking forward to Richmond. We have put together some solid runs there lately and with the momentum from Bristol, I’m ready to roll.”
 

2018 Season

  • 17th in standings
  • 8 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 1 top-five finish
  • 2 top-10 finishes
  • 0 laps led
 
 

Career

  • 587 starts
  • 83 wins
  • 35 pole positions
  • 223 top-five finishes
  • 343 top-10 finishes
  • 18,663 laps led
 
 

Track Career 

  • 32 starts
  • 3 wins
  • 2 pole positions
  • 7 top-five finishes
  • 13 top-10 finishes
  • 461 laps led
 

Top-20 Richmond Prediction: 2018 Toyota Owners 400

Kyle Larson won last fall at Richmond.
As a Vegas bookmaker, Micah Roberts was the first to offer expanded NASCAR betting. Now he hands out NASCAR winners to his followers.

Last week, Roberts said Kyle Busch "owns this track" and would win for the seventh time at Bristol Motor Speedway. The result? Busch came from behind and crossed the finish line .63 seconds ahead of runner-up Kyle Larson.

Earlier this season at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Roberts told SportsLine readers to jump on Kevin Harvick, who had the same 9/2 odds as Martin Truex Jr. and Larson. Harvick dominated, leading for 181 of 325 laps and cruising to victory by 2.69 seconds. Roberts again was all over Harvick at Las Vegas as Harvick delivered another lopsided win. Two weeks ago, Roberts was very high on Clint Bowyer, who snapped his 190-race winless streak in the STP 500.

Roberts' uncanny picks come as no surprise. In the 2017 NASCAR playoffs, Roberts picked nine of the 10 winners. In 2016, Roberts told readers to back Denny Hamlin at 15/1 in the Daytona 500. The result? Hamlin edged Truex Jr. for the checkered flag. This is the same Roberts who nailed Hamlin at 40/1 to win at Watkins Glen later that year.

With the Toyota Owners 400 set for 6:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Richmond International Raceway, Roberts analyzed the entire field and released his Top 20 finishers in order. We can tell you he's not high on Truex, one of the Vegas favorites at 8/1, saying he has averaged just a 20th-place finish at Richmond. But Roberts loves a major sleeper who's tailor-made for this 3/4-mile flat layout. Anyone who bets on this underdog could hit it big... Join SportsLine here to see Micah Roberts' full projected leaderboard, and see which long shot stuns the racing world, all from the nation's premier NASCAR betting expert!

Here is Roberts' writeup:

Read More Here....Top-20 Selections at Sportsline.com

Kyle Busch is 4-to-1 co-favorite to win at Richmond

Kyle Busch has finished third or better in past six races, won last two.
KYLE BUSCH, Driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Flavor Vote Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing: 

What are your thoughts going into Richmond this weekend? 
“I’m looking forward to Richmond. We’ve kind of lost a little bit of what our handle was there a few years ago when we were really good. More rule changes to create parity takes away advantages from other teams and that kind of knocked us back a little bit. We haven’t quite figured out what it takes to get some of that back. We’ve been third to sixth to seventh there the last two or three years, so the last six times. Hopefully, we can get a little bit better and I know (Matt) Kenseth was really good there a few springs ago and that was under the lights, and we’re going back under the lights, so that should be a little different feel for that race. We’ve got the M&M’S Flavor Vote scheme on our car this weekend and hoping fans get a chance to try all three flavors – Crunchy Espresso, Crunchy Raspberry and Crunchy Mint – and get on social media to vote with a hashtag for their favorite. Of course, hoping we can put the M&M’S Toyota in victory lane at the Toyota Owner’s 400 and make it three wins in a row, as well.” 

What does it take to get around Richmond? 
“Richmond is getting a little trickier, it seems like, just with the asphalt kind of getting older and the way the cars are. The consensus at Richmond is, of course, just trying to get your car to turn, but also having really good forward bite. You have to be able to get off the corners at Richmond. You have to have good brakes, as well, and be able to turn the center. All of it correlates. Everything you want as a racecar driver, you’ve got to have most all of it and, if you don’t, then you better hope you have more forward bite than the rest of them. That’s sort of the equation of Richmond. It’s a fun place to race. It’s really cool. As a driver, you wish it could widen out and give you more options of being able to run around in different grooves, but it hasn’t shown us that the last couple of years. We’re hoping to get our M&M’S Flavor Vote Camry back to form there. We were very good last spring, but we’d like to get another victory there, for sure.” 

What is it about Richmond that suits your driving style? 
“I love Richmond. It’s one of my favorite racetracks and one of my best racetracks. I love being able to go there and, of course, we put on some pretty good races there. We won four spring races in a row and I would have loved to have made it five or more. It’s a neat racetrack and it’s certainly an excitement track and there is a lot of action that happens there.” 

Can you compare Bristol and Richmond? 
“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. Richmond and Bristol are more than oil and water, more than day and night. Bristol is an attacktype 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. You’re always loose there and you have to be able to be loose there in order to carry the speed through the middle and have good drive off. We’re back to two night races at Richmond again and sometimes nighttime just feeds itself with not as much grip and makes it to where the bottom is the preferred lane. Daytime allows the racetrack to widen out and be hotter where, on a cooler racetrack, you’re looking for where the rubber is for at least a little while until the whole track rubbers in, and then you have to go back to the bottom, anyway.” 

Do you enjoy the atmosphere at Richmond? 
“I think the coolest thing about Richmond is the atmosphere they have there with all the fans really getting into it. People love coming there and supporting that racetrack. It’s been around for a long time. It’s a fast racetrack. It’s only a three-quarter-mile oval but it has really high speeds that makes it fun for us drivers and makes excitement that’s fun for a fan. Martinsville is a short track and it’s slow, but Richmond is pretty quick.”

Odds to win 2018 Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway

Denny Hamlin last won on his home track in 2016, his third overall.
WESTGATE LAS VEGAS SUPERBOOK
ODDS TO WIN 2018 TOYOTA OWNERS 400
RICHMOND RACEWAY
SATURDAY, APRIL 21, 2018 - 6:43 PM ET


Kyle BUSCH 4/1
Kevin HARVICK 4/1
Martin TRUEX JR 6/1
Denny HAMLIN 6/1
Kyle LARSON 8/1
Brad KESELOWSKI 10/1
Chase ELLIOTT 10/1
Joey LOGANO 10/1
Erik JONES 15/1
Jimmie JOHNSON 20/1
Clint BOWYER 20/1
Kurt BUSCH 20/1
Ryan BLANEY 30/1
Aric ALMIROLA 40/1
Ryan NEWMAN 80/1
Alex BOWMAN 80/1
Daniel SUAREZ 100/1
Jamie McMURRAY 200/1
Austin DILLON 200/1
William BYRON 200/1
Ricky STENHOUSE JR 200/1
Paul MENARD 200/1
Trevor BAYNE 300/1
Darrell WALLACE JR 300/1
Kasey KAHNE 500/1
Ty DILLON 500/1
AJ ALLMENDINGER 500/1
Chris BUESCHER 1000/1
Michael McDOWELL 1000/1
FIELD (all others) 1000/1

Alex Bowman carries top-five Bristol momentum into Richmond

Alex Bowman is 80/1 to win at Richmond.
Alex Bowman on night-racing vs. day-racing at Richmond :
“I don’t think it really matters. Richmond gets really slick and widens out either way. It will be fun. I think all the improvements that they are doing there will be really cool to see.”

Bowman on the Richmond track changes:
“We will definitely have to work around the changes and see when we get there what it is like. It’s like when we got to Pocono that year and all of a sudden there was a Motocross jump in the Tunnel Turn – so, we will just have to work around it.”

Bowman on selfies:
“I think this selfie session at Pocono in June will be a great event for the fans. Pocono always comes up with exciting things for fans to do during the race weekend, so this is just one more event added to their lineup. I think I need to get a book on how to take really good selfies so that I don’t let any of these fans down.”

BRISTOL REWIND: Alex Bowman, driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, qualified eighth at Bristol Motor Speedway and maintained a position inside the top 10 for most of the race. The 24-year-old driver collected four valuable stage points after finishing Stage 2 in the seventh position. Bowman continued his push forward and moved into fifth by Lap 321, ultimately holding that position until the end of Monday’s rain-delayed race and earning his first NASCAR Cup Series top-five finish. He became the 23rd different driver to earn a top-five finish for Hendrick Motorsports.

SHORT-TRACK SUCCESS: After finishing seventh at Martinsville and fifth at Bristol, Bowman is one of five drivers to have finished inside the top 10 in both races on short tracks in 2018. He joins Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano. The season’s third short-track event is Saturday night at Richmond Raceway.

NATIONWIDE AT RICHMOND: The colors of majority sponsor Nationwide will once again be on board the No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 with Bowman this weekend at Richmond Raceway. Nationwide has been the primary partner on the No. 88 Chevrolet four times at Richmond with a best finish of fifth coming back in 2015 with driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.

IVES AT RICHMOND: Crew chief Greg Ives has called the shots five times for the No. 88 team at Richmond with drivers Earnhardt and four-time Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon. The crew chief’s résumé at the track in the Cup Series includes one top-five finish. The Michigan native has four starts at the track as a crew chief in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, never finishing outside of the top five, including two consecutive runner-up finishes with driver Chase Elliott. When Ives served as a race engineer with the No. 48 team from 2006-12, he earned three wins at Richmond.

BOWMAN AT RICHMOND: Alex Bowman has four career starts at Richmond Raceway in the NASCAR Cup Series and logged his best finish of 28th in 2014. The Tucson, Arizona, native has three starts at the Virginia track in the Xfinity Series, where he captured one top-10 result in 2016 when he finished ninth in the No. 88 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports.

SELFIE SESSION #POCONOSTYLE: Pocono Raceway announced this week that during its race weekend in June it will hold its first-ever “Selfie Session,” a modern twist on the conventional autograph session. Fans will be able to pose for a selfie with Bowman, the driver of the No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, on June 2 in the infield of the two-mile track. Fans can pre-register at www.poconoraceway.com/selfiesesh. To pre-register for the event, fans must purchase gate admission for that date.

Richmond Raceway Track Facts: 2018 Toyota Owners 400

Add caption
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 2018 Top 16 at Richmond Raceway
Rank
Driver
Races
Poles
Wins
Top Fives
Top 10s
DNFs
Average Finish
Driver Rating
 
 
1
Kyle Busch
25
1
4
15
18
0
7.4
109.7
 
2
Joey Logano
18
2
2
7
10
1
11.9
88.2
 
3
Kevin Harvick
34
1
3
12
21
0
10.4
109.6
 
4
Clint Bowyer
24
0
2
4
12
1
13.3
92.7
 
5
Brad Keselowski
17
1
1
4
7
1
14.1
97.3
 
6
Ryan Blaney
4
0
0
0
0
1
30.2
54.4
 
7
Martin Truex Jr
24
0
0
2
8
4
20.0
85.2
 
8
Denny Hamlin
23
3
3
10
14
0
9.6
109.3
 
9
Kyle Larson
8
0
1
2
2
0
10.4
93.0
 
10
Kurt Busch
34
0
2
7
15
1
15.5
94.8
 
11
Aric Almirola
12
0
0
1
4
0
16.2
73.5
 
12
Erik Jones
2
0
0
0
1
1
22.0
64.5
 
13
Alex Bowman
4
0
0
0
0
0
33.8
40.1
 
14
Austin Dillon
8
0
0
0
0
0
21.9
66.7
 
15
Ryan Newman
32
1
1
7
18
0
11.8
89.6
 
16
Paul Menard
22
0
0
1
1
1
24.6
58.9
 
* – Based on last 26 races at Richmond Raceway (2005 – 2017).


The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 2018 Top Loop Data Leaders

Richmond Raceway
Statistical Categories:
Leaders
Loop Data
Driver Rating
Kyle Busch
109.7
Average Running Position
Kevin Harvick
7.508
Laps Led
Denny Hamlin
1,653 laps (17.9%)
Laps in the Top 15
Kevin Harvick
92.5% (9,646 laps)
Fastest Laps Run
Denny Hamlin
754 laps (8.2%)
Green Flag Passes
Jamie McMurray
1,408
Quality Passes
Kevin Harvick
848
Green Flag Speed
Kyle Busch
115.729 mph
* The above stats are based on Loop Data from 2005 - 2017


Richmond Raceway Data
Season Race #: 09 of 36 (04-21-18)
Track Size: 0.75-miles
Banking/Turns 1 & 2: 14 degrees
Banking/Turns 3 & 4: 14 degrees
Banking/Frontstretch: 8 degrees
Banking/Backstretch: 2 degrees
Frontstretch Length:  1,290 feet
Backstretch Length:  860 feet
Race Length: 400 laps / 300 miles
Stage 1 and 2 Length: 100 laps (each)
Final Stage Length: 200 laps

Top 10 Driver Ratings at Richmond
Kyle Busch............................... 109.7
Kevin Harvick........................... 109.6
Denny Hamlin........................... 109.3
Brad Keselowski......................... 97.3
Kurt Busch................................. 94.8
Kyle Larson................................ 93.0
Clint Bowyer............................... 92.7
Jimmie Johnson.......................... 90.1
Ryan Newman............................ 89.6
Joey Logano............................... 88.2
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2017 races (26 total) among active drivers at Richmond Raceway.

Qualifying/Race Data
2017 pole winner:
Matt Kenseth, Toyota
121.076 mph, 22.300 secs. 04-29-17
2017 race winner:
Joey Logano, Ford
93.685 mph, (03:12:08), 04-30-17

Track qualifying record:
Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet
130.599 mph, 20.674 secs. 09-04-13

Track race record:
Dale Jarrett, Ford
109.047 mph, (02:45:04), 09-06-97


At Richmond Raceway:
History
·        Originally known as the Atlantic Rural Exposition Fairgrounds, Richmond Raceway held its first race in 1946 as a half-mile dirt track.
·        The first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race was held on April 19, 1953 and won by Lee Petty.
·        The spring 1964 race was run on a Tuesday night under temporary lighting.
·        The track name changed to Virginia State Fairgrounds in 1967.
·        The track surface was changed from dirt to asphalt between races in 1968.
·        The track name changed to Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway in 1969.
·        The track was re-measured to .542-mile in 1970.
·        The track was rebuilt as a three-quarters-mile D-shaped oval following the Feb. 21, 1988 race.
·        The first race under permanent lights was Sept. 7, 1991.
·        The first season with both races as night races was 1999.
·        In 2017, the track underwent renovations and changed the name to Richmond Raceway.
·        There have been 123 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Richmond Raceway, one event from 1953 - 1958 and two races per year since 1959.

Starts
·        496 drivers have competed in at least one Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond; 328 in more than one.
·        NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in starts at Richmond with 63; followed by Mark Martin with 56.
·        Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch lead all active drivers with 34 starts each; followed by Jimmie Johnson andRyan Newman with 32 each.
·        Bobby Isaac (10 series starts) leads the series in average finish at Richmond Raceway with a 3.700.
·        Kyle Larson leads all active drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in average starting position at Richmond Raceway with an 8.875; followed by Brad Keselowski (9.824) and Denny Hamlin (10.000).

Poles
·        A total of 54 different drivers have won Busch poles at Richmond, led by Richard Petty and Bobby Allisonwith eight each.
·        Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers in Busch poles at Richmond with three (2006, 2008 and 2016); followed by Joey Logano and Jimmie Johnson with two each.
·        Buck Baker won the inaugural Busch Pole Award at Richmond in 1953 with a speed of 48.465 mph.
·        Eight drivers have won consecutive poles at Richmond. Bobby Allison holds the record for most consecutive poles at Richmond with five from 1972 - 1974.
·        Youngest Richmond pole winner: Brian Vickers (05/15/2004 – 20 years, 6 months, 21 days).
·        Oldest Richmond pole winner: Mark Martin (04/28/2012 – 53 years, 3 months, 19 days).
·        Nine Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers posted their first career Busch Pole Award at Richmond Raceway – Brian Vickers (2004), Ted Musgrave (1994), Bobby Labonte (1993), Alan Kulwicki (1987), Morgan Shepherd (1981), Bill Dennis (1971), Dave Marcis (1971), Ned Jarrett (1960) and Russ Hepler (1957).

Wins
·        A total of 51 different drivers have won a series race at Richmond Raceway, led by Richard Petty with 13 victories (spring 1961, 1967 sweep, fall 1968, fall 1970, 1971 sweep, 1972 sweep, 1973 sweep, fall 1974 and spring 1975).
·        Kyle Busch leads all active drivers in wins at Richmond with four victories (spring 2009, spring 2010, spring 2011, spring 2012).   
·        Youngest Richmond winner: Richard Petty (04/23/1961 – 23 years, 9 months, 21 days).
·        Oldest Richmond winner: Harry Gant (09/07/1991 – 51 years, 7 months, 28 days).
·    Eight drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series have posted consecutive wins at Richmond Raceway – Joe Weatherly, David Pearson, Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Rusty Wallace, Terry Labonte and Jimmie Johnson.
·        Richard Petty leads the series in consecutive wins at Richmond after posting seven consecutive wins from the fall of 1970 – 1973.
·        Jimmie Johnson is the only active driver with consecutive wins at Richmond (2007 sweep). 
·        The pole starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners than any other starting position at Richmond with 24. 
·        Only five active MENCS drivers have been able to win from the pole: Kasey Kahne (2005), Jimmie Johnson (2007), Kyle Busch (2010), Brad Keselowski (2014) and Denny Hamlin (2016). 
·        The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Richmond Raceway is 31st, by Clint Bowyer in the spring of 2008.
·        Five drivers have posted their first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win at Richmond – Kasey Kahne (2005), Tony Stewart (1999), Kyle Petty (1986), Neil Bonnett (1977) and James Hylton (1970)
·        All of the 11 active Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series winners at Richmond Raceway participated in at least one or more races before visiting Victory Lane.
·        Jamie McMurray leads the series among active drivers with the most Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Richmond without visiting Victory Lane at 30.
·        Petty Enterprises has the most wins at Richmond in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with 15 victories; followed by Joe Gibbs Racing with 12, Hendrick Motorsports, with 10 and Richard Childress Racing with nine.
·        Nine different manufacturers have won at Richmond. Chevrolet leads the series in wins at Richmond with 38 victories; followed by Ford with 32 and Toyota with 10.


Additional Finishing Position Stats
·        Lee Petty (seven series starts) leads the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing position at Richmond Raceway with a 4.857.
·        Kyle Busch (25 series starts) leads all active drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing position at Richmond Raceway with a 7.400.
·        Bobby Allison and Richard Petty are tied for the series-most runner-up finishes at Richmond with nine each.
·        Kyle Busch leads all active drivers in series runner-up finishes at Richmond with six; followed by Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman with two each.    
·        Richard Petty leads the series in top-five finishes at Richmond with 34.
·        Kyle Busch leads all active drivers in top-five finishes at Richmond with 15; followed by Kevin Harvick (12) and Denny Hamlin (10).
·        Richard Petty leads the series in top-10 finishes at Richmond with 41.
·        Kevin Harvick leads all active drivers in top 10s at Richmond with 21; followed by Kyle Busch and Ryan Newman with 18 each.

Track / Event Specific Stats
·        Since the advent of electronic scoring, the closest margin of victory in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Richmond Raceway was the race on September 12, 1998 - won by Jeff Burton with a MOV of 0.051 second over second-place finisher Jeff Gordon.
·        Below are the top five closest series MOVs at Richmond since the advent of electronic scoring (1993):
Rank
MOV
Date
Winner
Runner-Up
1
0.051
9/12/1998
Jeff Burton
Jeff Gordon
2
0.100
9/7/1996
Ernie Irvan
Jeff Gordon
3
0.139
9/10/2011
Kevin Harvick
Carl Edwards
4
0.153
9/9/2006
Kevin Harvick
Kyle Busch
5
0.159
5/6/2000
Dale Earnhardt Jr
Jeremy Mayfield

·        Four MENCS races have resulted in NASCAR Overtime at Richmond Raceway:
Scheduled No. of Laps
Actual No. of Laps
NASCAR Overtime Laps
Date
Race Winner
400
404
4
9/9/2017
Kyle Larson
400
407
7
9/10/2016
Denny Hamlin
400
406
6
4/27/2013
Kevin Harvick
400
410
10
5/3/2008
Clint Bowyer

·        Four of the 123 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Richmond Raceway have been shortened due to weather conditions:
Scheduled No. of Laps
Actual No. of Laps
Number of Fewer Laps
Date
Race Winner
400
393
-7
5/3/2003
Joe Nemechek
400
250
-150
2/21/1982
Dave Marcis
400
245
-155
2/27/1977
Cale Yarborough
250
180
-70
4/1/1962
Rex White


·        Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Richmond Raceway eight times: 1955, 1962 (spring), 1967 (fall), 1986 (spring), 1997 (spring), 2008 (fall), 2014 (spring) and 2016 (spring).  
·        Richard Petty leads the series in laps led at Richmond Raceway with 5,136; followed by Rusty Wallace with 3,024 laps led. Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers with 1,653 laps led; followed by Kevin Harvick (1,061) and Kyle Busch (1,057).
·        In the last five series spring races at Richmond Raceway a caution has come out in final 10% of the race (last 40 laps). Below is a breakdown of when the final cautions came out in the last five spring races:
Richmond Raceway
Cautions in Final 10% of the Race
Spring Races
Final Caution First Lap
2017
378
2016
360
2015
369
2014
386
2013
396

Female Competitor Stats
·        Two female drivers have competed at Richmond in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series:
Driver
Starting Position
Finishing Position
Date
Driver Rating
Danica Patrick
19
23
9/9/2017
63.5
Danica Patrick
21
18
4/30/2017
56.9
Danica Patrick
29
15
9/10/2016
66.4
Danica Patrick
21
24
4/24/2016
56.8
Danica Patrick
14
19
9/12/2015
61.1
Danica Patrick
21
25
4/26/2015
56.5
Danica Patrick
13
16
9/6/2014
75.5
Danica Patrick
35
34
4/26/2014
36.5
Danica Patrick
36
30
9/7/2013
39.1
Danica Patrick
30
29
4/27/2013
42.6
Averages
23.9
23.3

55.5
     
Driver
Starting Position
Finishing Position
Date
 
Janet Guthrie
14
12
9/11/1977
 
Janet Guthrie
13
12
2/27/1977
 
Averages
13.5
12.0
  

NASCAR in Virginia
·        There has been a total of 507 NASCAR national series races among 10 tracks in the state of Virginia.
Track Name
City
MENCS
NXS
NCWTS
Total Races
Martinsville Speedway
Martinsville
139
34
39
212
Richmond Raceway
Richmond
123
68
11
202
South Boston Speedway
South Boston
10
35
3
48
Langley Field Speedway
Hampton
9
14
0
23
Old Dominion Speedway
Manassas
7
0
0
7
New River Valley Speedway
Dublin
0
4
0
4
Southside Speedway
Richmond
4
0
0
4
Starkey Speedway
Roanoke
4
0
0
4
Norfolk Speedway
Norfolk
2
0
0
2
Princess Anne Speedway
Norfolk
1
0
0
1
Totals

299
155
53
507

Virginia Drivers In NASCAR
·        180 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Virginia.
·        19 drivers from Virginia have won at least one race in NASCAR’s three national series.
·        11 of the 19 Virginia native NASCAR winners have won in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
 
Driver
Monster Energy
Xfinity
Camping World
1
Denny Hamlin
31
17
2
2
Joe Weatherly
25
0
0
3
Ricky Rudd
23
1
0
4
Jeff Burton
21
27
0
5
Curtis Turner
17
0
0
6
Ward Burton
5
4
0
7
Glen Wood
4
0
0
8
Elliott Sadler
3
13
1
9
Emanuel Zervakis
2
0
0
10
Lennie Pond
1
0
0
11
Wendell Scott
1
0
0
12
Tommy Ellis
0
22
0
13
Jimmy Hensley
0
9
2
14
Rick Mast
0
9
0
15
Hermie Sadler
0
2
0
16
Elton Sawyer
0
2
0
17
Stacy Compton
0
0
2
18
Jon Wood
0
0
2
19
Jeb Burton
0
0
1




Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series - Milestones
STARTS
Driver: Martin Truex Jr.
Has
Needs
Milestone:
449
1
Truex will become the 50th driver to make 450 or more Monster Energy Series starts.
Driver: Trevor Bayne
Has
Needs
Milestone:
174
1
Bayne will become the 150th driver to make 175 or more Monster Energy Series starts.
Driver: Ryan Blaney
Has
Needs
Milestone:
98
2
Blaney will become the 199th driver to make 100 or more Monster Energy Series starts.
WINS
Driver: Jimmie Johnson
Has
Needs
Milestone:
83
1
Tie Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip for fourth on the all-time series wins list.
Driver: Kyle Busch
Has
Needs
Milestone:
45
1
Tie Buck Baker (46) for 15th on the all-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins list.
Driver: Kevin Harvick
Has
Needs
Milestone:
40
4
Tie Kyle Busch and Bill Elliott for 16th on the all-time MENCS wins list.
Driver: Denny Hamlin
Has
Needs
Milestone:
31
1
To tie Dale Jarrett for 24th on the all-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins list.
Driver: Kurt Busch
Has
Needs
Milestone:
29
2
Tie Denny Hamlin for 25th on the all-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins list.
POLES
Driver: Ryan Newman
Has
Needs
Milestone:
51
3
Tie Bill Elliott for eighth on the all-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series poles list.
Driver: Jimmie Johnson
Has
Needs
Milestone:
35
1
To tie Rusty Wallace for 18th on the all-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series poles list.
Driver: Kyle Busch
Has
Needs
Milestone:
29
2
To tie Fonty Flock for 23rd on the all-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series poles list.
Driver: Kasey Kahne
Has
Needs
Milestone:
27
2
To tie Kyle Busch and Ricky Rudd for 25th on the all-time Monster Energy Series poles list.



Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series - Milestones
Second-Place Finishes
Driver: Jimmie Johnson
Has
Needs
Milestone:
46
2
Tie Lee Petty for 11th on the all-time series second-place finishes list.
Driver: Kyle Busch
Has
Needs
Milestone:
43
1
Tie Tony Stewart for 13th on the all-time series second-place finishes list.
Top Fives
Driver: Kevin Harvick
Has
Needs
Milestone:
173
2
Tie Bill Elliott (175) for 20th on the all-time Monster Energy Series top fives list.
Top 10s
Driver: Kyle Busch
Has
Needs
Milestone:
248
2
To become the 26th series driver all-time to post 250 or more top 10s
Laps Led
Driver: Jimmie Johnson
Has
Needs
Milestone:
18,663
337
Needs 337 laps led to become the ninth driver in the MENCS all-time to lead 19,000 laps.
Driver: Kyle Busch
Has
Needs
Milestone:
14,846
154
Needs 154 laps led to become the 10th driver in the MENCS all-time to lead 15,000 laps.
Driver: Kevin Harvick
Has
Needs
Milestone:
11,611
389
Needs 389 laps led to become the 15th driver all-time in the MENCS to lead 12,000 laps.
Driver: Kurt Busch
Has
Needs
Milestone:
8,991
9
Needs 9 laps led to become the 20th driver all-time in the MENCS to lead 9,000 laps.
Driver: Martin Truex Jr.
Has
Needs
Milestone:
6,662
338
Needs 338 laps led to become the 29th driver all-time in the MENCS to lead 7,000 laps.