The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stops at Richmond International Raceway for the Toyota Owners 400. This event will be one of the most exciting races of the year as the talented Cup drivers negotiate the tricky configuration of RIR's "long-short" track. We took a look at past performances, season trends, and talked to NASCAR contacts to shed a light on how the field should finish on Sunday night.
When: Sunday, April 24; 1:14 p.m./et.
Weather: Sunny with a high around 83; wind out of the SW at 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is ZERO.
The Track: Richmond International Raceway
Richmondis a .75 mile D-shaped oval. It has fairly flat 14 degree banking in the turns and 8 degree banking on the straights.
Key to Race: THE LONG-SHORT TRACK
A good indication as to who will be fast this weekend is to look at who was successful earlier this year at Phoenix. Kevin Harvick took the checkers at Phoenix this year followed by Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Harvick is a three time winner at Richmond and will be fast once again. Busch and Hamlin are also great options this weekend.
41 cars will attempt to qualify for 40 spots.
Fantasy Cheat Sheet:
No. 4 Kevin Harvick: Harvick always dominates at Phoenix and he will the man to beat at Richmond. There is a great chance he will find victory lane again.
No. 18 Kyle Busch: Kyle has four career wins at RIR. Get him active in all leagues.
No. 22 Joey Logano: Logano won the fall 2014 race at RIR and led 120 laps at the track last year. He is a great pick.
No. 20 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth won at RIR last fall. Look for the crafty veteran to notch another top five.
No. 11 Denny Hamlin: The Virginian is usually a force at RIR. He is a great option this weekend.
6 to 10
No. 41 Kurt Busch: Busch dominated the spring race at RIR last year. He will be fast again.
No. 2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski won the spring 2014 race at RIR. He should be in the mix all night.
No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Junior has three career wins at RIR. Look for No. 88 to finish in the top 10 this weekend.
No. 78 Martin Truex Jr.: RIR is one of Truex's favorite tracks. He is a great pick this weekend.
No. 19 Carl Edwards: Edwards drove a great race last weekend at Bristol and he should have the No. 19 sled back inside the top 10.
11 to 20
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson: Johnson admitted in the past that RIR is a tough track for him, but he has won three of the last 18 races at venue.
No. 24 Chase Elliott: Elliott finished 16th last year at RIR. He is a strong option this week.
No. 5 Kasey Kahne: Kahne has averaged a top 15 finish at RIR during the past half-decade. He will finish a little better this weekend.
No. 42 Kyle Larson: Larson has been fast at RIR so far in his career. He is a nice third driver on all fantasy teams this weekend.
No. 31 Ryan Newman: Newman has been very successful at RIR in the past. He is worth using.
No. 1 Jamie McMurray: This has been terrific at RIR the past five races. He is a solid sleeper pick this weekend.
No. 47 A.J. Allmendinger: A.J. is usually very fast at RIR. Use him in most leagues.
No. 3 Austin Dillon: Dillon hasn’t been great at RIR during his career. He should just miss the top 15 this trip to the track.
No. 43 Aric Almirola: Almirola notched top 20 finishes at RIR the past four races. We like his chances.
No. 10 Danica Patrick: Danica has been decent at RIR the past few years she is not a bad choice to round-out your roster.
21 to 30
No. 27 Paul Menard
No. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
No. 16 Greg Biffle
No. 6 Trevor Bayne
No. 13 Casey Mears
No. 15 Clint Bowyer
No. 14 Brian Vickers
No. 21 Ryan Blaney
No. 38 Landon Cassill
No. 44 Brian Scott
No. 83 Matt DiBendetto
No. 95 Michael McDowell
No. 7 Regan Smith
No. 23 David Ragan
No. 34 Chris Buescher
No. 46 Michael Annett
No. 98 Cole Whitt
No. 32 Jeffery Earnhardt
No. 30 Josh Wise
No. 55 Reed Sorenson
No. 93 Ryan Ellis
My NASCAR LIVE Team for this Week:
Race Winner: Kevin Harvick
My Yahoo! Fantasy NASCAR Team for this Week:
B. Carl Edwards