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Statistically Speaking

Update: Richmond (Spring)

by Dan Beaver
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Matt Kenseth posted a lap of 121.076 mph in the final round of qualification for the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway and will lead the field to green. The race is made up of 400 trips around the track, however, and Kenseth’s 10-lap average in Saturday morning’s session told a different story. He was only eighth on that chart. Kenseth also failed to impress in regard to his fastest laps in each session. Kenseth is going to be a challenging pick in games that offer place-differential points.

Ryan Blaney came up one position short of the pole for the third time this season. That has not been a good omen for him as he slipped to 23rd at Phoenix International Raceway and 12th at Texas Motor Speedway in the two previous outings. He had good speed over the duration, however, and that could positively impact his results. In that Texas race, Blaney was dominant for the first half of the 500-miler. He won both segments, but he has to learn to stay out of trouble and make it to the end.

Erik Jones qualified 20th, but again that is not the complete story. His slip in time trials could be a gift to players, however, because it practically guarantees he will have a positive place-differential. Jones was fast in every practice. He posted the quickest 10-lap average in the morning session. Look for him to finish in the top 10 at least. Players will want to bank those points.

Kevin Harvick posted the second-quickest time in final practice with a speed of 118.670 mph during his first 10 laps on the track. He was also second on the fastest-lap chart that period. Conditions in the morning are not the same as what they will experience on race day, however. Those are mirrored more closely in the afternoon and Harvick was well down the order in 26th.  

Kyle Larson complained throughout the weekend. He was loose in the corners and never seemed to exorcise the car of that problem. With 10 laps remaining, he was still sloughing through the corners and by his numbers in combined practices, he should be avoided. Larson qualified 18th. If this were some other season, he would not get noticed and probably be skipped on most rosters. Larson has found a way to excel in race trim, however. In games that limit allocations, it will be safest to give him the weekend off. Hang onto him in keeper leagues.

Martin Truex Jr. posted the quickest 10-lap average in Happy Hour with a 117.521 and had the second-fastest single lap. Conditions in this practice are more indicative of how a driver will run in the race. Truex qualified third for the Toyota Owners 400 and has the perfect combination of factors to lead a lot of laps early. That could be the difference-maker for fantasy owners.

Richmond is prone to long green flag periods. According to televised coverage, Kyle Busch, Blaney, and Jamie McMurray sat one-two-three on this chart with a difference of one-100th of a second separating each car. 

Start

Driver

Qual Speed

Practice1
Rank

Practice 2
Rank

Final
Rank

Avg. Rank

             

3

Martin Truex Jr.

      120.681

1

5

2

2.8

20

Erik Jones

      118.948

2

1

4

6.8

16

Denny Hamlin

      119.665

5

7

7

8.8

1

Matt Kenseth

      121.076

21

11

9

10.5

14

Chase Elliott

      119.670

12

14

5

11.3

8

Clint Bowyer

      120.144

19

9

10

11.5

4

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

      120.471

9

18

16

11.8

6

Kevin Harvick

      120.326

15

2

26

12.3

2

Ryan Blaney

      120.854

3

30

17

13.0

7

Kyle Busch

      120.171

8

22

15

13.0

10

Jamie McMurray

      119.691

7

24

11

13.0

18

Kyle Larson

      119.379

11

25

1

13.8

12

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

      119.000

14

10

21

14.3

9

Kurt Busch

      120.027

15

31

6

15.3

17

Jimmie Johnson

      119.638

26

15

3

15.3

13

Ryan Newman

      119.697

23

8

18

15.5

29

Trevor Bayne

      118.796

4

19

13

16.3

26

Paul Menard

      119.011

6

3

32

16.8

5

Joey Logano

      120.380

29

12

22

17.0

11

Daniel Suarez

      119.090

18

28

12

17.3

22

AJ Allmendinger

      118.640

10

16

23

17.8

21

Danica Patrick

      118.896

13

13

25

18.0

23

Chris Buescher

      118.437

33

4

19

19.8

19

Kasey Kahne

      119.226

22

32

8

20.3

15

Brad Keselowski

      119.670

24

33

13

21.3

28

Landon Cassill

      118.864

20

17

27

23.0

25

Aric Almirola

      119.079

27

26

20

24.5

24

Ty Dillon

      117.025

28

20

30

25.5

38

Austin Dillon

        82.792

36

6

24

26.0

30

David Ragan

      118.369

25

23

29

26.8

27

Michael McDowell

      118.917

17

35

28

26.8

32

Matt DiBenedetto

      117.940

31

21

33

29.3

31

Gray Gaulding

      118.131

30

27

31

29.8

34

Corey LaJoie

      117.096

34

29

34

32.8

33

Reed Sorenson

      117.386

32

 

36

33.7

36

Cole Whitt

      116.939

35

34

35

35.0

35

Jeffrey Earnhardt

      116.995

37

37

37

36.5

37

Timmy Hill

      116.189

38

36

 

37.0

 

10-Lap Averages

 

10-Lap Averages

 

Avg

Practice 2

 

Final Practice

 

Rank

                 

5

Denny Hamlin

      118.596

 

2

Denny Hamlin

  117.384

 

3.5

8

Matt Kenseth

      118.523

 

4

Matt Kenseth

  117.337

 

6.0

1

Erik Jones

      118.876

 

14

Erik Jones

  116.696

 

7.5

7

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

      118.561

 

13

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

  116.759

 

10.0

14

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

      118.000

 

7

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

  117.038

 

10.5

2

Kevin Harvick

      118.670

 

22

Kevin Harvick

  116.206

 

12.0

6

Austin Dillon

      118.584

 

18

Austin Dillon

  116.444

 

12.0

16

Kyle Busch

      117.915

 

8

Kyle Busch

  116.993

 

12.0

 

Ryan Blaney

 

 

12

Ryan Blaney

  116.847

 

12.0

11

Joey Logano

      118.374

 

16

Joey Logano

  116.528

 

13.5

18

Clint Bowyer

      117.677

 

9

Clint Bowyer

  116.962

 

13.5

19

Jamie McMurray

      117.664

 

10

Jamie McMurray

  116.886

 

14.5

9

Ryan Newman

      118.455

 

21

Ryan Newman

  116.263

 

15.0

15

Trevor Bayne

      117.973

 

15

Trevor Bayne

  116.651

 

15.0

27

Kyle Larson

      116.467

 

3

Kyle Larson

  117.379

 

15.0

4

Chris Buescher

      118.621

 

27

Chris Buescher

  115.700

 

15.5

30

Martin Truex Jr.

      115.958

 

1

Martin Truex Jr.

  117.521

 

15.5

26

Kasey Kahne

      116.793

 

6

Kasey Kahne

  117.145

 

16.0

22

Jimmie Johnson

      117.531

 

11

Jimmie Johnson

  116.856

 

16.5

10

Danica Patrick

      118.404

 

25

Danica Patrick

  116.102

 

17.5

3

Paul Menard

      118.664

 

33

Paul Menard

  113.997

 

18.0

12

AJ Allmendinger

      118.189

 

24

AJ Allmendinger

  116.140

 

18.0

13

Landon Cassill

      118.010

 

23

Landon Cassill

  116.148

 

18.0

31

Chase Elliott

      115.916

 

5

Chase Elliott

  117.160

 

18.0

21

Daniel Suarez

      117.587

 

19

Daniel Suarez

  116.428

 

20.0

23

Aric Almirola

      117.522

 

20

Aric Almirola

  116.349

 

21.5

17

David Ragan

      117.789

 

28

David Ragan

  115.398

 

22.5

32

Brad Keselowski

      115.198

 

17

Brad Keselowski

  116.488

 

24.5

20

Matt DiBenedetto

      117.589

 

31

Matt DiBenedetto

  114.724

 

25.5

28

Michael McDowell

      116.412

 

26

Michael McDowell

  115.701

 

27.0

25

Ty Dillon

      117.356

 

30

Ty Dillon

  114.965

 

27.5

24

Gray Gaulding

      117.358

 

32

Gray Gaulding

  114.554

 

28.0

29

Kurt Busch

      116.228

 

29

Kurt Busch

  114.991

 

29.0

33

Timmy Hill

      113.336

 

 

Timmy Hill

 

 

33.0

 

Corey LaJoie

 

 

34

Corey LaJoie

  113.325

 

34.0

 

Reed Sorenson

 

 

35

Reed Sorenson

  113.209

 

35.0

 

Dan Beaver

Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 20 years with a little help from his >650,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.