2021 Toyota Owners 400: NASCAR CUP Preview, Odds, Picks, Longshots
Photo by Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports
2021 Toyota Owners 400
Sunday April 18, 2021 3:00pm
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NASCAR Cup Series will conclude the first half of the short track part of the season on Sunday afternoon at the Richmond Raceway in the running of the Toyota Owners 400. Richmond is a .75-mile D-shaped oval flat banking much like Martinsville last week. Sunday’s race will be 400 laps to make up the advertised distance which comes out to 300 miles. Richmond provides great excitement for the fans and the track is wide enough to get around lap traffic, so we typically see a good deal of green flag racing.
Here are a few drivers to consider for the Toyota Owners 400.
Martin Truex Jr. +400- Truex will begin Sunday’s journey around the Richmond Raceway from the pole position after winning in Martinsville back last Sunday. Spoiler alert, Truex has the best average driver rating at Richmond Raceway over the last 5 races of 125.9. 2 wins along with 2 top 5 finishes accompany the overall performance for Truex at Richmond. Truex was 3rd fastest in green flag speed at Richmond last season in the Cup Playoff race, and now starting from the top position will have a tremendous advantage from the drop of the green flag.
Denny Hamlin +600- Denny will roll off outside row 1 from the 2nd position for Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond. Richmond is Denny’s home track and last season finished 12th in the Cup Series Playoff race. Hamlin has 3 top 5 finishes at Richmond over the last 5 races at Richmond with an average driver rating of 95.1. Hamlin has reeled off 5 top 5 finishes in a row on the 2021 season including the 3rd place effort at Martinsville. Denny and team are coming close to winning the 1st race of the 2021 season and Sunday will be a great opportunity to do so.
Brad Keselowski +750- Brad fires off from the 20th position for Sunday’s race at the Richmond Raceway. Brad is in a must finish well situation heading into Richmond on Sunday, failing to finish in the top 10 over the last 3 Cup Series races. Starting mid-pack will require a ton of patience for Brad, but we should see him get closer to the front by the end of stage 2. Brad won the 2020 Cup Series Playoff race at Richmond and has the 4th best average driver rating of 113.5 over the last 5 races here. Brad avoids trouble, then he will have a great finish on Sunday.
Kyle Busch +900- Kyle will begin Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 from the 10th starting spot. No doubt Kyle has been disappointing start to the season with only 2 top 5 finishes, but Kyle is successful at Richmond. Best average finish of 3.6 and 2nd best average driver rating of 114.9 over the last 5 races at Richmond. Kyle will run the Truck Series race on Saturday afternoon, so he will get some seat time to get a feel for the conditions. Kyle’s 2 top 5 finishes of 2021 in the Cup Series come after racing in the Truck Series at the same track on the same weekend, don’t be surprised if the 18 is in victory lane Sunday evening.
Kevin Harvick +1100- Harvick rolls off on row 5 from the 9th starting spot alongside Kyle Busch on Sunday afternoon. Harvick at arguably the highest price outside of Super Speedways that he been at in quite a while. Kevin has 6 top 10 finishes through the 8 Cup Series races so far in 2021, but the team has struggled to find the speed we have been used to seeing out of Harvick in recent years. Kevin finished 6th at Phoenix which is the most like Richmond earlier in the season. Harvick had the fastest green flag speed in the 2020 Richmond Cup Series Playoff race going onto finish 7th. Decent starting position and a great price here on Harvick on Sunday is worth a sprinkle of action.