2021 Federated Auto Parts Salute to American Heroes 400: NASCAR CUP Picks, Predictions, Odds, Longshots
Photo by Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports
2021 Federated Auto Parts Salute to American Heroes 400
Saturday September 11, 2021 7:30pm
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NASCAR Cup Series will run the 2nd race in the Round of 16 of the 2021 Playoffs under the lights at the Richmond Raceway on Saturday night in the Federated Auto Parts Salute to American Heroes 400. Richmond is a .75-mile D-shaped oval flat banking much like Martinsville and is comparable to New Hampshire. Saturday’s race will be 400 laps to make up the advertised distance and comes out to 300 miles total. 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 Federated Auto Parts Salute to American Heroes 400.
Martin Truex Jr. +550- Truex will begin Saturday’s journey around the Richmond Raceway from the 3rd position after finishing 4th at Darlington back last Sunday. Spoiler alert, Truex has the best average driver rating at Richmond Raceway over the last 6 races of 125.8. 2 wins along with 5 top 5 finishes accompany the overall performance for Truex at Richmond. Truex was fastest in green flag speed at Richmond in the last race held at Richmond back in April, leading 107 of the 400 laps on the way to 5th place finish. Saturday will most likely be the best opportunity for Truex to pick up a win before the cut-off to 12.
Denny Hamlin +650- Denny will roll off outside row 1 from the 2nd position for Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond after the big win at Darlington one week ago. Richmond is Denny’s home track and last season finished 12th in the Cup Series Playoff race. Hamlin has 4 top 5 finishes at Richmond over the last 6 races at Richmond with an average driver rating of 102.3. Momentum heading into Richmond, Denny finished 2nd here at Richmond in April after leading 207 of the 400 total laps. Locked into the round of 12, Denny is racing for the trophy on Saturday night look for the team to be fast.
Joey Logano +700- Joey fires off from the 6th position for Saturday’s race at the Richmond Raceway. Joey has the 5th best average driver rating of 109.1 over the last 6 races at Richmond. 4 top 5 finishes with an average finish of 6.17 over the last 6 races at Richmond, Joey finished in 3rd place at the Cup Series race back in April with the 3rd best average green flag speed here at Richmond. Joey also has top 10 finishes at Martinsville and New Hampshire in the Cup Series in 2021 and there is a great chance will be the best of the Penske bunch on Saturday night.
Christopher Bell +1500- Bell will begin Saturday’s Cup Series race from the 10th starting spot. Bell has 2 career Cup Series starts at Richmond with a 15th place finish in 2020 followed up by a solid 4th place effort back in April. Bell finished 7th at Martinsville and 2nd at New Hampshire back in July of this season. Over the last 4 races on the Cup Series circuit, Bell has failed to finish inside the top 12 with 2 crashes included. Bell must have a solid run after a 20th place effort at Darlington one week ago and is a great dark horse pick for Saturday night.
Aric Almirola +2500- Almirola rolls off on row 5 from the 9th starting spot alongside Christopher on Saturday night. Almirola is my long shot play of the week, earning a playoff spot with the win at New Hampshire back in July. No doubt Aric and the Stewart Haas team have struggled on the season but have performed well on the flat short tracks. Along with the win at New Hampshire, Aric finished 6th at Richmond in April with the 9th best average green flag speed. Saturday night will be the best opportunity for Almirola to secure a seat in the round of 12. with Bristol looming next week and his average finish of 22.83 in the last 6 at Bristol, time is now to bet on Aric.