Thursday, April 19, 2018

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Richmond

By Carol D'Agostino

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
Joey Logano - 5
All with 4 - Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Martin Truex Jr.

By Track
Joey Logano - 9
Kurt Busch - 8
Both with 6 - Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr.
All with 5 - Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Jamie McMurray, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman

Recent Pole Winners:
2017 Matt Kenseth
2016 Rained out
2015 Joey Logano

Last Year's Race Winner: Joey Logano

The Likely Suspects: The Richmond elite drivers usually have open wheel experience. These drivers traditionally run well here: Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin.

My 2 Cents: My no-brainer pick this week is Kyle Busch. My next picks are: Joey Logano, Kurt Busch, Daniel Saurez, Jamie McMurray and Kasey Kahne. I will round out my team with William Byron and Chris Buescher.

My Final Four: Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman and William Byron

Second-Look Driver: This week's second-look driver is Aric Almirola. Aric has gotten off to a great start this year. His average finishing position at Richmond is 14.3. He has one Top 5 and four Top 10s. Last week's second-look driver Daniel Suarez finished in a respectable 11th place after starting 12th on the grid. Daniel also scored bonus points for leading five laps.

Points to ponder:
  • 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.
  • 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). 
  • 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. 
  • Kyle Busch leads all active drivers in wins at Richmond with four victories (spring 2009, spring 2010, spring 2011, spring 2012). 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Kyle Busch leads all active drivers in top-five finishes at Richmond with 15; followed by Kevin Harvick (12) and Denny Hamlin (10). 
  • Kevin Harvick leads all active drivers in top 10s at Richmond with 21; followed by Kyle Busch and Ryan Newman with 18 each.
Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your picks by 2:59 a.m. EDT on Friday, April 20, and pick your starters by 6:30 p.m. EDT on race day, Saturday, April 21.

I'll be covering the race weekend at Richmond for Skirts and Scuffs, so be sure to check back at here for your racing news. Enjoy the race! Post your comments here or follow me on Twitter at @purplecatpr

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