NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
Joey Logano - 5
Both with 4 - Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr.
All with 3 - Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin and Kurt Busch

By Track
Joey Logano - 9
All with 7 - Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and Jimmie Johnson
All with 6 - Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch and Martin Truex Jr.
Clint Bowyer - 5

Recent Pole Winners:
2018 Martin Truex Jr.
2017 Matt Kenseth
2016 Rained out

Last Year's Race Winner: Kyle Busch

The Likely Suspects: When finalizing your roster this week, keep in mind that the elite pedigree at Richmond usually are drivers with open wheel experience. These are the drivers to watch this weekend: Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin and Kurt Busch.

My 2 Cents: My absolute no-brainer pick this week is Kyle Busch. My next picks are: Joey Logano, Kurt Busch, Daniel Suarez, Austin Dillon and Denny Hamlin. I will round out my team with Ty Dillon and Matt DiBenedetto.

My Final Four: Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin and Matt DiBenedetto

Second-Look Driver: This week's second-look driver is Aric Almirola. Having come from Petty Enterprises, the race team with the most Cup wins at Richmond Raceway, Aric know his way around this track. In 14 starts here he has five top 10s and two top 5s. He has gotten off to a good start this season, so he could have a great run Saturday night. Last week's second-look driver, Ryan Newman, battled in the top 10 most of the race. Ryan started in 11th place and finished in ninth for his best finish of the season, despite getting a penalty for improper fueling on a Lap 435 pit stop. Race highlights include some tense moments between Newman and Ryan Blaney.

Points to ponder:
  • Denny Hamlin (2006, 2008 and 2016) leads the eight active drivers in Busch poles at Richmond with three; followed by Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson with two each.
  • Kyle Busch leads all active drivers in wins at Richmond with six victories (spring 2009, spring 2010, spring 2011, spring 2012, 2018 sweep).  
  • The first starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners than any other starting position at Richmond Raceway with 24 victories. 
  • 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).
  • Petty Enterprises leads the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Richmond Raceway with 15 victories.
Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your picks by 8 a.m. ET on Friday, April 12, and pick your starters by 7:30 p.m. ET on race day Saturday, April 13.

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!

Carol D’Agostino wields fantasy-racing superpowers. Each week, Carol researches statistics and combs through her personal racing notes to provide fans with fantasy racing advice at NASCAR Fantasy Fusion, a column she has written for Skirts & Scuffs since October 2011. Carol also does race coverage for Skirts & Scuffs at Richmond Raceway, and occasionally at her home track, Dover International Speedway. This year she joins the NASCAR Expert Picks panel at
Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet When she isn’t crunching numbers, you’ll find Carol in business meetings or hammering out a news release or creating a marketing strategy at a small niche public relations firm she founded called Purple Cat. 

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Reviewed by Carol D'Agostino on Thursday, April 11, 2019 Rating: 5