NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond

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

By Track
All with 8 - Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch
All with 7 - Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson and Martin Truex Jr.
Clint Bowyer - 6

Last Year's Race Winner: Martin Truex Jr.

The Likely Suspects: Richmond racing makes for great short-track racing, so I don't think tomorrow's race will disappoint. My Richmond elites are: Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick.

My 2 Cents: My no-brainer pick this week is last week's race winner, Kevin Harvick. My next choices are Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman, Matt DiBenedetto and William Byron. I'll complete my team with Matt Kenseth and Bubba Wallace.

My Final Four: Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman and Matt Kenseth.

Second-look driver: This week's second-look driver is Kyle Busch, who typically runs very well at Richmond. But this year has been anything but typical for Busch, who has yet to win this season. He has made 30 series starts at Richmond putting up six wins, 18 top fives and 22 top 10s. Could this be his breakout week?

Last week's second-look driver, Erik Jones, had a great race at Darlington. The No. 20 Sport Clips Toyota Camry started 30th on the grid and finished in fourth. The team steadily made ground during the race, taking advantage of numerous pit stops for fresh tires and adjustments.

According to Erik, the lack of clean air and the tough competition made the difference. "It was really tough to pass. Once you got up inside the top seven or eight, those guys were all pretty equal, and it was hard to make ground from there. We got a couple of extra spots at the end, but this Sport Clips Camry was quick. We just never got up front. We just needed to get up front and get some clean air. That’s what we did last year. I thought we had just as good of a car as what we did last year. We just never got to the lead. That’s what held us back, I think."

Points to Ponder:
  • The pole starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners than any other starting position at Richmond Raceway with 24.
  • Nine different manufacturers have won at Richmond. Chevrolet leads the series in wins at Richmond with 38 victories, followed by Ford  with 32.
  • Kyle Busch leads all active drivers in wins at Richmond with six victories, in runner-up finishes with seven, in top fives with 18; followed by Kevin Harvick (15) and Denny Hamlin (13). Busch also leads all active drivers in average finishing position at Richmond Raceway with a 6.8.
  • Kevin Harvick leads all active drivers in top 10s at Richmond with 25, followed by Kyle Busch (22) and Ryan Newman (20).
  • Petty Enterprises and Joe Gibbs Racing have the most wins at Richmond in the NASCAR Cup Series with 15 victories each, followed by Hendrick Motorsports with 10 and Richard Childress Racing with nine.
  • Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers with 1,659 laps led, followed by Kyle Busch (1,484).
Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your picks by 7:30 p.m. ET on race day Sat. Sept. 12th.

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 in 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 FRCS). 

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: Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Reviewed by Carol D'Agostino on Friday, September 11, 2020 Rating: 5