NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Richmond


Well I guess I got my answer about whether Tyler Reddick has adjusted to his new Chevy and his new 23XI Racing team, and boy did I. The No. 45 unloaded fast. Reddick proved once again that he is a consummate wheelman as he ultimately held off Kyle Busch who, ironically, was driving Reddick's old No. 8 car during three NASCAR overtime restarts. Perhaps it was a bit of redemption for almost winning the COTA race last year.

It was Reddick's fourth career Cup Series win, and his third win of the last five road courses. Could we be witnessing the opening chapter of a new king of the road courses? I'm sure Chase Elliott and A.J. Allmendinger will have something to say on that subject!

On to Richmond Raceway this weekend, where I will be doing race coverage. With Christmas coming early for Hendrick Motorsports after getting their points restored from the hood louver issue at Phoenix, I'm curious whether the team will capitalize on their good fortune. Stay tuned!
This Week's Pick Strategy:
Load up your roster this week with veteran drivers. It's not that one or two up-and-comers can't do well. It's just that veteran drivers will perform infinitely better.

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years and 9/2020 race):
Spring race in 2022, 2021, 2019, and 2018 plus 9/2020 race
Kyle Busch - 5
All with 4 - Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, and Austin Dillon
Both with 3 - Brad Keselowski and Alex Bowman

By Track (2018 to 2022)
Kyle Busch - 9
Both with 8 - Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick
Denny Hamlin - 7
Joey Logano - 6
All with 5 - Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski, Austin Dillon, and Kyle Larson 

Last Year's Pole Winner: Ryan Blaney
Last Year's Race Winner: Denny Hamlin

The Likely Suspects: My Richmond elite drivers include Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Austin Dillon, Alex Bowman, and Kyle Larson.

My 2 Cents:  This week's no-brainer pick is a tie between Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin. My next picks are Christopher Bell, Alex Bowman, Martin Truex Jr., and Kevin Harvick. I'll complete my roster with Harrison Burton and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

My Final Four: Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Second-look driver: This week's sleeper pick is Christopher Bell. When you think of Richmond masters most likely Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick or Kyle Busch come to mind. Do yourself a favor and don't underestimate Christopher Bell. Christopher has earned three Top 5s and four Top 10s for a series-best average finish of 6.000. Last year he finished sixth in the April race at Richmond Raceway and second in the August race.

Points to Ponder:
  • The pole is the most prolific starting position in the field, producing more winners than any other starting position at Richmond Raceway with 24 (18.18%).
  • Hendrick Motorsports leads the NASCAR Cup Series in poles at Richmond Raceway with 18 poles among 10 different drivers.
  • Joe Gibbs Racing leads the NASCAR Cup Series in victories at Richmond Raceway with 18 wins among six drivers.
  • Petty Enterprises has the second-most Cup Series wins at Richmond with 15 victories.
  • Kyle Busch leads all active drivers in wins at Richmond with six victories, in runner-up finishes with seven, and in Top 5s with 18. He also leads active drivers in average finishing position at Richmond Raceway with a 6.875.
  • Kevin Harvick leads all active drivers in Top 10s at Richmond with 29.
  • Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers with 2,135 laps led in 32 starts.
Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your initial picks by Saturday, April 1st at 10:20 a.m. ET, and your final picks by 3:30 p.m. ET on race day Sunday, April 2nd.
Enjoy the race!
Carol D'Agostino has been playing Fantasy NASCAR for 16 years. She launched  NASCAR Fantasy Fusion for Skirts & Scuffs in October 2011. Each week, Carol pores through statistics and combs through her personal notebooks to arm fans with analysis and picking strategies that will leave their friends wondering how they got so smart. Carol also does race coverage for Skirts & Scuffs at Richmond Raceway and occasionally at her home track, Dover International Speedway. She is also part of the distinguished NASCAR Expert Picks panel at formerly called Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet.

When she isn’t wielding her fantasy-racing superpowers, you’ll find Carol hammering out a news release or creating a marketing strategy at a small niche public relations firm she founded called Purple Cat or executing downtown revitalization projects for a small town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Richmond NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Richmond Reviewed by Carol D'Agostino on Thursday, March 30, 2023 Rating: 5