After a week off last week, Richmond could get the blood boiling for a Saturday Night Special.
This is a 3/4 mile D-shaped oval with minimal banking that acts like both a short track, with side by side racing, and super speedway, as you dive-bomb into the turns, fighting the G-forces.
Jeff Gordon and Denny Hamlin are tied with the most poles by active drivers with two apiece but Gordon has the best average start of 8.7 to Hamlin’s 9.3.
Toyota has won two of the last four races at Richmond with Chevrolet and Ford splitting the wins last year.
Track position is everything at Richmond, but Clint Bowyer did win this race from as far back as the 31st starting position on a fuel mileage race.
Matt Kenseth took last year’s April pole and finished 7th while Gordon took the September pole and finished 8th, so the pole position driver should give you good points on race day.
Petty Enterprises has the most wins by the active teams with 15, followed by Hendrick Motorsports with 10. Joe Gibbs Racing and Richard Childress Racing each have nine wins for third all-time.
The manufacturer’s edge goes to Chevrolet with 36 wins all-time, followed by Ford with 29 and Toyota with seven wins.
My personal opinion is that Richmond is most like New Hampshire and Martinsville with its minimal banking.
Here are the top ten best average finishes the last five years at Richmond:
10 A.J. Allmindinger- 2 top 10s, average finish 12.6.
9 Jeff Gordon- 3 top 5s and 4 top 10s. avg finish 12.5.
8 Matt Kenseth- 1 top 5 and 3 top 10s, avg finish 12.5.
7 Tony Stewart- 2 top 5s and 4 top 10s, avg finish 11.4.
6 Ryan Newman- 1 top 5 and 4 top 10’s, avg finish 11.0.
5 Clint Bowyer- 1 win, 2 top 5s and 5 top 10s, avg finish 10.1.
4 Denny Hamlin- 1 win, 3 top 5s and 4 top 10s, avg finish 9.4.
3 Kyle Busch- 3 wins, 4 top 5s and 5 top 10s, avg finish 8.8.
2 Kevin Harvick- 2 wins, 3 top 5s and 5 top 10s, avg finish 8.3.
1 Carl Edwards- 1 win, 4 top 5s and 7 top 10s, avg finish 7.0.