On Saturday, September 21st, NASCAR will be live from the Richmond Raceway in Richmond, Virginia, for the Federated Auto Parts 400. This is the second of two annual trips that NASCAR makes to Richmond and this is also the second of 10 playoff races.
Last weekend, Martin Truex Jr. captured the checkered flag in Las Vegas and had automatically moved on to the second round of the playoffs. Drivers like Harvick, Logano and Busch are close behind in the standings. This weekend’s race is a short track that could favor drivers like Busch, Harvick and Hamlin.
According to NASCAR betting sites, Kyle Busch is the odds on favorite to win this race as he has six career victories at Richmond. His teammates Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin are close behind in the odds. Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano round out the Top 5 betting favorites for the Federated Auto Parts 400.
The Richmond Raceway is a classic oval track with a lap distance of 0.75 miles. It’s been in usage since 1958 and is a mainstay of the NASCAR circuit. Since 1991, this second Richmond race of the season has been run on Saturday nights in the fall. The following is a breakdown of the Federated Auto Parts 400:
Total Miles: 300 miles
Total Laps: 400 laps
Stage 1: First 100 laps
Stage 2: Second 100 laps
Final Stage: Remaining 200 laps
The Federated Auto Parts 400 is set to begin at 7:30 PM ET and will air live on NBC Sports Network.
With all of the excitement heading into the second race of the playoffs, the following Richmond storylines are worth keeping an eye on:
Will Kyle Busch get revenge for Vegas mishaps?
Can a non-playoff driver win at Richmond?
Which playoff driver will fall below cutoff line due to a poor race?
Will Joe Gibbs Racing win a second playoff race in a row?
Can Team Penske get back to the top of the playoff standings?
Previous Federated Auto Parts 400 Winners
The first fall Richmond race was run in September 1958 and won by Speedy Thompson. Since then, Richard Petty has won the most fall Richmond races with seven career victories. Among active drivers, Denny Hamlin has the most Federated Auto Parts 400 wins with three.
Kyle Busch is the reigning champ and one of nine active drivers that are set to compete in this race on Saturday night. The following is a list of previous winners dating back to 2003:
Ryan Newman in 2003
Jeremy Mayfield in 2004
Kurt Busch in 2005
Kevin Harvick in 2006, 2011
Jimmie Johnson in 2007, 2008
Denny Hamlin in 2009, 2010, 2016
Clint Bowyer in 2012
Carl Edwards in 2013
Brad Keselowski in 2014
Matt Kenseth in 2015
Kyle Larson in 2017
Kyle Busch in 2018
Current Playoff Standings
With Martin Truex’s victory in Las Vegas last weekend, coupled with Kyle Busch’s poor race result, the standings have been dramatically shifted heading into the second playoff race:
The following NASCAR betting odds are courtesy of BetOnline:
Kyle Busch (+325)
Martin Truex Jr (+500)
Denny Hamlin (+600)
Kevin Harvick (+600)
Joey Logano (+700)
Brad Keselowski (+800)
Chase Elliott (+1600)
Erik Jones (+1600)
Kurt Busch (+2000)
Kyle Larson (+2000)
Clint Bowyer (+2200)
Alex Bowman (+4000)
Aric Almirola (+4000)
Ryan Blaney (+4000)
Austin Dillon (+8000)
Daniel Suarez (+8000)
Ryan Newman (+8000)
Matt DiBenedetto (+10000)
According to most NASCAR betting sites, the following drivers are considered the odds on favorites to win the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond:
Martin Truex Jr
Kyle Busch (+325)
Kyle Busch came into the playoffs on top of the standings, but a 19th place result dropped him down to the 4th. It’s the second straight race where Busch has performed poorly as he finished 37th at Indy two races ago.
Busch ran into troubles with lap cars and non-playoff drivers last weekend, which kept him back in the pack. It also infuriated him to where he called out drivers in the media after the race. Although Kyle is in no danger of not advancing to the second round, he will be extra motivated this weekend to win.
Fortunately for Busch, Richmond is a track where he has raced well at. Busch has six wins at Richmond Raceway and took the checkered flag in this race last year. He leads all active drivers with six wins and 17 Top 5’s. He also has the best average finish among active drivers at 7.0.
In his last 10 Richmond appearances, Busch has eight Top 10 results including winning two of the previous three races at this track. Busch finished 8th in the spring race, but did lead 101 laps. I expect Kyle to be a serious contender for the checkered flag on Saturday night.
Martin Truex Jr (+500)
Truex snapped a 10 race winless drought by taking home the checkered flag in Las Vegas last weekend. He led 32 laps and came on strong at the end of the race. The victory automatically advanced Truex to the second round of the playoffs and moved him to the top of the standings.
Richmond hasn’t always been kind to Truex in his career. Although he won the spring race here and finished 3rd in this race last year, he has more DNFs (4) than the other betting favorites combined. Additionally, he has the 3rd worst average finish (18.5) among the 16 playoff drivers.
Truex starts off strong at Richmond, but fades late in the race. This is evident in the last six Richmond races where he’s either led the most or second-most laps in five of them, but has only one victory. I don’t see the same desperation from Truex this weekend as I do his teammates Busch, Hamlin and Jones.
Of the betting favorites, Truex has the least chance of winning especially since he won last weekend at Las Vegas and has never won back to back races in his career.
Of the playoff drivers, Hamlin’s three wins are tied for the second most victories at this track along with Kevin Harvick. Those two are also tied with Jimmie Johnson, who failed to make the playoffs this year, for the second-most Richmond wins among active drivers. Only Kyle Busch has more.
However, unlike Harvick, Johnson and Busch, all three of Hamlin’s wins have come in the fall Richmond race. That should give NASCAR bettors a bit more confidence knowing how well Denny races at this track on Saturday nights.
Over the last eight Richmond races, Hamlin has seven Top 6 finishes. His worst result was 16th in this race last year. He finished 5th in the spring Richmond race but hasn’t won at this track since the fall 2016 race. Hamlin’s 9.4 average finish is the second best among all active drivers.
Denny came into the playoffs as one of the hottest drivers in the sport. Unfortunately, he finished 15th last weekend in Vegas, and it dropped him from 2nd to 7th in the standings. Hamlin will look to bounce back this weekend at one of his best tracks. I expect him to contend for the checkered flag like Busch.
Kevin Harvick (+600)
Right behind Busch and Hamlin is Kevin Harvick with the 3rd best average finish (9.9) at Richmond. As mentioned above, he also has three career wins at this track. Harvick leads all active drivers with 24 Top 10s, is tied with Hamlin having earned three poles, and has raced the most laps at 14,704.
Harvick finished 4th in the spring race this year and 2nd in this fall race last year. In his last 16 Richmond races, Harvick has 11 Top 10s, nine Top 5s, and two victories. Kevin has also led laps in 11 of those races as well.
Unlike Hamlin and Busch, Harvick started the playoffs on a high as he finished 2nd last weekend in Las Vegas behind Truex. It was his 3rd straight Top 4 finish and seventh Top 7 finish in the last eight overall races. During that span, Harvick won three races including at Indy two weeks ago.
Harvick will also be a player this Saturday night. You can expect the #4 car to compete with Joe Gibbs Racing and Team Penske for the win.
Joey Logano (+700)
Speaking of Team Penkse, Joey Logano is the leader of the team and the reigning NASCAR champion. However, he hasn’t won a race in over three months despite leading 105 laps last weekend in Vegas. Since that span, he’s had seven races of finishing 13th or worse. That’s uncharacteristic for Logano.
Richmond has been a track where Joey has done well for himself at. He’s 4th among active drivers with an 11.1 average finish and ended up 2nd in the spring race this year. In his last 11 Richmond races, Logano has 10 Top 10s, nine Top 5s, and two wins.
Joey Logano will lead the charge for Team Penske this weekend as he tries to get his third Richmond win and first fall victory.
The following NASCAR drivers offer betting value for the Federated Auto Parts 400 due to their current betting odds, their past success at Richmond, and their 2019 season so far:
Kurt Busch (+2000)
Like his brother, Kurt Busch was also one of the biggest losers in the standings after crashing out of the South Point 400 last weekend in Las Vegas. He ended up 39th overall and dropped from 8th to 14th in the standings. Busch is currently below the cutoff line to advance to the second round.
It’s desperation time for Busch. He needs a strong running at Richmond this weekend to get back into the Top 12 and put himself in a position to advance to the next round. Fortunately for Kurt, Richmond is a good track for him.
In his last 13 Richmond races, Busch has 11 Top 15s, eight Top 10s, three Top 5s and one win. He finished 11th in the spring race and 18th here last year. So, he will need at least a Top 10 finish this weekend to have any hope of solidifying a spot above the cutoff.
Busch has been up and down over the last four races on the season with two Top 10s and two finishes 30th or worse. His championship hopes are riding on this Saturday’s race.
Kyle Larson (+2000)
Larson came strongly over the summer, working his way up to 9th in the standings heading into the playoffs. It was a significant improvement from 14th just five races ago. Larson raced well last weekend as he finished 8th at Las Vegas and moved up one spot in the standings to 8th overall.
Larson doesn’t have any wiggle room, so he will need to run strong this weekend to remain above the cutoff line. Fortunately, Larson has fared well at Richmond in his career. He won this fall race in 2017 and has 4 Top 10s in 11 starts. His 12.2 average finish is 5th best among active drivers.
Larson did crash in the spring Richmond race this year and ended up 37th overall. However, he raced much better at the end of the season than at the beginning. I can see Larson quietly finishing in the Top 10 this weekend. For a former winner, he offers decent betting value.
Clint Bowyer (+2200)
Only Erik Jones sits lower than Clint Bowyer in the playoff standings. Currently, Bowyer is 15th overall and 21 points below the cutoff. He started on the pole at Las Vegas last weekend but ended up 25th overall. The result snapped a streak of three straight Top 7 finishes.
Like Kurt Busch, Clint Bower needs at least a Top 10 finish to get on the right side of the cutoff line and have any hope of moving on to the second round of the playoffs. And, also like Kurt Busch, Bowyer has run well at Richmond over his career.
Bowyer won this fall race back in 2012, which was his 2nd overall Richmond victory. He has 15 Top 10’s in 27 career starts, and his 12.7 average finish is the 7th best among active drivers. Bowyer was 3rd here in the spring and 10th in this race last year.
Richmond is a track where veteran drivers typically run well at. With that said, I expect Bowyer to lean on his experience at this track and fight for a Top 10 finish.
Top Longshot to win the Federated Auto Parts 400
Ryan Newman at +8000 odds is hands down the best longshot pick for this race. He has seven Top 5s, 19 Top 10s, one victory, and his 12.5 average finish is the 6th best among active drivers. He was 9th here in the spring and 15th last fall. Newman has three Top 9 finishes in the last five Richmond races.
Despite being six points below the cutoff line, Newman improved his position in the standings as he went from 15th to 13th due to his 10th place finish at Las Vegas last weekend. It was his second straight Top 10 result on the year.
Newman is another grizzled veteran like Bowyer and Kurt Busch who are looking to finish in the Top 10 and move above the cutoff line. Out of those three drivers, Newman has the best chance based on his spot in the standings and his average finish at this track.
Keep an eye on the #6 car this weekend as he chases down at least a Top 10 finish.
Federated Auto Parts 400 Prop Bets: Driver Matchups
The following NASCAR prop bets require bettors to pick the winning driver out of head-to-head matchups at Richmond on Saturday, September 21st. These driver matchups and betting odds are courtesy of 5Dimes:
Chase Elliott (-115) vs Erik Jones (-115)
In this battle of two young drivers, Elliott appears to have the advantage heading into Saturday’s race. For starters, he sits 6th in the standings whereas Jones is 16th and 26 points below the cutoff line. Elliott has less pressure to perform this weekend.
With that said, Elliott has more wins, Top 5s, and stage wins on the year compared to Jones. At Richmond, Chase Elliott has more Top 5s, Top 10s, and a better average finish as well. Jones also has one DNF, while Elliott has completed every Richmond appearance.
If we just compare Elliott’s last five races to Jones’ five career races at Richmond, we will see even better numbers for Elliott. Any way you try to divide this up, Elliott comes out the better statistical driver at Richmond. Take Chase Elliott to win in this driver’s matchup.
Winner: Chase Elliott (-115)
Kevin Harvick (-115) vs Martin Truex Jr. (-115)
Martin Truex Jr.
I’ve already laid out the pros and cons of both Harvick and Truex in the betting favorites section above. With that said, when comparing these two drives in a head to head matchup, Harvick comes away as the winner at Richmond.
Although Truex won this race in the spring, Harvick has more wins, Top 5s, Top 10s, and average finish than Truex. Furthermore, Harvick has not completed a race at this track. Truex has 4 DNFs.
Truex won last weekend’s race in Las Vegas but has never been able to win two consecutive races in his career. Not only do I not see Martin Truex Jr. winning this race, but I also don’t see him finishing higher than Harvick on Saturday night.
Take Kevin Harvick to win this head to head battle.
Winner: Kevin Harvick (-115)
Federated Auto Parts 400 Checkered Flag
Richmond’s Saturday night race is going to be a thrilling event where at least five different drivers have a realistic shot at winning this race. When you add the desperation of the playoffs to this mix, the race is going to be intense.
I expect Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer, Chase Elliott, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman or a non-playoff driver like Daniel Suarez to round out the Top 10 drivers on Saturday.
Of these drivers, I believe the winner will come from Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano. Combined, these four drivers have won a total of 14 Richmond races. They’ve also combined to win 12 of the last 20 races at this track.
Of these four, I feel the most confident in Kyle Busch to win. He won here last year and is furious over what happened to him at Las Vegas last weekend. Logano and Harvick ran strong at Vegas last weekend while Hamlin finished 15th and Busch finished 19th.
I expect this race to be a “dog fight” until the end. It will indeed be the best car that wins and I have to side with Joe Gibbs Racing here as they have won 14 of the season’s 27 races. It’s been over three months since Busch has won a race. I believe “Rowdy” will conquer Richmond this weekend and end that drought.
My Top 5 Drivers
Federated Auto Parts 400 Betting Recap
Winner: Kyle Busch (+325)
Kurt Busch (+2000)
Kyle Larson (+2000)
Clint Bowyer (+2200)
Longshot: Ryan Newman (+8000)
Chase Elliott (-115) over Erik Jones
Kevin Harvick (-115) over Martin Truex Jr.
NASCAR Props Challenge for Week 28
Every week, NASCAR releases 10 prop bets for racing fans to choose the right answers to, earn points and possibly win some prizes. For the 28th race of the season, and the second race of the playoffs, there are a few props that I think you should go with:
Will Toyota Win Again This Weekend?
Toyota has won the six of the last eight Richmond races and is the betting favorite to win this weekend with Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin all at the top of the betting odds. If you go back to 2009, Toyota has won 13 of the last 21 Richmond races.
I believe the race winner will either be a Ford or a Toyota. As mentioned, the three drivers above are with Joe Gibbs Racing and they all drive Toyotas. The other two drivers that I expect to compete for the checkered flag drive Fords: Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano.
I am giving the edge to Toyota here because I’m going with Kyle Busch to win the race.
Will Clint Bowyer Finish in the Top 10 for the 4th Straight Richmond Race?
I have Clint Bowyer as a value bet this weekend due to his experience at Richmond and his desperation to move up in the standings. Bowyer currently sits 15th overall and needs a strong run on Saturday night to move above the cutoff line. Another poor performance in this year’s first round of the playoffs could doom him.
I do believe Bowyer will finish in the Top 10 this year, which will make it his 4th straight race with a Top 10 result. Bowyer finished 3rd in this year’s spring race and 10th in last year’s Federated Auto Parts 400.
Let’s also not forget that Clint has two wins at this track and 15 Top 10s in 27 career starts. His Top 10 rate is 55.6% and I believe he will improve on that number this weekend. Take Bowyer to finish in the Top 10.
Prop Bet: Yes, Clint Bowyer will finish in the Top 10 for a 4th straight Richmond race
Over/Under 11.5 Lead Changes
Let’s take a look at recent history for Richmond to see whether we should go with the Over or the Under:
The Over has gone 4-1 in the last 5 races at Richmond.
The Over has gone 8-2 in the last 10 races at Richmond.
The Over has gone 16-4 in the last 20 races at Richmond.
The Over has gone 27-3 in the last 10 races at Richmond.
As you can see, this is a natural choice. The Over is hitting at a 90% rate going all the way back to 2005. I expect this race to have over 11.5 lead chances as several playoff drivers will tightly contest it.
Prop Bet: Over 11.5 lead changes
Which Playoff Driver Below the Cutoff Line Will Finish Higher?
I’m giving the edge to Kurt Busch in this driver battle. Erik Jones is a very talented young driver, but he’s only scored one Top 10 in five appearances. That’s a rate of 20% whereas Kurt Busch has a 40% rate with 15 Top 10s in 27 career appearances.
However, Busch has been stellar at this track over the last 10 races. During that span, he has one victory, six Top 10s, seven Top 15s, and his worst finish was just 18th overall.
I believe Kurt Busch will be a Top 10 car this weekend while Jones floats between 12 and 15. For this prop bet, take Kurt to finish higher.
Prop Bet: Kurt Busch will have the higher finish
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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