We’re staying in Virginia this weekend, as the NASCAR Cup Series makes the trek from Martinsville to Richmond for the Toyota Owners 400 on Sunday. Richmond Raceway is another flat track, although a little bit larger than Martinsville, as it comes in at 0.75 miles in length and is D-shaped. Like many flat tracks, we see many of the same faces finish up front here time after time, so don’t be surprised if the same thing happens this weekend. For NASCAR Fantasy players, this can be a good thing, because it’s pretty easy to make picks.

Joe Gibbs Racing has won four of the last five Richmond races, but it was Team Penske grabbing the win here last season, as Brad Keselowski went to victory lane here last September. He was followed to the line by, you guessed it: a Joe Gibbs Racing driver (Martin Truex, Jr.). The #19 Toyota and Truex will be on the pole for this weekend’s race with his teammate, Denny Hamlin, alongside.

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Flat Tracks

You should know the gist by now, as this weekend’s Toyota Owners 400 is the third flat track race of the season. We know who is going to be good on Sunday, as we know who is good at flat tracks and who is good at Richmond specifically. The most similar track to Richmond is Phoenix, which the Cup Series raced at a month ago, and then the other flat tracks at New Hampshire and Martinsville (where we just raced at last weekend). Below you will find the loop data from this year’s Phoenix race, this year’s Martinsville race, and last year’s Richmond race.

RaceLoop Data
Box Score
Green Flag
Speed
Phoenix (2021)Click hereClick here
Martinsville (2021)Click hereClick here
Richmond (2020)Click hereClick here

Pre-Race Loop Data Box Score for Richmond

Click image to enlarge and download pdf

The Favorites

Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Martin Truex, Jr. – Truex opened as the 4-to-1 favorite for this weekend’s race at Richmond, and really that actually has some value when you consider how he’s running on flat tracks right now as well as his history here at Richmond Raceway specifically. Over the last eight races at this track, Truex has led 100+ laps in six of those events, and over the last four he’s finished 3rd or better in every single one (he also went to victory lane twice here in 2019). Looking at flat tracks this season, Truex has won at both Phoenix and Martinsville thus far, and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if he went 3-for-3 on them this weekend in Richmond.

Denny Hamlin – Hamlin is a three-time Richmond winner but hasn’t gone to victory lane here since 2016. Still, he’s been a constant top 5 threat at this track and has finished 6th or better in eight of the last ten races here in Richmond. This season, Hamlin’s incredibly strong start continued last week at Martinsville, as he notched his seventh top 5 finish in the first eight races, although he has yet to win in 2021. That could change this weekend. I actually really like Hamlin’s value at +600 this weekend, as much as that pains me to say it. Denny has had the best Green Flag Speed in both flat track races this year but just hasn’t been able to seal the deal. That could change on Sunday.

Joey Logano – Richmond is a strong track for Joey Logano, and even though he disappointed fantasy owners quite a bit at Martinsville last weekend–you can probably blame the Jordan Jinx for that–there’s no reason to think that JoLo won’t be a contender here on Sunday. Over the last seven races at this track, Joey has finished 4th or better five times, and he’s a two-time winner in his career here (in 2017 and in 2014). Logano also tends to find his way to the front eventually at this track, although I will note a bit of a weird pattern he has going on right now: Logano has led 25+ laps in every other race here at Richmond for the last four years. If that trend holds true this weekend, he won’t find the lead on Sunday, but Joey should still be a solid fantasy pick.

Underdogs

Austin Dillon 2019 Daytona 500 Fantasy NASCAR
Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Christopher Bell – I’m not going to bite on Christopher Bell’s 28-to-1 odds to win the Toyota Owners 400 on Sunday, but I wouldn’t mind putting some money on him in top 5 and top 10 props, not to mention head-to-heads, which I already did (one of my biggest bets this year–click here to see it). I really like what I’m seeing out of this #20 team on the flat tracks this year, as Bell was 8th in Green Flag Speed at Phoenix last month and 6th in Green Flag Speed at Martinsville last week. Here at Richmond, CBell finished 15th in his Leavine Family Racing Toyota last year, which is noteworthy considering the equipment he was in. Looking at the Xfinity Series, Bell was absolutely dominant here at Richmond, winning three of his five starts and leading 457 of the 1,250 laps he made.

Austin Dillon – Honestly, I might throw some money down on Austin Dillon to win at 40-to-1 this weekend. This #3 Chevrolet could’ve easily gone to victory lane here at Richmond last season, that’s how good it looked. Austin finished 4th in that race after an early penalty, but he now has three finishes of 6th or better in the last four races at this track, and that #3 Chevrolet looked stout at Martinsville again last weekend. If you have followed me for very long, you probably know my thoughts on Austin Dillon, so the fact that I’m thinking this highly of him for Sunday’s race at Richmond is quite notable.

Daniel Suarez – On Sunday, don’t be surprised if Daniel Suarez has top 15 potential when this race is all said and done. It’s hard to compare his current equipment to his Gibbs and Stewart-Haas days, but it’s noteworthy that Suarez posted three top 10 finishes here at Richmond across six starts with those two organizations and never had a finish worse than 18th. We’ve seen Suarez have more speed than anticipated in almost every race this season so there’s no reason to think he’s going to be slow here on Sunday.

Richmond Toyota Owners 400 Betting Odds

As of Wednesday afternoon, DraftKings Sportsbook had the following odds listed to win Saturday’s race at Martinsville Speedway.

  • Martin Truex, Jr. +400
  • Denny Hamlin +600
  • Brad Keselowski +700
  • Kyle Larson +800
  • Joey Logano +800
  • Chase Elliott +850
  • Kyle Busch +900
  • Kevin Harvick +1100
  • Ryan Blaney +1600
  • William Byron +2000
  • Christopher Bell +2800
  • Alex Bowman +3300
  • Kurt Busch +3500
  • Austin Dillon +4000
  • Tyler Reddick +6600
  • Aric Almirola +8000
  • Matt DiBenedetto +8000
  • Ryan Newman +10000
  • Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. +10000
  • Bubba Wallace +10000
  • Cole Custer +12500
  • Erik Jones +15000
  • Daniel Suarez +15000
  • Chase Briscoe +20000
  • Chris Buescher +20000
  • Michael McDowell +20000
  • Austin Cindric +20000
  • Ross Chastain +25000
  • Ryan Preece +35000
  • Corey LaJoie +75000
  • Anthony Alfredo +100000
  • Quin Houff +150000
  • Josh Bilicki +150000
  • Cody Ware +150000
  • James Davison +150000
  • Justin Haley +150000
  • BJ McLeod +150000
  • Garrett Smithley +150000
As someone who has always been obsessed with numbers, Fantasy NASCAR has been the perfect fit with me. I pride myself on the quality of my analysis for each race, and am glad that I have been able to help others along the way. I've been a serious Fantasy NASCAR player for over 10 years now, and I'm just getting started.