Boy did the 2021 NASCAR Playoffs get started off with a kick at Darlington last weekend. With many Championship-contending drivers having issues last Sunday night, we’re now on to Richmond Raceway and the Federated Auto Parts 400. You shouldn’t expect much craziness to happen in this weekend’s race, and if all goes “normal,” it’s setting up to be an exciting Bristol next weekend with the Round 2 cut looming. As far as Richmond goes, it’s a short, flat track and these are very predictable and generally we don’t see any drivers have major issues.

The algorithm predicted finishing order has been updated after the news of Kyle Larson and Cole Custer failing inspection and being forced to start in the rear.

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How the algorithm works: There are quite a few statistics that go into the Power Index formula, including recent performance both overall and at this week’s track specifically, similar track performance, projected strength of the car, practice speeds (when applicable), starting position, and a few other variables.

Before We Get To The Algorithm Results…Thoughts On A Couple Drivers

Aric Almirola Smithfield Ford at New Hampshire Motor Speedway 2021
Photo Credit: James Gilbert/Getty Images

Aric Almirola – No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you; the Algorithm has Aric Almirola predicted to finish inside the top 10 on Saturday night. Short, flat tracks are Almirola’s strong suit, and in addition to getting the win at New Hampshire earlier this year, AA hasn’t finished worse than 13th on this track type over the last two years. For a driver of in Almirola’s position, that is well beyond expectations. So what I’m getting at here is simple: don’t sleep on Aric Almirola this Saturday night, just like we told you to not sleep on him at New Hamphire.

Ryan Blaney – Some people may not be surprised by the 9th-place ranking of Ryan Blaney by the Algorithm this weekend, but if you know his track record here at Richmond Raceway, you know that that prediction doesn’t really seem right. For whatever reason, Ryan Blaney just isn’t good at Richmond. The good news for Young Ryan Blaney fans, though, is that he’s getting better. Still, his 11th-place finish here back in April is his only top 15 in ten career starts at this track. The weird thing, though, is that Blaney runs extremely well at other short, flat tracks, so you have to think his “breakout” performance here at Richmond is coming soon…

Federated Auto Parts 400 Algorithm Predicted Finishing Order

RankDriverPower
Index
1.Truex, Jr., Martin39.97
2.Hamlin, Denny39.32
3.Logano, Joey38.34
4.Harvick, Kevin35.10
5.Keselowski, Brad33.61
6.Larson, Kyle33.47
7.Elliott, Chase33.34
8.Busch, Kyle32.77
9.Blaney, Ryan29.84
10.Almirola, Aric29.69
11.Byron, William29.27
12.Bowman, Alex28.35
13.Bell, Christopher27.87
14.Busch, Kurt27.69
15.Reddick, Tyler22.47
16.Dillon, Austin22.39
17.DiBenedetto, Matt15.69
18.Stenhouse, Jr., Ricky11.78
19.Chastain, Ross08.52
20.McDowell, Michael-04.67
21.Buescher, Chris-05.82
22.Suarez, Daniel-08.63
23.Newman, Ryan-09.08
24.Wallace, Bubba-11.99
25.Preece, Ryan-12.90
26.LaJoie, Corey-19.53
27.Briscoe, Chase-20.40
28.Custer, Cole-21.02
29.Jones, Erik-24.74
30.Haley, Justin-29.90
31.Alfredo, Anthony-30.97
32.McLeod, BJ-35.97
33.Yeley, JJ-37.35
34.Smithley, Garrett-39.01
35.Bilicki, Josh-40.43
36.Houff, Quin-40.62
37.Gase, Joey-41.23
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.

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