NASCAR Sprint Cup SeriesSaturday, April 26 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Toyota Owners 400
Richmond International Raceway – Richmond, VA
After a week off, the NASCAR circuit resumes in Virginia this weekend for the Toyota Owners 400. This Saturday night race at Richmond International Raceway will be the first of two Sprint Cup races at this track with the other coming up Sept. 6 leading into the Chase for the Cup. This short track is just ¾ miles long configured in a tri-oval shape. Completed in 1968, Richmond has 14° banking on the turns, 8° banking on the 1,290-foot frontstretch and a nearly-flat 2° banking on the 860-foot backstretch. Kyle Busch has won four of the past five spring races at this track, but Kevin Harvick took home the checkered flag last spring before Carl Edwards won the fall race.
Odds to Win Race
|Dale Earnhardt Jr.||15-to-1|
|Martin Truex Jr.||75-to-1|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||200-to-1|
|FIELD (Any other driver)||500-to-1|
Drivers to WatchClint Bowyer (15/1) - If any driver is going to beat Kyle Busch to victory lane, it will be the 2012 fall champion, Clint Bowyer, who also won at this track in 2008, and has an average finish of 10.1 in 16 starts in Richmond. Bowyer has always excelled at short tracks with 12 top-5's and 28 top-10's in 50 career starts in these types of races, and he's also raced much better recently with a 9.7 average finish and 17 laps led in his past three starts. Bowyer is the driver with the most value on Saturday and is our pick to win this race.
Kyle Busch (6/1) - Busch has struggled in his past three starts at this track, placing 16th, 24th and 19th, but you can't forget what he did before that with 13 top-6 showings in a 15-race span, including four victories and four runner-ups. After struggling to a 17.0 average finish in his first four races this season, the M&M's sponsored car has been outstanding in the past four starts with a win at Fontana, a pole at Martinsville, a 3rd-place showing in Texas and a 6th-place finish last week. He won't make you a fortune with his small odds, but Busch is clearly the best chalk pick for Saturday night.
Greg Biffle (40/1) - If you're looking for a darkhorse, place a small wager on Biffle, whose odds have doubled from last spring at this track when he went off at 20-to-1. Although he has never won in Richmond, Biffle does have six top-10's, a pair of top-5 finishes, and has led for multiple laps in five different starts at this short track. Biffle has also turned his season around, shooting up from 20th to 11th in the points standings over the past three weeks thanks to back-to-back, top-6 finishes at Fort Worth and Darlington.
Kasey Kahne (15/1) - Kahne is another driver with much more favorable odds this spring compared to last (8-to-1), making him worthy of some attention. He has won this race in the past -- albeit back in 2005 -- but also has three other top-5 showings, the most recent of which occurred in 2012. In his 62 career starts on short tracks, Kahne has knocked out a dozen top-5 finishes and 21 top-10 showings. He's also desperate to climb back up the points standings after last week's crash at Darlington.
Martin Truex Jr. (75/1) - The best longshot on the board for Saturday night is Truex Jr., who garnered much less favorable 20-to-1 odds last spring in Richmond. Truex has either started or finished in the top-10 in each of his past four races at this track, including a 7th-place showing last fall. He has five career top-5's on short tracks, and he's due for a breakout race in what has been a disappointing season so far, with his best finish being a 14th-place showing in Las Vegas. Don't bet more than one unit, but if you have money to spare and are looking for the big payday, Truex Jr. should race near the front of the pack and give himself a chance at victory.