By Gary Walstrom
The Federated Auto Parts 400 Salute to First Responders atRichmond Raceway is set for Saturday September 11 at 7:30 PM. Tune in on NBCSN,MRN radio, or SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90 to catch Saturday night’saction.
Race two of round one of the playoffs. Some big name playoffdrivers are already on the bubble. Now it’s time for Saturday night short trackracing. Richmond Raceway, known as America’s Premier Short Track is a ¾ mile “D” shape asphalt oval. The track has 14 degree banking in the turns, slightlysteeper than last week’s track, Martinsville, but it is still known as a flattrack. Drivers who ran fast/well at Martinsville and Phoenix should be foaming at the mouth ready to put on another great performance.
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Alex Bowman (-118 FanDuel) vs. Brad Keselowski- What a roughday for Bowman. From start to finish, he had radio issues, trouble with theengine; he drove it into the fence, and he had another flat tire after that. Everything that could go wrong for Bowman did. Even if Bowman didn’t have allof those problems, it would have been tough to beat Keselowski who had a solid day, finishing 7th.
Twitter H2H Matchup – Tyler Reddick (+105 BetOnline) vs.Kurt Busch- Reddick looked good early on, but Busch was much stronger fromstart to finish. As the race went on Reddick started to fade and Busch stayed strong. Busch finished 6th while Reddick finished 18th. Tough weekend of NASCAR betting.
Drivers to Look Out For
Martin Truex Jr (+550 FanDuel)- He swept both races here in2018, and since then has finished 2nd (2020) and 5th(April 2021). Over the last five races here, he has an average finish of 2.4. TruexJr has been the 5th fastest car since 2020 on short flat tracksusing the 750 HP package. Back in April, Treux Jr had the fastest car here, and that includes green flag speed and fastest late in a run. In that race, Truexfinished second in Stage #1 and 2, led 107 laps, but late in the race wascaught speeding on pit road. If not for the pit road speeding penalty he would have had a great shot at winning. Don’t count out the #19 Toyota Camry tonight.
Denny Hamlin (+600 FanDuel)- Another JGR car, Hamlin hasbeen quite impressive at Richmond. In the last eleven races at Richmond, he hasonly finished outside the top 10 twice (16th 2018, 12th2020). While he only has one win during that span he has finished inside thetop 5 seven times! This year at short flat tracks, Hamlin has had the besttotal speed ranking, the best driver rating and an average running position of 5.4. Coming off a win last week, don’t expect Hamlin to slow down and take it easy this week. He can really gain some momentum by winning back-to-back in the playoffs!
Joey Loggano (+950 FanDuel)- Since 2017 (eighth races),Logano has finished outside the top 10 twice (14th in 2018, 11thin 2019). Outside of those two races, he has finished inside the top 5. He haswon here twice, in 2017 and 2017 so he knows how to find victory lane. Whenanalyzing shorter flat track 750 HP speed ranking, Joey Logano is our fastestguy. Team Penske in general have been pretty fast at 750 HP tracks. Back in April, Lognao was the leader when the final caution came out. He just couldn’t bring home the win. The one stat I found interesting courtesy of Ryan Rantz, Lognao will start 6th tonight. When Lognao starts 6th or better, he has an average finish of 2.6!
Best Value Bet
Joey Logano (-105 DraftKings) vs. Kyle Busch- The pressureis on for Kyle Busch. After a poor performance last Sunday night, he needs awin. If you heard his interview, he was very frustrated. Basically he called his car setup a piece of junk. While his track history has been impressive, wonboth races in 2018, the last four races at Richmond Busch has finished 8th,6th, 2nd and 8th. If we compare Logano’s finishes, Lognao has finished ahead of Busch in three out of the last fourRichmond races. Logano had better speed than Busch as Logano ranked third andBusch ranked sixth back in April. As I mentioned before, Lognao ranks first in short flat track 750 HP speed since 2020. Busch ranks 4th in thatcategory. I like Lognao contending for a win while Busch is fighting for a top 10 finish. I love betting a matchup of two drivers who strongly dislike each other. Short track racing means a lot of bumping and “moving out of the way”.It’s going to be a fun night, let’s try to cash this ticket with the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Mustang!