How to make a good fantasy pick for Richmond
1) Look at past Richmond races. The series last visited Richmond in April and due to its nature of being a skill track the results of past races should be taken very seriously. Don’t look back anymore then a few years though. My absolute cut off line would be the first Richmond COT race.
2) It’s also important to look at recent results at similar tracks. Similar tracks to Richmond are New Hampshire and Phoenix. Bristol and Martinsville are short tracks but there not similar Richmond. Back in the old car days in 2005 after Kurt Busch won Mark Martin was very excited. Not because of his “Salute to you tour” wrapping up but because he would be using Kurt Busch’s chassis the following week at New Hampshire.
3) Qualifying matters at Richmond. I’m not a race car mechanic but I do watch the races. I believe qualifying setups are not that much different than race setups (at this type of track).
4) I rank practice fourth in terms how you should go about making an informed fantasy pick this week. Both Richmond practices will be run during the middle of the day and both are before qualifying. (Weekend Schedule of events)
Facebook.com/ifantasyrace <– I like it
Drivers to watch at Richmond
Kyle Busch – In the last five Richmond races Kyle Busch has three wins and has finished in the top five every race. In these five races he has led 514 laps and has had success in every meaningful loop data category (2nd place average finish, 4th place average mid race running position, 5th place average running position, 125.9 driver rating). His success at Richmond isn’t just a recent thing. In his thirteen races here he’s only finished outside the top five twice. His 4.9 average finish puts him in nearly a league of his own. In April Kyle Busch won, led more than half the race (235 laps), and had a stellar driver rating (143.1).
Denny Hamlin – Hamlin is a serious competitor every time NASCAR visits his home track. Denny Hamlin needs a solid race at Richmond so there’s high probability he won’t go all out for the win. Hamlin has the second best average finish in the series at Richmond (7.5) and he’s won the last two regular season finales. In the spring race this year he finished second, led 38 laps and he was the only driver who ran the entire race inside the top fifteen.
Jeff Gordon – Jeff Gordon used to be an unusable fantasy driver at Richmond. Bad things used to happen to him all the time. Earlier this year he finished 39th because he was involved in a wreck. At the midpoint of the race he was in first place and in my judgment he had a top three car. Before his wreck his Yahoo! race chart was very similar to Denny Hamlin’s. Since 2007 Gordon has finished in the top twelve every race with the exception of this springs race.
Jimmie Johnson – Jimmie Johnson is either a hero or a zero at Richmond. He has a few middle ground finishes but not many. Johnson has three wins but seven finishes of 20th or worse. The positives about Johnson are that he’s been finding his Chase form in recent weeks and he’s finished 11th or better in the last four races here. Earlier this year Johnson started 30th and finished 8th.
Ryan Newman – Richmond is a Ryan Newman track. He’s always been a natural here and on other similar tracks throughout his career. Newman won in 2003 and finished second in his first two starts at this short track. At New Hampshire this year Newman took the checkered flag and at Richmond’s other similar track Phoenix Newman visited victory lane there last year. You can pencil Newman in for a good finish.
To see my full rankings at Richmond check out my Wonderful Pistachios 400 Fantasy Preview
VegasInsider.com odds to win at Richmond
Kyle Busch 9/2, Denny Hamlin 6/1, Carl Edwards 6/1, Jimmie Johnson 7/1, Jeff Gordon 8/1, Kevin Harvick 8/1, Tony Stewart 10/1, Greg Biffle 12/1, Matt Kenseth 12/1, Brad Keselowski 14/1, Kurt Busch 16/1
FantasyRacingCheatSheet.com momentum over the last five races
1)Brad Keselowski 2)Jimmie Johnson 3)Jeff Gordon 4)Kyle Busch 5)Martin Truex Jr. 6)Ryan Newman 7)Matt Kenseth 8)AJ Allmendinger 9)Carl Edwards 10)Kevin Harvick
Racing4Glory.com Stat Center