This Sunday, NASCAR will race at Richmond, “The Action Track!” There wasn’t a lot of action last year with zero cautions for “on track incidents”, but 2021 has been wild so I’m sure that will change!
Richmond is a .75 mile oval that I classify as a “Shorter-Flat Track.” Other shorter-flat tracks that have correlation to Richmond are Phoenix and New Hampshire. With Phoenix already visited this year, make sure you go back and study how drivers performed there (Phoenix Spring 2021 Loop Data Box Score, Total Speed Rankings, Green Flag Speed and Fastest Drivers Late In A Run).
In terms of variables I want in a fantasy pick for Richmond I want ….
- Drivers who’ve been strong at shorter flat tracks (Track Type Total Speed Rankings)
- Drivers with a great recent track record at Richmond
- Drivers who are performing at a high-level right now (Total Speed Ranking Momentum)
- Starting near the front
This year at ifantasyrace.com we’re committed to writing about the full field every week. In previous weeks, “Super Low-Tier” drivers were in this post. Now they have their own separate post, so check it out! Super Low Tier – Richmond.
Here’s the STARTING LINEUP for Richmond.
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Richmond Fantasy NASCAR Rankings
1) Martin Truex Jr. (Starting – 1st)
Richmond Fantasy Spin – At Richmond, the road to victory lane goes thru Martin Truex. He’s won 2 of the last 3 Richmond races, and since 2018 he hasn’t finished lower than 3rd. In terms of outright performance at Richmond, Truex has been absolutely stellar. Since 2017 in our member exclusive PROS Rankings he’s been #1 three-times, and in every race he’s ranked in the top 3. One key attribute I like about Truex is how strong he’s been at shorter-flat tracks. Over the last four races on this track type, Truex has 1 win, 3 top fives and a 4.0 average finish. At Phoenix this spring where the level of correlation is high, Truex dominated in the desert leading 64 laps and racing his way to victory lane. On Sunday, look for Truex to finish in the top five and compete for the win.
Richmond Track History – Martin Truex Jr. has performed at an exceptionally high level at Richmond. In 6 of the last 8 races here he’s led +109 laps or more per race! Over the last four combined Richmond races, Truex has a 1.8 average finish and a 3.9 average running position. Last fall, Truex had a great race. In the event he finished 7th in Stage #1, 3rd in Stage #2, and 2nd overall. In terms of speed analytics, Truex was tied for having the 4th best Total Speed Ranking and ranked as the 4th Fastest Driver Late In A Run. In fall 2019, Truex had the field covered and easily raced his way to victory lane, despite spinning out while leading on lap 315 (only dropped him back to 3rd). In the race he won Stage #1, finished 2nd in Stage #2, led 109 laps and earned the best driver rating. In spring 2019, Truex had a phenomenal car. In addition to finishing first he earned the best driver rating, had a 2nd place average running position, led 186 laps, finished 3rd in Stage #1 and 2nd in Stage #2. In 2018, Truex was a serious threat to win both races. In fall 2018, nobody was better than Truex. In the race he won Stage #1, won Stage #2, led 163 laps but finished a misleading 3rd. During the caution for Stage #2 (which he just won), his team had an uncontrolled tire which dropped him to the back of the field. In spring 2018, Truex had a great car but finished an asterisk mark 14th. In the race he led the most laps (121), had a 4th place average running position and earned the 5th best driver rating. A slow pit stop with about 10 laps to go dropped him from 2nd to 9th, and then during a late caution with under 5 laps to go he pitted from 8th because his car was overheating.
DraftKings $11,400 / FanDuel $14,000
2) Kyle Larson (Starting – 6th)
Richmond Fantasy Spin – Kyle Larson will be a contender at Richmond. At “The action Track”, Larson is a former winner and in 5 of his last 6 races he’s finished in the top 7. In the #5 car, I think there’s no question he’ll be a factor. This spring at Phoenix which is a similar track, Larson started in the back and had multiple self-inflicted mistakes but still managed to finish 7th. His Total Speed Ranking in that event was the 4th best. If Larson would’ve had an incident free race, I think he could’ve won because his car was that strong.
Richmond Track History – Kyle Larson has been strong at Richmond. Last year, Larson obviously missed the race. In fall 2019 when he had his most recent race, Larson finished 6th and had a 9.3 average running position. In spring 2019, Larson finished 37th after having a flat tire and crashing. He didn’t run well in that race and was in a slump at the time. At the moment of his demise he was running around 17th. In 2018, Larson swept the top ten and had a pair of 7th place results. In fall 2017, Larson had a great performance and raced his way to victory lane. In addition to winning he earned the best driver rating, had a 3rd place average running position, led 53 laps, finished 2nd in Stage #1 and 6th in Stage #2. I will note if there wasn’t a late caution, Larson was poised to finish 2nd.
DraftKings $10,300 / FanDuel $11,200
3) Joey Logano (Starting – 5th)
Richmond Fantasy Spin – Joey Logano is a two-time winner at Richmond who should prominently be on your fantasy NASCAR radar. It’s been a great track for Logano and in 5 of the last 7 races he’s finished in the top 4. Since 2014 at “The Action Track” (13 races), Logano only has two results outside the top ten and those are finishes of 11th and 14th. One attribute I love about Logano is how strong he’s been at shorter-flat tracks. Since 2020 at shorter-flat tracks, Logano has finished in the top 4 every race, has a series best 2.6 average finish and his Track Type Total Speed Ranking is the 2nd best. At Phoenix this spring, Logano finished 2nd and had the best Total Speed Ranking. On Sunday, look for Logano to be a top five contender who’ll be a factor to win.
Richmond Track History – Joey Logano has performed at a high-level at Richmond on a consistent basis and since 2017 he has a series best 5.4 average finish. Last fall, Logano had a good performance. In the race he finished 3rd in Stage #1, 4th in Stage #2, led 45 laps, had a 2.8 average running position and finished 3rd when the checkered flag waved. In terms of speed analytics, Logano had the 4th best Total Speed Ranking, the 4th best Green Flag Speed and was the 9th Fastest Driver Late In A Run. In fall 2019, Logano was shockingly uncompetitive and finished 11th. His lack of performance was surprising when you take into account his spring 2019 performance where he finished runner-up. In addition to finishing 2nd in spring 2019, Logano finished 2nd in Stage #1, won Stage #2, had a 3rd place average running position and led 52 laps. In fall 2018, Logano finished 14th, in the three races prior to that he had results of 4th, 2nd and 1st.
DraftKings $10,600 / FanDuel $12,500