Written by Adrian Beecher
The Monster Energy Cup Series takes to Richmond Raceway this weekend fresh off a wild four day weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway, where Kyle Busch took home to coveted gladiator sword. The last time to series was in Richmond, Kyle Larson took home the checkered flag under caution, beating out 2nd place Joey Logano, who actually won last years spring race at Richmond.
Neither Joey nor Larson have been able to get into victory lane this season to this point, but that is not due to a lack of trying. Larson has 3 top fives and four top tens in the nine races this season, putting him ninth in the overall season standings. Logano sits just behind points leader Kyle Busch in 2nd. He is 59 points behind Busch after two top-five finishes and a NASCAR leading seven top ten finishes, tied only with Kyle Busch.
Combined, Busch, Larson, and Logano have won 6 of the last 25 races at Richmond and Busch has finished 18 times in the top ten. So, all three of these drivers would be great picks to take the checkered flag come Saturday night. However, don’t sleep on 2018’s winningest driver thus far, Kevin Harvick. Siting 3rd in the points standings after being docked 20 points in Las Vegas for a violation of his rear window support braces failing during the race. Give him those 20 points back and he would be 2nd in the series standings, just 55 points behind Kyle Busch.
Harvick has seen victory lane three times at Richmond Raceway in his 34 appearances. Last season in the spring race he took home a 5th place finish, adding to the success at the track that he averages a top 10 finish at.
Darrell Wallace (21st) and William Byron (19th) sit been mid-pack overall this season in points. Byron has had the more consistent season, averaging an 18th place finish in the eight races thus far, with only one top ten finish coming two weeks ago in Texas. His worst finish of the season came in Las Vegas where he came in 27th. Bubba, on the other hand, has been all over the board so far. He touts the only rookie top 5 this season, coming at Daytona with a 2nd place finish, as well as adding a 2nd top ten finish in Texas. Despite that success, he also has two races this season that he finished outside the top 30 and averages a 20th place finish so far this season.
Previously in the Xfinity series, both drivers have just one top ten finish. For Wallace, it comes in 6 appearances. Byron however, snagged the top ten in his lone race at Richmond.
Where to Tune In
The 2018 Toyota Owners 400 will see a drop of the green flag around 6:30 pm EST Saturday, April 21st from Richmond Raceway. You can watch the race on TV by tuning into your local FOX station or listen to the race on MRN. If you are out and about this weekend, you can follow @TheSkyBoat on Twitter for updates all weekend and follow along with our coverage here.