The High Line – Cup Series – Toyota Owners 400 – Richmond Raceway – March 31, 2024


It’s Easter Sunday and we’re racing under the lights. It’s safe to say that we’re getting into the meat and potatoes of the NASCAR Cup Series season heading to Richmond Raceway, one of the premier short tracks on the schedule. Richmond is known for aggressive tire wear putting an emphasis on the drivers to take care of those tires an to have good, clean pit stops and rely on pit strategy. A wrinkle to consider this week is the new short track package and new tire on this track. This will be the same short track package that was run at Phoenix with Richmond being a very similar track. The drivers will turn 400 laps totaling 300 miles in a race where dominator points will be at the forefront. On top of dominator points and the ever-common place differential points, this is a place where track position is key and thus performance from the pit crews on pit road will be imperative.


This race has the most dominator points available to this point meaning that we’ll need to make a point to have multiple drivers in our lineups that will lead a good chunk of laps. Last year Kyle Larson led 93 laps when he dominated enroute to a win. In the fall Brad Keselowski led the most laps (102), Bubba Wallace led 80 laps, and race-winner Chris Buescher led 88 laps. Two years ago at the first race here Ryan Blaney (128), William Byron (122), Martin Truex, Jr (80), and Christopher Bell (63) led the chunk of the laps at Richmond with none of the four winning, that title went to Denny Hamlin. In the second race, Joey Logano (222) owned this race en route to a 6th place finish. The race at Richmond before that two drivers (Martin Truex, Jr, the eventual winner, and Denny Hamlin) led 80 or more laps. The race prior, the same two drivers led 107 or more laps with Truex leading the 107 and Hamlin leading a staggering 207 laps.

Most comparable tracks: New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Phoenix Raceway

*Note: all pricing is DraftKings focused

Top Drivers

Martin Truex, Jr, ($10,800), Starting 7th

2023 NASCAR Season Win Totals Best Bets (Martin Truex Jr.)

This is one of Truex’s best track as he’s posted three wins here and nine top-fives in 33 trips to Richmond. Truex has led 80 or more laps in nine of his last 12 races here with six top-three finishes over that span. At similar track Phoenix, Truex has a win and six top-five’s in his career. Interestingly enough, all three of MTS’s wins here have come at night which of course, this race is under the lights. The driver of the 19 car has been the model of consistency so far this season as far a running and finishing positions go. MTJ has had average running position of 8.3 and an average finish of 8.8.

Kyle Busch ($9,700), Starting 15th

This is a track, much like Bristol, that Kyle Busch has absolutely stood out at. There’s been a mind boggling stat floating around and it’s that KB has run 36 races at this short track and in those races has run all but one lap, meaning he’s finished every race on the lead-lap except for one, which is staggering on a short track. Overall in Cup Busch has six wins, 19 top-five, and 28 top-10’s here. Despite starting middle of the pack at 15th, there’s a route for KB to get to the front and lead laps making him a potential dominator with place differential points available.

Kyle Larson ($10,200), Starting on the Pole

Kyle Larson has eight top-10’s at Richmond, the most for him at any short track. Furthermore Larson has finished in the top six in his last seven short track races. Overall at Richmond Larson has two wins, four top-fives, and eight top-10’s. This will be his fourth time starting on the pole here, his third time since being the driver of the number 5 car. Despite Hendrick Motorsports having mixed results across the board over that last few years at Richmond, Larson is poised to dominate this race early.

Tyler Reddick ($8,700), Starting 19th

Reddick’s season has been up and down for sure and on paper so have his results at this track and most of the short tracks on the circuit. Tyler has one short track top-five in his career. At Richmond last Fall Reddick started on the pole and finished 16th but that finish can be considered somewhat artificial. In that race Reddick won the pole like I said and won stage one while leading 81 laps. However, a late-race green flag pit stop penalty did him in after he slid through the pit box. It was too late in the race for him to get back up front and thus the 16th-place finish. Reddick could be a dark horse top-five finisher today.

Brad Keselowski ($8,200), Starting 23rd

Keselowski has now gone 104 races without a win but this has historically been a good track for him. BK has won here twice in 28 starts along with having six top-five’s and 14 top-10’s. Keselowski has back to back top-10’s here including a sixth-place finish last Fall when he led 102 laps. Lastly, the drive and co-owner of the 6 car has led 1,280 laps at this track, the most for him of any track he’s run in his Cup career.

Christopher Bell ($11,000), Starting 29th

Bell had a poor qualifying effort here but that’s not uncommon for him over his Cup Series career at this track. In seven starts at Richmond, Bell has posted an average starting position of 17.7 and over his last four runs here has qualified 21st, 21st, 29th and now he’ll start 29th again. In those previous races he’s finished second, fourth, and 20th. Overall, Bell has an average finishing position of 7.7 here with four top-fives, and five top-10’s.

Denny Hamlin ($11,200), Starting 11th

Hamlin has been great here over his career with four wins, 18 top-fives, and 22 top-10’s. He’s also fourth all-time in laps led at this track with 2,226. Hamlin could’ve won both races here last year but on both occasion’s he had subtle mistakes, one on pit road, that kept him from bringing home the trophy. With how this track wears on equipment, most notably tires, it’ll make the drivers that can take care of those tires stand out. As we saw earlier this season at Bristol, where tire wear was a major concern, Hamlin hung in there and took care of his car the best en route to a victory.

Josh Berry ($7,500), Starting 30th

Berry is considered one of the better short track drivers in the garage. Berry started the first Richmond race last season subbing in for the injured Chase Elliott. In that race, Berry started 30th, led 10 laps, and ended up finishing second just behind Kyle Larson. Earlier this season Berry finished 12th at Bristol and led 25 laps in a race filled with chaos. Berry, who is a rookie in the Cup Series showed well at Richmond at the XFINITY level posting an average finish of 10.3 but there’s a 24th-place finish mixed in when Berry drove a poor Jordan Anderson car. In his other three races there at that level, Berry, in his JR Motorsports car finished third, seventh, and seventh.

Chase Briscoe ($7,600), Started 32nd

Briscoe has qualified well all season outside two races with this weekend being one of them. This has been a good track of late for Briscoe finishing 11th and 12th in his last two trips here while also having another 11th-place finish under his belt. There’s a lot of room for place differential points here for Briscoe.

Others to Consider:

Chase Elliott ($9,000), Starting 2nd

Chris Buescher ($9,300), Starting 14th

Michael McDowell ($7,000), Starting 31st

Ty Gibbs ($10,000), Starting 8th