|Kyle Busch has 6 wins at Richmond.|
The 'due factor theory' is one of the lamest gambling excuses ever, but when Kyle Busch takes the green flag Saturday night at Richmond Raceway’s 0.75-mile flat layout, being due for a win actually has some merit. That, and also the fact that he’s the best active driver at Richmond with six wins, six runner-ups and a 6.9 average finish between 26 Cup starts. He’s also got six wins there in the Xfinity Series.
The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has posted him as the 3/1 betting favorite to win Saturday Night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 with three drivers behind him listed at 6/1 odds, and two of them are his Joe Gibbs Racing teammates. Between the four JGR drivers, they’ve won 14 of the 27 Cup races this season and five different JGR driver have combined to win six of the past eight Richmond races.
Kyle Busch swept both Richmond races last season and in the spring race held on April 13, it was Truex winning there for his first career Cup win on a short track. It started a string of three straight wins for Truex when using the race package with engines producing 750 horsepower. He’d win at Dover and also at Sonoma using it. JGR drivers have won six of the nine races with it. Busch won at Phoenix and also the first Bristol race using it.
The most consistent driver using this week’s race package has been Denny Hamlin with eight top-fives in the nine races using it. In the last race with it, he won at Bristol. Beyond looking to improve his playoff position after a disappointing 15th at Las Vegas week, he’s also got some extra incentive going for him this week.
“I always love competing at my hometown track,” said Hamlin who grew up 25 minutes away from Richmond Raceway in Chesterfield. “I really appreciate the hometown support, and our team is working hard preparing to put us in the best position to get a W.”
All he’s done at his home track is grab three wins in 26 Cup starts, post 12 top-fives and his 1,659 laps led lead all active drivers. He also has three wins there in the Xfinity Series.
The other driver with Truex and Hamlin at 6/1 odds to win is three-time Richmond winner Kevin Harvick, who also has seven wins there in the Xfinity Series. His 15 top-fives in 37 Richmond Cup starts is second-most among active drivers behind Busch. Only Busch (6.9) and Hamlin (9.3) have a better average finish at Richmond than Harvick (9.8).
I like to group Richmond, Phoenix, and New Hampshire together because of a similar distance and being flat. If a driver does well on one of them they’ll do well on the others because of similar set-up requirements. Harvick happens to be the all-time winner at Phoenix and he won the July 23 race at New Hampshire in thrilling late-race battle with Hamlin for the win. By the way, Hamlin led 113 laps that day and Kyle Busch led a race-high 118 laps.
When putting the results of races at Phoenix, the first Richmond race, and New Hampshire side-by-side it’s Hamlin with top-fives in all three, Truex, Busch, Harvick, and Ryan Blaney with top-fives in two of them.