Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Richmond's flat track always suits Clint Bowyer's style

Clint Bowyer is 15/1 to win Saturday night at Richmond.
KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (Sept. 18, 2018) – Who’s the most important member of a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team? Some will say the driver and others might argue the crew chief. Cases could be made for mechanics, pit crew and spotters, but No. 14 ITsavvy Ford driver Clint Bowyer suggests someone who probably wouldn’t make the list of most race fans – the Information Technology (IT) guy. He’s serious. 

“Stewart Haas Racing (SHR) is a four-car team and we have tons of extremely talented folks, but I’m going to tell you the number-one guy that we can’t do without on a race weekend or, especially at a test, is our IT guy,” Bowyer said. “If he’s sick, we’re all sick and that racecar is going to be sick. It’s unbelievable how much we lean on that side of things, on the technology side.” 

It’s fitting that, this weekend at Richmond (Va.) Raceway, Bowyer and SHR debut ITsavvy (pronounced I-T-savvy) as a new primary sponsor in the Cup Series. The Addison, Illinois-based company is one of the fastest-growing resources for integrated IT products and technology solutions in the United States. ITsavvy has catapulted from a Midwest start-up to a national leader in IT products and solutions, very rapidly. Founded in 2004 by Mike Theriault and Chris Kurpeikis, ITsavvy has been consistently recognized as one of the fastest-growing businesses of its type. ITsavvy is a single-source, end-to-end IT partner. 

The company combines a comprehensive, value-added reseller business of more than a million computer, hardware and software products with an industry-leading advanced solutions group. ITsavvy has access to $8 billion in daily inventory in 46 distribution centers around the country with the ability to ship in-stock items the same day they are ordered. ITsavvy will also serve as the primary sponsor on Bowyer’s No. 14 Ford at ISM Raceway near Phoenix later this season. 

Bowyer hopes the relationship will provide a competitive advantage to the No. 14 team and his SHR teammates. 

“If you walk through our race shop and throughout the garage, you’ll see how our racecars and our entire industry rely on technology,” Bowyer said. “From engine diagnostics to fuel-mileage calculations, our business is dependent on technology solutions. The senior-level introductions our sport can make will lead to new business opportunities for ITsavvy. Every company needs what ITsavvy provides, and we’re excited to facilitate those introductions.” 

ITsavvy appears on the No. 14 at a critical time in the 2018 season. Bowyer heads to Richmond 11th in points after finishing 23rd in the playoff-opening race Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. To advance to the second round of the playoffs that begin in two weeks, Bowyer must be in the top-12 among the 16 playoff drivers after the Richmond race and the new road course “roval” event at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. 

Since the winner at each track automatically advances to the next playoff round, Bowyer has come up with a simple solution to any potential drama at Charlotte. 

“You want to get your work done this weekend in Richmond,” Bowyer said. “You want a big enough cushion going into the roval at Charlotte because that’s going to be one of the biggest wildcards in the playoffs. We really wanted to finish well last weekend in Las Vegas and this weekend in Richmond because nobody knows what’s going to happen in Charlotte. Nobody wants to go there knowing they have to have a great finish to advance to the next round. We want to go win Richmond and then go to Charlotte and watch all the other guys sweat.” 

Bowyer has won twice at Richmond and posted 13 top-10s in 25 start at the three-quarter-mile oval. In April, he led 45 laps and finished second in Stage 2 before finishing ninth in the race. There would be no better time than Saturday night in a playoff situation at Richmond to add a third win to his 2018 resume. If he does visit victory lane, the Emporia, Kansas native will have a long list of corporate partners, crew members and supporters to thank – especially the IT guy. 

Clint Bowyer – Richmond Advance Page Two CLINT BOWYER, Driver of the No. 14 ITsavvy Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing: 

What are your thoughts on Richmond Raceway? 
“It’s just a perfect racetrack. It’s always been that way. Ever since I started in the Xfinity Series with Richard (Childress), it’s always fit my driving style. It’s that short track and I’ve always said that I wish we had four or five of these all across the country. They certainly hit the mark when they were making Richmond. I have a lot of fun there – prerace and everything else. The fan base there has always been good. It’s a good vibe and a good feel for a racetrack being that it kind of reminds you of pulling into the old fairgrounds at a dirt track. There are houses across the street and this is what short-track racing is all about.” 

Can you win the championship? 
“I think we’ve got to go out and live up to our capabilities. If we do that, we’ll have a shot to go to Homestead. Everyone thinks they can win. I do. I really, truly do. It’s not smoke and mirrors. I believe I’ve seen enough out of our race team that I’m confident in our opportunity ahead. If we can go out and get those mistakes behind us, I’ve said over the last month and a half, we’re capable of winning. There is only one thing that makes you confident and that is success, and we’ve had that success to enable me to be confident.”

Kyle Busch's five Richmond wins make him the favorite

Kyle Busch is 2/1 to win Saturday night.
HUNTERSVILLE, North Carolina (Sept. 18, 2018) – A quick look at Kyle Busch’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series statistics at Richmond (Va.) Raceway shows five career victories at the .75-mile short track that is most among active drivers. The most recent of his five Richmond victories came this past April to cap a string of three race wins in a row that came on consecutive weekends this spring. 

In addition to his five career wins, the driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota Camry to Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) Richmond stat sheet also shows 16 top-five finishes and 19 top-10s in 26 career starts there, making him the most consistent active drivers at the track located in the “Capital of the Commonwealth of Virginia.” 

The Las Vegas native is at the top among active drivers at Richmond with his average finishing position of 7.2. Next best is Kevin Harvick’s average finish of 8.3. Busch has completed all but one of the 10,426 laps available to him in his 26 Richmond starts. Of those, Busch has run in the top-15 for 9,241 laps, or 88.6 percent, which ranks second among active drivers. 

Despite his success, there remains one void on Busch’s Richmond resume – a victory in the track’s annual fall race. For the first time ever, Richmond is part of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs this weekend, and Busch would like nothing more than for that first fall victory at the track to automatically advance him into the Round of 12. 

Busch emerged second in the standings after his seventh-place finish in last weekend’s playoff opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. With two races to go in the Round of 16, he sits just two points behind playoff leader Martin Truex Jr. Back to Busch’s five career spring-race wins at Richmond – four of those came consecutively from 2009 to 2012, besting Richard Petty’s previous record of three Richmond spring-race wins in a row from 1971 to 1973. 

With his impressive statistics and records to back him up, it’s little wonder that a visit to Richmond is one of Busch’s favorite stops on the NASCAR tour. So, as the series heads back to Richmond in its new spot as the second playoff race, Busch and the M&M’S team look to bring home their sixth career win there. Whether or not they make it back to victory lane, history has shown they’ll have the driver and team everyone will be on the lookout for with the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs in full swing. 

KYLE BUSCH, Driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing: 

What does it take to get around Richmond? 
“Richmond is getting a little trickier, it seems like, just with the asphalt kind of getting older and the way the cars are. The consensus at Richmond is, of course, just trying to get your car to turn, but also having really good forward bite. You have to be able to get off the corners at Richmond. You have to have good brakes, as well, and be able to turn the center. All of it correlates. Everything you want as a racecar driver, you’ve got to have most all of it and, if you don’t, then you better hope you have more forward bite than the rest of them. That’s sort of the equation of Richmond. It’s a fun place to race. It’s really cool. As a driver, you wish it could widen out and give you more options of being able to run around in different grooves, but it hasn’t shown us that the last couple of years. We’re hoping to get our M&M’S Camry another win there like we did in April.” 

Is a win at a premium right now? 
“I think wins are always important and I think the biggest thing now is that each (playoff) round kind of has its own wild-card race, if you look at it – you’ve got the “roval” in the first round, Talladega in the second round and then Martinsville kind of turned into a crazy race in the third round. It’s all just going to be about trying to maintain and have a good day. If you can get top-five finishes, great, that’s going to propel us through with the amount of points we have and the point cushion we have, but wins are the ultimate. If you can get those, then you’re automatically in and that’s what we all strive for.” 

What is it about Richmond that suits your driving style? 
“I love Richmond. It’s one of my favorite racetracks and one of my best racetracks. I love being able to go there and, of course, we put on some pretty good races there. We won four spring races in a row and I would have loved to have made it five or more. It’s a neat racetrack and it’s certainly an excitement track and there is a lot of action that happens there.”

Why is Joe Gibbs Racing so strong at Richmond? 
“I think a lot of it comes from Denny (Hamlin), being that it’s his home track. I’ve been good there in Hendrick and JGR cars. But Denny and I really feed off each other an awful lot at Richmond. We use each other a ton there, just to be sure we can beat the rest of the competition, of course. We do like similar setups there, unlike some other places we run. Richmond is one of those places where we both know what it takes to get around and we’re both similar to one another in that we both run well.” 

Can you compare Bristol and Richmond, both places where you’ve been successful? 
“There’s really no comparison between racetracks, honestly, because Charlotte, Texas, Atlanta – they all look the same from overhead, but they all drive not even close to the same. Richmond and Bristol are more than oil and water, more than day and night. Bristol is an attacktype racetrack yet, when you attack, you can get yourself in trouble. Richmond is a very methodical racetrack and you have to be – you’re very much on edge there all the time, especially corner entry, getting into the corners. You’re always loose there and you have to be able to be loose there in order to carry the speed through the middle and have good drive off.” 

Do you enjoy the atmosphere at Richmond? 
“I think the coolest thing about Richmond is the atmosphere they have there with all the fans really getting into it. People love coming there and supporting that racetrack. It’s been around for a long time. It’s a fast racetrack. It’s only a three-quarter-mile oval but it has really high speeds that makes it fun for us drivers and makes excitement that’s fun for a fan. Martinsville is a short track and it’s slow, but Richmond is pretty quick.”

Does Martin Truex Jr finally win at Richmond Saturday

Martin Truex Jr is 5/1 to finally win at Richmond.
Defending Cup Champion Leads Playoff Point Standings

DENVER, Colo. (Sept. 18, 2018) – If there is one racetrack that Martin Truex Jr. should have a W in the win column it would be Richmond Raceway, site of Saturday night’s second NASCAR Cup Series playoff race.

The Furniture Row Racing driver enters Richmond atop the point standings after finishing third in Sunday’s playoff opener in Las Vegas. Truex was the top point-getter in Las Vegas, thanks to finishes of first and third in the first two stages.

Truex will not only be looking to snap his bad luck at Richmond in his No. 78 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota, but also capture his first career short track win.

He led 198 laps in last year’s fall race at the .75-mile oval and was cruising to victory until a controversial caution came out with three laps remaining. He lost the lead on the restart, and soon after was slammed into the wall. He left Richmond with a damaged car and a heartbreaking 20th-place finish.

In this year’s spring race, Truex led 121 laps and was a serious contender until a late-race pit stop issue halted his momentum.

Truex also led 193 laps in the 2016 Richmond fall race, bringing his total of 512 laps led in three of the last four races at the Virginia track.

“We could have four wins in the last five or six Richmond races and we have zero,” Truex noted. “We led a ton of laps in the spring race this year and were in position to win and finished 14th. Last fall, led the most laps and again in position to win. But a questionable caution with three to go ruined what was turning out to be a great race for us.”

Though he ranks No. 1 in the point standings Truex is not by any means taking anything for granted because he knows very well the potential problems that can happen at Richmond, which is hosting a playoff race for the first time.

“We’re at a point where that short track mentality at Richmond could make for a crazy night, especially with late-race restarts,” Truex said. “You know some of the guys are going to do whatever it takes to try and get locked in to the next round and that could cause some havoc. You never know, but definitely need to be prepared for all possibilities.

“I agree it would be nice to not worry or depend on the Roval (new road course at Charlotte Motor Speedway) the following week to make sure you advance to the next round.”

For Truex, getting off to a good start is like winning the first game of a best-of-seven series, which is a long way to winning four times.

“It’s tough – 10 races, three elimination rounds and I’ve been racing most of my life and I know a lot can happen,” Truex explained. “This year alone, it’s been a lot of ups and downs. For us, it’s been feast or famine. I feel like we’re either in the top-five or we’re 15th or crash. It’s really been no in between and if you look at it, we had zero finishes between sixth and 10th. Zero. So we’re either in the top-five or we’re outside the top-10. That’s something that worries me a little bit.”

Truex’s record after 27 races this season includes four wins, 16 top fives, 16 top 10s, four poles and 802 laps led. He has a 9.4 starting average and a 11.0 finishing average.

His record at Richmond Raceway includes 25 starts, two top fives, eight top 10s, one pole and 560 laps led. His starting average is 14.2 and finishing average 19.8.

Odds to win 2018 Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond

Kyle Busch has won 5 times at Richmond, including spring race.
WESTGATE LAS VEGAS SUPERBOOK
ODDS TO WIN 2018 FEDERATED AUTO PARTS 400
RICHMOND RACEWAY
SATURDAY, SEPT 22, 2018 - 7:43 PM ET

Kyle BUSCH 2/1
Kevin HARVICK 4/1
Martin TRUEX JR 5/1
Brad KESELOWSKI 7/1
Denny HAMLIN 8/1
Joey LOGANO 12/1
Clint BOWYER 12/1
Kyle LARSON 12/1
Chase ELLIOTT 15/1
Aric ALMIROLA 25/1
Erik JONES 30/1
Kurt BUSCH 30/1
Ryan BLANEY 30/1
Jimmie JOHNSON 60/1
Daniel SUAREZ 100/1
Alex BOWMAN 100/1
Ryan NEWMAN 100/1
Austin DILLON 200/1
Jamie McMURRAY 200/1
Paul MENARD 200/1
William BYRON 200/1
Ricky STENHOUSE JR 300/1
Trevor BAYNE 500/1
Regan SMITH 1000/1
AJ ALLMENDINGER 1000/1
Chris BUESCHER 1000/1
Darrell WALLACE JR 1000/1
Michael McDOWELL 2000/1
TY DILLON 2000/1
FIELD (all others) 1000/1

Chase Elliott has top-fives at Phoenix, Richmond and New Hampshire

Chase Elliott is 15/1 to win at Richmond.
Chase Elliott on racing at Richmond:
“I don’t really think of Richmond as a short track. I think Bristol and Martinsville are kind of the only two short tracks on the schedule. Richmond is just a different place and I think that is what makes it so tough. It seems everyone knows how to drive the racetrack and it’s hard to be different. That may be what makes the racing pretty good there because it’s hard for people to be different and everyone is kind of choked into doing the same thing and you really have to be superior to show your strength.”

MICAH ROBERTS' TAKE: #9 Chase Elliott (15/1) - He sits 14th in points, but this is a good track for him. he's one of three drivers to have top-fives at Phoenix, Richmond and New Hampshire this season. The other two ate Busch and Kevin Harvick. His runner-up in the spring was his best Richmond finish, and that was way before Hendrick Motorsports started showing more horsepower.


Chase Elliott will be available to members of the media on Friday, Sept. 21, at 9:30 a.m. local time in the media center at Richmond Raceway.

HOOTERS RETURNS: This weekend at Richmond Raceway, the orange and white Hooters paint scheme will adorn the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. A casual dining establishment with a deep history in NASCAR, the Atlanta-based company was a two-race primary sponsor of the No. 9 team this season with Richmond being its final race of 2018. Chase Elliott also piloted the No. 9 Hooters Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Daytona in July, when the team captured the pole. Elliott was involved in a multi-car incident at Daytona and the resulting damage ended the team’s day with a 34th-place finish.

SHORT TRACKS: Elliott has made 20 short-track (Bristol, Martinsville, Richmond) starts in his NASCAR Cup Series career. In those starts, the 22-year-old driver has collected seven top-10 finishes, four of which were top-fives, and led 271 laps. Elliott averages a starting position of 10.75 and finishing position of 13.4. In Elliott’s most recent two short-track starts (Bristol in August and Richmond in April), he collected top-three finishes in both and led 112 laps.

GUSTAFSON AT RICHMOND: No. 9 team crew chief Alan Gustafson is set to call his 27th NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond from atop the pit box this weekend. In Gustafson’s previous 26 starts with five different drivers (Kyle Busch, Casey Mears, Mark Martin, Jeff Gordon, Elliott), he has accumulated 11 top-five finishes – five being runner-up results – 15 top-10s and 532 laps led at the track. The only crew chief with more second-place finishes at the 0.75-mile track is Dale Inman, who has 10.

LAST TIME AT RICHMOND: During the last visit to Richmond in April, Elliott started on the outside pole and ran inside the top five for much of Stage 1 until tire fall-off saw him begin to slip back a few spots. He managed to maintain a top-10 position, finishing the first stage in seventh. The 22-year-old driver continued to race inside the top 10 for the majority of the second stage as well until he radioed to his team that he was battling the handling of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, reporting he might have used up the tires too quickly. Elliott fell to 15th before the green-checkered flag waved at the end of Stage 2. He began the final segment in ninth and continued to push inside the top 10 for the remainder of the race. With the help of a few great restarts by Elliott and quick stops by the No. 9 crew, the team collected a runner-up finish.

VEGAS REWIND: The driver of the No. 9 Chevy earned stage points in the first two stages of the first race of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. On Lap 213, Elliott was running inside the top 10 when he was involved in a multi-car accident. The resulting damage to the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 cut the team’s day short. Elliott was credited with a 36th-place finish.

MTJF STEERING WHEEL: Throughout the month of September, Elliott will run the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation steering wheel center pad in his No. 9 machine. September is Ovarian and Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The foundation is raising awareness and funding for the diseases through the steering wheel program.
 

2018 Season

  • 14th in points
  • 27 starts
  • 1 win
  • 1 pole position
  • 8 top-five finishes
  • 14 top-10 finishes
  • 220 laps led
 
 

Career

  • 104 starts
  • 1 win
  • 4 pole positions
  • 30 top-five finishes
  • 52 top-10 finishes
  • 1,138 laps led
 
 

Track Career 

  • 6 starts
  • 0 wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 1 top-five finish
  • 2 top-10 finishes
  • 0 laps led
 

Richmond Raceway Track Facts: 2018 Federated Auto Parts 400

Kyle Busch jumped into the Richmond crowd after April win.
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Fast Facts: Race #2 (Richmond)
·        This is the first season the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoff’s second race has been held at Richmond Raceway.
·        Richmond Raceway is the third track in series history to host the second race of the Playoffs; joining Dover International Speedway (2004-2010) and New Hampshire Motor Speedway (2011–2017).
·        When Dover hosted the second race of the Playoffs, twice a driver won and went on to win the series title – Jimmie Johnson (2009 and 2010).
·        When New Hampshire moved to the second race in the Playoffs (2011 – 2017), only one driver won the event and went on to win the title – Tony Stewart (2011). Stewart won five races in the 2011 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs (a series-record) including the first two (Chicago and New Hampshire).
·        The worst finish by a driver in the second Playoff race that went on to win the title was:  
o   At Dover:
§  Tony Stewart, in 2005, won the title after he finished 18th at Dover International Speedway – the second race of the 2005 Playoffs.
o   At New Hampshire:
§  The 2015 series champion, Kyle Busch, finished 37th in New Hampshire’s Playoff race that season. Last season’s champ, Martin Truex Jr., finished fifth in the Playoff race at NHMS.
·        No non-Playoff driver has ever won the second Playoff race at Dover International Speedway (2004-2010) or New Hampshire Motor Speedway (2011-2017).
·        Since the inception of the elimination-style format in the Playoffs in 2014, the deepest seeded driver entering the Playoffs to go on and win the title was Kevin Harvick, 2014 (seventh seed); the remaining champions all started within the top five: Kyle Busch, 2015 (No. 1 seed); Jimmie Johnson, 2016 (fifth seed); Martin Truex Jr. (No. 1 seed).

Season
Winner
Track
2004
Ryan Newman
Dover
2005
Jimmie Johnson
Dover
2006
Jeff Burton
Dover
2007
Carl Edwards
Dover
2008
Greg Biffle
Dover
2009
Jimmie Johnson*
Dover
2010
Jimmie Johnson*
Dover
2011
Tony Stewart*
New Hampshire
2012
Denny Hamlin
New Hampshire
2013
Matt Kenseth
New Hampshire
2014
Joey Logano
New Hampshire
2015
Matt Kenseth
New Hampshire
2016
Kevin Harvick
New Hampshire
2017
Kyle Busch
New Hampshire
* - Also won title that season


The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 2018 Top 16 at Richmond Raceway
Rank
Driver
Races
Poles
Wins
Top Fives
Top 10s
DNFs
Average Finish
Driver Rating
 
 
1
Martin Truex Jr
25
1
0
2
8
4
19.8
86.4
 
2
Kyle Busch
26
1
5
16
19
0
7.2
110.1
 
3
Brad Keselowski
18
1
1
4
8
1
13.7
96.9
 
4
Kevin Harvick
35
1
3
13
22
0
10.3
109.4
 
5
Joey Logano
19
2
2
8
11
1
11.5
90.1
 
6
Kurt Busch
35
0
2
7
15
1
15.3
95.6
 
7
Ryan Blaney
5
0
0
0
0
1
28.6
57.4
 
8
Kyle Larson
9
0
1
2
3
0
10
92.3
 
9
Aric Almirola
13
0
0
1
4
0
16.3
75
 
10
Austin Dillon
9
0
0
0
0
0
21.1
67.6
 
11
Clint Bowyer
25
0
2
4
13
1
13.2
93.5
 
12
Alex Bowman
5
0
0
0
0
0
30.6
45.1
 
13
Jimmie Johnson
33
2
3
7
14
1
15.3
89.6
 
14
Chase Elliott
6
0
0
1
2
0
13.8
81.3
 
15
Erik Jones
3
0
0
0
1
1
19
65.4
 
16
Denny Hamlin
24
3
3
11
15
0
9.3
108.9
 
* – Based on last 27 races at Richmond Raceway (2005 – 2018).


Richmond Raceway Data
Season Race #: 28 of 36 (09-22-18)
Track Size: 0.75-miles
Banking/Turns 1 & 2: 14 degrees
Banking/Turns 3 & 4: 14 degrees
Banking/Frontstretch: 8 degrees
Banking/Backstretch: 2 degrees
Frontstretch Length:  1,290 feet
Backstretch Length:  860 feet
Race Length: 400 laps / 300 miles
Stage 1 and 2 Length: 100 laps (each)
Final Stage Length: 200 laps

Top 10 Driver Ratings at Richmond
Kyle Busch............................... 110.1
Kevin Harvick........................... 109.4
Denny Hamlin........................... 108.9
Brad Keselowski......................... 96.9
Kurt Busch................................. 95.6
Clint Bowyer............................... 93.5
Kyle Larson................................ 92.3
William Byron............................. 91.3
Matt Kenseth.............................. 91.0
Joey Logano............................... 90.1
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2018 races (27 total) among active drivers at Richmond Raceway.

Qualifying/Race Data
2017 pole winner:
Matt Kenseth, Toyota
122.421 mph, 22.055 secs. 09-08-17
2017 race winner:
Kyle Larson, Chevrolet
99.417 mph, (03:02:52), 09-09-17

Track qualifying record:
Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet
130.599 mph, 20.674 secs. 09-04-13

Track race record:
Dale Jarrett, Ford
109.047 mph, (02:45:04), 09-06-97


At Richmond Raceway:
History
·        Originally known as the Atlantic Rural Exposition Fairgrounds, Richmond Raceway held its first race in 1946 as a half-mile dirt track.
·        The first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race was held on April 19, 1953 and won by Lee Petty.
·        The spring 1964 race was run on a Tuesday night under temporary lighting.
·        The track name changed to Virginia State Fairgrounds in 1967.
·        The track surface was changed from dirt to asphalt between races in 1968.
·        The track name changed to Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway in 1969.
·        The track was re-measured to .542-mile in 1970.
·        The track was rebuilt as a three-quarters-mile D-shaped oval following the Feb. 21, 1988 race.
·        The first race under permanent lights was Sept. 7, 1991.
·        The first season with both races as night races was 1999.
·        In 2017, the track underwent renovations and changed the name to Richmond Raceway.
·        There have been 124 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Richmond Raceway, one event from 1953 - 1958 and two races per year since 1959.

Starts
·        A total of 501 drivers have competed in at least one Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond Raceway; 328 have competed in more than one.
·        NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in starts at Richmond with 63; followed by Mark Martin with 56.
·        Matt Kenseth leads all active series drivers with 36 Richmond starts; followed by Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch with 35 each.
·        Dick Rathmann (two series starts) leads the series in average finish at Richmond Raceway with a 2.0.
·        Kyle Larson leads all active drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in average starting position at Richmond Raceway with an 8.444; followed by Denny Hamlin (9.750).

Poles
·        A total of 55 different drivers have won Busch poles at Richmond Raceway, led by NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Bobby Allison with eight each.
·        Denny Hamlin (2006, 2008 and 2016) and Matt Kenseth (2013 and 2017 sweep) lead all active drivers in Busch poles at Richmond with three each; followed by Joey Logano and Jimmie Johnson with two each.
·        Buck Baker won the inaugural Busch Pole Award at Richmond in 1953 with a speed of 48.465 mph.
·        Eight drivers have won consecutive poles at Richmond – Joey Logano (2015 sweep) and Matt Kenseth (2017 sweep) are the two active drivers to accomplish the feat.
·        Bobby Allison holds the record for most consecutive poles at Richmond with five from 1972 - 1974.
·        Youngest Richmond pole winner: Brian Vickers (05/15/2004 – 20 years, 6 months, 21 days).
·        Oldest Richmond pole winner: Mark Martin (04/28/2012 – 53 years, 3 months, 19 days).
·        Nine Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers posted their first career Busch Pole Award at Richmond Raceway – Brian Vickers (2004), Ted Musgrave (1994), Bobby Labonte (1993), Alan Kulwicki (1987), Morgan Shepherd (1981), Bill Dennis (1971), Dave Marcis (1971), Ned Jarrett (1960) and Russ Hepler (1957).
·        A total of nine different manufacturers have posted Busch Poles at Richmond Raceway in the Monster Energy Series; led by Chevrolet (46), Ford (31), Dodge (11), Toyota (10), Pontiac (six), Plymouth (five), Mercury (three), Buick (two) and Oldsmobile (two).

Wins
·        A total of 51 different drivers have won a Monster Energy Series race at Richmond Raceway, led by Richard Petty with 13 victories (spring 1961, 1967 sweep, fall 1968, fall 1970, 1971 sweep, 1972 sweep, 1973 sweep, fall 1974 and spring 1975) – the third-most wins by a single driver at a single track in series history behind his 15 wins at Martinsville and North Wilkesboro.  
·        Kyle Busch leads all active drivers in wins at Richmond with five victories (spring 2009, spring 2010, spring 2011, spring 2012 and spring 2018).  
·        Youngest Richmond winner: Richard Petty (04/23/1961 – 23 years, 9 months, 21 days).
·        Oldest Richmond winner: Harry Gant (09/07/1991 – 51 years, 7 months, 28 days).
·        Eight drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series have posted consecutive wins at Richmond Raceway – Joe Weatherly, David Pearson, Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Rusty Wallace, Terry Labonte and Jimmie Johnson.
·        Richard Petty leads the series in consecutive wins at Richmond after posting seven consecutive victories from the fall race of 1970 to the fall race of 1973.
·        Jimmie Johnson is the only active driver with consecutive wins at Richmond (2007 sweep). 
·        The pole starting position is the most proficient starting position in the field, producing more winners than any other starting position at Richmond Raceway with 24. 
·        Only five active MENCS drivers have been able to win from the pole: Kasey Kahne (2005), Jimmie Johnson (2007), Kyle Busch (2010), Brad Keselowski (2014) and Denny Hamlin (2016). 
·        The deepest in the field that a race winner has started at Richmond Raceway is 31st, by Clint Bowyer in the spring of 2008.
·        Five drivers have posted their first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win at Richmond – Kasey Kahne (2005), Tony Stewart (1999), Kyle Petty (1986), Neil Bonnett (1977) and James Hylton (1970)
·        Jamie McMurray leads the series among active drivers with the most Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Richmond without visiting Victory Lane at 30.
·        Petty Enterprises has the most wins at Richmond in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with 15 victories; followed by Joe Gibbs Racing with 12, Hendrick Motorsports, with 10 and Richard Childress Racing with nine.
·        Nine different manufacturers have won at Richmond. Chevrolet leads the series in wins at Richmond with 38 victories; followed by Ford (32), Dodge (17), Pontiac (11) Toyota (11), Plymouth (10), Buick (two), Oldsmobile (two) and Chrysler (one).


Additional Finishing Position Stats
·        Lee Petty (seven series starts) leads the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing position at Richmond Raceway with a 4.857.
·        Kyle Busch (26 series starts) leads all active drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing position at Richmond Raceway with a 7.153.
 
Richmond Raceway Average Finishing Positions
 
Active Drivers
Avg. Finish
Starts
1
Kyle Busch
7.154
26
2
Denny Hamlin
9.292
24
3
Daniel Suarez
9.667
3
4
Kyle Larson
10.000
9
5
Kevin Harvick
10.286
35

·        A total of 57 different drivers have finished runner-up in a Monster Energy Series race at Richmond Raceway.
·        NASCAR Hall of Famers Bobby Allison and Richard Petty are tied for the series-most runner-up finishes at Richmond with nine each.
·        Kyle Busch leads all active drivers in series runner-up finishes at Richmond with six; followed by Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman with two each.   
·        A total of 135 different drivers have finished in the top-five in a Monster Energy Series race at Richmond Raceway.
·        NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in top-five finishes at Richmond with 34.
·        Kyle Busch leads all active drivers in top-five finishes at Richmond with 16; followed by Kevin Harvick (13) and Denny Hamlin (11).
·        A total of 233 different drivers have finished in the top-10 in a Monster Energy Series race at Richmond Raceway.
·        NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in top-10 finishes at Richmond with 41.
·        Kevin Harvick leads all active drivers in top 10s at Richmond with 22; followed by Kyle Busch (19) and Ryan Newman (18).

·        Since the advent of electronic scoring, the closest margin of victory in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Richmond Raceway was the race on September 12, 1998 - won by Jeff Burton with a MOV of 0.051 second over second-place finisher Jeff Gordon.

·        Below are the top five closest series MOVs at Richmond since the advent of electronic scoring (1993):
Rank
MOV
Date
Winner
Runner-Up
1
0.051
9/12/1998
Jeff Burton
Jeff Gordon
2
0.100
9/7/1996
Ernie Irvan
Jeff Gordon
3
0.139
9/10/2011
Kevin Harvick
Carl Edwards
4
0.153
9/9/2006
Kevin Harvick
Kyle Busch
5
0.159
5/6/2000
Dale Earnhardt Jr
Jeremy Mayfield

·        Five MENCS races have resulted in NASCAR Overtime at Richmond Raceway:
Scheduled No. of Laps
Actual No. of Laps
NASCAR Overtime Laps
Date
Race Winner
400
402
2
4/21/2018
Kyle Busch
400
404
4
9/9/2017
Kyle Larson
400
407
7
9/10/2016
Denny Hamlin
400
406
6
4/27/2013
Kevin Harvick
400
410
10
5/3/2008
Clint Bowyer

·        Four of the 124 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Richmond Raceway have been shortened due to weather conditions:
Scheduled No. of Laps
Actual No. of Laps
Number of Fewer Laps
Date
Race Winner
400
393
-7
5/3/2003
Joe Nemechek
400
250
-150
2/21/1982
Dave Marcis
400
245
-155
2/27/1977
Cale Yarborough
250
180
-70
4/1/1962
Rex White

·        Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Richmond Raceway eight times: 1955, 1962 (spring), 1967 (fall), 1986 (spring), 1997 (spring), 2008 (fall), 2014 (spring) and 2016 (spring). 
·        Richard Petty leads the series in laps led at Richmond Raceway with 5,136; followed by Rusty Wallace with 3,024 laps led. Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers with 1,659 laps led; followed by Kyle Busch (1,089).
 
Drivers
Led
Completed
% Led
Starts
1
Richard Petty
5,136
21,135
24.3%
63
2
Rusty Wallace
3,024
16,730
18.1%
44
3
Bobby Allison
2,961
14,313
20.7%
38
4
Darrell Waltrip
2,172
18,741
11.6%
53
5
Dale Earnhardt
1,976
16,808
11.8%
44
6
Denny Hamlin
1,659
9,613
17.3%
24
7
Jeff Gordon
1,637
17,669
9.3%
47
8
David Pearson
1,221
3,535
34.5%
13
9
Cale Yarborough
1,208
6,861
17.6%
22
10
Kyle Busch
1,089
10,428
10.4%
26


Female Competitor Stats
·        Two female drivers have competed at Richmond in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series:
Driver
Starting Position
Finishing Position
Date
Driver Rating
Danica Patrick
19
23
9/9/2017
63.5
Danica Patrick
21
18
4/30/2017
56.9
Danica Patrick
29
15
9/10/2016
66.4
Danica Patrick
21
24
4/24/2016
56.8
Danica Patrick
14
19
9/12/2015
61.1
Danica Patrick
21
25
4/26/2015
56.5
Danica Patrick
13
16
9/6/2014
75.5
Danica Patrick
35
34
4/26/2014
36.5
Danica Patrick
36
30
9/7/2013
39.1
Danica Patrick
30
29
4/27/2013
42.6
Averages
23.9
23.3

55.5
     
Driver
Starting Position
Finishing Position
Date
 
Janet Guthrie
14
12
9/11/1977
 
Janet Guthrie
13
12
2/27/1977
 
Averages
13.5
12.0
  

NASCAR in Virginia
·        There has been a total of 509 NASCAR national series races among 10 tracks in the state of Virginia.
 
Tracks in Virginia
     
 
Track Name
City
Monster Energy
Xfinity
Camping World
Total Races
1
Martinsville Speedway
Martinsville
139
34
39
212
2
Richmond Raceway
Richmond
124
69
11
204
3
South Boston Speedway
South Boston
10
35
3
48
4
Langley Field Speedway
Hampton
9
14
0
23
5
Old Dominion Speedway
Manassas
7
0
0
7
6
New River Valley Speedway
Dublin
0
4
0
4
7
Southside Speedway
Richmond
4
0
0
4
8
Starkey Speedway
Roanoke
4
0
0
4
9
Norfolk Speedway
Norfolk
2
0
0
2
10
Princess Anne Speedway
Norfolk
1
0
0
1
 
Totals
 
300
156
53
509


Virginia Drivers In NASCAR
·        180 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Virginia.
·        19 drivers from the state of Virginia have won at least one race in NASCAR’s three national series.
·        11 of the 19 Virginia native NASCAR winners have won in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

 
Drivers from Virginia
    
 
Driver
Monster Energy
Xfinity
Camping World
Combined
1
Denny Hamlin
31
17
2
50
2
Joe Weatherly
25
0
0
25
3
Ricky Rudd
23
1
0
24
4
Jeff Burton
21
27
0
48
5
Curtis Turner
17
0
0
17
6
Ward Burton
5
4
0
9
7
Glen Wood
4
0
0
4
8
Elliott Sadler
3
13
1
17
9
Emanuel Zervakis
2
0
0
2
10
Lennie Pond
1
0
0
1
11
Wendell Scott
1
0
0
1
12
Tommy Ellis
0
22
0
22
13
Jimmy Hensley
0
9
2
11
14
Rick Mast
0
9
0
9
15
Hermie Sadler
0
2
0
2
16
Elton Sawyer
0
2
0
2
17
Stacy Compton
0
0
2
2
18
Jon Wood
0
0
2
2
19
Jeb Burton
0
0
1
1
 
Totals
133
106
10
249


2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Results
Date
Track
Busch Pole
Stage 1
Stage 2
Stage 3
Race Winner
OEM
2/18/2018
Daytona
Alex Bowman
Kurt Busch
Ryan Blaney
N/A
Austin Dillon
Chevrolet
2/25/2018
Atlanta
Kyle Busch
Kevin Harvick
Brad Keselowski
N/A
Kevin Harvick
Ford
3/4/2018
Las Vegas
Ryan Blaney
Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick
N/A
Kevin Harvick
Ford
3/11/2018
ISM
Martin Truex Jr
Kyle Busch
Kurt Busch
N/A
Kevin Harvick
Ford
3/18/2018
Auto Club
Martin Truex Jr
Martin Truex Jr.
Martin Truex Jr.
N/A
Martin Truex Jr
Toyota
3/26/2018
Martinsville
None-Weather
Denny Hamlin
Ryan Blaney 
N/A
Clint Bowyer 
Ford 
4/8/2018
Texas
Kurt Busch
Kevin Harvick
Kyle Busch
N/A
Kyle Busch
Toyota
4/15/2018
Bristol
Kyle Busch
Brad Keselowski
Brad Keselowski
N/A
Kyle Busch
Toyota
4/21/2018
Richmond
Martin Truex Jr.
Joey Logano
Joey Logano
N/A
Kyle Busch
Toyota
4/29/2018
Talladega
Kevin Harvick
Brad Keselowski
Paul Menard
N/A
Joey Logano
Ford
5/6/2018
Dover
Kyle Larson
Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick
N/A
Kevin Harvick
Ford
5/12/2018
Kansas
Kevin Harvick
Ryan Blaney
Kyle Larson
N/A
Kevin Harvick
Ford
5/19/2018
All-Star Open
N/A
Alex Bowman
Daniel Suarez
N/A
AJ Allmendinger
Chevrolet
5/19/2018
All-Star Race
Matt Kenseth
Kevin Harvick
Kyle Busch
Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick
Ford
5/27/2018
Charlotte
Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch
Kyle Busch
Toyota
6/3/2018
Pocono
Ryan Blaney
Martin Truex Jr
Kevin Harvick
N/A
Martin Truex Jr
Toyota
6/10/2018
Michigan
Kurt Busch
Ryan Blaney
Kevin Harvick
N/A
Clint Bowyer 
Ford
6/24/2018
Sonoma
Kyle Larson
AJ Allmendinger
Denny Hamlin
N/A
Martin Truex Jr
Toyota
7/1/2018
Chicagoland
Paul Menard
Aric Almirola
Kevin Harvick
N/A
Kyle Busch
Toyota
7/7/2018
Daytona
Chase Elliott
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
N/A
Erik Jones
Toyota
7/14/2018
Kentucky
Martin Truex Jr.
Martin Truex Jr.
Martin Truex Jr.
N/A
Martin Truex Jr.
Toyota
7/22/2018
New Hampshire
Kurt Busch
Martin Truex Jr.
Chase Elliott
N/A
Kevin Harvick
Ford
7/29/2018
Pocono
Daniel Suarez
Chase Elliott
Kevin Harvick
N/A
Kyle Busch
Toyota
8/5/2018
Watkins Glen
Denny Hamlin
Martin Truex Jr.
Chase Elliott
N/A
Chase Elliott
Chevrolet
8/12/2018
Michigan
Denny Hamlin
Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick
N/A
Kevin Harvick
Ford
8/18/2018
Bristol
Kyle Larson
Ryan Blaney
Joey Logano
N/A
Kurt Busch
Ford
9/2/2018
Darlington
Denny Hamlin
Kyle Larson
Kyle Larson
N/A
Brad Keselowski
Ford
9/9/2018
Indianapolis
N/A
Clint Bowyer
Matt Kenseth
N/A
Brad Keselowski
Ford
9/16/2018
Las Vegas
Erik Jones
Martin Truex Jr.
Brad Keselowski
N/A
Brad Keselowski
Ford
9/22/2018
Richmond






9/30/2018
Charlotte






10/7/2018
Dover






10/14/2018
Talladega






10/21/2018
Kansas






10/28/2018
Martinsville






11/4/2018
Texas






11/11/2018
ISM






11/18/2018
Homestead









Monster Energy Series - Achievable Milestones
  
Starts






       
Jamie McMurray

Has:
573

Needs:
2
To become the 32nd driver all-time in the Monster Energy Series to make 575 starts or more.
       
Kyle Larson

Has:
174

Needs:
1
To become the 152nd driver all-time in the Monster Energy Series to make 175 starts or more.
       
Wins






       
Jimmie Johnson

Has:
83

Needs:
1
Tie Bobby Allison and Darrell Waltrip for fourth on the all-time series wins list.
       
Kyle Busch

Has:
49

Needs:
1
Tie Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson for 11th on the all-time Monster Energy Series wins list.
       
Kevin Harvick

Has:
44

Needs:
2
Tie Buck Baker (46) for 16th on the all-time MENCS wins list.
       
Denny Hamlin

Has:
31

Needs:
1
To tie Dale Jarrett for 24th on the all-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins list.
       
Busch Poles






       
Ryan Newman

Has:
51

Needs:
3
Tie Bill Elliott for eighth on the all-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series poles list.
       
Jimmie Johnson

Has:
35

Needs:
1
To tie Rusty Wallace and Rex White for 18th on the all-time series poles list.
       
Kyle Busch

Has:
30

Needs:
2
To tie Fonty Flock for 23rd on the all-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series poles list.
       
Laps Led






       
Jimmie Johnson

Has:
18,692

Needs:
308
To become the ninth driver in the MENCS all-time to lead 19,000 laps.
       
Kyle Busch

Has:
15,497

Needs:
503
To become the 10th driver in the MENCS all-time to lead 16,000 laps.
       
Kevin Harvick

Has:
12,325

Needs:
675
To become the 12th driver in the MENCS all-time to lead 13,000 laps.
       
Matt Kenseth

Has:
11,756

Needs:
244
To become the 16th driver in the MENCS all-time to lead 12,000 laps.
       
Kurt Busch

Has:
9,354

Needs:
646
To become the 18th driver in the MENCS all-time to lead 10,000 laps.
       
Denny Hamlin

Has:
9,151

Needs:
849
To become the 18th driver in the MENCS all-time to lead 10,000 laps.
       
Martin Truex Jr.

Has:
7,321

Needs:
679
To become the 26th driver in the MENCS all-time to lead 8,000 laps.