Friday, September 7, 2012

Final 2012 Richmond Federated Auto Parts 400 Driver Ratings

Micah Roberts’ Top 10 Driver Ratings
Federated Auto Parts 400
Richmond International Raceway
Saturday, September 8, 2012 -  4:46 p.m. (PDT)

Rating    Driver     Odds         Practice 1    Practice 2     Qualified    Richmond*

 1. Kyle Busch 9/2                     21st              8th               15th              1st  
Four-time winner, including this season, with a 4.7 career average finish in 15 starts.                  
 2. Kevin Harvick 12/1                5th               6th               13th             19th 
Two-time winner, including last fall; fast on long runs in practice; using New Hampshire car.
 3. Carl Edwards 20/1               17th              1st               16th              10th 
Using same car that led 206 laps in spring race; best 10-consecutive lap average in practice2.  
 4. Denny Hamlin 9/2                  6th             25th               7th                4th 
Native Virginian has won two of last three fall races; going for third straight win (Bristol, Atlanta).
 5. Jimmie Johnson 8/1             18th             2nd                5th                6th 
Three-time winner, the last coming in 2008; one of worst statistical tracks for him on circuit.
 6. Jeff Gordon 8/1                    10th              4th                2nd              23rd  
Two-time winner, the last coming in 2000; has to win or gain 13 points on Busch to make Chase.
 7. Kasey Kahne 10/1                15th            22nd              21st               5th 
2005 winner; very mediocre in practice, but using winning New Hampshire chassis from July.
 8. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 10/1         2nd             16th               1st               2nd 
Three-time winner; good practices deceiving; using runner-up Richmond chassis from April.
 9. Brad Keselowski 10/1           12th            28th              10th               9th 
Best 10-consecutive lap average in Practice1; using winning Kentucky chassis this week.
10. Jeff Burton 100/1                  1st              3rd                20th             31st 
1998 winner, and native Virginian, was just as good as teammate Harvick during practices.

* Results from the April 28 race at Richmond. Phoenix and New Hampshire can also be used as a good barometer for Richmond because of similar banking and short distances.

Odds courtesy of the LVH Super Book.

Micah Roberts, a former sports book director, has been setting NASCAR lines in Las Vegas since 1995. For more Roberts insights on the race, go to The Linemakers on or follow on Twitter: MicahRoberts7. 

Betting Notes 
Harvick has lots of value (Getty)
My heart tells me to to give Jeff Burton and Carl Edwards a shot to win the race, but my brain is telling me Kevin Harvick is going to step up for the first time this season. His last win came at Richmond a year ago. He’s way overdue.

I liked Denny Hamlin a lot coming into this race, but he showed nothing in practice, and that’s never good for him because when he’s good to go, he usually shows it the day before.

Tony Stewart was awful in both sessions, but would be a driver I would look to bet on in matchups just because he’ll be undervalued due to those poor times. Kasey Kahne may be in the same boat after a poor run last week and bad practices, but I like the car he’s using this week.

Kyle Busch will be points racing, watching his rearview mirror for Jeff Gordon, so I think he takes himself out of the betting equation.

Go Harvick, Go!

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