Crunching The Numbers: Richmond

by David Morgan On Wed, Apr. 24, 2013


After a blazing fast weekend at Kansas Speedway, the NASCAR world sets its sights on Richmond International Raceway and the second night race of the year for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series. As one of the few short tracks on the circuit, Richmond always provides great racing in each series and this weekend’s events should be no exception, especially with the Sprint Cup drivers getting their first shot at this track in the new Gen6 car.

Sprint Cup Series

For the third time this season, the Sprint Cup Series makes its way to a short track and will take on the 3/4 mile Richmond International Raceway under the lights on Saturday night for the first night-time short track race of the season. Will Joe Gibbs Racing and Hendrick Motorsports continue their stranglehold on Victory Lane with the new Gen6 car, or will we see a new contender emerge after 400 laps in the Toyota Owners 400?

Driver Races Win Top 5 Top 10 Pole Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish
Kyle Busch 16 4 12 13 1 891 12.7 5.4
Clint Bowyer 14 2 2 8 0 163 14.1 9.6
Tony Stewart 28 3 11 19 0 950 17.7 10.4
Ryan Newman 22 1 5 13 1 450 11.3 11.6
Kevin Harvick 24 2 6 15 1 942 16.5 11.7
Mark Martin 54 1 18 30 5 449 9.7 11.9
Dale Earnhardt Jr 27 3 9 11 1 494 15.9 13.9
Jeff Gordon 40 2 16 25 5 1415 7.9 14.4
Carl Edwards 17 0 3 8 1 442 11.7 14.9
Jeff Burton 37 1 9 16 1 942 15.2 15.0

Who To Watch: With four wins in 16 races at Richmond along with 12 top fives, 13 top tens, one pole, 891 laps led, and an average finish of 5.4, Kyle Busch leads all active drivers with the best statistics at this track. After a terrible weekend last week in Kansas, this race could be just what the doctor ordered for Busch to get back to his winning ways.

Others to keep an eye on include: Clint Bowyer, who won last fall to give himself two wins and has an average finish of 9.6; Tony Stewart, who has had a lackluster season thus far, but could rebound here due to his two wins and average finish of 10.4; Ryan Newman, Stewart’s SHR teammate, who has one win and an average finish of 11.6; and Kevin Harvick, who has two wins and an average finish of 11.7.

The rest of the drivers in the top ten statistically at Richmond (Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, and Jeff Burton) could also be threats here Saturday as they have a combined seven wins and average finishes of 15.0 or better.

One last note of importance that could come into play here is that Toyota has won seven of the last eight races at Richmond, will we see their dominance continue or will Chevrolet or Ford have something to say about it?

Nationwide Series

Friday night’s running of the Nationwide Series’ ToyotaCare 250 will be full of Sprint Cup regulars coming in to see if they can steal the show away from the Nationwide regulars. Sounds like a recipe for some great racing pitting the Nationwide drivers running for points against their Sprint Cup counterparts who just want the trophy and the win.

Driver Races Win Top 5 Top 10 Pole Laps Led Avg. Start Avg. Finish
Kyle Busch 15 4 9 12 3 772 8.9 6.7
Kevin Harvick 23 6 15 18 2 1089 8.3 7.0
Brian Vickers 5 0 1 3 0 0 20.4 12.4
Reed Sorenson 9 0 2 6 0 4 11.6 13.3
Austin Dillon 3 0 0 2 0 14 12.0 13.7
Justin Allgaier 8 0 1 3 0 0 16.4 14.1
Trevor Bayne 4 0 1 2 0 0 6.8 14.8
Parker Kligerman 1 0 0 0 0 0 7.0 15.0
Joe Nemechek 22 1 5 9 0 201 13.8 15.5
Elliott Sadler 19 0 2 6 0 58 19.7 16.1

Who To Watch: To say that Kyle Busch has been dominating the field this season in the Nationwide Series would be an understatement and Busch is poised to continue that dominance in Friday night’s race. Heading into the weekend, Busch has four wins, nine top fives, 12 top tens, three poles, 772 laps led and an average finish of 6.7 in 15 starts at Richmond. However, another Sprint Cup regular hot on his heels at Richmond is Kevin Harvick, who has six wins, 15 top fives, 18 top tens, two poles, 1089 laps led, and an average finish of 7.0 in 23 starts. Following behind Busch and Harvick is a slew of Nationwide regulars, including: Brian Vickers, Reed Sorenson, Austin Dillon, Justin Allgaier, Trevor Bayne, and Parker Kligerman, all of whom have average finishes ranging from 12.4 to 15.0.

** The opinions expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the publisher. All comments other than website related problems need to be directed to the author. (c) **

David Morgan is a native of Raymond, MS and has been a NASCAR fan since the early 90's. Learning to love the sport from his father and after attending his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993 at the age of 7, he has been hooked ever since. David has attended and covered races all across the country at tracks such as Talladega Superspeedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Auto Club Speedway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, and Daytona International Speedway and hopes to continue to add to that list in the years ahead. David is a graduate of The University of Mississippi and besides NASCAR, is a fan of Ole Miss athletics, as well as the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts of the NFL. Follow on Twitter at @damorgan86

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