5 drivers who can win the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway
NASCAR’s spring short-track fling concludes Sunday at Richmond International Raceway, site of the Toyota Owners 400.
This will be the third short track race in four weeks and when it’s over the 26-race NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular season will be just past the one-third point.
As is our custom each week at FOXSports.com, we pick five drivers who we think have the best shot of winning. The only catch is, none of the five can be from the same team.
With that thought in mind, here are our five picks this week.
5. KYLE LARSON — This was a tough pick over Martin Truex Jr. and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., but Larson has a high enough upside that sooner or later, you figure he’s going to win a race. He’s never finished worse than 16th at Richmond.
4. BRAD KESELOWSKI — Team Penske’s drivers each have one victory at RIR, both coming in 2014. Joey Logano has more top-five and top-10 finishes than Keselowski does, but Keselowski has led 648 laps here to Logano’s 165.
3. DALE EARNHARDT JR. — How many tracks can you point to where Earnhardt has more top fives, top 10s and laps led than his six-time championship teammate Jimmie Johnson? Well, RIR is a track where Junior has achieved more than Johnson has. That portends well for a great run on Sunday.
2. KYLE BUSCH — After not winning either race at Bristol last weekend, Busch will be coming into RIR madder than a wet hornet. Which is a good thing, because adversity motivates him. Of course, so does coming to a track where he has four victories, 14 top fives and 940 laps led in just 21 career starts.
1. KEVIN HARVICK — Kurt Busch, Harvick’s teammate at Stewart-Haas Racing, is the defending race winner. Each driver has 30 starts at RIR, where Harvick leads Busch in wins (3-2), top fives (9-6), top 10s (18-11) and laps led (987-748). All that points to a Harvick triumph on Sunday.