Race: Federated Auto Parts 400 Predictions to Win
Date: Saturday September 10, 2016
Track: Richmond International Raceway
Time: 7:30 pm ET
by Virginia Vroom, NASCAR Handicapper, Predictem.com
We have finally made it! This weekend, we are closing out the regular NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season with what is sure to be a dramatic finish with 4 drivers still fighting to earn a spot in the Chase. Darlington proved to throw a wrench at some of the guys, but overall, no major changes in the standings. Martin Truex Jr. took home the historic win with Kevin Harvick losing due to issues on pit road…again. He very blatantly called out his crew in the post-race interviews and was clear in his disdain for all of the mistakes. This hasn't been the first time this has happened. In fact, during this race alone, there were multiple errors. Harvick led the majority of the race and came back, even when his crew lost him 10 spots on pit road, but mistake after mistake ultimately cost him the win.
While Harvick has a spot already in the Chase due to his wins, those types of mistakes are going to prove costly in these last 10 races. Wins will move drivers through to the next round, but if drivers and their crews continuously have those types of hiccups, those wins are going to be hard to come by, especially against the other Chase contenders and the drivers outside of the Chase who are still fighting for the win. The Chase gives us an opportunity to really see where mistakes are costly. A few seconds on pit road can really ruin a driver's hope for a championship. This is the time for all drivers to really get dialed in, particularly those in the Chase. Their crews need to be at the top of their game as that one move can make it or break it.
This weekend, we are closing out the season in style at Richmond International Raceway. Short tracks always give more excitement than most others simply because of the multitude of variables going on during the race at any one time. Drivers are racing for the lead, then others are racing to stay on the lead lap. On top of that, we have equipment to worry about. Brake usage is harder here than at many other tracks and simply keeping clean fenders while racing on a short track proves to have its own set of challengers for the drivers. Tempers generally get involved. This D-shaped asphalt oval is one of the biggest of the short tracks. While Martinsville is flat, this second Virginia short track has a touch of banking with 14 degrees in the turns, 8 degrees on the fronstretch, and a minimal 2 degrees on the backstretch. This allows for a bit more speed here than some of the other tracks with drivers carrying momentum down longer straightaways into the turns.
When we consider the potential winners this weekend heading into Richmond, there are a handful of solid picks. Overall, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, and Denny Hamlin are my go-to guys for Richmond. Busch is the best overall active driver here in terms of wins. Kevin Harvick also has a number of wins and solid top-10 finishes. With his domination last weekend, he's definitely hard to count out. Denny Hamlin considers this a home track of sorts. Although Martinsville is more home to him, Richmond is still a home-state track. He's got quite a good record here also and has been picking up some momentum this season, coming away with a very solid finish and a good run last week at Darlington. Here's the rundown of your potential winners:
My Pick to Win: Kevin Harvick
Middle of the Road Pick: Carl Edwards
Dark Horse Prediction: Chase Elliott. Bet YOUR Federated Auto Parts 400 picks at a betting site where credit cards work for deposits and where you'll receive a generous 100% bonus on your first deposit! --> MyBookie.
Chase Elliott has been having some very solid runs, and I think that we are very close to seeing this kid in victory lane. He's consistent, clean, yet still a solidly aggressive driver in terms of getting everything out of his car. Carl Edwards may be in the Chase, but his lack of consistency makes him a mid-pick driver. He is the defending champ of the race here in the Spring. Look for him to try and catch a break with a good run here. Overall, though, I think Kevin Harvick is looking for some vengeance in terms of his team's issues on pit road this weekend. If he can bring a car like he had at Darlington and manage to drive like he did, he should have no problem winning this weekend. He will definitely have a lot of competition out of Busch and Hamlin, but Harvick should come out on top. There will likely be a lot of aggressive driving as we close out the Chase field. Chris Buescher is trying to stay ahead of David Ragan to make it into the Chase. If he can't, he's going to lose his spot by not staying inside the top 30 in points. Jamie McMurray is on the bubble, just 7 points ahead of Ryan Newman. Richmond is a good track for both of these guys, but Newman probably has the better overall record. You better believe he's going to run his hardest.
Here are your current top 16 after last week's race:
1. Kevin Harvick
2. Brad Keselowski
3. Joey Logano
4. Carl Edwards
5. Denny Hamlin
6. Kurt Busch
7. Kyle Busch
8. Martin Truex Jr.
9. Matt Kenseth
10. Chase Elliott
11. Jimmie Johnson
12. Austin Dillon
13. Jamie McMurray
14. Ryan Newman
15. Kyle Larson
16. Kasey Kahne
Although sitting in 16th in the points, Kahne really doesn't have a shot at the Chase. He's mathematically ousted at this point. The real battle will be between McMurray and Newman. Buescher also needs a good run or for Ragan to have a really bad day. This weekend will surely prove to be a battle for several drivers. Stay tuned for an awesome night of short track racing at Richmond International Raceway! For a wide array of NASCAR betting options every week, check out the web's best wagering site which offers the lowest odds online! --> 5Dimes.
2016 Federated Auto Parts 400 Betting Odds
|Martin Truex Jr.||12/1|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||200/1|
|Any Other Driver||500/1|
Virginia Vroom's Picks - Most people think Danica Patrick is auto racing's most popular female. We have something to say about that! She can flat out pick'em!
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