This evening, the NASCAR circuit will have its first night race of the season on what is typically one the of most competitive tracks on the schedule.
Richmond is an impound race, meaning that the teams do not have a typical happy hour practice session due to the cars being impounded following qualifying. Impound races are much more difficult to handicap because of the lack of track time and limited information rendered. With this in mind, we will take a much more conservative approach in order to protect our acquired profits. Below we will take a look at a few of the contenders and how they shape up.
Kevin Harvick (3-1): Harvick has been decent this weekend, but not much more. These odds are based on his overall performance this year, but are far too low when considering his true probability to win.
Kyle Busch (9-2): As we know, he is very hot. But starting very deep in the field, he will have to really outstanding. Beyond a fantastic performance, he will need to get lucky as well in order to win his third straight. As good as he has been, these odds are far too low.
Kyle Larson (9-2): Larson was very fast during practice and the former Richmond winner looks to be strong tonight. If Larson is to break out and get his first win of the year, it could come tonight. His odds are too low, but they do carry more value than Harvick or Kyle Busch.
Martin Truex Jr (5-1): Lined up from the pole Truex has led the most laps of any of the current drivers and is likely to be in the mix for the win late. These odd are in line with Larson based on his true chances to get the win.
Chase Elliott (7-1): Elliott has looked really good this weekend, and Richmond is a track that should be forgiving to the Chevy struggles. While 7-1 is too low for a driver looking for his first win, Elliott looks to be very competitive in race trim.
Denny Hamlin (9-1): Hamlin could be the best value at odds of 10-1 or less. Richmond has often been one of his better tracks and he is expected to challenge for the win.
Joey Logano (12-1): Logano was fast over the long run in practice and he is starting in a prime spot to get the win. These odds are actually pretty close to what they should be based on his chances against the field.
Ryan Blaney (40-1): While this has not been his best track, Blaney has suffered more from track incidents as opposed to running poorly. Starting 11th is not outside the winning zone and 40-1 is good value for a driver with this much talent and overall season progression. This is strictly considered a longshot flier.
Jamie McMurray (75-1): There is value on McMurray this week. He has been running better over the last couple of weeks. Additionally, he is starting eighth and likely will have a setup that is similar to his teammate Kyle Larson. McMurray is a another longshot that is worth the outlandish price placed upon him.
Here are two of the three matchups that were discussed on “A Numbers Game” with Gill Alexander on Friday. Larson vs. Elliott is no longer considered a play due to Elliott looking stout this weekend.
Kevin Harvick (-155):
Denny Hamlin ( 135): Hamlin is the play here based on his setup that he unloaded with and progression during the limited practice sessions.
Clint Bowyer (-140):
Ryan Blaney ( 120): Blaney is undervalued this week, and I do like him at plus money against Bowyer who might be thinking about winning stages instead of races. Additionally, Blaney had much longer runs during the final practice session, which is likely to be beneficial for race preparation.
Kyle Busch (-155):
Martin Truex Jr. ( 135): Truex is the play based on 10-lap averages and starting position. Truex is undervalued compared to Busch in this matchup and being at plus money, starting from the pole makes him a selection.
Again, I want to be very clear that this is a race in which less will be invested due to the fact that the some of the most crucial information is absent this weekend. Impound races are more difficult to accurately handicap based on what we are able to study, due to the relative small sample size of data when compared to a typical weekend.
Top 25 Power Ranking - Richmond
- Kyle Larson
- Martin Truex Jr.
- Denny Hamlin
- Kevin Harvick
- Kyle Busch
- Joey Logano
- Brad Keselowski
- Chase Elliott
- Ryan Blaney
- Kurt Busch
- Jimmie Johnson
- Erik Jones
- Jamie McMurray
- Ryan Newman
- Aric Almirola
- William Byron
- Alex Bowman
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
- Paul Menard
- Darrell Wallace Jr.
- David Ragan
- Kasey Kahne
- Daniel Suarez
- Chris Buscher
- Austin Dillon