The following article is brought to you by BetMGM.
Since Richmond Raceway opened its three-quarters of a mile track in 1946, it has been a fan favorite and one of the more unique race tracks on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit. The D-shaped oval allows for some of the top short-track straightaway speeds. And there are some consistent, dominant drivers at Richmond, and they top the BetMGM lines when you bet NASCAR online.
If you’re following the NASCAR odds this week, you’ll see some unique names, which we’ll discuss below.
Martin Truex, Jr. (+400)
He swept the two races at Richmond in 2019, won two of the last four races this season and hasn’t finished outside of the top three at this track since 2018. He’s Super Truex (at least when it comes to Richmond).
Oh, and Truex also received the Busch Pole Award this weekend, which, of course, is determined this season by a NASCAR metrics formula for setting the lineup, as opposed to literal qualifying on the track. That’s another advantage for the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series champion.
There’s no big mystery why Truex sits atop the BetMGM NASCAR betting lines heading into this weekend’s race. Even though Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch has six career wins at the track in the Cup Series and another six victories in the Xfinity Series, Busch comes in with the sixth-best odds (+900).
Can Truex continue his 2021 success? He has had five top-10 finishes in eight races and loves this place, so keep an eye on him.
OTHERS: We already mentioned Busch above, but the next candidates are racers you’d expect to be in this position. Veterans like Denny Hamlin (+600), Brad Keselowski (+650) and Joey Logano (+800) are no-brainers to be considered potential winners.
They’re the main threats to Truex, along with Busch. Kevin Harvick (+1100) also has three career wins and 26 top-10 finishes in 39 races at Richmond.
THE DARK-HORSE THREAT
Kyle Larson (+750)
Larson had been pretty solid at Richmond during his career with Chip Ganassi Racing before moving on to Hendrick Motorsports. He won the late 2017 race, has five finishes in the top seven in his past seven attempts at the venue and also won an Xfinity Series race in 2017.
He’s off to a strong start this season, with a win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and five top 10s in his past six races. Larson will also begin the race in the No. 6 position based on the metrics used to set the starting order, so he’s in a good position to move up. It also never hurts to have two Hendrick Motorsports teammates starting in the top six with you. Chase Elliott (No. 3) and William Byron (No. 4) won’t be far away.
OTHERS: Honestly, it seems like Christopher Bell (+2800) sneaks into the discussion every week. He may only have 44 career Cup Series races on his racing resume and only one at Richmond (15th-place finish last year), but he’s a hot topic in the NASCAR ranks. He also won three races in the Xfinity Series at Richmond (two in 2018, one in 2019) and is off to a hot start this season. He starts eighth this weekend in his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing machine.
THE INTRIGUING LONG SHOT
Cole Custer (+15000)
Let’s have some fun with this.
Custer won a 2019 Richmond race in the Xfinity Series, and he has had four top-10 finishes in seven attempts while racing in the lower series. He never finished lower than 15th. In his young career in the Cup Series, he only has two Richmond starts and a top finish of 14th.
He’s 23 years old and has shown flashes of brilliance in NASCAR. Is this a track he’ll look back at one day and think of as a “home sweet home” type of venue? He starts in the No. 21 spot.
OTHERS: Aric Almirola (+8000) is an interesting prospect. The racing journeyman has finished 17 Cup Series races at the track, with six top-10 finishes. He averaged a 15.5 finish and took eighth last year. You never know.