NASCAR Cup Series
By Staff Report
3 Minute Read
Through six races this season, Kevin Harvick has been a consistent factor in a handful even though he has yet to make a trip to Victory Lane. Slipping down the points standings after a tough race at Circuit of The Americas, Racing Insights predicts that the Stewart-Haas Racing ace will get back on track and into the win column at Sunday’s Toyota Owner’s 400 at Richmond Raceway (3:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
The 47-year-old veteran has had success at the Virginia short track, collecting four wins and ending his 65-race winless streak last season with an emotional victory.
Including last August’s victory, Harvick has finished eighth or better in three consecutive races at Richmond and 13 of his last 16 starts — an exceptional run-of-form at such a technical short track. But based on other drivers’ success here, as well, there will be plenty of competition on Sunday.
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It’s hard to mention Richmond without acknowledging Joe Gibbs Racing’s incredible grip on the track, literally and figuratively. The organization leads all teams with 18 victories here and has won nine of the last 14 competitions on the 0.75-mile oval, including having a driver lead the most laps in eight of the last 14. As the next team in line for its first victory of the 2023 season, this race could jump-start their season.
ONES TO WATCH
DENNY HAMLIN: Hamlin has four wins at Richmond, including last April’s race. He’s nearly a lock to finish in the top 10 and contend for the victory, doing so in 12 of his last 14 at the Virginia track.
KYLE BUSCH: Busch has the best active resume at Richmond with six wins and laps led in 10 of the last 11 races at the track — and he also has 16 of his many wins at short tracks.
TYLER REDDICK: Reddick has surprisingly never finished inside the top 10 at Richmond, but will be aiming to ride his wave of momentum from Circuit of The Americas to a career-best finish.
MARTIN TRUEX JR.: Still searching for an end to his winless drought, Truex should be in the mix at Richmond with three wins and 1,237 laps led over the last 12 races (led in nine) at the track.
AUSTIN DILLON: Don’t write off the driver of the No. 3 this week. Dillon has led 56 laps at Richmond across the last five races, so he has the knowledge to run up front here, finishing top 11 in six of eight.
Projections as of Wednesday, March 29.
RACING INSIGHTS’ PROJECTIONS FOR THE TOYOTA OWNERS 400