By Walker Polivka
The NASCAR Cup Series continues today with the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway. Read on below to see our prediction for who will win the race, as well as our top 10, dark horse, and driver to fade predictions.
Driver to Fade: Michael McDowell- McDowell is in the midst of a career season, with 1 top 5 and 9 top 10 finishes in 23 starts. Nonetheless, Richmond is a cause for concern for McDowell. In 22 career Richmond starts, McDowell only has 3 top 20 finishes and an average finishing position of 31.6. Even with McDowell’s improved pace this season, we predict that McDowell will still struggle and finish outside the top 20 today.
Dark Horse: Austin Dillon- Dillon has quietly put together a nice 2022 campaign, with 3 top 5’s and 7 top 20’s, good enough for 21st place in the regular season Driver Standings. Richmond had been a track where Dillon has had decent success of late, with 5 top 10’s and 6 top 12’s in his last 7 starts here. Dillon has an average finishing position of 17.348 this season and we predict he will improve on that with a top 15 finish this afternoon.
Top 10: Denny Hamlin- Winner of the Richmond Spring race, Hamlin had had an up and down season, with 2 wins, 4 top 5’s, 6 top 10’s and 11 finishes outside the top 20. Even with the up and downs, Hamlin is an absolute stud at Richmond, with 4 wins, 16 top 5’s, 20 top 10’s, and 2,1113 laps led in 31 starts. Hamlin has finished in the top 5 in 9 of his last 11 starts at Richmond and we predict that Hamlin will pick up his 7th top 10 of the season today.
Winner: Martin Truex Jr.- Truex has had about as good of a season as you can without a win, with 3 top 5’s, 10 top 10’s, and 7 stage wins. Richmond is a track that falls right into Truex’s wheelhouse, where he has 3 win’s, 9 top 5’s, and 15 top 10’s in 32 career starts. Truex has led 80 or more laps in 8 of the last 9 races at Richmond and won a stage here in the spring race. Kevin Harvick was below the cut line and locked into the Playoffs with a win last week and we predict that Truex will duplicate that success and lock into the Playoffs with a victory at Richmond!