Joe Gibbs Racing has a combined two victories in the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. It’s a similar start this year to what it was last year for them. They’re strong, but not strong enough to win on a regular basis yet. But, that could change this weekend at the Richmond Raceway.
The top three drivers in the driver rankings on the .75-mile Virginia track are all JGR drivers.
Denny Hamlin has a 9.57 average finishing position and has five straight top six finishes and 11 top 11’s in his last 16 starts at his home track. Hamlin, finished third in his very race last year after leading 59 laps in his No. 11 Toyota. In the fall race of 2016, the Virginia native led 189 laps en route to victory.
He’s going to have to wrestle the win away from his teammate Kyle Busch though. Since 2014, Busch has five top 10 finishes in seven tries. He has four career Richmond wins, all of which coming in the spring race (2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012). He also has six straight top three finishes over his last six starts on the season.
But, don’t count out either of the JGR sophomore drivers winning either.
Daniel Suarez finished 12th and seventh respectively last year at Richmond on the Cup level. Erik Jones is surging and finished sixth in his last start at Richmond driving a car that has been on top of its game there recently.
Matt Kenseth, led 352 out of the 400 laps in his 2015 Richmond win. He led 164 more laps from the pole in this very race a year ago but finished 23rd. He also led 89 laps in the fall race too, also from the pole.
Kenseth, had four top three starting spots in the No. 20 Toyota that Jones is driving in his last four Richmond starts.
So, you have to contend with him in Saturday’s Toyota Owners 400 (6:30 p.m. ET/FOX/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).