Joe Gibbs Racing are obviously the easy favorites to win Saturday night’s Toyota Owners 400 (6:30 p.m. ET/FOX/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Rightfully so too. The top three all-time drivers as far as average finishing position goes in the history of the Richmond Raceway, are all current JGR drivers.
But, Stewart-Haas Racing could give them a run for their money under the lights this weekend too.
Kevin Harvick for example has to be labeled as a favorite. His worst finish since 2009 on the .75-mile Virginia short track is 19th. He has five top five finishes in his last seven Richmond starts. Clint Bowyer will be a factor too. Before 2016, Bowyer had six top 10 finishes in eight tries, including a win, a runner-up and third place effort. Richmond, is one of Bowyer’s best tracks. Plus, he’s going for the Virginia double, as he won at Martinsville last month in his No. 14 Ford.
Kurt Busch will be there too. He has eight top 10 finishes in his last 10 Richmond starts himself. He hasn’t finished outside the top 10 since 2015, including a fourth place finish in his No. 41 Ford last fall.
You also can’t count out Aric Almirola either. He has three top 10’s in his last seven Richmond starts too. That was with Richard Petty Motorsports. Imagine what he can do now with SHR and the information he’s going to have at his disposal from Harvick, Bowyer and Busch.