Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 (7:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) will be the second race of the opening round of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. After won the first race of the playoffs last weekend in Las Vegas, if one of the other 15 playoff drivers can win this weekend’s race at the Richmond Raceway, then they’ll get an automatic spot into the next round too.
Here are the top five favorites.
He won back in the spring for his fifth victory on the .75-mile oval. But, all five of those wins have come in the spring race. Since 2014, Busch has six top 10 finish in eight tries. On the season, he has seven top 10 finishes in his last nine starts and 13 in the last 16. He was first and sixth respectively on the 10 lap average charts in Friday’s practices and first and 18th on single laps.
Keselowski, has eight top 11 finishes at Richmond over his last nine starts there. He finished eighth in the spring race and second in the spring race last year. He was fourth in this very race in 2016 too. On the season, he has three top two finishes over his last five starts. He was fastest in final practice in single lap speeds and fourth on the 10 lap average chart in session No. 1.
Logano, has nine straight top 10 finishes at Richmond including a fourth place run in the spring. He finished second in this very race last year and beat Keselowski for the win in the spring race in 2017. That’s three straight top four finishes. He’s finished in the top 10 in three of his last five starts on the season too.
He’s been very good on the year obviously and has six top five finishes in his last eight Richmond starts. He came home fifth in the spring race too. While his single lap speed wasn’t there, his long run speed was. He was fifth and fourth respectively on long run averages.
While he’s struggling lately, he’s hoping to do enough to earn a ride for 2019. His status past this season is in doubt. But, Richmond is a great track for him. In three career starts, he’s finished 12th, seventh and 10th respectively in them. In practice, he was sixth and eighth fastest respectively on single lap speed and fastest in final practice in terms of 10 lap averages.
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