The MENCS competes at Richmond Raceway this week in the Toyota Owners 400. Allocations are very important in the Driver Group Game and saving drivers is usually the best strategy at the short tracks. Richmond races more like a 1.5-mile track and the best drivers usually run well here. I will be selecting the best drivers in Group A and Group B Saturday night. I will go back to saving allocations next week at Talladega.
Here are my picks for Richmond…
Kyle Larson (9): I was planning on starting Kyle Busch in this spot and then he went out and qualified 32nd. Busch can easily make his way through the field but I will take the safer pick, Larson. The No. 42 car won the last race at Richmond and Larson had the fastest car with the fastest 10-lap speed in final practice. I doubt many people will have Larson so if he performs well we can move up in our standings.
Group A Rankings: 1) Kevin Harvick 2) Martin Truex Jr. 3) Kyle Larson 4) Kyle Busch 5) Denny Hamlin 6) Joey Logano 7) Jimmie Johnson 8) Brad Keselowski
Kurt Busch (6): Richmond ranks as the 2nd best track for Busch behind Atlanta. He is very good at moving around the worn out track to find speed for his car. Busch was 2nd-fastest on the 20-lap speed chart in final practice. He finished in the top 10 at Phoenix and I think he will run well Saturday night.
Erik Jones (7): Jones was happy with his car in final practice. That is not surprising. Joe Gibbs Racing has a history of running well at Richmond. Jones finished in the top 10 in the last race at Richmond and he should do it again Saturday night.
Group B Rankings: 1) Chase Elliott 2) Kurt Busch 3) Erik Jones 4) Clint Bowyer 5) Ryan Blaney 6) Ryan Newman7) Jamie McMurray 8) Aric Almirola
Alex Bowman (5): I really wanted to use Daniel Hemric in this spot but his car was only 25th fastest in practice. He has the talent to move up in the race but I need points. I am using Bowman this week so I will have to figure out allocation later this season. Bowman was 7th fastest in final practice and his car was good on the long runs. Bowman runs very well at Phoenix and that should translate into a solid run Saturday night.
Group C Rankings: 1) Alex Bowman 2) William Byron 3) David Ragan 3) Chris Buescher 4) Daniel Hemric 5) Bubba Wallace
Good luck this week!
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