Early Week Driver Rankings for Richmond


Playoff racing in the MENCS is always exciting. The only way to make it better is to have a short track race under the lights on a Saturday night. That is what we get this week as the series travels back to Richmond Raceway. The first race at the track in was dominated by Joe Gibbs Racing. Will they do the same this week? The Federated Auto Parts 400 can be seen Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.

NASCAR will have all pre-race activities on Friday. The first practice is at 11:30 a.m. ET (NBCSN) and final practice is at 2:25 p.m. ET (NBCSN). Teams will only have a few hours to adjust their cars before the field is set in qualifying at 6 p.m. ET (NBCSN).   

* NASCAR will inspect the cars Saturday afternoon. Any drivers who fails once will have their qualifying time disallowed and will start from the back. They will be scored from the back in Fantasy NASCAR.

The cars will have the 750 HP engines with the 2” splitter, 8” spoiler and no aero ducts. This is the same package they have used in the past except with a larger spoiler on the rear of the car. The drivers who ran well at Richmond in the past should be fast Saturday night.

My early week pick for the pole is Kevin Harvick. The No. 4 car has been the best at taking the pole on the short, flat tracks this season. Harvick won the pole at Phoenix and then he can back the next month and won the pole at Richmond. He has won the pole for the last two races at Richmond and I think he can make it three in a row Friday evening.

Each week I use different stats in my model to create the best rankings possible to give you an edge on the completion. This week I used Driver Rating on the Richmond, Average Finishing Richmond, Driver Rating at Flat Tracks, Average Running Position at Flat Tracks, Green Flag Passes in the last 5 races at Flat Tracks and momentum over the last 4 oval races.


Here are the early week driver rankings for Richmond…


1. Martin Truex Jr.
2. Kevin Harvick
3. Joey Logano
4. Kyle Busch
5. Denny Hamlin
6. Brad Keselowski
7. Clint Bowyer
8. Kurt Busch
9. Kyle Larson
10. Aric Almirola
11. Ryan Newman
12. Erik Jones
13. Ryan Blaney
14. Jimmie Johnson
15. Chase Elliott
16. Daniel Suarez
17. William Byron
18. Paul Menard
19. Austin Dillon
20. Alex Bowman
21. Matt DiBenedetto
22. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
23. Chris Buescher
24. Ty Dillon
25. Ryan Preece
26. Darrell Wallace Jr.
27. Daniel Hemric
28. David Ragan
29. Michael McDowell
30. Corey Lajoie
31. Ross Chastian
32. Matt Tifft
33. Landon Cassill
34. Reed Sorenson
35. J.J. Yeley
36. Joey Gase
37. Quin Houff
38. BJ McLeod
39. Cody Ware


* I will post my final driver rankings Saturday morning.

**Stats from Driveraverages.com and NASCAR Media. Career stats from Racing-Reference.Info

*** Photos from NASCAR Media


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