The NASCAR Cup Series will start their short-track segment of the season when they travel to Richmond this week, followed by races at Bristol (Dirt) and Martinsville. The Xfinity Series will join the Cup Series at Richmond, while the Truck Series will stay in the Lone Star State for a race at Texas Motor Speedway. Here is the schedule for this week…
The beginning of each season is tough to predict because teams work hard over the offseason to improve and we do not have any data to use to help predict which drivers will run up front. That is not the case this week. NASCAR will use the new short-track aero package this week. It is the same package that was used at Phoenix earlier this season. The drivers, who ran well at Phoenix, should run well at Richmond, because the two tracks are similar in size, shape and banking. Goodyear will also be brining the same tire that was used at Phoenix. I will not completely ignore what happened on the short, flat tracks last year (Phoenix, New Hampshire and Richmond), but the drivers who ran will in the desert this year will get priority in my lineups. Of course, all of this could change after practice and qualifying, so we will have to see what happens this weekend.
You can watch the extended highlights of the last race at Richmond here: NASCAR Race Rewind
FANTASY STATS FOR RICHMOND
Typically, I use all of the short, flat tracks (Phoenix, Richmond and New Hampshire) to help predict what will happen in the race at Richmond. I do not want the numbers skewed in the favor of the races last year, in the old aero package. I am only using the stats from the race at Phoenix earlier this season (so we get some data with the new aero package) and the races at Richmond last year (so we get some track history data figured into the model). Here are the drivers sorted by Fantasy Live Points from those races…
EARLY WEEK PICKS FOR RICHMOND
Hendrick Motorsports knocked this new aero package out of the park at Phoenix. William Byron and Kyle Larson dominated the race, while Alex Bowman and Josh Berry finished in the top-10. I plan to use the HMS drivers in my lineups this week and Berry will be a good pick for the One & Done contests before Chase Elliott returns to the No. 9 car.
ONE & DONE PICK: Josh Berry
DRIVER GROUP GAME PICKS: William Byron, Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, Alex Bowman, Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski, Ty Gibbs and Josh Berry
FANTASY LIVE PICKS: William Byron, Kyle Larson, Ross Chastain, Kevin Harvick, Christopher Bell, (Garage) Tyler Reddick
Good luck this weekend!
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