The Cup Series had their regular practice and qualifying session Saturday. The teams had 20 minutes to dial in their cars for the Federated Auto Parts 400 and then they set the starting lineup. The cars are impounded after qualifying so the speed the cars had in practice should be the speed the drivers will start the race with Sunday.
Here is my starting lineup for the race at Richmond…
GROUP A DRIVER
MARTIN TRUEX JR. (6): Truex has been awesome at Richmond. He finished his last seven races at the track in the top-five. Truex needs a win to secure a spot in the playoffs and his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota looks fast. Truex posted the fifth-fastest speed in practice and qualified sixth for the race. I will use an allocation with Truex Sunday and hope he can end his winless streak.
GROUP B DRIVERS
WILLIAM BYRON (4): Byron was the best driver early in the season at the short, flat tracks. He led 122 laps and finished third at Richmond and April and he won the race at Martinsville. The No. 24 car waited about five minutes to go onto the track in practice, so his practice time does not reflect how fast his car is. Byron starts fourth so he has the track position to score Stage Points and finish in the top-10.
JOEY LOGANO (4): Richmond is one of the better tracks for Logano. His average finishing position in his last six races at the track is sixth and he is averaging 13 Stage Points per race. Logano said after practice that he really liked the way his car drove and he felt like he had the speed to run well Sunday. He got loose in qualifying so Logano will start 17th. I do not want to burn one of my last allocations with Christopher Bell and Bubba Wallace did not look fast so I will pivot to Logano Sunday.
* Ross Chastain and Alex Bowman are the two best plays in Group B. I would use these drivers over my picks if they were available.
GROUP C DRIVERS
TY GIBBS (9): Gibbs will be back in the No. 45 car for Kurt Busch. He has been pretty good in his previous three races. There is no reason to bench him this week since he has a lot of upside and Gibbs allows us to save an allocation with one of our top drivers in Group C. I would not be surprised if this young driver finishes in the top-15 again Sunday.
Good Luck Sunday!
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