April 30, 2009

Event Day Games: Richmond

Last week was wild and wooly at Talladega; the action at Richmond will be just as action-packed.

Richmond is known as the action track for a reason. It's a short course that thinks it's a superspeedway and 43 cars are able to race side by side in 3/4ths of a mile. The leaders are clear of traffic only moments after a green flag waves and the fans in the stands have a hard time deciding which battle to follow.

Somehow, however, the cream continues to rise to the top. Six drivers enter the weekend with at least three top-10s in their last four attempts, and one of these racers—Kevin Harvick—has an eight-race top-10s streak to his credit.

Join us at http://www.eventdaygames.com/ this week to play along with our unique fantasy game.

Stewart has longest Richmond Top-5 streak

Kevin Harvick may have the longest top-10 streak, but Tony Stewart has come closest to finding victory lane in recent Richmond events. He enters the weekend with three consecutive top-fives on this track.

Our View: Fantasy owners are probably getting tired of hearing this, but it seems that the "next" race continues to be the best opportunity for Stewart to get his first win as an owner/driver. And regardless of whether he wins, he will still earn a lot of fantasy points.

Close, but no cigar at Richmond

Joe Gibbs Racing racers Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch are the two drivers with the best average finish at Richmond without a victory, according to NASCAR.com. Busch's average finish is 6.8; Hamlin's is 8.8.

Our View: Handicapping races and selecting a winner can be difficult, but guaranteed top-10s can be worth their in fantasy gold.

Short Tracks, Three-year Avg. Finish

All signs are pointing to this being a good week for Denny Hamlin. Not only does he have the second-best average finish at Richmond (behind teammate Kyle Busch), he has also been the best on the three combined short tracks of Richmond, Martinsville and Bristol. His average finish is 8.11 in 18 races.

Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson are the only two other drivers with an average finish better than 10th.

DriverAvg FinishAttempts
Denny Hamlin8.1118
Jeff Gordon9.0618
Jimmie Johnson9.8918
Kevin Harvick10.5618
Clint Bowyer10.8318
Kyle Busch10.8318
Tony Stewart11.0018
Dale Earnhardt Jr11.0018
Marcos Ambrose12.002
Mark Martin12.7010
Carl Edwards13.6718
Ryan Newman14.5018
Jeff Burton15.0618
Greg Biffle17.5018
Kasey Kahne17.5018
Matt Kenseth18.7218
Juan Montoya20.2914
Casey Mears20.4418
David Ragan20.9315
Kurt Busch21.6118
Bobby Labonte21.8318
Martin Truex Jr23.8318
Scott Riggs24.2218
David Reutimann25.1414
David Stremme25.5012
Jamie McMurray25.5018
Tony Raines26.6213
Reed Sorenson27.4418
Elliott Sadler27.5018
Paul Menard27.8614
Dave Blaney28.0618
A J Allmendinger29.9212
David Gilliland30.6517
Brian Vickers30.7218
Michael Waltrip31.3318
Scott Speed32.333
Robby Gordon32.7818
Sam Hornish Jr33.119
Joey Logano35.002
Joe Nemechek35.5917
John Andretti38.717
Jeremy Mayfield38.8211
Todd Bodine42.502

Harvick has longest Richmond Top-10 streak

Kevin Harvick enters the weekend with the longest top-10 streak among active drivers. He's finished that well in eight consecutive races and garnered an average finish of sixth.

Our View: If RCR's crew swap between him and Casey Mears is going to work, it should start to show dividends right away. And if Harvick cannot be successful this weekend at Richmond, there is very little hope for the immediate future. It is probably safe to start him this week, but if he stumbles, then approach the No. 29 with caution for the next few weeks.