The Toyota Owners 400 is a 400-lap race which is part of the Monster Energy NASCAR series races which takes place at the Richmond Speedway in Richmond, Virginia.
Last year’s Toyota Owners 400 was won by Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing who had won this race four times before. His 2018 triumph gave him a total of five wins at the Toyota Owners 400, one off the all-time mark for most wins here at Richmond.
The odds aren’t out for this race yet as we still have the Food City 500 to settle this weekend. However, these names are most probably going to be the favorites anyway since they have been the usual suspects in the previous races this year:
Kyle Busch had his worst outing of the year so far when he finished 10th at the Texas Motor Speedway. Despite that, Busch is still averaging a 3.7 finish and has not finished lower than 10th in each of his last nine races started. Busch has won the Toyota Owners 400 a total of five times. In fact he’s won half of the races in the last decade including last year. A disappointing week in Texas doesn’t change much. There’s still plenty of meat on the bone. And yes, is a 10th place finish really that disappointing?
Joey Logano is the last driver not named Kyle Busch to win the Toyota Owners 400, winning in 2017. He also placed 4th in this race last year and was also the 2014 winner of the Toyota Owners 400. Logano’s had four Top 3 finishes in nine starts this year including his win at the Pennzoil 400 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway last March 4, 2019. He hasn’t finished higher than 17 though in his last two races.
Denny Hamlin is having an excellent start to 2019 with victories at the Dayton 500 last February 18th and a win at the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 last weekend at the Texas Motor Speedway. Hamlin has not finished lower than 11th in his last 8 starts and has placed at least 7th in his last five starts.
Brad Keselowski has two wins this year. Keselowski won his first race of the year at the Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 25th before emerging victorious at Martinsville last month. Overall, Keselowski has four Top 3 finishes this year in a total of nine starts. Keselowski finished 8th in the 2018 Toyota Owners 400.
Martin Truex Jr. finished in the Top 10 in five consecutive races before placing 8th at the Texas Motor Speedway the last time out. Despite that, Truex has finished in the Top 8 in half of his other races. Truex won pole position in last year’s Toyota Owners 400.
Kurt Busch has not won a race since last August but he’s finished 9th place or better in five out of his last six starts so he’s in good form heading to the Toyota Owners 400. The elder Busch won the Toyota Owners 400 in 2015 and finished 11th here last year.
Kevin Harvick is the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup series champion and a two-time Xfinity Champion Series champion as well. He won the Toyota Owners 400 in 2015, breaking Kyle Busch’s string of four consecutive wins here at Richmond. Harvick has seven Top 10 finishes in his last 10 starts.
I’d like to see the oddsboard first before I make up my mind. However, I have two names that are on top of my mind right now so let me share those with you.
Kyle Busch has won five times in the last decade here at Richmond but when you look closely at the results, Joey Logano has been the more dominant force in the last five years. Since 2014, Logano has been 1st, 5th, 8th, 1st and 4th. That’s the kind of consistency you can’t just overlook.
On the other hand, Denny Hamlin could be the darkhorse of this race as he’s finished third in the last two editions of the Toyota Owners 400 and is also coming off a win at the Texas Motor Speedway last weekend. Like Logano, I like Hamlin’s consistency at this Richmond race in the last couple of years.