Race: Nascar Toyota Care 250 ; Richmond Int’l Raceway
Where to Watch: DSport, 10:00 p.m. (IST), this Saturday
Race Distance: 187.5 miles (250 laps)
Stage Lengths: Stage 1 (Ends on lap 75), Stage 2 (Ends on lap 150)
For third time this season NASCAR XFINITY Series championship contending drivers will have the chance to battle it out for the Dash 4 Cash, and the giant $100,000 check that comes with it. JR Motorsport’s driver Justin Allgaier snagged the first Dash 4 Cash win at Phoenix International Raceway, and then last week at Bristol, Richard Childress Racing’s Daniel Hemric grabbed the second instalment of the program and his first Dash 4 Cash win.
Richmond International Raceway has been a part of the Dash 4 Cash program since 2011. Only two drivers have won the Dash 4 Cash at Richmond – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in 2011 and Ty Dillon in 2016.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced on Tuesday that he will retire from the sport following the 2017 season. Dale Jr. won the ToyotaCare 250 last year when the main event was reduced to 140 laps, while 70 other laps were divided in to two heat races for the Xfinity Dash 4 Cash program.
Taking a look at the Xfinity standings, Elliott Sadler’s domination on the NASCAR XFINITY Series points continues. He has 260 points with three top fives and six Top 10’s in seven starts this year, followed by William Byron, who is second place with 244 points. Byron has five Top 10’s in seven starts this year and has finished in the Top 20 every single time. No other driver in the Top 9 can boast that same claim. In third place is Justin Allgaier, who has 200 points. He is 60 off the pace but he has one win on the year – the only driver in the top three with a win – and five Top 20’s. Ryan Reed and Daniel Hemric round out the top five. Reed has 184 points and Hemric has 180.
Dale Jr. will not compete in this week’s race, which means a new champion will be crowned at the ToyotaCare 250. A number of big names have won this race in the past including Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski so keep that in mind when evaluating this year’s field. Erik Jones is the only driver with multiple wins in the Xfinity Series this season.
About the Field
The D-shaped track at Richmond International Raceway is .75-mile in distance and offers plenty of excitement as another short track. Richmond is different in size and shape compared to some of the other short tracks including Bristol and yet there have been similar results to some of the other short tracks over the years. Richmond feels longer as the speeds are higher than you might think, which is why there is a decent amount of passing. Teams with savvy crew chiefs should have an advantage at this track. Experience should also count for something at the Richmond International Raceway.
If Busch races in this week’s Xfinity Series he will be tough to beat. Busch has been unlucky in the Sprint Cup Series but he is overdue for a victory at either level and he has dominated at this track in the past. Busch has a 5.48 average finish at this track with 15 top-five finishes in 21 starts. Busch is the best bet on the board in terms of a pick to win this race outright and he should be a lock to finish in the top-five at the ToyotaCare 250 on Saturday.
Past Five Winners
2016: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
2015: Denny Hamlin
2014: Kevin Harvick
2013: Brad Keselowski
2012: Kurt Busch
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