NASCAR - Toyota Owners 400 | Bonehead Picks

Toyota Owners 400 (Richmond)

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The first official Saturday night race of 2018 is finally upon us as the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway returns to night racing. It is the third short track in four races as the Monster Energy Series has already tackled Martinsville and Bristol on their Spring schedule, and for some has been extremely brutal as of late. By the timing of this article, Chase Elliott (starting 2nd) was fastest in first practice and Kyle Larson (5th) in final practice.

Martin Truex Jr won the pole at Richmond for the first time in his career and it is also his fourth of the season, which is the most among all drivers in 2018. Truex was third fastest in first practice and has eight top tens in 24 career races. His best finish is third in the 2016 Fall race where he led 193 laps, and it will be his sixth top ten start of 2018. Since winning at Fontana earlier, Truex has finished 30th or worst in two of the last three races.

None other than Kyle Busch (32nd) holds the most active wins with four, and has won the last two Monster Energy races at Texas and Bristol. Although his last Richmond win came in this same race in 2012, Kyle has led 126 laps four of the last five races overall and finished twice in two of them. He also has a combined four top tens in the last five at Richmond and holds a current streak of six straight top three finishes going back to Las Vegas and the only Joe Gibbs winner so far.

Kevin Harvick (10th), Denny Hamlin (4th) and Jimmie Johnson (17th) each have three wins, with Hamlin and Johnson searching for their first win in 2018. Johnson’s winless streak is now 31 races long and has not won at Richmond since 2008. Hamlin is at his self proclaimed home track and has finished in the top ten in the last five races overall, including his last win in the 2016 Fall race. Since the win, Hamlin has led a combined 248 laps.

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