NASCAR betting: Martin Truex Jr. badly needs a win and he's the Richmond favorite

·3 min read

Martin Truex Jr. now needs a win to make the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. And there are few tracks better than Richmond for Truex.

Truex enters Sunday’s race at the 0.75-mile oval (3 p.m. ET, USA) as the favorite to get to victory lane. Truex (+600 at BetMGM) is currently fourth in the points standings but is out of the playoffs with three races to go in the regular season because of Kevin Harvick’s win at Michigan.

Harvick became the 15th different driver to win a Cup race in 2022 at Michigan and Truex is second to Ryan Blaney among winless drivers in the points standings. With 16 playoff spots available, Blaney has the edge over Truex for that final playoff spot because he’s higher in the points.

A win for Truex would knock Blaney out of the playoffs and cement Truex as a playoff driver. And Truex has won a lot recently at Richmond. The 2017 Cup Series champion has three wins over the last six races at Richmond. He swept the 2019 races at the track and won the second race at Richmond in 2021.

Just how good has Truex been at Richmond over the last three years? Truex has never finished worse than fifth in his six Richmond races with Joe Gibbs Racing.

Richmond is JGR’s best track in the Cup Series. Truex, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch have won a combined 13 races at the track and all four of the team’s drivers finished in the top 10 in the spring race. If Truex doesn’t head to victory lane, it will be less than stunning if one of his teammates is there celebrating after the race.

Here’s what you need to know to bet Sunday’s race. After Richmond, races at Watkins Glen and Daytona remain before the playoffs begin in Darlington.

BROOKLYN, MICHIGAN - AUGUST 06: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #19 Auto-Owners Insurance Toyota, waits on the grid during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 06, 2022 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr. has won three of the last six NASCAR Cup Series races at Richmond. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

The favorites

  • Martin Truex Jr. (+600)

  • Denny Hamlin (+700)

  • Kyle Busch (+700)

  • Christopher Bell (+800)

  • Chase Elliott (+900)

All four of JGR’s drivers are the top four favorites entering Sunday’s race. We told you the team was good at the track. Busch has finished in the top 10 in 26 of his 33 Richmond starts, while Hamlin has 20 top 10s in 31 starts. Both drivers also finish in the top five more than 50% of the time. Bell has seen a lot of Xfinity Series success at Richmond and has an average finish of seventh in four Cup starts. Elliott has never won at Richmond but his average finish is 11.5 in 13 starts.

Good mid-tier value

  • Joey Logano (+1600)

  • William Byron (+1800)

Logano has two wins and 12 top-five finishes in 26 starts with an average finish just outside the top 10. Byron was third in the spring in his first top-five finish at Richmond.

Don't bet this driver

  • Bubba Wallace (+1600)

Wallace has never finished in the top 10 at Richmond. His odds have been the biggest rollercoaster in the Cup Series so far this season. He’s been good value at extremely long odds and bad value at short odds. This is one of those bad value weeks.

Looking for a long shot?

  • Erik Jones (+6600)

Jones has been good at Richmond, though that success has primarily been with Joe Gibbs Racing. He’s finished between 19th and 23rd in his three starts at Richard Petty Motorsports. Maybe he’ll have more speed this weekend.