The NASCAR Cup Series trades the top-end speed of Michigan for short-track handling this week as the Federated Auto Parts 400 emanates from Richmond Raceway in Virginia. Here is everything you need to know for the race weekend:
NASCAR Cup Series weekend schedule and how to watch
Fans in the United States can watch the race on the USA network, the USA mobile app or the NBC Sports app (cable or satellite subscription required for both). Radio coverage is available on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM.
(All times ET)
Saturday, Aug. 13
Practice: 5:05-5:50 p.m. (USA, MRN, SiriusXM)
Qualifying: 5:50-7 p.m. (USA, MRN, SiriusXM)
Sunday, Aug. 14
Federated Auto Parts 400: 3-6 p.m. ET (USA, MRN, SiriusXM)
Top drivers and best bets for the Federated Auto Parts 400
If “Joe Gibbs Racing” appears next to a driver’s name this weekend, back that driver. Each of the JGR Toyotas are in the top four favorites, according to BetMGM, with Richmond ace Martin Truex Jr. sporting the best odds of the lot at +600. Following him are Denny Hamlin (+700), Kyle Busch (+700) and Christopher Bell (+800). The Rick Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolets of Chase Elliott (+900) and Kyle Larson (+1000) round out the crop of drivers with 10-to-1 odds or better.
Yahoo Sports’ Nick Bromberg is bullish on the Gibbs stable as well and suggests some good value is to be found in two-time Richmond winner Joey Logano (+1600) and William Byron (+1800), who led 122 laps in the spring race there. Bromberg suggests staying away from last week’s pole-sitter and second-place finisher Bubba Wallace (+1600).
Richmond Raceway layout, history and what to expect
In addition to being the Cup Series’ third-shortest track — at ¾ mile, the D-shaped oval is only behind Bristol and Martinsville (both half-milers) — Richmond is also its third oldest, staging events there since 1953. From 1961-76 Richard Petty claimed all of his record 13 victories at the track. Since 2009 Toyota has been the dominant manufacturer, winning 16 of the 26 races, including six by Busch and three by Truex Jr.
Long green-flag runs are the norm, with the average run being 60 laps and there not having been more than two accident-caused cautions in each of the last six Cup races. That means pit-stop performance, in-race adjustments and strategy are even more vital, which favors the larger teams with more data and more strategic options like Gibbs and Hendrick.
Weather forecast for the Federated Auto Parts 400
Warm and dry. Highs are forecast for 80 degrees with 60-degree overnight lows. That should keep the weekend — the Truck Series is also competing — on schedule without disruption.