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The next stop on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule takes teams to Richmond Raceway for Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 (3 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Before all the on-track action, there are many things you should know. Take a look at the rundown.
WHO’S ON THE POLE?
Martin Truex Jr. leads the field to green Sunday in Richmond, earning his first Busch Pole Award of the season after outpacing Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin in the Final Stage to secure his third win in the last four trips to Martinsville.
Looking for redemption? Hamlin has his chance this weekend, starting alongside Truex on the front row. Chase Elliott, William Byron, Joey Logano and Kyle Larson complete the first three rows. See the full Toyota Owners 400 starting lineup.
The Joe Gibbs Racing battle between short-track standouts even has oddsmakers invested in the potential Martinsville ‘rematch’. Truex’s 4-1 series-leading odds to win Sunday narrowly edge out Hamlin who slides in at 6-1.
But don’t sleep on last year’s Richmond winner, Brad Keselowski, who dominated the show in 2020 by leading 192 laps. The No. 2 Team Penske wheelman sits just behind the leaders at 13-2.
Based on recent track trends, Austin Dillon, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch each present good value. Full list of BetMGM Richmond odds.
RELATED: Which short-track ace has the edge?
The NASCAR rules package for short tracks will be in effect with a tapered spacer used to set a target of 750 horsepower. The cars will use a reduced downforce package with a shorter spoiler, a shorter splitter overhang and other aerodynamic changes.
Cup Series teams have nine sets of Goodyear Eagle Speedway Radials for the 300-mile marathon at Richmond. Due to the high wear nature of the track, four tires and maintaining track position is even more crucial at every opportunity.
“Richmond has emerged as a high wear track over the past decade as the track surface has aged,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear‘s director of racing. “As that has happened, it has given us some great racing. Even though Richmond is technically a short track, the cars carry a great deal of speed. You add in the fact that the surface wears tires and you end up having a race with multiple grooves and a lot of passing throughout the field. That makes Richmond a very popular track for both drivers and fans.”
Recommended tire inflation is 12 psi for the left side tires, 30 psi for the right front and 27 psi for the right rear.
RICHMOND FAST FACTS
— Since its inaugural race in 1953, Richmond Raceway has hosted a Cup Series race every year since 1955 and Sunday marks the 129th.
— Joe Gibbs Racing has dominated recent history at Richmond, winning four of the last five races and seven of the last 10.
— Two of the last three Richmond races had a green flag stretch of 148 or more laps to finish the race.
— In the last 12 races at Richmond, the race winner has started inside the top 10 all but two times.
Source: Racing Insights
Another week means another chance to beat the competition and show off your NASCAR instincts. Take control of your very own team each week with NASCAR Fantasy Live — it‘s free to play! Learn everything you need to know at fantasygames.nascar.com.
The 2021 fantasy points leaders are Denny Hamlin (379), Martin Truex Jr. (303) and Joey Logano (295).
ALSO ON NASCAR.COM
Get additional camera views by logging on to NASCAR Drive, where each week a select number of in-car cameras will be available — as well as a battle cam and an overhead look.
New for this season, NASCAR has partnered with LiveLike to add fan engagement in the NASCAR Mobile App. Log in to the mobile app during the race for polls, quizzes, the cheer meter and more — and see instant results from NASCAR fans like you.