NASCAR Picks for Richmond
Tony Stewart, #14 Bass Pro Shops/Mobil 1, Stewart-Haas Racing [Yahoo Class A]
Will this be the week Stewart finally gets his act together? Not only is "Smoke" a three-time winner at the track, but he has finished in the top 10 in his last four starts. Last year, Stewart finished third and fourth in two starts at Richmond, and if not for his horrible numbers in 2013, he would be ranked even higher.
Ryan Newman, #39 Quicken Loans/Haas Automation, Stewart-Haas Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Since the start of the 2009 season, Newman has been pretty darn reliable at Richmond. He has five top-10s in his eight starts during the stretch, finishing in the top 15 seven times and never finishing outside the top 20. The downside is that Newman has just a single top-five finish in his last 15 starts at Richmond, but the fact that he can basically be penciled in for a top-15 finish makes him worth considering.
Greg Biffle, #16 3M/Bondo, Roush Fenway Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Plain and simple, Richmond has never been Biffle's best track. In fact, he has just one top-10 in his last 14 starts at RIR. Granted, his lone top-10 during the stretch did come last fall when he finished ninth, but overall, he has just two top-five finishes and six top-10s in 21 starts. Biffle may salvage a decent day, but he is best saved for a different race in many formats, including Yahoo! leagues.
Joey Logano, #22 Shell-Pennzoil, Penske Racing [Yahoo Class B]
His last three starts at Richmond have been very forgettable, but overall, Logano has finished in the top 20 in five of his eight starts at the track. He has finished as high as fourth at Richmond in his career, and he has had a lot of strong runs at flatter tracks. In fact, both of his Cup wins have come at flat tracks. Logano isn't the most consistent option by any means, but he at least has some upside.
A.J. Allmendinger, #47 Kingsford/Clorox, JTG Daugherty Racing [Yahoo Class C]
Ryan Truex was supposed to drive the No. 51 this weekend, but a collarbone injury has him sidelined. As a result, Allmendinger will get an extra start, and fantasy owners may want to take advantage. After all, he has finished in the top 20 in five straight starts at Richmond, logging three top-15s during the stretch. Allmendinger should be a solid fantasy sleeper this weekend and a great C-List option in Yahoo! leagues.
Kurt Busch, #78 Furniture Row, Furniture Row Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Despite coming off a year when he finished 28th in both races at Richmond, Busch could still make a serviceable sleeper pick this weekend. After all, he is a former winner at the track, and one of his two top-five finishes this season came at a short track. In fact, Busch has always been solid at the short tracks, so a top-15 run isn't out of the question.
Juan Montoya, #42 Target, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing [Yahoo Class B]
I'll be the first to tout the dangers that come with picking Montoya, but it is tough to argue with his production at Richmond. In his last eight starts at the track, he has finished in the top 20 seven times, including in each of his last three starts. Montoya also has five top-15s during the stretch, and while I wouldn't bank on a great run from him Saturday, history says he should land in the top half of the field.
Jeff Burton, #31 Caterpillar/Cheerios, Richard Childress Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Burton has actually been decent in his last 10 starts at Richmond. He has finished in the top 20 eight times during the stretch, finishing 11th or better five times. In fact, Burton finished sixth at Richmond last fall, and if fantasy owners are going to try to squeeze a start out of the veteran, this could be the track to do it at.
Martin Truex, Jr., #56 NAPA Auto Parts, Michael Waltrip Racing [Yahoo Class B]
For whatever reason, Truex has never had much luck at Richmond. In 14 career starts at the track, he has compiled a dismal 24.1 average finish. Meanwhile, Truex has finished outside the top 20 in his last five starts at RIR, so it isn't like his issues at the track have been getting better.
Marcos Ambrose, #9 Stanley/Dewalt Power Tools, Richard Petty Motorsports [Yahoo Class B]
It has been boom or bust for Ambrose at Richmond. In eight starts at the track, he has four top-15 finishes, including a top-five, but he has also finished outside the top 20 four times. Yes, Ambrose has the potential to help fantasy owners this weekend, but just know going in that it is pretty much a coin flip as to whether he will help or hurt you.
Jamie McMurray, #1 McDonald's/Cessna, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Richmond has been tough on McMurray throughout his career, and in 20 starts, he has a 23.2 average finish. More concerning is the fact that he has just three top-10s and no top-five finishes during the stretch. It is tough to justify taking a chance on him this weekend when he has shown such little potential at RIR.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., #17 Best Buy/Valvoline/Zest, Roush Fenway Racing [Yahoo Class C]
Stenhouse is a bit of a wild card pick this weekend. On one hand, he dominated a somewhat similarly-shaped Iowa track in the Nationwide Series. On the flip side, Roush Fenway Racing has never been a powerhouse at Richmond, and Stenhouse isn't exactly known as a short track specialist. He always has value as a C-List option in Yahoo! leagues, but a wait-and-see approach might not be the worst strategy.
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