NASCAR visits Richmond Raceway for Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 on the short 0.75-mile track. Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr. are favored at 7/2 at William Hill. Denny Hamlin sneaks in as a top choice at Ladbrokes, where he, Harvick, and Truex are at 4/1 to win.
Harvick starts on the pole for the second race of the NASCAR Playoffs. However, none of the four poles Harvick won at Richmond in the past translated into a victory. He finished second, fourth, fifth, and 10th in those contests.
Harvick won the first playoff race last Sunday, earning his eighth victory of the season at the Cook Out Southern 500 at Darlington. Harvick was the 3/1 favorite to win that race.
Federated Auto Parts 400 Odds
|Martin Truex Jr.||7/2|
Source: William Hill
Harvick has been challenged for most of the season by Hamlin, who won six races this season, and who is a co-favorite to win the Federated Auto Parts 400 at BetMGM, and at Ladbrokes.
One driver who is peaking at the right time is Martin Truex Jr. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver faded last week at Darlington, finishing 22nd, but before that, had eight consecutive finishes of fourth or better. He’s listed as a co-favorite with Harvick at 7/2 at William Hill. Truex told reporters on Thursday that he believes he’s in the same league with Harvick and Hamlin.
“You look at what we’ve done the last 10 races, I feel like we have been a top-three car every single race,” Truex said. “I’m curious to see if we can step it up to that next level. I feel like we can. I feel like we are right there on the cusp of it.”
So who could grab the win at the Federated Auto Parts 400? We take a look at some who could cruise to Victory Lane, and others who face a rougher road.
Truex Runs Roughshod at Richmond
Throw out last week’s disappointing result for Truex, where he finished 22nd at the Cook Out Southern 500. Instead, focus on his previous eight results, where he finished no worse than fourth. The 7/2 odds seem justified.
Also factor in Truex’s past results at Richmond Raceway. He won both races there last year, including the Federated Auto Parts 400. He likes this racetrack and should challenge for the victory here.
Bet on Busch to Win?
Busch is another driver who’s had success at Richmond, and this could be the track where he breaks his 27-race winless streak. He’s listed anywhere from 5/1 at William Hill, to 8/1 at BetMGM.
Busch’s Last 5 Federated Auto Parts 400 Results
Busch has won at Richmond six times in his career, most recently in 2018. Bush also likes the 750 horsepower package being used for the Federated Auto Parts 400; he hasn’t finished lower than fourth this year when running that engine.
Should Harvick be a Favorite?
Harvick should probably be considered a favorite in every race he enters, if for no other reason than he’s won eight contests this season. However, the 44-year-old hasn’t won at Richmond since 2013, and he was in a Chevrolet when he did that.
Harvick’s coming off last week’s victory at Darlington, and his results at Richmond aren’t terrible. He’s had four top 10s in his last five appearances, but at 7/2, you may be better off picking someone else.
Toyota Zooming Past Ford, Keselowski
Toyota has been the dominant car at Richmond for this race, and the last Ford to win the Federated Auto Parts 400 was driven by Brad Keselowski in 2014. Odds are against a Ford driver breaking Toyota’s streak this week. Toyota is the -120 favorite to win at Richmond, while Ford is next at +130, followed by Chevrolet at +350.
Keselowski is at 17/2 to win, but the odds might not be attractive enough to back him this week.