Brief Playoff overview: the first three races will taper the 16 eligible playoff drivers down to 12. The next three races bring the field down to 8. Three more races will bring it to the final four who have one race at Homestead-Miami to decide who the 2018 Monster Energy Cup Series Champion will be.
Race: Federated Auto Parts 400
Date: September 22nd
Venue: Richmond Raceway
2017 Winner: Kyle Larson (3:02:52)
Broadcast: NBSCN (Dale Earnhardt Jr., Steve Letarte, Jeff Burton)
Most Wins: Richard Petty (13)
Richmond International Raceway. At 0.75 miles this asphalt track is among the older on the circuit (1946). It runs on the shorter side (much like Bristol) meaning there will be trading paint and anyone can emerge. It is interesting amongst the many oval shaped courses as this one is more of a “D”. It’s banks run 14 degrees at the highest with an 8 degree tilt on the front and 2 degrees on the back.
1) Joey Logano (8th selection this year). Recapping Joey’s last nine races at Richmond: 4th, 1st, 1st, 8th, 8th, 5th, 5th, 1st, 1st. That’s NOT TOO SHABBY. He has finished in the top four in three of the last four races.
2) Kevin Harvick (5th selection this year). Averaging top five over the last four years at Richmond. It’s been five years since he landed outside the top ten here. After a 39th place wreck at Las Vegas, he needs to rebound in strong fashion
High Risk/High Reward
3) Daniel Suarez (4th selection this year). Finished 10th here last year and he’s fresh off an 8th place finish at Las Vegas. I’m hoping all of the Martin Truex Jr. taking his spot in Joe Gibbs racing won’t distract him too much (who knows maybe it’s incentive for him to finish strong?)
4) Denny Hamlin (7th selection this year). Normally Denny is a favorite, but normally Denny isn’t in last place in the playoffs fresh off a 32nd place finish desperate to rise in the ranks (currently 20 points back) or he will be ousted in the first cuts in two races. He has been a top 6 finisher or better each of the last three years at Richmond.
5) Matt Kenseth (3rd selection this year). Not a great track record in the last two years but the whole of his work at Richmond is strong. He averages an 11th place finish over the last five years here with top 10 finishes in each race 2014-2016. Most recently he finished 12th at Indianapolis.
Favorites: avg finish 10th (27th percentile)
High Risk/Reward: avg finish 16th place (43rd percentile)
Dark Horse: avg finish 19th place (49th percentile)
Which Car Manufacturer wins?
This poll is closed
The rules I have implemented for myself are:
1.I will not pick a driver more than 10 times this season.
2.Due to #1 these are “Power Rankings” (in quotations) I’m looking for value here.
My general format for my power rankings:
•Top 2 picks will generally be the favorites, the ones who should be top 5 or top 10 finished
• #3 and #4 will be your riskier picks, could be top 5 or bottom 15.
• Pick #5 is the dark horse.