Last week’s Sprint Cup Series race in Kansas was one of the most exciting of the year, and the Toyota Owners 400 will have a lot to live up to this weekend.
Matt Kenseth cruised to a victory in the STP 400 last Sunday in a race that saw plenty of lead changes and a bevy of cautions. Kenseth was later penalized for failing a post-race engine inspection, and this weekend will be an interesting test for the Joe Gibbs Racing driver who will be without his crew chief for the next six races as a result of the failed inspection (per Lee Spencer of Fox Sports).
Clint Bowyer won last September in the more recent Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway, and he’ll return to the track this weekend in the hopes of adding to his resume. The same holds true for 2012 winner Kyle Busch, who has won on Richmond’s track four times in his career (h/t FoxNews.com).
Denny Hamlin won’t make his return to the track just yet after a crash that sent him to the hospital with a broken back on March 24 (per USA Today), but there are still plenty of more great storylines and talented drivers to watch for this Saturday.
Where: Richmond International Raceway; Henrico County, Virginia
When: Saturday, April 27, at 7:30 p.m. ET
Streaming: NASCAR Race View
|Jamie McMurray||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Landon Cassill||Brian Keselowski|
|Brad Keselowski||Kyle Busch||David Ragan||Mark Martin|
|Kasey Kahne||Mike Bliss||Josh Wise||Martin Truex Jr.|
|Dave Blaney||Matt Kenseth||J.J. Yeley||Kurt Busch|
|Marcos Ambrose||Joey Logano||David Gilliland||David Reutimann|
|Danica Patrick||Jeff Gordon||Ryan Newman||Joe Nemechek|
|Brian Vickers||Paul Menard||Juan Pablo Montoya||Dale Earnhardt Jr.|
|Casey Mears||Kevin Harvick||Aric Almirola||Travis Kvapil|
|Tony Stewart||David Stremme||Bobby Labonte||Michael McDowell|
|Clint Bowyer||Jeff Burton||Jimmie Johnson||Carl Edwards|
|Greg Biffle||Timmy Hill||A.J. Allmendinger|
*Lineup can also be found at Sports.Yahoo.com.
Richmond’s Recent Winners
Federated Auto Parts 400
Capital City 400
One Last Race to Make the Chase
Matthew and Daniel Hansen 400
Air Guard 400
Heath Calhoun 400
Chevy Rock and Roll 400
Russ Friedman 400
Chevy Rock and Roll 400
Dan Lowry 400
*Full list can be found at Richmond International Raceway's official website.
Drivers to Watch
Busch’s recent record at Richmond has been incredible. With a win each of the last four years on its track, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver will be one of the most intriguing drivers to watch on Saturday.
The 27-year-old has two Sprint Cup wins to his name already in 2013 (Auto Club 400 and NRA 500) and currently sits in seventh place in the Sprint Cup standings with 257 points.
Given his recent performance at Richmond, there’s a good chance he makes a move in the standings this weekend.
Like Busch, Kenseth has two wins this year and is riding a lot of momentum into the Toyota Owners 400 this weekend.
The 41-year-old led for most of the race at Kansas last weekend, and despite allowing several lead changes throughout the race, Busch pulled away from Kasey Kahne with a commanding lead in the final laps for his second win of the season.
Busch finished fifth and 11th at Richmond last year (respectively), but he’s in a good position to earn his second victory at the track on Saturday.
The 33-year-old Kane has a win already this season, but he was extremely close to adding to that tally last weekend. While Kenseth ultimately earned the checked flag at the STP 400, Kahne didn’t make it easy for him.
Kahne currently ranks second in the 2013 Sprint Cup standings, just 37 points behind Jimmie Johnson and a point ahead of Brad Keselowski. As well as Keselowski drove last weekend, the Toyota Owners 400 could prove to be a duel between the two drivers.