Toyota Owners 400 Predictions

Race: Toyota Owners 400 Picks and Betting Odds to Win
Date: Sunday April 30, 2017
Track: Richmond International Raceway
Time: 2pm ET
TV: FOX

So, it appears that Jimmie Johnson is bringing his “A game” back. He managed to take the checkers at Bristol for his second win in a row, after winning at Martinsville before the Easter break. There wasn’t a whole lot of controversy at Bristol this year. Kyle Busch cut down a tire (of course!). Other than that, we didn’t see a whole lot of story lines. Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, and Joey Logano rounded out the top five. Some of the other veterans saw better days. Earnhardt Jr., Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, and Brad Keselowski all boasted finished of 25th or worse. They will have to see if they can get any redemption as we head to yet another short track this weekend in Richmond, Virginia.

But first, we must at least mention the elephant in the room. Dale Jr. is joining the ranks of Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle, and Carl Edwards in stepping away from his NASCAR Sprint Cup driver role. It’s interesting to see the media and fan reaction to this scenario. Honestly, I totally saw this coming and thought this was a possibility even last year seeing him race. He’s not at the level of competitiveness that he wants to be at, and he made it perfectly clear that if he’s not in championship contention, he will not be racing after 2017. That being said, he’s had a very disappointing season thus far. He’s at the bottom of the rung in terms of comparing to his teammates right now. In all honestly, Jr. has an entire world open to him. He could start his own Cup team or be a broadcaster like former teammate Gordon. If I had to take a guess, though, I think that Jr. is going to do something huge for the sport but stay behind the scenes. He’s not a limelight kind of guy. He’s got a lot to offer and certainly wants to continue the Earnhardt legacy. Only time will tell what we will see from him, but let us regroup and wish him the best for the remaining 2017 season.

As I previously mentioned, we are heading to Richmond this weekend for the third short track race in a row. I’m not too sure how I feel with them all grouped together. I kind of like to see the monotony of the intermediate tracks broken up, but this is what NASCAR gave us to work with this year, so I guess we have to deal with it. Richmond is unlike Bristol or Martinsville. It’s unique in its size and doesn’t tend to drive like a short track. It has its own unique challenges in terms of tire wear, though, and I anticipate that we will see a lot of that on Sunday. Additionally, track position is huge at Richmond. Even though it’s a short track, it’s a track that drivers can really pull ahead from the rest of the field. This track is a ¾ mile asphalt D-shaped oval. It’s had the same configuration since 1988 with few revisions.

When it comes to picking the winner here, we have to take into consideration the most dominant driver on this track in recent history. There’s no one better here than Kyle Busch. If this team can overcome their incessant tire issues, he will absolutely be the one to beat this weekend. He’s going to have a lot of competition from Matt Kenseth and Kevin Harvick from the A list group of drivers, but he should have no problem outdriving them here. With 4 wins and the best average out of the active drivers, Busch will have all eyes on him. Let’s take a look at your potential winners heading into Richmond this weekend:

My Pick to Win: Kyle Busch
Middle of the Road Pick: Kyle Larson
Dark Horse Prediction: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Bet YOUR picks using your credit card at one of the web’s oldest and most trusted sportsbooks where you’ll receive a generous 50% bonus! –> 5 Dimes Sportsbook!

Stenhouse isn’t a crazy pick, believe it or not. This guy has come a long way and has produced top 10 finishes in both of the short tracks we just came from. Richmond is a solid track for him as well. Running probably the best he ever has, don’t count Stenhouse out of a very solid performance. Finally, Kyle Larson is on fire. He’s got the best average finish of anyone this year. He’s also coming off a second place finish at his last start at this track. Larson is going to absolutely be a driver to keep on the top of your list. That being said, let’s look and see how these guys are stacking up after Bristol:

Here are your current top 16 after last week’s race:

1. Kyle Larson
2. Chase Elliott
3. Martin Truex Jr.
4. Joey Logano
5. Brad Keselowski
6. Jimmie Johnson
7. Jamie McMurray
8. Clint Bowyer
9. Kevin Harvick
10. Ryan Blaney
11. Kyle Busch
12. Erik Jones
13. Trevor Bayne
14. Ryan Newman
15. Denny Hamlin
16. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

One guy we haven’t heard much from is Denny Hamlin. Richmond is a good track for that team. We’ll have to keep our eyes on them too. There’s a lot of young guns in that top group of drivers. Jones, Bayne. Larson, Elliott…it’s nice to see a crop of young drivers making some consistent runs. With these retirements hitting us like deer flies on the legs, we really need a good group of guys to count on and to raise the bar. It’s hard seeing our top drivers all moving out. It’s crazy to be in this generation of seeing an entire group of drivers moving on past racing and leaving us with some who really aren’t what we’re used to seeing. Hopefully, the racing stays at the level that it’s currently at. We’ll have to see how this all plays out. But for now, we move on. To Richmond we go for another great weekend of short track racing! Bet your Toyota Owners 400 picks for FREE by taking advantage of a HUGE 50% sign-up bonus at 5 Dimes!

Toyota Owners 400 Betting Odds to Win the Race
Kyle Busch 5/1
Kyle Larson 6/1
Joey Logano 15/2
Brad Keselowski 8/1
Kevin Harvick 8/1
Chase Elliott 9/1
Jimmie Johnson 9/1
Martin Truex Jr. 9/1
Denny Hamlin 10/1
Matt Kenseth 16/1
Clint Bowyer 20/1
Jamie McMurray 25/1
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 30/1
Erik Jones 30/1
Kurt Busch 35/1
Ryan Blaney 35/1
Kasey Kahne 40/1
Ryan Newman 40/1
Austin Dillon 65/1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 100/1

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