The NASCAR Cup Series returns to one of its oldest venues this week for Sunday’s race at Richmond Raceway.
The stock car series ran the first race on the current 0.75-mile oval configuration in 1988, but NASCAR has visited the venue in some form since 1953.
Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 (3:30 p.m. Eastern, FS1) is the first short-track race this season (not including the exhibition Busch Light Clash on the temporary oval at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum) and the presenting sponsor is appropriate.
Put simply, Toyota has been the class of the field over the past 20 Cup series races at Richmond, dating to September 2012. The manufacturer has won half of those 20 races, with Ford winning six and Chevrolet just four. This trend is something to keep in mind for Virginia sports betting this weekend as the series visits the state.
Richmond NASCAR Cup Statistics By Manufacturer, Past 20 Races
Joe Gibbs Racing Loves Richmond
Martin Truex Jr. has won three times in the most recent 20-race span at Richmond, including a season sweep of both Cup races in 2019. He’s partly responsible for Joe Gibbs Racing’s terrific run at the track in the past decade and the team should draw a fair bit of action on Virginia sportsbook apps.
JGR owns victories in nine of the past 14 Richmond races, by five different drivers. Apart from Truex’s three wins, other success stories for the team include Denny Hamlin, who grew up in Virginia and has four career wins at Richmond dating to 2009, and Kyle Busch, who swept two Richmond races in 2018.
Busch now drives a Chevy for Richard Childress Racing, but Gibbs should still be strong on the short oval. What’s interesting is that, among the four Gibbs drivers in the race, the one with the best odds to win – Christopher Bell, +750 with DraftKings Virginia Sportsbook – is the one veteran on the team who has not won at Richmond yet. Bell has three top-five runs in five career races there and his average finish of 6.0 (admittedly in a small sample) tops all active drivers.
DraftKings lists Hamlin at +900, Truex at +1000 and rookie Ty Gibbs at +8000 to win on Sunday.
Penske’s Fords Also Worth Watching
Of Ford’s six Richmond victories in the past 10 years, Roger Penske’s team has accounted for four of them.
That includes two wins by defending Cup Series champion Joey Logano, who is an interesting play at +1600 to win with Sports Illustrated Virginia Sportsbook.
Stewart Haas Racing has won twice at Richmond in the past 20 races – once when the team ran Chevrolets, once with a Ford. That Ford win came last year when Kevin Harvick took the Federated Auto Parts 400 in August.
Brad Keselowski won twice with Penske and now drives for RFK Racing and owns a piece of the team too. He has had some good runs this year in the No. 6 and is an interesting play with +2000 odds to win at SI.
Can Chevrolet Surge at Richmond?
Perhaps the most surprising thing about the past decade at Richmond is how little success powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports has had there.
The team racked up the victories on the D-shaped oval in the days of Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, but that has been a while. Since 2012, owner Rick Hendrick has visited Victory Lane at Richmond just once, with Alex Bowman in 2021.
But oddsmakers seem to value the team, and their overall success tells you why. William Byron is the +550 favorite for Sunday’s race with Caesars Virginia Sportsbook, as the only two-time winner so far in 2023 rides a wave of strong runs. Teammate Kyle Larson, a winner at Richmond in 2017 when he drove a Chevy for Chip Ganassi, is +600, third on the board behind Byron and Harvick (+575).
Plus don’t forget Busch at +1000; he leads active drivers with six Richmond wins. He’s also +350 at Caesars to be the top Chevy finisher.
And Chevy is listed as the +115 favorite with Caesars to be the winning manufacturer this weekend.
Don’t forget to check out the Virginia sportsbook promo codes available at BetVirginia for this big race weekend and throughout the year.
Methodology: BetVirginia.com used driveraverages.com and Motor Racing Network to calculate the total number of wins, second-place runs and top-five finishes at Richmond Raceway from each manufacturer since September 2012.