NASCAR at Richmond 2022: Odds, Preview and Top Storylines

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistApril 2, 2022

AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 27: Martin Truex Jr (#19 Joe Gibbs Racing Bass Pro Shops Toyota) makes a turn around turn 12 during the NASCAR Cup Series - EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix on March 27, 2022 at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX.(Photo by Adam Davis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

The NASCAR Cup Series begins a three-week swing at short tracks on Sunday at Richmond Raceway. 

The 2022 season produced a handful of surprising winners through six races, including Ross Chastain picking up his first-career Cup Series win last week at the Circuit of the Americas.

Sunday's race at Richmond could be where some of the established stars of the sport begin to take over. 

Joe Gibbs Racing has eight of the last 12 Cup Series victories at Richmond. Martin Truex Jr. owns the last three JGR wins at the track. 

Truex, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin all could use a victory to kickstart their respective seasons, and Sunday presents the perfect chance to do so. 

All of the other normal top contenders should be in the mix for the checkered flag as well. Hendrick Motorsports has three victories from three different drivers. 

Chastain and a handful of young drivers have been near the front of the pack each week, and that may continue at Richmond.


Toyota Owners 400 Info

Date: Sunday, April 3

Start Time: 3:30 p.m. ET 

TV: Fox

Live Stream: FoxSports.com and Fox Sports app



Via DraftKings Sportsbook

Chase Elliott (+800; bet $100 to win $800)

Martin Truex Jr. (+900)

Kyle Larson (+900)

Kyle Busch (+1000)

Joey Logano (+1000)

William Byron (+1100)

Denny Hamlin (+1200)

Tyler Reddick (+1200)

Ross Chastain (+1200)

Ryan Blaney (+1300)

Christopher Bell (+1400)


Top Storylines to Watch

Can Joe Gibbs Racing Continue Richmond Dominance? 

It is not surprising to see Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin near the top of the odds chart for the Toyota Owners 400.

Joe Gibbs Racing has a strong record over the last six years at Richmond, and it is the ideal track for each of the three drivers to gain their first victories of the season. 

Truex and Busch come into Richmond with three top 10 finishes each from the opening six races. Hamlin has not placed in the top 10 yet. 

The Gibbs cars went 1-2-3 during the September race at Richmond. Truex won, Hamlin took second, and Christopher Bell came in third. Busch finished ninth. 

Hamlin, Bell and Truex all finished in the top five in the April 2021 race that was won by Alex Bowman. 

The remarkable record at the track suggests at least one of the JGR drivers will at least compete for the victory on Sunday. 

A victory would be a welcome sight for the team and for Toyota as a manufacturer. Ford and Chevrolet split the six victories this season. Toyota is still looking for its first. 


Will Ross Chastain Keep Up Incredible Start? 

Ross Chastain has been the story of the early season.

The No. 1 car driver took first at the Circuit of the Americas last week to secure a position in the Cup Series playoffs. 

Chastain has four top-five finishes in six races, and he is second to Ryan Blaney in laps led across the circuit with 156. 

Chastain is one of four drivers to lead more than 100 laps through the six races. An argument can be made that he has been the most consistent driver in the Cup Series. 

The 29-year-old's start is surprising because he comes from one of the smaller teams in the sport. 

Trackhouse Racing Team has made Chastain and his teammate Daniel Suarez regular contenders in the new car. 

Chastain proved he could drive well on a road course, a superspeedway and 1.5-mile tracks so far. If he drives well on the short tracks in the coming weeks, he could be mentioned as a dark horse title contender.


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