2019 Toyota Owners 400 Preview, Betting Odds, and Prediction
by Kent Whitaker Scores & Statson
Kyle Busch has been a factor in every race this season including last weekend at Bristol where he picked up his third win of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season. That’s why the driver of the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing is riding the top of the favorite to win list. Busch, at +200, is far ahead of a group of drivers at +700.
The reason for the gap is more than the three wins. It’s the fact that two of those three wins are recent and they came on a wide variety of tracks showing that the JGR team has the ability to dial their car in for any venue. The only untested type of track is road course and there’s no reason to think they don’t have that figured out as well.
The question is if any other driver can shake up things and get past Kyle. According to oddsmakers at Intertops, there are only four drivers coming in under +1000 besides Busch.
Martin Truex Jr
This is the Cup Series second visit to Virginia in the 2019 season and any of the five drivers listed above can win under the Richmond Raceway lights this weekend. In fact, four of the top-five favored drivers have past Richmond victories. Martin Truex Jr. is the only driver listed above without a win at the track. That could change this weekend. More on that below. As for past winners, here’s how things breakdown over the last ten races with year, driver, and manufacture.
Factoring in Past Richmond Winners
It’s been the Kyle show at Richmond for the last three races at the track. Kyle Busch went back-to-back winning both 2018 events with Kyle Larson winning in the 2017 fall race.
Both Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards have retired so the next set of drivers include Kurt Busch as well as Logano and Keselowski. Toyota has won five of the last ten Richmond races and the Toyota camp looks strong in 2019 having won four of the last five Cup Series races.
2019 Toyota Owners 400 Prediction
The 2019 Toyota Owners 400 is run on at Richmond Raceway which is billed as being a superspeedway built like a short track. Just for reference, Talladega is over 2.5 miles, Daytona is 2.5 miles, Bristol is .53 miles long, and Martinsville is .526 miles long. Richmond is .75 miles long.
The design features a look similar to larger tracks such as Daytona and Talladega but on a smaller scale. This will make several middle-tier teams have great runs. But, the race is not known for awarding lesser funded teams with a surprise win which can happen at regular Superspeedways.
Look for the regulars, Busch, Harvick, Logano, Keselowski, and Hamlin will have great runs but Kyle Busch has won the last two races at Richmond and has won at the track seven times in the Cup Series. Only the King, Richard Petty, has more with eight. 2019 will probably not be any different as the younger Busch brother continues his winning ways.
However, Kevin Harvick came from four laps down last week to finish in the 13th spot. The No. 4 Ford Stewart – Haas Racing team may be on the brink of getting a handle on the new Mustang.
Another driver to keep an eye on is Martin Truex Jr. As mentioned above, he’s never won at Richmond but he has grabbed the poll and he finished third in the last race at the facility. The most impressive stat is that over the last five races Truex as led 675 laps.
Kent Whitaker is an award-winning author, culinary writer and
sports writer. Whitaker's books range from BBQ, Grilling, Tailgating and additional
culinary titles to WWII history books, books about NASCAR and racing and titles
Whitaker, known as “the Deck Chef,” has a culinary, history
and journalism background. He credits this for his cookbook writing style. “My
books are people based. I interview, gather recipes from real people and
sources – and combine the recipes with back-stories. My cookbooks are slices of
Whitaker can also be found on TV, Radio, Print, and as a
celebrity spokesperson. He has appeared on radio and TV including Food Network.
He’s the Emeril Live Barbecue Contest winner and columnist for the National
Whitaker has covered NASCAR, IndyCar, ARCA Racing, The NFL,
SEC Football, Professional Golf and more. His books include:
·Great American Grilling – Ultimate Backyard Barbecue
·The Gulf Coast Seafood Cookbook
·Smoke in the Mountains - The Art of Appalachian
·Checkered Flag Cooking - Tailgating Stock Car Racing
·The Hometown Cookbook Series; The Tennessee Hometown Cookbook,
as well as Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, West
Virginia, Alabama, and Florida.
·The USS Alabama - The History of the Mighty A
·Bullets and Bread - Feeding the Greats and Grunts of
·Big Mo's Tennis Ball Hunt
the Mountains Smokey?
Kent has worked with several brands as spokesperson. Companies
include Check Mark, ALPO, TimberTech, Vermont Castings, Pabst Blue Ribbon, E.H.
Campbell Trading, Big Show Foods, and others. Whitaker, and his wife Allyson,
hosted a NASCAR and racing themed show on ESPN Radio for several years. That
show has morphed into a weekly short format tailgate show heard on over 50
Kent is also a member of the United States Coast Guard
Auxiliary and severed on the National Staff as an AUXCHEF/AUX Food Service
Specialist and National Branch Chief.
Kent and his wife Allyson live in Tennessee and have one ARMY
Strong son, Macee. You can visit him online at www.thedeckchef.com and Twitter/Instagram