RICHMOND RACEWAY / TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY NOTES
Saturday, April 1 – NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series @ Texas, 4:30 p.m. ET (FS1)
Saturday, April 1 – NASCAR Xfinity Series @ Richmond, 1 p.m. ET (FS1)
Sunday, April 2 – NASCAR Cup Series @ Richmond, 3:30 p.m. ET (FS1)
NASCAR’s top three series will split states this weekend, as the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series will share driving duties at Richmond Raceway. The Craftsman Truck Series will make a jaunt up I-35 from Austin to Fort Worth for Saturday’s race to Texas Motor Speedway.
Joey Logano: “Not much different than what we’ve had in the past. Tires are going to wear out there a lot. Smart racers will prevail. We’ll have some interesting setup decisions to make, to make sure we’re good in the long-haul, as well as the short run. We’ll try to adjust to that. I don’t think it’ll be different from the Richmonds we’ve seen – it may widen-out some — but, like usual, the smart racers will be strong.”
Ryan Blaney: “Going there with the new package… hopefully it’s a step in the right direction for the traffic side of it. The tire fall-off there is already pretty large, and I think it’s going to be even bigger this year with the low spoiler. You’re going to have your hands a little more full, I feel like, than what it was in the past. That’s going to make it more difficult to kind of save your tires – it may make the race even better. It’ll be a challenge, that’s for sure, but hopefully we hit it right.”
Austin Cindric: “I certainly expect, talking about the package, it’ll probably be the most extreme example of how much downforce we took off the cars. I think as far as race tracks that are knife-edge and you pay a penalty for having weaknesses, Richmond there is certainly nowhere to hide.”
Brad Keselowski: “I’m excited about Richmond. It’ll be nice to have the cars really difficult to drive. You’re going to see the cars move around a lot. Last year, we saw the cars race all the way up against the wall, and all into the bottom of the track – it’s a really exciting race, to me personally, inside the car. I thought it was thrilling. I would expect it to another degree.”
RICHMOND ONE OF LOGANO’S BEST
It would be easy to look at Joey Logano’s two career wins at Richmond and say it’s got to be one of his best tracks on the circuit, but the statistics provide further proof. In 27 career starts, Logano has 12 top 5 and 16 top 10 finishes, which gives him an average finish of 10.3. That’s his second-best average finish on tracks where he’s run more than five races. The only track where Logano has a better average finish is Las Vegas, where his three wins and 12 top-10 finishes in 20 starts works out to a 9.9 average finish.
HARVICK A CAREER TOP-10 FINISHER AT RICHMOND
Another Ford driver who has experienced consistent success at Richmond is Stewart-Haas Racing driver Kevin Harvick. This weekend will mark his 44th career Cup Series start at the track in which his 9.7 average finish is fourth-best among tracks currently on the circuit in which he has more than five starts. The other three tracks that statistically are Harvick’s best include: Homestead (7.3), Phoenix (8.6), and Indianapolis (8.6).
KESELOWSKI SOLE RICHMOND WINNER IN 2020
Richmond Raceway hosted two NASCAR Cup Series events a year from 1959-2019, but in 2020 the track had only one event due to COVID and Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski took the checkered flag in dominating fashion. Keselowski led 192-of-400 laps in recording his second career Cup win at the Virginia short track, and automatically advanced to the Round of 12. Overall, Ford led 297 laps on the night and had five drivers finish in the top 10, including Joey Logano (3rd), Kevin Harvick (7th), Aric Almirola (8th) and Clint Bowyer (10th).
RILEY RIVALING FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP
The consistency of Riley Herbst has been in the spotlight since the latter part of the 2022 season. Herbst earned his sixth consecutive top-10 finish to start the 2023 campaign after a 10th-place run at Circuit of The Americas last weekend – his ninth since October 2022 (Homestead). The streak this season has helped Herbst climb to second in the driver rankings (234), trailing by only 15 points for the lead into Richmond.
Mark Martin climbed 16 spots and led 16 laps to give Ford its first series victory at Richmond in 1987. Martin, who has five career series wins there, is one of three Ford drivers to win consecutive races at the track after sweeping both events in 1993. The others are Kenny Wallace (1994-1995) and Brad Keselowski (2013 Sweep).
FOLLOW THE LEADER
Zane Smith earned his second win of the season last weekend at Circuit of The Americas – his second-consecutive victory at the road course and a series-leading second of the season. The returning series champion currently leads this year’s points (168). Two Ford F-150s round-out the top-three spots, with Ty Majeski (166) and Ben Rhodes (150) closely behind.
BACK TO BACK
Ford made its early impressions in the Truck Series at Texas Motor Speedway, which made its debut on the NASCAR schedule in 1997. Kenny Irwin Jr. led 55 of the 167 laps in 1997, to score the win in the track’s inaugural season as Ford swept the top five spots. Tony Raines and Ford followed up the strong performance the following season, not only winning the race, but also placing three F-150 trucks in the top-five.
Greg Biffle started the 2000 race on pole, leading 120 laps en route to a dominating victory. Mike Wallace, who finished runner-up, led 29 – giving Ford the top-spot for 149 of the 167 total laps of the race.
FORD NASCAR CUP SERIES WINNERS
1957 – Paul Goldsmith
1959 – Tom Pistone and Cotton Owens
1960 – Speedy Thompson (2)
1963 – Ned Jarrett (2)
1965 – Junior Johnson (1)
1968 – David Pearson (1)
1969 – David Pearson (1)
1970 – James Hylton (1)
1979 – Bobby Allison (2)
1980 – Bobby Allison (2)
1981 – Benny Parsons (2)
1984 – Ricky Rudd (1)
1986 – Kyle Petty (1)
1988 – Davey Allison (2)
1990 – Mark Martin (1)
1992 – Bill Elliott (1)
1993 – Davey Allison (1)
1994 – Ernie Irvan (1)
1995 – Rusty Wallace (2)
1996 – Ernie Irvan (2)
1997 – Rusty Wallace and Dale Jarrett
1998 – Jeff Burton (2)
1999 – Dale Jarrett (1)
2001 – Ricky Rudd (2)
2002 – Matt Kenseth (2)
2005 – Kurt Busch (2)
2013 – Carl Edwards (2)
2014 – Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski
2017 – Joey Logano (1)
2020 – Brad Keselowski
2022 – Kevin Harvick (2)
FORD NASCAR XFINITY SERIES WINNERS AT RICHMOND
1987 – Mark Martin
1993 – Mark Martin (Sweep)
1994 – Kenny Wallace
1995 – Kenny Wallace and Dale Jarrett
1996 – Kenny Wallace (2)
1997 – Mark Martin (1)
1998 – Jeff Burton (1)
1999 – Mark Martin (1)
2000 – Jeff Burton (1)
2002 – Jason Keller (1)
2005 – Carl Edwards (1)
2008 – Carl Edwards (2)
2009 – Carl Edwards (2)
2013 – Brad Keselowski (Sweep)
2017 – Brad Keselowski (2)
2019 – Cole Custer (1)
FORD NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK SERIES WINNERS AT TEXAS
1997 – Kenny Irwin, Jr.
1998 – Tony Raines
2000 – Greg Biffle (1)