The NASCAR Cup Series starts a two-week stretch in Virginia on Sunday with the Toyota Owners 400 from Richmond Raceway with Chase Elliott the betting favorite. The series will go to Martinsville next week and return to Richmond in August as well.
Richmond Raceway, known as America’s Premier Short Track, is a ¾-mile oval with 14 degrees banking in turns, eight degrees at starting line on a 1,290-foot front stretch and two degrees on 860-foot back stretch. The race itself is 300 miles but it’s called the Toyota Owners 400 because it’s 400 laps. This will be the first points race of the news season at a short track in the Next Gen car.
2022 Toyota Owners 400 Race Info
- When: Sunday, Apr. 3 at 3:30 pm ET
- Where: Richmond Raceway, Richmond, VA
- TV: FOX
- Radio: MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
- Live Stream: NBCSports.com
Odds to Win the 2022 Toyota Owners 400
- Kyle Larson +750
- Chase Elliott +750
- William Byron +900
- Denny Hamlin +900
- Martin Truex Jr +900
- Kyle Busch +900
- Joey Logano +900
- Ryan Blaney +1200
- Tyler Reddick +1200
- Ross Chastain +1200
- Christopher Bell +1400
- Alex Bowman +1600
- Chase Briscoe +1600
- Kevin Harvick +1700
- Aric Almirola +3200
- Daniel Suarez +3200
- Austin Cindric +3200
- Austin Dillon +3900
- Erik Jones +4900
- Kurt Busch +4900
- Brad Keselowski +5900
- AJ Allmendinger +7700
- Cole Custer +10000
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. +11500
- Justin Haley +13900
- Chris Buescher +17500
- Harrison Burton +20000
- Bubba Wallace +20000
- Todd Gilliland +35000
- Michael McDowell +42500
- Corey Lajole +50000
- Greg Biffle +50000
- Ty Dillon +65000
- Landon Cassill +90000
- Cody Ware +99900
- Garrett Smithley +99900
- Andy Lally +99900
Top Choices to Win the 2022 Toyota Owners 400
Elliott is the +750 favorite Sunday. Elliott (#9 Chevrolet Camaro) finished 4th in Sunday’s race in Austin. He started 12th in the lineup and completed all laps of the 69 run. It was Elliott’s first top-five of the season, but with only one finish worse than 11th, he’s been as consistent as any driver in the field. Last year he was hit-or-miss on short tracks with three top-10s and three results outside that mark. He continues as the points leader in the 2022 NCS point standings.
Kyle Larson is +750 with Hamlin at +900. Larson finished 18th in this race last year. He has won at Richmond but it came in the fall race. Larson has been letting oddsmakers down in a major way this season. He’s finished 29th or worse in 4 of the 6 races, but he’s been the favorite to win three races already.
Hamlin returns to his hometown track in search of his first win this year and first win at Richmond Raceway since 2016. He does so amidst one of the worst stretches of his career. With an 18th-place finish at Circuit of The Americas last weekend, Hamlin has zero top-10 finishes through six starts – the second-longest top-10 drought of his 18-year Cup Series career – and is buried at 22nd in the NASCAR Cup Series standings.
Logano is also +900. In 25 career starts at Richmond, Logano ranks fifth among active drivers in wins (two), average finish (10.24) and top-10 finishes (15). And only Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. have a better driver rating than Logano (110.1) at the track since 2019.
Which Drivers Above +1000 Should Keep into Consideration
Ross Chastain was an unlikely winner last week in Atlanta and is +1200 to go back-to-back. Last week in Austin in his 121st career start, Chastain led 31 of the 68 laps, but had to fight back from second when this chaos broke out on the track with four laps to go. As Joey Logano and others got caught in the wreckage, Tyler Reddick passed Chastain for the lead, setting up a memorable overtime finish.
AJ Allmendinger briefly took the lead during the final restart, pushing Chastain out of the way. Chastain responded as the cars continued to trade paint in the final lap. Alex Bowman bounced Allmendinger on a turn, causing the No. 33 car to spin out and allowing Chastain the open lane to take the No. 1 spot.
Chastain’s move on Allmendinger at the end of the race was aggressive, but after finishing second or third in his last three races, there was no way he was going to pass up the opportunity to win. Chastain raced off to a 1.331-second victory over Bowman for Chastain’s first victory in NASCAR’s premier series but also Trackhouse Racing’s Justin Marks his first win as a new owner in stock car’s big leagues.
Chastain was the sixth winner of the season in the first six races of the NASCAR Cup series. Last year, the season opened with seven different winners. Thirteen of last year’s winners have not yet found Victory Lane and they include some of NASCAR’s best: Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Elliott and Joey Logano.
Chastain’s family owns a watermelon farm in tiny, Alva, Fla. and as he has done with past victories in both the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and Xfinity Series, Chastain stood on top of his winning car, the No.1 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet, and dropped a watermelon to the track, crushing it on the ground.
Bowman is the defending champion of the Toyota Owners 400 and is +1600 to repeat. Bowman took the lead from Hamlin with 10 laps to go, put a bit of space between them and went on to win his first ever race at Richmond.
Hamlin appeared to be in a great spot for the win. He led a race-high 207 laps when Kevin Harvick’s Ford hit the wall with 20 laps remaining, Hamlin won the battle off pit road edging Logano’s Ford to get the outside starting spot on the restart but it wasn’t enough to stay ahead of Bowman.
“We’ve had some pretty painful days here in the past,” said Bowman, who had one top-10 finish — a ninth last fall — in nine previous starts at Richmond. “… To have one of the best race cars all day, overcome [a pit-road speeding penalty], be able to go win on a restart against the guy that’s probably the best in the garage area here, is pretty special.”
2022 Toyota Owners 400 Expert Prediction
Joey Logano at +900