NASCAR Preview 2020 Federated Auto Parts 400

It’s time for some Saturday Night short track racing under the lights at Richmond! Last week, the playoffs started with Kevin Harvick grabbing his first playoff win this year – his eighth of the season. You would think Harvick (+450) would be an immediate favorite this weekend but Martin Truex Jr. comes in as the top-dog at +330.

Truex went back-to-back last year by winning both races at Richmond with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) and Toyota winning the last four races at the track. The two wins before Truex’s double came from teammate Kyle Busch who also pulled the double in 2018.

Denny Hamlin, also a JGR teammate, comes in at +350 with Kyle Busch at +450. That puts three JGR drivers at the top of the favorites list. Here are the favored drivers to win the Federated Auto Parts 400 outright +800 and under.


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Martin Truex Jr +330

Denny Hamlin +350

Kevin Harvick +450

Kyle Busch +450

Brad Keselowski +800

Chase Elliott +800

NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Drivers:

It’s round two of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs and there was a big change after last week's race. Ryan Blaney plummeted down the points list following a penalty. He’s now the last driver in Playoff points and sits at the bottom of the cut list. Only twelve Championship eligible drivers move onto the next round with four falling below the line.

1. Kevin Harvick

2. Denny Hamlin

3. Joey Logano

4. Brad Keselowski

5. Alex Bowman

6. Martin Truex Jr

7. Chase Elliott

8. Austin Dillon

9. William Byron

10. Kyle Busch

11. Kurt Busch

12. Aric Almirola

Cutoff Line:

13. Clint Bowyer

14. Cole Custer

15. Matt DiBenedetto

16. Ryan Blaney

2020 Federated Auto Parts 400 Preview

Track: Richmond Raceway, Henrico County, Virginia

Type: 0.75 miles, oval

Turns: 4

Banking: Turns 14°, front 8°, back 2°

Race Distance: 400 laps, 300 miles

Defending Track Winner: Martin Truex Jr

TV/Radio: NBC-SN / MRN

Start Time: Saturday, September 12, at 7:30 PM Eastern

Wins by manufacturer: Chevrolet 37, Ford 30, Toyota 14, (Dodge 17, Pontiac 11, Plymouth 10, Buick 2, Chrysler 2, Oldsmobile 2, Thunderbird 2.)


Read Our Expert NASCAR Betting Guide


Federated Auto Parts 400 Predictions

Denny Hamlin +350

Denny Hamlin has been stronger than Martin Truex Jr all season so Hamlin gets my top spot. The driver of the No. 11 for JGR has three Richmond Cup Series wins and he’s never crashed out. He comes in with seventeen top-ten and thirteen top-five finishes at the track.

Kevin Harvick +450

I almost faded Kevin Harvick some this week since Toyota has dominated Richmond over the last several years. Since 2009, Toyota drivers – mostly JGR drivers to be exact – have won 14 of 22 races. However, Harvick has been dominating Toyota all season long with the lone exception of Denny Hamlin who has six wins compared to eight for Harvick.

Brad Keselowski +800

Taking Brad Keselowski is somewhat of a stretch since he has not won at this track since 2014. But he has raced well at Richmond since. He’s notched eleven top-ten runs and captured the pole twice. Keselowski should have a good pit stall selection on Saturday and that will help.

Others I like

Kyle Busch and Kurt Busch: Both of the Busch brothers have won at Richmond. Kyle has six and Kurt has two checkered flags. Kyle has not shown the consistency to be my best bet but both he and his brother run good at Richmond and both are due for another win.

One Fantasy Driver

I was asked by a reader to start offering a Fantasy driver selection. I’ll start adding a pick in for that from now on. This week, my fantasy points driver would have to be Ryan Blaney. Look for him to go full barrel to try and make up ground after last weeks slide down the points list. Depending on how your fantasy league works – Blaney could make a ton of points with passes and where he finishes in stages.


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Federated Auto Parts 400 Odds

Martin Truex Jr +330

Denny Hamlin +350

Kevin Harvick +450

Kyle Busch +450

Brad Keselowski +800

Chase Elliott +800

Joey Logano +900

Ryan Blaney +2000

Kurt Busch +2800

Aric Almirola +3300

Erik Jones +3300

Clint Bowyer +3500

William Byron +4000

Jimmie Johnson +4000

Alex Bowman +5000

Christopher Bell +6000

Cole Custer +6000

Matt Dibenedetto +6600

Austin Dillon +8000

Tyler Reddick +8000

Ryan Newman +15000

Matt Kenseth +20000

Ricky Stenhouse Jr +20000

Bubba Wallace +30000

Chris Buescher +30000

About the Author

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 for kids.

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 culinary history.”

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 Barbecue News.

Whitaker has covered NASCAR, IndyCar, ARCA Racing, The NFL, SEC Football, Professional Golf and more. His books include:

·      Great American Grilling – Ultimate Backyard Barbecue and Tailgating

·      The Gulf Coast Seafood Cookbook

·      Smoke in the Mountains - The Art of Appalachian Barbecue

·      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

·      Talladega Superspeedway

·      Bullets and Bread - Feeding the Greats and Grunts of WWII

·      Big Mo's Tennis Ball Hunt

·       Why Are 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 affiliates nationwide.

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 @thekentwhitaker.