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Top 5 Current Drivers Who Rule Richmond

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Brian McLaughlin

Brian McLaughlin

McLaughlin is a veteran sports writer who has covered 4 Daytona 500s. He loves the sport and is pumped to be with The Daily Downforce. Follow on Twitter @BrianMacWriter.
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Since Lee Petty won the first race at Richmond Raceway in 1953, there has been NASCAR at the venue once known as “Strawberry Hill” – dating back to when horse races were also run at the Virginia track. 

Also known as “Action Track” for the constant beating and banging between metal and mankind, the elite drivers of yesteryear and present-day have clearly emerged. While some drivers loathe the 0.75-mile short track, others circle it on their calendars.

Which five current drivers dominate here? The Daily Downforce takes a look:

#5 – Joey Logano

Since Penske move, he’s hit his Richmond groove

Unlike some of the drivers below, Logano wasn’t that great at Richmond in his Joe Gibbs Racing years (2009-2012). But once he made his move to Penske, his fortunes were an immediate 180-degree change. He has two victories at the Virginia track, but more impressive than that is how he’s been so consistent during the past decade since the move. He’s been in the top three eight times in 10 seasons.

# 4 – Kevin Harvick

His Richmond success spans three decades – the ’00s, ’10s, and ’20s

There’s no question Kevin Harvick’s career has tapered off in the past few seasons and his retirement is imminent at the end of 2023. But if there’s one place where his production has not dropped off – it’s Richmond.

Since coming to Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014, he’s produced 13 top-10 finishes in 17 starts and last year was the runner-up in the early race and winner of the race later in the year. Yes, he has hit a career wall, season-wise, over the past few years – but Richmond hasn’t been a part of the problem.

# 3 – Martin Truex, Jr.

His Richmond success spans three decades – the ’00s, ’10s, and ’20s

While Truex, Jr. had solid top-10 finishes at Richmond with teams like DEI, Michael Waltrip, and even with NASCAR “mid-major” Barney Visser, he’s shown his real talent since coming over to Joe Gibbs Racing in 2019. He has three wins in seven attempts with JGR, and six top-five finishes. That’s a scorching track record (insert dad joke/pun rolling eyes here). What will he do with another seven attempts with JGR?

# 2 – Denny Hamlin

There’s no place like a home track

The native son of Virginia, who is from Chesterfield – 19 miles from Richmond as the crow flies – loves this short track. I mean he really loves it, and the numbers back it up. He has 10 top-five finishes in his last 12 races here, dating back to his win in Sept. 2016. He has four total Cup wins at Richmond, so the stockpile of trophies from the venue has presented a challenge (he’s also won three here in Xfinity). Needless to say, Richmond is his home track in more ways than one.

# 1 – Kyle Busch

He’s good at Richmond Raceway, but try to name five tracks where he isn’t

I know, it’s boring, but it’s also a fact – Kyle Busch is clearly the most dominant current driver at Richmond, and it’s not even close. And it’s not going to end any time soon, as anybody aware of Busch’s age (37 until May 2) and the fact that he’s in that “NASCAR prime” age that Dale Jr. constantly refers to on his weekly podcast, the Dale Jr. Download … Busch is only going to add to what’s he’s done here.

With six all-time NASCAR Cup victories – third only all-time to Richard Petty (13 wins) and only one short of Bobby Allison (7) – Busch will likely surpass Allison soon and may get close to Petty (nobody gets close to Petty, right?). Busch’s average finish (7.0) and his top-five finishes (18 out of 34 starts) are phenomenal in NASCAR’s present day.

We all know that some fans have issues with Rowdy Busch, but by now, he’s earned the respect, right?

HONORABLE MENTON: Christopher Bell

Christopher Bell – Since coming on board with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2021, Bell has finished outside the top five just once (6th place last spring). He’s still searching for that elusive first victory, but he’s always at Richmond here when he’s in good equipment.

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Brian McLaughlin

Brian McLaughlin

McLaughlin is a veteran sports writer who has covered 4 Daytona 500s. He loves the sport and is pumped to be with The Daily Downforce. Follow on Twitter @BrianMacWriter.
All Posts

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