Toyota Owners 400 Predictions, Picks, Odds (Cup Series)
- Ryan Blaney, NASCAR’s new “Rocket Man,” will try to win from the pole on Sunday.
- It’s high time the Toyotas show up for a NASCAR Cup Series race. This week, perhaps?
- Can first-time winner Ross Chastain continue his streak of podium results?
Toyota Owners 400 Odds
Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook
|Ryan Blaney||+800 |
|Martin Truex Jr.||+800 |
|Kyle Larson||+800 |
|Kyle Busch||+950 |
|William Byron||+1000 |
|Chase Elliott||+1100 |
|Joey Logano||+1200 |
|Denny Hamlin||+1200 |
|Christopher Bell||+1200 |
|Ross Chastain||+1400 |
|Kevin Harvick||+1400 |
|Chase Briscoe||+1600 |
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Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 will be contested over 400 laps (300 miles) at the .75-mile speedway, with stage breaks scheduled after 70 and 230 laps. Alex Bowman is the defending winner of the race.
Ryan Blaney Has Been Stellar for One Lap. How About 400 This Week?
With the retirement of Ryan Newman, who won 51 pole positions during his career, the NASCAR Cup Series needed a new “Rocket Man.” Another Ryan—Blaney—seems to have filled the bill quite nicely.
Blaney has won the pole for three of the seven Cup races this season, including Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway. In fact, Blaney has strung together four straight front-row starts, including a second-place qualifying run at Atlanta two weeks ago.
The problem is that Blaney hasn’t finished where he’s started. Though he has led at least one lap in all six races so far—and 206 laps overall—and is second in the standings, Blaney’s best results this season have been a pair of fourths, at Daytona and Phoenix.
Blaney has eight career poles but has never won from the top starting spot. And in the last 66 Cup races at Richmond, the polesitter has taken the checkered flag just seven times.
Nevertheless, we think that number will be “eight” on Sunday when Blaney (co-favorite at +800 via DraftKings) breaks the ice at Richmond and scores his first victory there. Forget that Blaney’s average finish of 22.2 at Richmond makes it his worst track statistically. NASCAR’s new race car has changed everything.
Blaney was third fastest in Saturday’s practice, but he led all other drivers in five-, 10-, 15-, 20- and 25-lap average speed. That portends well for the long runs that invariably characterize a Cup race at Richmond.
Is It Finally Time for the Toyotas to Shine in a NASCAR Cup Series Race?
Busch qualified third in Saturday’s time trials, and Truex followed with a sixth-place effort. Their Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Christopher Bell, qualified ninth. Denny Hamlin, who in the past has displayed mastery at his home track, will start 13th.
Busch (+950 via DraftKings) has six wins at Richmond, but he hasn’t tasted victory on a short track since he won at Bristol on April 7, 2019. Truex, on the other hand, has feasted on the small circuits, claiming trophies in six short-track races since Busch won that Bristol race.
So if Blaney doesn’t win on Sunday, we’ll take Truex (+800 via DraftKings) to give Toyota its first victory of the season. Toyota is sponsoring both the Xfinity and Cup races this weekend, so that may be an omen.
Ross Chastain Looks to Extend Podium Streak to Five Straight
Ryan Blaney may have a near-monopoly on qualifying, but Ross Chastain has had considerably more success where it counts—in race finishes.
In his last four starts, Chastain has run third, second twice, and finally first at Circuit of the Americas last Sunday, earning the first victory of his Cup career and the first for fledgling Trackhouse Racing.
Can that streak of top-three results continue at Richmond Raceway? The stats would argue against it. In six Cup starts at the .75-mile track, Chastain has posted an average finish of 24.8.
But that doesn’t take into account his new team and NASCAR’s new race car, which seems to suit the driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet admirably. We say forget the past and bet on Chastain to finish in the top three once again at +400 via DraftKings.
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How to Watch Toyota Owners 400
|Toyota Owners 400 Information|
|Race||Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Cup Series race|
|Time||Sunday, April 3, 3:30 p.m. ET|
|How to Watch||FOX|
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Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Email: [email protected]