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ToyotaCare 250 Predictions: Can Chandler Smith Repeat With Different Team?

Written by: Reid Spencer
Updated March 29, 2024
8 min read
  • After switching to Joe Gibbs Racing, Chandler Smith defends last year’s win.

  • Justin Allgaier has an outstanding record at the 0.750-mile speedway.

  • Jesse Love isn’t driving like an Xfinity Series rookie—in fact, he never has.

ToyotaCare 250 Betting Odds

Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook. Click odds in the table below and claim $150 in bonus bets when wagering at least $5 at DraftKings.

Chandler Smith+300
Justin Allgaier+425
Cole Custer+500
Aric Almirola+650
Sheldon Creed+900
AJ Allmendinger+1300
Riley Herbst+1400
Jesse Love+1400
Austin Hill+1400
Sam Mayer+1600
Taylor Gray+1800

Our Picks for the ToyotaCare 250

Toyota Care 250 Predictions

ToyotaCare 250 Predictions

After Switching Teams, Chandler Smith Defends His Victory at Richmond

There’s ample reason to install Chandler Smith as the favorite in Saturday’s ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway.

After all, Smith won last year’s race at the 0.75-mile short track, notching his first NASCAR Xfinity Series victory.

Arguably, he’s in better equipment this year, having moved from Kaulig Racing to Joe Gibbs Racing during the offseason. Smith has a victory at Phoenix and top-eight finishes in each of the first five races this year.

“Richmond will always be a special place to me, since it is where I got my first Xfinity Series win,” Smith said. “We’ve had a great stretch of races going this year, and I think we have a great chance to get another win this weekend.

“The JGR cars were fast last year and this is one of my favorite tracks, so hopefully we’ll have the No. 81 Mobil Toyota GR Supra up front and in Victory Lane on Saturday.”

We think Smith is a good pick, but we don’t like the odds (+350 via DraftKings Sportsbook) for a driver who has a mere two Xfinity wins.

Justin Allgaier Has an Excellent Record at the Virginia Short Track

When the coronavirus pandemic struck in 2020, NASCAR combatted scheduling constraints by occasionally racing twice at the same track on the same weekend.

Richmond Raceway hosted NASCAR Xfinity Series events on Sept. 11 and 12, and Allgaier won them both.

Earlier this season, on a somewhat similar track, the JR Motorsports driver had a commanding lead at Phoenix before cutting a tire in the late going, handing the win to Chandler Smith.

“We have always had really strong cars on the short tracks at JRM, and I see no reason why that won’t be the case again this weekend,” Allgaier said. “I feel like Richmond is falling at the right time for us to get that positive momentum back.”

Like Smith, Allgaier is a good pick, but like Smith, his odds are too short at +425 via DraftKings. We’re opting for a driver with a better return this week.

Based on Early-Season Performance, Rookie Jesse Love Is Due for a Win

After winning 10 of 20 races on the way to the ARCA Menards Series championship last year, Jesse Love has shown no signs of slowing down in his transition to the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2024.

Love won pole positions for the first two races of the season and was headed for a lopsided win at Atlanta before running out of fuel in overtime.

He subsequently finished second to Chandler Smith at Phoenix.

Love has already led 191 laps this season. On Saturday, we think he’ll lead the one that counts, and we’re delighted that he’s offered at +1400 via DraftKings.

We also like Late Model ace Bibba Pollard to finish in the top three (+600 DraftKings) in his Xfinity debut with JR Motorsports.

How to Watch the ToyotaCare 250

  • Race: ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race

  • Location: Richmond Raceway

  • Time: Saturday, March 30, 1:30 p.m. ET

  • How to Watch: FS1

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Reid Spencer

218 Articles

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]

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