NASCAR Best Bets are headed to Richmond Raceway for the Federated Auto Parts 400 At Richmond, and Kevin Harvick owes Joey Logano. On the final restart last week at Michigan Logano battled Bubba Wallce for second place for an eternity. The battle slowed both Logano and Bubba down and let Harvick drive away. When Bubba finally did get past Logano there were only 17 laps left. Bubba closed the gap some, but he just couldn’t catch up to Harvick.
Sunday, marks the first time this year that the Cup Series returns to a non-drafting oval where it has already raced in 2022. Short flat tracks are a strength for both Harvick and Logano. So it’s certainly possible that the two will be up front at the end again this week.
The on track product at recent Richmond races has been lackluster but as a gambler I am excited. Richmond is historically a low variance track. The low variance of Richmond means we know who is good here and that doesn’t change much from race to race. Predictably, when odds dropped Monday night the Garage Guys Discord was on fire hitting up value. A lot of value (for example Logano +2000) has been eaten up already. But that doesn’t mean there are not still good plays to be had, so let’s get to it.
Analysis For Richmond Raceway
New Hampshire and Phoenix historically have the highest correlation to Richmond. This year the correlation between Richmond and New Hampshire was not as strong as it has been in the past. However, drivers who are historically good at New Hampshire and Richmond have still been good at those tracks. As such I’m not adjusting the weight I give to New Hampshire based on this one race.
We also have a new track for 2022, Gateway, which is a shorter flat track and might have been expected to correlate to Richmond. However, the correlation of incident adjusted speed between Gateway and the first Richmond race was fairly low. In fact, the correlation of incident adjusted speed between Nashville and Richmond, despite the difference in surface (concrete vs asphalt) was stronger than the correlation between Richmond and Gateway.
As I noted above, the correlation between Richmond and Nashville was relatively strong this year. The correlation between Richmond and Nashville was also relatively high last year. As such I’m using Nashville as a correlated track as a primary factor in my performance metric, but I’m not using Gateway in the same way. I am considering Gateway as a secondary factor to help separate drivers who are otherwise very closely rated.
One other interesting thing I want to point out before we get to the picks for this week. This year there was a surprising amount of incident adjusted speed correlation between Richmond and Auto Club and Vegas. I think this has more to do with the fact that the races were run in a relatively short time period towards the start of the year when teams were still figuring out the new car. So there were some teams that were just good, while others were just struggling, and that carried to all non-drafting ovals.
I don’t see the same level of correlation between the later intermediate races at Kansas, Texas, and Charlotte. So I’m treating the early season correlation as an anomaly. While momentum is still an intangible of sorts, I’m not directly looking at data from Pocono or Michigan to project Richmond.
Catch The Latest Betting & Fantasy NASCAR Content On Garage Guys Youtube
Early NASCAR Best Bets & Odds: Federated Auto Parts 400
#4 Kevin Harvick +200 Top 5 | (BetRivers and Barstool Sportsbooks)
I started to write this up as a play I wasn’t on but was still available if you missed the play I liked more, which was +550 for a top 3. But as I wrote it I talked myself into taking it. Kevin Harvick is a short track savant. In the spring he was first in incident adjusted speed at Richmond and finished second. He was fourth in incident adjusted speed at Phoenix and finished sixth. He was fifth in speed at Nashville, but finished a “disappointing” tenth. He was fourth in speed at New Hampshire and finished fifth despite taking what turned out to be a strategy towards the end of the race.
Harvick is one of two drivers to have top 10 speed at tracks I’m using as primary comparable tracks. At Richmond, taking out the races where incidents had him off of the lead lap at the end of the race, Harvick is nine for 14 in incident free races since joining SHR. Given his continued strength at short flat tracks this year and his overall strength over the past several races there is no reason to think that rate isn’t still reasonable. Harvick’s nine for 14 in the top 5 at Richmond is well above the 33% break even rate for a +200 bet. To be clear, I wouldn’t bet it all the way down to -177, but if you wanted you could go as low as +150.
#4 Kevin Harvick +215 vs Denny Hamlin | (DraftKings Sportsbook)
Ok, this line is just absurd. See above for why Harvick is a great play in general this weekend. Turning to this specific matchup, yes, Denny has won this matchup 10 of 12 times since 2016. But its not like Harvick has been bad during that time. Over those 12 races both drivers have had two races with incidents. If we take out races with incidents, Harvick has an average finish of 5, while Denny’s has an average finish of 2.5. Denny has been better, but not enough to justify this lopsided matchup.
A few more quick tidbits: while Denny won in April, he wasn’t faster, he was on a better strategy. In addition, at the two most highly correlated tracks, Phoenix and New Hampshire, Harvick was faster than Denny. This line seems to be set by the perceived dominance of Denny at Richmond. While there is no doubt he is very good here +215 is just a silly number for a driver who is as good as Harvick is at this track type. Kambi books have this at Harvick +165 to Denny -220. I wouldn’t bet either side at those prices, but they make much more sense.
#22 Joey Logano +221 Top 5 | (BetRivers and Barstool Sportsbook)
I actually took this yesterday at +250 at DraftKings. That value was snatched up in a hurry, so get this quickly while you can. Joey is a 2 time winner here at Richmond, he has been fast at every short flat track this year. He had top 10 speed at Phoenix, Richmond, Gateway, and New Hampshire and won at Gateway. The only track he struggled at was Nashville, which while it does correlate to Richmond, can be site aside for Joey because of his poorer performance in general on concrete. Logano has finished top 5 at Richmond three of the last four races, and only missed the top 5 in April due to a jack issue late in the race. This is a steal. Bet to +200.
Garage Guys PrizePicks Promo Code: 100% Deposit Match Up To $100
Head to PrizePicks.com or Download The App and use Promo Code “GARAGE GUYS” you will get a 100% deposit match up to $100! PrizePicks is the official DFS game of the Garage Guys for the NASCAR Cup Series!