Richmond International Raceway has been called “the perfect track” … which makes this Saturday night’s Toyota Owners 400 the perfect way to start the second portion of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.
And with the new championship format, it’ll be a fascinating watch. Consider this…
Among the tracks scheduled for the “middle” portion of the 26-race regular season are Richmond, Talladega, Sonoma, Pocono, Daytona and New Hampshire.
Richmond always features unpredictable, tight short-track action, and has seen four different drivers win the last four races.
Talladega is, well, Talladega. One needs only to look at last year’s spring Talladega race, won by David Ragan, to know it’s anybody’s race. Nine different drivers have won the last nine Sonoma races. Pocono is its own animal, and has a parity streak of its own – five different winners in the last five races. And Daytona, another restrictor-plate beast, has seen its share of surprises recently.
But the king of competitive balance these days has been New Hampshire Motor Speedway, which has seen 12 different winners in the last 12 races – including last July’s shocking victory by Brian Vickers, who was running fulltime in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at the time.