NASCAR Cup drivers to watch Sunday in Richmond

The Cup teams race in Virginia for the first time this season Sunday night at Richmond Raceway (7 p.m. ET on Fox).

Martin Truex Jr. leads the Cup standings after the first six races of the season. William Byron, Daniel Suarez, Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell and Denny Hamlin all have playoff spots after winning races this season.

Here’s a look at the drivers to keep an eye on during Sunday’s race at the 0.75-mile track.

THE FOREGOERS

Danny Hamlin

Points position: 4

Best finish of this season: 1 (Bristol I)

2024 statistics: Six starts with two top-10 finishes, one top-five and one win. An average finish of 12.7 with 275 laps led.

Past in Richmond: Thirty-four starts with 22 top-10 finishes, 11 top-fives and four wins. Hamlin won the first Next Gen race at Richmond. He has two top-five finishes and one 20th in the three races at Richmond since then.

NASCAR Cup Series Auto Grand Prix EchoPark

Ty Gibbs has been NASCAR’s most consistent driver this season.

Martin Truex Jr.

Points position: 1

Best finish of this season: 2 (Bristol I)

2024 statistics: Six starts with four top-10 finishes and one top-five. An average finish of 8.8 with 124 laps led.

Past in Richmond: Thirty-five starts with 17 top-10 finishes, nine top-fives and three wins. Truex has three top-10 finishes and one top-five in four Next-Gen races at Richmond. His worst short-track finish in a next-generation car is 11th.

Chris Buescher

Points position: 12

Best finish of this season: 2 (Phoenix I)

2024 statistics: Six starts with four top-10 finishes and one top-five. An average finish of 13.5 with 20 laps led.

Past in Richmond: Buescher has 15 starts at Richmond with two top-10 finishes, one top-five and one win. Buescher’s best finish at Richmond in the Gen 6 era was 17th in 2017. Since moving to Next Gen, he has finished 15th, third, 30th and first in four races in Richmond.

Kyle Larson

Points position: 5

Best finish of this season: 1 (Las Vegas I)

2024 statistics: Six starts with two top-10 finishes, two top-fives and a win. An average finish of 13.3 with 224 laps led.

Past in Richmond: Larson has 18 starts at Richmond with eight top-10 finishes, four top-fives and two wins. Larson won last season’s spring race at Richmond after leading 93 laps.

NASCAR: EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix

NASCAR issued a total of 40 penalties in Cup, Xfinity and Truck races for course shortening.

QUESTIONS FOR ANSWERS

Kyle Busch

Points position: 13

Best finish of this season: 3 (Atlanta I)

2024 statistics: Six starts with two top-10 finishes and one top-five. Busch also had three straight finishes of 22nd or worse this season. An average finish of 16.2 with 63 laps led.

Past in Richmond: Thirty-six starts with 28 top-10 finishes, 19 top-five finishes and six wins. Busch has a finish better than 14th in his last eight short track races. He finished third at Richmond in last summer’s race.

Chase Elliott

Points position: 9th

Best finish of this season: 8 (Bristol I)

2024 statistics: Six starts with a top-10 finish and an average finish of 14.0.

Past in Richmond: Fifteen starts with six top 10 finishes and five top 10s. Elliott’s best finish at Richmond is second in 2018.

William Byron

Points position: 6

Best finish of this season: 1 (Daytona 500, COTA)

2024 statistics: Six starts with three top-10 finishes, two top fives and two wins. An average finish of 13.7 with 61 laps led.

Past in Richmond: Byron has 11 starts at Richmond with two top-10 finishes and one top-five. His best finish at Richmond in the Next Gen era is third in the 2022 spring race. Byron has just one top-10 finish in the last six short-track races.

Highlights: NASCAR Cup Series Race at COTA

Watch highlights from the NASCAR Cup Series 2024 EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix from Circuit of the Americas.

Tyler Reddick

Points position: 10

Best finish of this season: 2 (Las Vegas I)

2024 statistics: Six starts with three top-10 finishes and two top-fives. An average finish of 17.7 with 74 laps led.

Past in Richmond: Reddick has seven starts at Richmond Raceway. His best finish is 11th in 2020. His best finish at Richmond in the next-gen era is 12th in the 2022 spring race.

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