NASCAR - Denny Hamlin is a Driver to Watch at Richmond

Denny Hamlin Wants to Make Up For Lost Time at Richmond

This week NASCAR is back from the Easter break for some short track Saturday night racing at Richmond International Raceway. Denny Hamlin has an outstanding record at Richmond. Hamlin missed this race last year due to an injury but is ready to get back to victory lane.

Richmond International Raceway is one of the neatest short tracks on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule. It is 3/4 of a mile in length but looks similar to the 1.5 mile D shaped ovals. Make no mistake about it though this high speed short track is just that. Some of the most exciting racing in NASCAR happens here. There is 14 degrees of banking in all four corners, 8 degrees on the front stretch and a relatively flat 2 degrees on the back stretch.

Looking at the Driver Ratings for Richmond, Denny Hamlin has the field covered with a 114.8 in spite of his last two races here finishing 21 and 18th. Hamlin does have to watch out for his teammate Kyle Busch (111.9) and Kevin Harvick (110.0), each of which has won the last two spring races. In fact since 2009 eight of the last ten races has been won by one of those three drivers. Busch won 4, Hamlin 2 and Harvick 2.

Last year Denny Hamlin missed the race due to his back injury and Brian Vickers drove the FedEx Toyota to a disappointing 35th place finish. This year Hamlin wants to make up for that by winning the race and reserving his place in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Since this is a short track the Toyota Owners 400 is 400 laps or 300 miles.

If you cannot get to Richmond International Raceway for the Toyota Owners 400 it will be broadcast on FOX on Saturday, April 26th starting at 6:30 PM.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for BehindPitRow.com.

Top 10 Driver Ratings at Richmond
Denny Hamlin………………………. 114.8
Kyle Busch…………………………. 111.9
Kevin Harvick………………………. 110.0
Clint Bowyer………………………… 100.7
Tony Stewart…………………………. 96.5
Jeff Gordon………………………….. 96.0
Kurt Busch……………………………. 92.2
Ryan Newman……………………….. 91.6
Carl Edwards………………………… 90.1
Jimmie Johnson…………………….. 88.5
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races (18 total) among active drivers at Richmond International Raceway

Feature Photo Credit: 285334 Streeter Lecka/Getty Images