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Mar 29, 2024 4:40 pm

2024 Toyota Owners 400: Preview, 5 Best Bets, Longshot Pick

martin truex

The first six races of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series have featured five different winners as the series moves under the lights for Sunday night’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway.

The competition has been fast and fierce, with an average of 31.33 lead changes through the first half-dozen races. The record for a full season is 31.50 set in 2011, and last year’s spring race at Richmond produced a record 35 Green Flag Passes for the Lead.

While Kyle Larson is the defending race champion, 16 of the past 29 winners at Richmond have been in Toyota cars.

Our motor racing experts preview the event and provide their five best bets to win this week along with a longshot driver to keep an eye on.

TOYOTA OWNERS 400
Location: Richmond, Va.
Date: Sunday, March 31, 7 p.m. ET
Distance: 400 miles on 0.75-mile short track
Defending champion: Kyle Larson
Cup Series leader: Martin Truex Jr.
TV: FOX
Radio: SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

BEST BETS
Denny Hamlin (+425 at BetMGM)
Hamlin has four career wins and 22-top-10s in 32 previous starts at Richmond, his home track. He enters the week fourth in the Cup standings, just 14 points behind Truex. Hamlin has a pair of top-10s this season, highlighted by his win at Bristol two weeks ago.

Martin Truex Jr. (+650)
Truex leads the Cup standings despite still being in search of his first victory this year. He opened at +600 at the book but the three-time winner at Richmond has seen his odds lengthen slightly despite drawing 9.2 percent of the money wagered on this week’s winner.

Ty Gibbs (+900)
Gibbs has yet to win in 2024, but the 21-year-old does lead the series with five top-10 finishes. He has climbed to second in the standings following last week’s third-place running at Circuit of the Americas. Gibbs has an average finish of 7.8 this season, and he led 114 of 250 laps while taking the checkered flag in the Xfinity race at Richmond two years ago. That has led to him being the book’s third-biggest liability ahead of the weekend, with Gibbs leading the field in both total bets (9.2 percent) and money (11.8 percent).

Kyle Larson (+1000)
The defending race winner bucked the trend of Toyota winners at Richmond. Larson has two top-5 finishes through the first six races this year, and is looking to rebound from a disappointing 17th at COTA last week.

Kyle Busch (+1800)
The leading active driver with six career wins at Richmond, Busch, who moved to Chevy last season, hasn’t visited Victory Lane at the track since a season sweep in 2018. Busch has only two top-10 finishes this year as he sits 13th in the standings, but he’s still the book’s second-biggest liability with 10.3 percent of the money backing him.

LONGSHOT PICK
Alex Bowman (+4000)
The book’s biggest liability this week, Bowman is seventh in the field with 5.5 percent of the total bets backing him to win for the first time since 2022. A seven-time Cup race winner, Bowman does have a trio of top-5 finishes this year and enters in good form with consecutive fourth-place finishes.

–Field Level Media

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