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Points after Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway

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With his third consecutive win this season, Kyle Busch padded his points lead over Joey Logano with a victory in the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway. He now has a 56-point lead and 17 playoff points.

Logano won both stages of the 400-lap affair, his first stage wins of the season.

Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick finished third and fourth, respectively.

Brad Keselowski rounded out the top-five.

Earning 39 points for his second-place finish, Chase Elliott is 25 points behind 16th and a playoff berth in the standings.

Click here for full results.

Results, stats for Cup race at Richmond Raceway

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Kyle Busch won his third consecutive race of the season after starting 32nd in the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway, the deepest he’s began a Cup race and won.

Busch’s previous worst starting position in a win was 30th at Sonoma Raceway in 2008.

For the eighth time in his career, Chase Elliott finished second. That matches the number of runner-up finishes his Hall of Fame father Bill Elliott earned before winning his first Cup race.

Denny Hamlin finished third at his hometown track. Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top five.

Martin Truex Jr. was leading until a slow pit stop late in the race put him back in the pack. He finished 14th.

Click here for full results.

Kyle Larson tops the field in Cup final practice

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Barely 30 minutes after the end of the first Cup practice, drivers and teams were back on track for Happy Hour.

Kyle Larson posted the fastest single lap in the final practice session with a 120.315 mph lap. This speed came during the middle of a long run on his 32nd of 54 laps around the track. Larson also had the quickest 10-lap average of 119.110 mph.

Coming off last week’s strong run at Bristol, Darrell Wallace Jr. (119.952 mph) was second on the speed chart.

Jamie McMurray (119.904), Clint Bowyer (119.904) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (119.893) rounded out the top five.

Denny Hamlin reported to FS1 that he had suspension problems and then laid down the second-quickest 10-lap average of 119.027 mph.

In a session largely devoid of incidents, Wallace and AJ Allmendinger made slight contact in the first 10 minutes when Wallace got loose. Neither car sustained substantial damage. Allmendinger posted the 10th-fastest lap of 119.601 mph.

Click here for full results from final practice.

Qualification will get underway at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Chase Elliott fastest in first Cup practice at Richmond

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Chase Elliott jumped to the top of the leaderboard in the final three minutes of the first practice session for the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway with a speed of 121.327 mph.

Kyle Larson landed second on the speed chart with a lap of 121.076 mph.

Martin Truex, Jr. (120.757 mph), Jamie McMurray (120.703) and Joey Logano (120.660) rounded out the top five.

Making his Cup debut, Daniel Hemric posted the 23rd fastest time of 119.121 mph.

Kevin Harvick had the quickest, 10-lap average of 119.652 mph.

Elliott was second quick at 119.516 mph

Alex Bowman posted the most laps in this practice session at 67. His fastest lap was 119.830 mph, which put him 15th on the leaderboard.

Click here for full results from practice one.

Qualification takes place at 5:30 p.m. ET

NASCAR America Fantasy League: 10 Best at Richmond in last three years

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As NASCAR nears the end of its spring short track season, it heads to a course that is often transitional with elements of unrestricted, intermediate speedways tossed in for good measure. Two of the last three races have been run on tracks less than a mile in length, and while they are all very dissimilar in handling characteristics for the drivers, they share at least one important commonality.

Cars are constantly in traffic and a mistake by a driver not in contention for the win can take out the leader – just as it did Ryan Blaney last week at Bristol Motor Speedway. The unpredictable nature of short track racing is part of what makes it a fan favorite, but it can be a challenge to those responsible for handicapping the events.

Last year, only four drivers swept the top 10 in Richmond’s two races. By comparison, the Bristol Motor Speedway bullring had three drivers who swept a track that typically requires rhythm to navigate well. When erratic results creep into the statistics, it pays to take a longer look and three-year averages are one of the most meaningful ways to eliminate peaks and valleys.

Players who have not already joined the NASCAR America Fantasy league can still do so at nascar.com/nbcsportsfantasy, and then share your team using #NASCARAmericaFantasy.

1. Joey Logano (4.83)
Last year’s Toyota Owners 400 was pivotal for Logano. His victory was deemed encumbered by NASCAR and Logano was not allowed to use it to qualify for the playoffs. He finished second in the fall Richmond event , however, and this could be the week he returns to Victory Lane.

2. Denny Hamlin (7.17)
Hamlin finished 22nd in the spring 2015 Richmond race, but he has been an incredibly good value ever since. He finished sixth in the next two races, won the fall 2016 Federated Auto Parts 400 and swept the top five last year.

3. Jimmie Johnson (7.50)
Last week was the first real sign that Johnson’s season is turning around. He came from the back of the grid after making an unapproved tire change, but once he got to the leaders, he looked like the Johnson that once dominated races. It might be time to trust him again.

4. Kyle Busch (7.60 in five starts)
Busch has not scored a top-five at Richmond in three races, but his back-to-back runner-up finishes in fall 2015 and spring 2016 give him a great average. The fact that he enters the Toyota Owners 400 with back-to-back wins and a six-race streak of top-three finishes this year certainly improves his odds.

5. Kurt Busch (7.67)
Busch ticks off both boxes that fantasy players are most concerned with. He has been consistent and strong at Richmond with six top 10s in his last seven races and a win in spring 2015. Last fall, he added another top five to his Richmond record.

5. Kevin Harvick (7.67)
Harvick has been an all or nothing driver at Richmond in recent years with five top fives compared to two results outside the top 10. His most recent of three wins came in spring 2013.

7. Brad Keselowski (8.83)
Expanding the parameters a little for Keselowski reveals he has a Richmond victory in 2014 along with three other top fives in his last eight starts. He has finished worse than 11th only once in that span and makes a great utility fantasy pick this week.

8. Kyle Larson (9.33)
In four years at Richmond, Larson has been consistently better in the fall with a second-place finish in 2016 and his victory last year. He has not yet cracked the top 10 in the spring race, but could fare better now that it is going to be run under the lights.

9. Daniel Suarez (9.50 in two starts)
Now that he has survived 500 laps at Bristol, Suarez knows that his thumb will not be a problem and is prepared to earn a third top 15 in three starts there.

10. Jamie McMurray (10.00)
The one word that always comes to mind with McMurray is consistency. At Richmond, he has not finished worse than 16th in his last nine attempts there. His bad luck from 2018 has to dissipate soon and there is really no telling when or where that will happen.

Bonus Picks

Pole Winner: Matt Kenseth swept the pole last year at Richmond and the new driver of the No. 20 is no stranger to speed. Erik Jones’ first career pole came on the short track of Bristol last August, so he knows how to get around short tracks.

Segment Winners: Play the odds this week. Harvick has the most segment wins in 2018 (four), while Keselowski has earned the most segment points (100). Kyle Busch is no slouch either with 98 segment points and two wins. Whichever of these three qualify best should be the segment one pick; toss a coin for segment two.

For more Fantasy NASCAR coverage, check out Rotoworld.com and follow Dan Beaver (@FantasyRace) on Twitter.