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OPR Staff and Fan Fantasy Picks for NSCS and NNS at Richmond

After taking a week off to catch their breath and recieving a visit from the Easter bunny, the Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series return to the track this weekend with a trip to Richmond International Raceway.

Two weeks ago, the Nationwide series saw rookie Chase Elliott have a splendid date with the Lady in the Black in the form of his second career win after skipping prom for the race. Meanwhile, Kevin Harvick was ‘freaky fast’ on his way to taming the track they call too tough to tame for his second win of the season, locking him in the Chase.

Who will get lucky this weekend? Let’s see who we think will get lucky.

 

Nationwide Series

Assistant Editor: Ashley McCubbin
Pick #1 – Kevin Harvick — Kevin Harvick has come close to winning in each that he has ran so far this year in the Nationwide Series so it’s only a matter of time till it happens. Statisically, Harvick has the second best average of active drivers in Nationwide at Richmond with a 6.8.
Pick #2 – Kyle Busch – Each time Kyle Busch runs a Nationwide Series race, he is a threat to win and most of the time accomplishes his goal. Richmond seems to be a good possibility for him given that he has the best average there with a 6.6.
Pick #3 – Chase Elliott – Despite only being a rookie, Chase Elliott has scored a pair of wins so far this year in the Nationwide Series and leads the points. He constantly beats fellow series regulars and even the likes of Harvick, Busch and Kyle Larson. Look for the second generation driver to run well, as always.

Photographer: Ronald Costigan
Pick #1 – Kevin Harvick – Kevin Harvick has proven in the past to be a threat to win any Nationwide Series race and Richmond is no exception as he has been to victory lane in the Nationwide Series there before in the past.
Pick #2 – Kyle Busch – Kyle Busch and the Nationwide Series normally equal a win. So why bet against him?
Pick #3 – Chase Elliott – Elliott has won the past two races in the series and currently leads the standings. The young kid is on a roll and look for that to continue.

Journalist: Marshall Gabell
Picks: 
James Buescher, Ryan Blaney and Brian Scott
Ashley’s Comments: James led practice for the event, Ryan has ran strong in his past Nationwide Series starts for Penske and Brian came oh so close to winning last fall if it had not been for that late race caution.

Journalist Name – Tayler Stiles
Pick One – Kevin Harvick Kevin Harvick has been consistenetly strong when racing in the Nationwide series for JR Motorsports, and with his teammates leading the point’s, I expect big things for this team.
Pick Two – Regan Smith If there is one thing that can be said about Regan Smith, it is that he is consistent. Even after spinning out at Darlington two weekends ago, he was still able to finish within the top ten. He led the point’s standings all year until team mate, Chase Elliot took the top place at Darlington, relegating Smith to second place in the standings. I expect another solid run from Smith.
Pick Three – Chase Elliott The newest and hottest sensation this year has been the son of NASCAR great, Bill Elliot. After winning in his first attempt at Darlington, and becoming the youngest person to win at Darlington AND lead the points, I expect Chase to be strong at Richmond. Especially coming off a two week straight winning streak.

Fronstretch.com Journalist: Justin Tucker
Picks:
Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott and Regan Smith

Fan #1: Terry Wagner
Picks:
Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott

Fan #2: Christina Cordner
Picks: Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott and Brian Scott

Fan #3: Billy Stiles Jr.
Picks: Kevin Harvick, Regan Smith and Chase Elliott

Fan #4: Billy Zardo
Picks: Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Ty Dillon

 

Sprint Cup Series

Assistant Editor: Ashley McCubbin
Pick #1 – Jimmie Johnson –
In recent weeks, Johnson has come close to winning so why should that change this weekend? The six-time champion has started to find his groove for look for him to finish top five once again.
Pick #2: Kyle Busch – Statistics don’t lie, or so they say, as Busch currently has the best average finish of active drivers with a 7.2. Considering how he’s ran so far this year, look for Busch to contend for the win once again and possibly lock up his Chase hopes 100%.
Pick #3 – Kevin Harvick – When he doesn’t have any problems, he’s fast and runs well. If the pieces come together, Kevin should contend to win once again as he has three wins already at the short track with an average finish of 11.3. It’s a gamble to trust he won’t find trouble, but it’s a gamble worth taking.

Photographer: Ronald Costigan
Pick #1 – Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Earnhardt has been consistently strong so far this season and with a pair of wins at Richmond in the past, expect that consistency to continue.
Pick #2 – Kevin Harvick – Harvick is on a roll so far this year with a pair of wins. He also is one of the best at Richmond so why would this week be different?
Pick #3 – Kurt Busch – While Kurt Busch hasn’t been that strong at Richmond in the past, he won at Martinsville Speedway earlier this year so look for that short track success to carry over.

Journalist: Marshall Gabell
Picks: Marcos Ambrose, Carl Edwards and Denny Hamlin
Ashley’s comments: Ambrose has been consistent so far this year on short tracks, Edwards won at Bristol earlier this year and Denny has second best average finish of active drivers at Richmond.

Journalist Name – Tayler Stiles
Pick One – Jimmie Johnson. After a third place finish at Darlington, with a win in his sights, and a much needed weekend off to regroup, I believe the 48 team are going to come back, and they are going to come back swinging.
Pick Two – Kevin Harvick – Kevin Harvick has been a great example of the phrase “Go big or go home’ this year. After a fantastic win at Darlington, and becoming locked into the Chase, Kevin Harvick has nothing to lose. If he is not sitting in Victory Lane at Richmond, than I expect him to be in the garage.
Pick Three – Matt Kenseth – Matt Kenseth has been a quiet contender this year, and while he hasn’t been contending for the wins, he has been finishing solidly. I expect him to finish strongly, if not with a win.

Frontstretch.com Journalist: Justin Tucker
Picks: 
Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson

Fan #1: Terry Wagner
Picks:
Kevin Harvick, Tony Stewart and Carl Edwards

Fan #2: Christina Cordner
Picks: Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson

Fan #3: Billy Stiles Jr.
Picks: Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kurt Busch and Jeff Gordon

Fan #4: Billy Zardo
Picks: Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Kyle Busch 

Nationwide Series Points:

Those who missed Texas and Darlington, they received an automatic value that is 10 points minus the lowest scored participant.

  1. Ashley McCubbin – 132+127=259
  2. Tayler Styles – 132+113=245
  3. Ronald Costigan – 110+127=237
  4. Billy Zardo – 110+123=233
  5. Terry Wagner – 110+116=226
  6. Christina Cordner – 110+116=226
  7. Billy Stiles Jr – 110+109=219
  8. Marshall Gabell – 120+90=210
  9. Justin Tucker – 200
Name Race Participated Wins Top 5 Top 10
Marshall Gabell 2 0 3 5
Tayler Styles 2 1 4 6
Ashley McCubbin 2 2 5 6
Ronald Costigan 1 1 2 3
Terry Wagner 1 0 2 3
Christina Cordner 1 0 2 2
Billy Zardo 1 1 2 3
Billy Stiles Jr. 1 0 0 3

Sprint Cup Points
Note: 
Those who missed Texas and Darlington, they received an automatic value that is 10 points minus the lowest scored participant.

  1. Ashley McCubbin – 62+118=180
  2. Ronald Costigan – 48+126=174
  3. Marshall Gabell – 94+75=169
  4. Terry Wagner – 48+120=168
  5. Tayler Stiles – 58+109=167
  6. Billy Stiles Jr. – 48+102=150
  7. Christina Cordner – 48+92=140
  8. Billy Zardo – 48+76=124
  9. Justin Tucker – 114
Name Race Participated Wins Top 5 Top 10
Marshall Gabell 2 0 1 3
Tayler Styles 2 0 2 3
Ashley McCubbin 2 0 3 4
Ronald Costigan 1 0 3 3
Terry Wagner 1 0 2 3
Billy Zardo 1 0 0 1
Christina Cordner 1 0 1 1
Billy Stiles Jr. 1 0 2 2

Combined
Note: 
Those who missed Texas and Darlington, they received an automatic value that is 10 points minus the lowest scored participant.

  1. Ashley McCubbin – 194+127+118=439
  2. Ronald Costigan – 180+127+126=433
  3. Terry Wagner – 180+116+120=416
  4. Tayler Stiles – 190+113+109=412
  5. Billy Stiles Jr. – 180+109+102=391
  6. Christinas Cordner – 180+116+92=388
  7. Marshall Gabell – 214+90+75=379
  8. Billy Zardo – 180+123+76=379
  9. Justin Tucker – 369
Name Race Participated Wins Top 5 Top 10
Marshall Gabell 4 0 4 8
Tayler Styles 4 1 6 9
Ashley McCubbin 4 2 8 10
Ronald Costigan 2 1 5 6
Terry Wagner 2 0 4 6
Christina Cordner 2 0 3 3
Billy Zardo 2 1 2 4
Billy Stiles Jr. 2 0 2 5

 

Picking Rules for Richmond

Each picker will be requested to send in three picks for the Nationwide Series with one of those picks being a Nationwide Series regular. Each picker is also requested to send in three picks for the Sprint Cup Series. They have to be sent in by April 24th to be counted.

If you haven’t played yet, you may still play and we will add you to the bottom of each standings – 10 points behind the person with the lowest amount of points.

All picks can be sent to ashleymccubbin@speedwaymedia.com

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