NASCAR: Richmond Kicks Off Short Track Season and Drivers Are Getting Ready

by Jonathan Howard
(Photo by Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

NASCAR is heading to Richmond and it could give us one of the best races of the season. There have been some great races so far this year. The Next-Gen cars have been a revelation. Even if drivers and teams are still learning about the cars, the product on the track has been great. Richmond is one of those historic venues that is sure to give us something to talk about come Monday morning.

Last week, NASCAR raced at the COTA road course for the second time ever. Things went much better than the first time around. However, fans are ready to see some more oval action. It doesn’t get better, closer, and more exciting than the D-shaped, 0.75 mile oval in Virginia.

This is going to be the beginning of the short track season and give drivers a new challenge in the Next Gen vehicles. While there is never a crystal ball that will let you know exactly what to expect, this might be a continuation of a strong trend dating back to April 2019.

In the last five races at Richmond, Martin Truex, Jr. has won three. He swept the venue in 2019, there was only one Richmond race in 2020, and he won last year’s 9/11 race after receiving a penalty during the race. Truex loves that track and I won’t be surprised to see him driving for the win this Sunday.

The other two races of those five were won by Brad Keselowski (9/12/20) and Alex Bowman (4/18/21). Another name to watch is Kyle Busch. He has run fast this season and is looking to finish a race strong. He has six wins on this track with his last coming in September 2018.

NASCAR Goes to Richmond for the First Time This Season

Shor track racing like at Richmond is classic NASCAR. Superspeedways and the new Atlanta track are exciting. Speeds get up really high and there is some great racing there. However, the closeness and the history of a short-track atmosphere are just too good. This isn’t just any regular NASCAR race at Richmond this season either. There is a big debut coming for a young driver.

Rajah Caruth, a 19-year-old driver, is making his Xfinity Series debut. Caruth has a strong background in iRacing and just a few years behind the wheel of a real car. He doesn’t have the on-track experience that many of his competitors have, but that hasn’t stopped him so far. NASCAR is excited about the young driver, so this debut is a big moment.

All three NASCAR races will be well-worth watching. Richmond is a big deal and whoever takes the checkered flag in these races will remember it for a lifetime.