Off to a fast start, the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season has seen five different winners from five different organizations this season – JTG Daugherty Racing’s Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Daytona), Richard Childress Racing’s Kyle Busch (Fontana), Hendrick Motorsports’ William Byron (Las Vegas, Phoenix), Team Penske’s Joey Logano (Atlanta) and last weekend’s victor 23XI Racing’s Tyler Reddick (Austin).
The only repeat winner this season has been the opportunistic William Byron, who was able to grab both of his wins on the heels of late race cautions and overtime restarts at Las Vegas and Phoenix. Now, the highly-competitive series heads to historic 0.75-mile Richmond Raceway for the seventh race of the season, the Toyota Owners 400, on Sunday, April 2 at 3:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio for some good old short track racing.
In addition to a bevy of different winners this season, through six races the NASCAR Cup Series has produced an average of 11.33 lap leaders per race; which is the seventh-most in the Modern Era (1972-2023); behind the 2011 (13.0), 2014 (12.5), 2010 (12.0), 2022 (12.0), 1989 (11.7), and 2007 (11.5) seasons. In total, 30 different drivers have led laps in the first six races of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season, led by Hendrick Motorsports driver Kyle Larson with 270 laps led (20.22% of the total 1,335 laps run this season).
The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season has also produced an average margin of victory of 1.111-seconds through six races; with three events finishing with a margin of victory under a second. Four of the first six NASCAR Cup Series races this season have resulted in overtime finishes (Daytona, Las Vegas, Phoenix and COTA).
Plus, this season has produced 369 Green Flag Passes for the Lead in the first six points-paying races of the year (Daytona 204 GFPL, Fontana 35 GFPL, Las Vegas 22 GFPL, Phoenix 14 GFPL, Atlanta 73 GFPL, COTA 21 GFPL) – second-most through the first six races of a season since the Loop Data statistic was initially tabulated in 2007 (last 17 seasons); just behind the 2022 season with 378 GFPL.
Reddick adds name to Playoffs / Allstar lists with COTA victory
Fifth different winner this season was 23XI Racing’s Tyler Reddick last weekend at the Circuit of The America’s, his fourth career NASCAR Cup Series victory and third on a road course. Not only did the California native secure his spot in the Playoffs with the win but also the NASCAR All-Star Race which will take place at the newly renovated North Wilkesboro Speedway (May 21).
This season Reddick spun the tires in the first few races but has since found the traction he needs to put up some decent finishes. In six starts he has amassed one win (COTA), three top fives and three top 10s. His average finish this season is 16.2.
Looking to Richmond, Reddick has made five starts posting a best finish of 11th in 2020. His average finish at Richmond is 17.8. He finished 12th in this race last season.
The short on racing at Richmond Raceway
The 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season has been filled with unpredictable finishes and stellar on-track competition producing five different winners in six races. Plus, the Cup Series has seen four different driver point standings leaders through the first six races, with Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain currently out front.
This weekend, the NASCAR Cup Series prepares for the close, beating and banging racing the fans love at short tracks like Richmond. Originally known as the Atlantic Rural Exposition Fairgrounds, Richmond Raceway held its first race in 1946 as a half-mile dirt track.
The first NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond Raceway was held on April 19, 1953 and won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Lee Petty in a Petty Enterprises Dodge with an average speed of 45.535 mph. The track surface was changed from dirt to asphalt between races in 1968. In total, Richmond Raceway has hosted the NASCAR Cup Series 132 times producing 57 different pole winners and 53 different race winners.
NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty (1961, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970 sweep, 1974, 1975) and Bobby Allison (1972 sweep, 1973 sweep, 1974, 1976, 1979, 1982) lead the NASCAR Cup Series in poles at Richmond with eight each. Eight of the 57 NASCAR Cup Series Richmond Raceway pole winners are active this weekend, led by Denny Hamlin (2006, 2008, 2016) and Kevin Harvick (2005, 2018, 2019) with three poles each.