NASCAR Cup SeriesNASCAR Truck Series

Martin Truex Jr., Ben Rhodes on poles for Richmond

3 Mins read
Credit: James Gilbert/Getty Images

After using the magic formula, Martin Truex Jr. and Ben Rhodes will start on the pole for the NASCAR Cup and Camping World Truck Series races at Richmond Raceway.

Cup: JGR front row with Truex and Hamlin

Martin Truex Jr. put the Martin in Martinsville when he beat Joe Gibbs Racing team-mate Denny Hamlin to the win on Sunday. The first multi-time Cup winner of 2021, Truex will look for his third win at Richmond in the last four races. The short track has become one of his strongest tracks as he rides a four-race top-five streak. Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 will be his first front-row start at Richmond since the 2018 spring race, which also happened to be the last time he finished worse than third (fourteenth).

Hamlin will start second at his home track. He has three wins at Richmond with the last coming in the 2016 fall event.

Behind the JGR front row will be a pair of Hendrick Motorsports drivers in Chase Elliott and William Byron. Elliott finished second in the 2018 spring race while Byron has never finished higher than twelfth at Richmond (2018 spring).

The lone driver change is Garrett Smithley returning to Rick Ware Racing‘s #53 that J.J. Yeley drove at Martinsville; it will be Smithley’s fifth race of the year. Starting last is Austin Cindric in his third Cup start for Team Penske.

119Martin Truex Jr.Joe Gibbs RacingToyota
211Denny HamlinJoe Gibbs RacingToyota
39Chase ElliottHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet
424William ByronHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet
522Joey LoganoTeam PenskeFord
65Kyle LarsonHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet
712Ryan BlaneyTeam PenskeFord
820Christopher BellJoe Gibbs RacingToyota
94Kevin HarvickStewart-Haas RacingFord
1018Kyle BuschJoe Gibbs RacingToyota
113Austin DillonRichard Childress RacingChevrolet
1217Chris BuescherRoush Fenway RacingFord
138Tyler ReddickRichard Childress RacingChevrolet
1447Ricky Stenhouse Jr.JTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet
1523Bubba Wallace23XI RacingToyota
1621Matt DiBenedettoWood Brothers RacingFord
171Kurt BuschChip Ganassi RacingChevrolet
1842Ross ChastainChip Ganassi RacingChevrolet
196Ryan NewmanRoush Fenway RacingFord
202Brad KeselowskiTeam PenskeFord
2141Cole CusterStewart-Haas RacingFord
2210Aric AlmirolaStewart-Haas RacingFord
2334Michael McDowellFront Row MotorsportsFord
2448Alex BowmanHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet
2537Ryan PreeceJTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet
2614Chase BriscoeStewart-Haas RacingFord
2799Daniel SuárezTrackhouse Racing TeamChevrolet
2815James DavisonRick Ware RacingChevrolet
2938Anthony AlfredoFront Row MotorsportsFord
3043Erik JonesRichard Petty MotorsportsChevrolet
3152Josh BilickiRick Ware RacingFord
3200Quin HouffStarCom RacingChevrolet
3351Cody Ware*Rick Ware RacingChevrolet
3477Justin Haley*Spire MotorsportsChevrolet
3578B.J. McLeod*Live Fast MotorsportsFord
367Corey LaJoieSpire MotorsportsChevrolet
3753Garrett Smithley*Rick Ware RacingChevrolet
3833Austin Cindric*Team PenskeFord
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for Cup points
Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Truck: Toyotas occupy top four

After a week off, the Truck Series returns on Saturday at Richmond with Rhodes leading a Toyota contingent in the first two rows. Like Truex, Rhodes is the only driver in his series with multiple wins on the year, and he finished second in the most recent Truck race at Bristol. In the 2020 Truck race at Richmond, the first since 2005, he finished third.

Joining Rhodes on the front row will be Austin Hill, who recorded the second-fastest lap at Bristol. Hill finished eighth in his lone Truck start at Richmond.

Rhodes’ ThorSport Racing team-mate Grant Enfinger, who won the 2020 Richmond event, and another Toyota driver in Stewart Friesen hold the line in row two. Enfinger’s part-time Truck schedule continues while Friesen is coming off a race at Bristol that saw him set the fastest lap.

Most of the driver changes come as regulars replace dirt ringers, primarily owner/drivers. For example, Kyle Busch returns to his part-time slate in his team’s #51 that Truex drove to victory at Bristol, while Cory Roper replaces Chase Briscoe in his #04 entry, Spencer Davis for Bubba Wallace in the #11, Dawson Cram for Cody Erickson in the #41, Jett Noland for Kyle Larson in Niece Motorsports‘ #44, and Timmy Hill for Mike Marlar in the #56. Reaume Brothers Racing‘s owner Josh Reaume, freshly reinstated, takes over the #34 from ringer Jake Griffin while Keith McGee makes his Truck début in RBR’s #33 that was piloted by Myatt Snider. Howie DiSavino III is also a Truck newcomer in Jordan Anderson Racing‘s #3, while Sam Mayer prepares for his maiden start with Bret Holmes Racing. Ryan Reed is in CMI Motorsports‘ #49 for his first NASCAR race since 2019. Kris Wright, who missed the last two races after testing positive for COVID-19, returns to the #02 for Young’s Motorsports.

With a full field, Trey Hutchens is locked out of the grid. David Gilliland Racing‘s #17 misses its first race of the season as Taylor Gray continues to recover from injuries sustained in a car accident the previous week.

199Ben RhodesThorSport RacingToyota
216Austin HillHattori Racing EnterprisesToyota
398Grant EnfingerThorSport RacingToyota
452Stewart FriesenHalmar Friesen RacingToyota
524Raphaël LessardGMS RacingChevrolet
621Zane SmithGMS RacingChevrolet
788Matt CraftonThorSport RacingToyota
838Todd GillilandFront Row MotorsportsFord
92Sheldon CreedGMS RacingChevrolet
1022Austin Wayne SelfAM RacingChevrolet
1115Tanner GrayDavid Gilliland RacingFord
1251Kyle Busch*Kyle Busch MotorsportsToyota
1342Carson HocevarNiece MotorsportsChevrolet
141Hailie DeeganDavid Gilliland RacingFord
1523Chase PurdyGMS RacingChevrolet
1640Ryan TruexNiece MotorsportsChevrolet
1745Brett MoffittNiece MotorsportsChevrolet
184John Hunter NemechekKyle Busch MotorsportsToyota
1913Johnny SauterThorSport RacingToyota
209Codie RohrbaughCR7 MotorsportsChevrolet
2104Cory RoperRoper RacingFord
2202Kris WrightYoung’s MotorsportsChevrolet
2318Chandler SmithKyle Busch MotorsportsToyota
2412Tate FoglemanYoung’s MotorsportsChevrolet
2511Spencer DavisSpencer Davis MotorsportsToyota
2620Spencer BoydYoung’s MotorsportsChevrolet
2725Timothy PetersRackley WARChevrolet
2830Danny BohnOn Point MotorsportsToyota
2919Derek KrausMcAnally-Hilgemann RacingToyota
3026Tyler AnkrumGMS RacingChevrolet
3141Dawson CramCram Racing EnterprisesChevrolet
3233Keith McGeeReaume Brothers RacingChevrolet
3310Jennifer Jo CobbJennifer Jo Cobb RacingChevrolet
3456Timmy Hill*Hill MotorsportsChevrolet
353Howie DiSavino IIIJordan Anderson RacingChevrolet
3644Jett NolandNiece MotorsportsChevrolet
3734Josh ReaumeReaume Brothers RacingChevrolet
386Norm BenningNorm Benning RacingChevrolet
3949Ryan ReedCMI MotorsportsChevrolet
4032Sam Mayer*Bret Holmes RacingChevrolet
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for Truck points
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