VAVEL NASCAR pick 'em: Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway

After a surprising ending to the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Richmond International Raceway for the Toyota Owners 400. Here are predictions from the writers of the VAVEL NASCAR section on who they think will win.


Here are the current standings, with there having been no change after Bristol.


Here are the predictions for this weekend's race at Richmond, in order based on their place in the standings.

Stevie Larson

Driver: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Reason: "He managed to salvage a second place finish at Bristol after going two laps down at the start of the race due to engine malfunction. He will keep the momentum from that race and use it this weekend in Richmond to get his first win of the season, and clinch his spot in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup. Look for the Hendrick Motorsports #88 car to be in victory lane after the race on Sunday afternoon."

Stephen Frust

Driver: Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Reason: "He's had to battle back from laps down at 2 of the last three races to finish strong. It's now time that he puts that strength and determination to stay up front from the start and haul in his first win of 2016"

Mark Smith

Driver: Kevin Harvick

Reason: "The driver of the #4 Chevrolet will once again be back in Victory Lane this week at Richmond International Raceway. I think the Stewart Haas Racing driver and former Sprint Cup Series champion has enough to beat the rest of the pack, including the strong Joe Gibbs Racing cars, and pick up another win in the 2016 season."

Brandon Farris

Driver: Chase Elliott

Reason: "Kids been on a roll. Richmond has been historically good to rookies and I just got a feeling it's that kind of weekend for the kid."