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Fans watch the team of Joey Logano as they work on the car in the garage at Richmond Friday (Steve Helber)
Fans watch the team of Joey Logano as they work on the car in the garage at Richmond Friday (Steve Helber)|Associated Press
NASCAR

NASCAR Saturday: Eckel on Busch, Truex Jr., Harvick and Johnson in Toyota Owners 400

Richmond, Va./Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Mark Eckel

Kyle Busch is looking for more history in an already historic season.

Martin Truex Jr. is looking for his first win of the season on a track where he’s never won.

Kevin Harvick earned the pole and is looking to improve on an interesting streak.

And Jimmie Johnson is looking for the rarest of daily doubles.

NASCAR heads to Richmond in week nine for the Toyota Owners 400, Saturday night, 7:30.

Busch, who won last year at Richmond and has been dominant both at the 400-lap Virginia track and in 2019, will look to continue both trends Saturday night.

With six wins at Richmond, Busch is even with Richard Petty for number of wins there. A win Saturday night and maybe he becomes known as “King Kyle”.

Busch has also won three races this season and has placed in the top 10 in all eight races this season. The last time a driver has finished in the top 10 in the first eight races of the season was Terry Labonte in 1992. And Labonte didn’t win any of those eight races.

“We’ve been doing really well and the results have been coming, too,” Busch told NASCAR.com. “We’ve had a little luck on our side as well. I always tell you when we don’t have any luck on our side, so I might as well tell you when we do have a little luck on our side. It’s been nice to have. We just have to continue with the way we’re running and the way that we’re doing it. Keep being successful.”

Truex, the New Jersey native, is looking for his first win of the 2019 season at a track where he has not had a lot of success. Last year he finished 14th at Richmond and has never been better than third in his career. He will start out of the sixth position in No. 19.

“Man, I've been down that road. Nothing owes you anything," Truex told NASACR.com. "You have to earn it in this sport. It's tough. A perfect example, Jimmie Johnson has won how many races at Martinsville and he went there this year and he's two laps down. None of these places owe you anything, you have to go out and get it.”

Harvick, who has three career wins at Richmond, will start from the pole position. In the past three races here he has finished fifth three straight years. He is also looking for his first win of the season.

Johnson, who will start out of the 10th position in No. 48 will drive Saturday night and head to Boston for the Boston Marathon, Monday morning.

“At this point, I've run nearly 800 miles since the start of the new year, and looking at 26.2, that doesn't seem like a big deal at this point,’’ the veteran driver said. “I'm ready. I love to be prepared and ready for anything and everything I do, and I'm ready for that.”

Here are this week’s selections with the help of Scott “Tobacco Road’’ Baker and Mike “Left Turn’’ Sweeney.

Remember you can bet to win, to finish in the top three, or five, and make head to head selections.

Kyle Busch (2-1) — As “Left Turn’’ said “you just can’t leave him out.’’ I agree. Although “Tobacco Road’’ says “They say you can’t leave Kyle out. I’m leaving him out.’’

Kevin Harvick (7-1) — This is “TR's'' top pick and one of my top three selections. You know he’s going to be right there and getting the pole certainly isn’t going to hurt.

Danny Hamlin (10-1) — The Virginia native has won at Richmond three times and has finished in the top three the past two years. At these odds, the Joe Gibbs driver is a good bet.

Joey Logano (7-1) Keep this in mind, all eight winners this season have come out of either the Joe Gibbs Racing team or Team Penske and six of the last seven winners at Richmond had also come out those two teams. Logano drives for Penske.

Longshot Play: Clint Bowyer (20-1)