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NASCAR beting: Toyota Owners 400 preview

After back-to-back races at 1.5-mile tracks, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series shifts to the short ¾-mile track at Richmond International Raceway Saturday.

High drama followed Matt Kenseth’s win at Kansas last week after his No. 20 car was suspended for six races following a failed engine inspection. NASCAR came down hard on Joe Gibbs Racing with many other sanctions, including suspending crew chief Jason Ratcliff for six races and fining him $200,000.

Here’s a look at this week’s favorite, a live dog and a long shot for bettors to consider:

Favorite:
Kyle Busch (+500)

Busch had a rough race last week in Kansas, but has enjoyed plenty of success at Richmond. He leads all drivers with a 5.4 average finish and has won the spring race three consecutive times from 2009-12. Busch has four wins, 12 top-fives, 13 top-10s and one pole in his last 16 starts at RIR.

Live dog: Kevin Harvick (+1,400)

Harvick ranks second out of 48 drivers with an average place of 7.5 in the last eight seasons at Richmond. The No. 29 Chevrolet was running second at one point of last week’s race in Kansas before slipping to 12th. Harvick has two wins, six top-fives and 15 top-10s in his career at Richmond.

Long shot: Jeff Burton (+5,000)

Burton has one win, nine top-fives, 16 top-10s and one pole in 37 career starts at Richmond. He has an average place of 15.4 at the track over the past eight seasons and has good value at +5,000.

Key stat: The last three NASCAR Sprint Cup races have been won from the pole position. Twenty-two of the 113 NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Richmond International Raceway have been won from the pole.

Notable quotable:

"To crush Joe Gibbs like that and say he can't win an owner's championship with the 20 this year, I just can't wrap my arms around that. It just blows me away. The same for (crew chief) Jason Ratcliff. I don't feel bad for myself at all, but for Jason and Joe, I couldn't feel any worse. There are no more reputable, hard-working, honest guys than them two. I feel really bad for them." – Kenseth on the sanctions handed down by NASCAR on Joe Gibbs Racing.

Odds to win the Toyota Owners 400 courtesy of Bet365:

Kyle Busch +500
Brian Vickers +700
Matt Kenseth +750
Jimmie Johnson +750
Brad Keselowski +900
Clint Bowyer +900
Kasey Kahne +1,000
Carl Edwards +1,000
Jeff Gordon +1,100
Dale Earnhardt Jr. +1,400
Kevin Harvick +1,400
Tony Stewart +1,600
Ryan Newman +1,800
Greg Biffle +2,000
Martin Truex Jr. +2,200
Mark Martin +2,500
Joey Logano +3,300
Ricky Stenhouse +4,000
Kurt Busch +4,000
Jeff Burton +5,000
Paul Menard +5,000
Marcos Ambrose +6,600
Jamie McMurray +6,600
Juan Pablo Montoya +6,600
Aric Almirola +8,000
A.J. Allmendiger +10,000
Brian Keselowski +25,000
Danica Patrick +25,000
Casey Mears +25,000
Bobby Labonte +30,000
David Ragan +50,000
David Reutimann +50,000
David Stremme +75,000
Joe Nemechek +75,000
David Gilliland +75,000
Travis Kvapil +75,000
Dave Blaney +75,000
Landon Cassill +100,000
J.J. Yeley +100,000
Michael McDowell +100,000
Timmy Hill +100,000

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