Record-Breaking NASCAR Cup Series season sets its sights on Easter Sunday Night at Richmond Raceway, March 31

The start of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season has been nothing short of extraordinary. And as the world’s greatest stock car drivers return to the Commonwealth to race under the lights on Easter Sunday, the momentum is poised to carry through.

Key statistical highlights of the 2024 season include the following:

Record Average Lap Leaders - This season, the NASCAR Cup Series has produced an average of 14.2 lap leaders per race in the first five races of the year – the series-most average number of lap leaders through the first five races of a season in the Modern Era (1972-2024). 

Record Average Lead Changes - The NASCAR Cup Series is averaging 35.40 lead changes per race through the first five races of the 2024 season, the series-most in the Modern Era (1972-2024). The next highest is the 2011 season with 31.6.
Record Green Flag Passes for The Lead - The 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season has produced 487 Green Flag Passes for the Lead – the most through the first five races of the year since the inception of the stat in 2005, surpassing the previous record of 348 Green Flag Passes for the Lead through the first five races of a season set in 2022 & 2023 (tied at 348 each).
Record Total Green Flag Passes - The 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season has produced 29,429 Total Green Flag Passes – the series-most through the first five races of the year since the inception of the stat in 2005, surpassing the previous record of 27,341 Total Green Flag Passes through the first five races set last season.
All Five Races Up Year-Over-Year - All five of the NASCAR Cup Series races this season have produced positive year-over-year increases in Green Flag Passes for the Lead and Total Green Flag Passes.

After Chesterfield, Virginia, native Denny Hamlin took the checkered last Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway, he became the fifth different driver in five regular season races to earn a win this year. He joins the likes of William Byron (Daytona), Daniel Suárez (Atlanta), Kyle Larson (Las Vegas), and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Christopher Bell (Phoenix).

Across his 34 starts at his home track in Richmond, Hamlin has garnered four wins, 18 top-fives, 22 top-10s, and has completed 13,611 of the 13,623 total scheduled laps throughout those races (99.9%). The driver of the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota will look to continue his success at short tracks this year, having won the recent Food City 500 at Bristol along with the season-opening Busch Light Clash at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum exhibition race.

But while his Toyota counterparts will look to put on a show after leading all but 14 laps in the previous short track race at Phoenix, drivers from the Chevrolet and Ford stable look to bounce back and play spoiler in the Toyota Owners 400. Particularly, last year’s race winner Kyle Larson hopes to become the first multi-time winner this season and earn his third career victory at Richmond Raceway.

Similarly, the track’s most recent winner, Chris Buescher, will look to replicate the result he got in last July’s Cook Out 400. But unlike Hamlin and Larson, Buescher would be notching the first win of the year for himself, RFK Racing, and Ford, as a whole.

For every NASCAR Cup Series driver, next weekend’s race will also offer another chance to gain familiarity and comfort with the new short track package that was first introduced at Phoenix. The excitement surrounding Richmond is that it offers a truer and more traditional short track layout (0.75-mile D-shaped oval) as opposed to the uncanny Phoenix layout (1-mile doglegged oval). This gives drivers a better understanding of the new package and what it will offer for the rest of the season.

This weekend, all three NASCAR national series travel to Austin, Texas, for racing at Circuit of the Americas before rolling into Richmond. The action starts with a doubleheader on Saturday, March 23, beginning with the XPEL 225 NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Race at 1:30 p.m. ET followed by the Focused Health 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at 5 p.m. ET. On Sunday, March 24, the stars of the NASCAR Cup Series will battle it out in their first road course race of the season in the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at 3:30 p.m. ET.

The Toyota Owners 400 will be contested at 7 p.m. on Easter Sunday, March 31, as NASCAR’s best compete for a spot in the NASCAR Playoffs. The race will be broadcast live on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Richmond Raceway’s Easter weekend will also include the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour’s Virginia is for Racing Lovers 150 on Friday, March 29, and the NASCAR Xfinity Series’ ToyotaCare 250 on Saturday, March 30.

Fans are encouraged to secure their tickets now at www.richmondraceway.com.

Richmond Raceway PR