The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series ran at Richmond Raceway Sunday night for another short track battle. The Toyota Owners 400 was a tight fight under the lights as the drivers jostled for rank. The cars looked sharp but up close they were bruised up from racing hard.
Kevin Harvick was the pole sitter and led the early goings. A competition caution came out at lap forty with the leaders coming down pit road. Kyle Busch won the race off pit road and with no competition for the remainder of the stage. he ran away with the lead and won the first stage.
Kyle Busch won the race off pit road, but he was caught for speeding. Martin Truex Jr. took over the lead, but Joey Logano was tracking him the whole stage. Lapped traffic became a huge issue for Truex Jr as he led the whole stage up till the end. He was battling to pass Ryan Blaney, the next lapped car. Blaney was blocking Truex Jr. from passing and that is when Joey Logano was able to pass Truex Jr. for the lead. Logano was able to win the second stage of the race.
Joey Logano won the race off pit road and continued to lead the field around the track. With 158 laps left in the race, Michael McDowell cut a tire and spun around. This brought out the caution flag as the leaders came down pit road for service. Martin Truex Jr. won the race off pit road but had to battle Brad Keselowski. Keselowski passed Truex Jr. with 128 laps left in the race, but Truex Jr. passed him back twenty laps later. Green flag stops occurred with 87 laps left in the race. Truex Jr. was able to cycle back to the lead. Clint Bowyer was closing in on Truex Jr., but he did not have enough to take him down. Truex Jr. held off a late run from Bowyer and was able to find the checkered flag. Martin Truex Jr. wins the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway.
Martin Truex Jr. wins his first race of the season and his first race for Joe Gibbs Racing. Truex Jr. found a solid team and this will be the first of many wins with this team. Truex Jr. struggled early but has found some speed in the last few weeks. Last year he was part of ‘The Big Three’ but has not backed that up as much this year. This win could spark some energy in his garage as they head into the holiday break.
The next race is in two weeks at Talladega Superspeedway. Everyone knows the dangers and thrills of this mammoth track. Last year Stewart-Haas Racing showed everyone how it was done. The team of four drivers worked together from start to finish and nobody else came close to stopping them. The same strategy could be played out in two weeks. It worked well for them and we will see if any other team tries to do the same.