RICHMOND, VA – Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at the Richmond Raceway showed that the “Big 3” are back in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. In fact, the “Big 4” showed that they’re the favorites to head to the Homestead-Miami Speedway as members of the Championship 4.
Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick combined to lead 362 of the 400 laps in the second playoff race of the opening round to show their dominance is still there.
Busch, won his seventh race of the season despite not scoring a single stage point all night. He and Brad Keselowski would change hands for the lead five times of the final 114 laps with Busch earning the Richmond sweep.
It was his first top five finish since Aug. 12 and first win since July 29.
Harvick finished second third top four finish in the last four races of the year in his No. 4 Ford. He led the first 40 laps on Saturday night.
Truex Jr. finished third in his No. 78 Toyota after leading a race-high 163 laps. If not for an uncontrolled tire penalty after the end of the second stage, Truex likely would have won the race outright. Instead, he had to go from 19th to third over the final 200 laps en route to his second straight third place finish.
It was also the first time that the “Big 3” finished 1-2-3 in a race this season too. They’ve combined to win 20 of the 28 races in 2018 and look back to form.
Truex, led the most laps last week as well and finished third too.
Even Keselowski was strong. He led 67 laps but ruined his rear tires in the end while battling Busch for the win and faded to ninth. Still, the speed was good enough to hang around the top five for most of the night to show that these four drivers are leaps and bounds better than everyone else.