Kyle Busch Comes From The Back To The Front Again For A Richmond Sweep

RICHMOND, VA – Who needs stage points when you can win the race outright? Kyle Busch initially appeared like he would be in trouble after the first two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff races. He struggled mightily in last weeks postseason opener in Las Vegas and finished seventh. In Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400, Busch started 39th and never could make up for it early on and didn’t score a single stage point.

After the first 200 Laps, he was a non factor. 

Then came the final stage.

Busch, found his way up front and by Lap 287, he had his No. 18 Toyota in the lead. He and Brad Keselowski would trade the lead five times over the final 114 laps with Busch earning the Richmond sweep.

He came from the back in the spring race to win and did so again on Saturday night. Busch passed Keselowski for the final time on Lap 363 and would lead the final 37 laps en route to his seventh victory of the season and 50th of his Cup Series career. He’s now tied with Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson for 11th on the all-time wins list.

He also becomes the first driver since Rusty Wallace in 1989 to sweep both Richmond races in the same season. It was Toyota’s first win since July 29 and Busch’s first since that Pocono race. His last top five finish came at Michigan on Aug. 12.

Now, it appears that he may very well be back.

Kevin Harvick finished runner-up to Busch in his No. 4 Ford on Saturday. It was Harvick’s ninth top 10 finish in his last 10 starts on the year. He’s +57 in the standings heading into Charlotte’s ROVAL and is in a great position to advance to the second round.

Martin Truex Jr. overcame an uncontrolled tire penalty after the second stage to finish third in his No. 78 Toyota. It was just his second top five finish at Richmond over the last decade but one that he felt he left on the table.

Last weekend, Truex led the most laps and finished too. On Saturday, Truex led a race high 163 laps but failed to capitalize. All 163 of those laps were led from Lap 41 through Lap 203. He won both stages and by far had the best car. But, that penalty dropped him from the top three to 19th.

Chase Elliott had great long run speed but the short run speed cost him a win too. He finished fourth in his No. 9 Chevrolet.

Aric Almirola was strong all night and rounded out the top five.

The race was much cleaner than we though it would be. There were only three cautions, two of which occurring for stage breaks.

The series now heads home for the cutoff race of the first round next weekend.

Federated Auto Parts 400 Results

  1. 18 KyBusch
  2.  4 Harvick
  3. 78 Truex Jr.
  4.  9 Elliott
  5. 10 Almirola
  6.  3 ADillon
  7. 42 Larson
  8. 48 Johnson
  9.  2 Keselowski
  10. 14 Bowyer
  11. 20 Jones
  12. 88 Bowman
  13. 17 Stenhouse Jr.
  14. 22 Logano -1
  15. 31 Newman -1
  16. 11 Hamlin -1
  17. 19 Suarez -1
  18. 41 KuBusch -2
  19. 12 Blaney -2
  20. 24 Byron R -2
  21.  1 McMurray -2
  22. 21 Menard -3
  23. 38 Ragan -3
  24. 34 McDowell -3
  25.  6 Kenseth -4
  26. 51 Custer -4
  27. 43 Wallace Jr. R -5
  28. 13 TDillon -5
  29. 47 Allmendinger -6
  30. 37 Buescher -6
  31. 95 Smith -6
  32. 72 LaJoie -7
  33. 15 Chastain -8
  34. 32 DiBenedetto -9
  35. 00 Gase -12
  36. 99 Cassill -13
  37. 96 Earnhardt -13
  38. 23 Day -17
  39. 66 Hill -18
  40. 52 Gaulding OUT

Related posts

Leave a Reply