Kyle Busch Wins Third Consecutive Race at Richmond

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RICHMOND, VA – RIS – Kyle Busch held off Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin to win his third consecutive race in 2018, repeating the same feat as Kevin Harvick earlier in the season.  What made it even more difficult was he started the race in the 32nd starting position.

Busch survived a trio of late cautions that bunched the field in the final two-dozen laps, pulling away in overtime to win his third-straight NASCAR Cup race in the Toyota Owners 400. It's his 46th career victory and fifth win at Richmond.

Busch wasted no time advancing through the field, moving into the top 10 early in the first stage.

Joey Logano won the first two stages in a race that was remarkably caution-free until the final laps. But there were three cautions in the final two-dozen laps.

After a late round of pit stops during a caution, Busch emerged in the lead when the race restarted with 22 laps to go. After another caution a few laps later, the leaders came down pit road again, and Busch once again left the pits in the lead.

"The pit crew tonight won this race for us tonight," Busch said. "They got us off pit road first twice (late)."

After yet another caution forced overtime, Busch restarted in the lead, followed by Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick and Logano. Busch immediately pulled away, leaving everyone else running for second.

"It's definitely cool that we've won three in a row," Busch said.

Elliott made a nice move in overtime to finish second, his eighth career runner-up finish. He's still seeking his first NASCAR Cup victory.

"We have a lot of work to do, I still feel like, to get the car where we need it," Elliott said.

Defending series champion Martin Truex Jr. had trouble on the pit stop before overtime and finished 14th.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race Number 9
Unofficial Race Results for the 64Th Annual Toyota Owners 400 - Saturday, April 21, 2018
Richmond Raceway - Richmond, VA - .75 Mile Paved
Total Race Length - 402 Laps - 301.5 Miles

Fin Str Car Driver Team Laps Stage 1 Pos Stage 2 Pos Pts Status Tms Laps Playoff Pts
1 32 18 Kyle Busch M&M's Flavor Vote Toyota 402 6 6 50 Running 3 32 5
2 2 9 Chase Elliott NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 402 7 39 Running
3 4 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Ground Toyota 402 34 Running 2 6
4 3 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 402 1 1 53 Running 2 92 2
5 10 4 Kevin Harvick Mobil 1 Ford 402 10 10 34 Running 1 8
6 17 48 Jimmie Johnson Lowe's for Pros Chevrolet 402 31 Running
7 5 42 Kyle Larson Credit One Bank Chevrolet 402 30 Running
8 28 2 Brad Keselowski Alliance Truck Parts Ford 402 8 32 Running
9 16 14 Clint Bowyer Ford Hall Of Fans Ford 402 5 2 43 Running 3 45
10 26 19 Daniel Suarez ARRIS Toyota 402 27 Running
11 6 41 Kurt Busch Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford 402 3 4 41 Running 2 98
12 9 24 William Byron # AXALTA Chevrolet 402 4 5 38 Running
13 7 20 Erik Jones Sport Clips Toyota 402 24 Running
14 1 78 Martin Truex Jr. Bass Pro Shops/5-hour ENERGY Toyota 402 9 9 27 Running 4 121
15 23 3 Austin Dillon AAA Chevrolet 402 8 25 Running
16 27 32 Matt DiBenedetto Superior Logistics Services Inc. Ford 402 21 Running
17 25 10 Aric Almirola Smithfield Ford 402 2 3 37 Running
18 11 88 Alex Bowman Nationwide Chevrolet 402 19 Running
19 8 1 Jamie McMurray McDonald's Chevrolet 402 18 Running
20 31 13 Ty Dillon GEICO Chevrolet 402 17 Running
21 21 6 Trevor Bayne AdvoCare Ford 402 16 Running
22 13 12 Ryan Blaney DEX Imaging Ford 402 15 Running
23 12 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Fifth Third Bank Ford 402 14 Running
24 20 21 Paul Menard Menards/Quaker State Ford 401 13 Running
25 18 43 Darrell Wallace Jr. # Food Lion Feeds Chevrolet 401 12 Running
26 19 37 Chris Buescher Bush's Beans Chevrolet 401 11 Running
27 33 47 AJ Allmendinger Kroger ClickList Chevrolet 401 10 Running
28 30 15 Ross Chastain(i) Chevrolet 401 0 Running
29 29 95 Kasey Kahne WRL General Contractors Chevrolet 400 8 Running
30 35 72 Cole Whitt TriStar Motorsports Chevrolet 400 7 Running
31 24 34 Michael McDowell K-LOVE RADIO Ford 400 6 Running
32 22 8 * Daniel Hemric(i) Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff Chevrolet 399 0 Running
33 15 38 David Ragan MDS Transport Ford 399 4 Running
34 36 00 Landon Cassill StarCom Fiber Chevrolet 397 3 Running
35 34 23 Gray Gaulding Hibachi Box/Pepe's Mexican Restaurant Toyota 393 2 Running
36 38 51 Harrison Rhodes Industrial Construction Experts Inc. Chevrolet 386 1 Running
37 14 31 Ryan Newman Childress Vineyards Chevrolet 368 7 5 Accident
38 37 55 * Reed Sorenson VIPRacingExperience.com Chevrolet 188 1 Electrical
Time of Race: 3 Hrs, 08 Mins, 01 Secs. Average Speed: 96.215 MPH Margin of Victory: 0.511 Seconds
Failed to Qualify: N/A
Caution Flags: 6 for 46 laps: Laps: 102-111 (Stage 1 Conclusion [43]); 202-212 (Stage 2 Conclusion [38]); 355-361 (#12, 17, 72 Incident Turn 4 [31]); 369-378 (Fluid On The Track [42]); 391-394 (#38 Inicident Turn 3 [42]); 397-400 (Debris Turn 3 [6]).
Lead Changes: 16 among 7 drivers: M. Truex Jr. 1-38; J. Logano 39-111; Kurt Busch 112-169; C. Bowyer 170-192; J. Logano 193-211; Kurt Busch 212-251; C. Bowyer 252-272; Kyle Busch 273; D. Hamlin 274-276; M. Truex Jr. 277-323; K. Harvick 324-331; C. Bowyer 332; D. Hamlin 333-335; M. Truex Jr. 336-370; Kyle Busch 371-390; M. Truex Jr. 391; Kyle Busch 392-402.
American Ethanol Green Flag Restart Award : Martin Truex Jr, #78 Busch Pole Award : Martin Truex Jr, #78 123.859 mph
Fastest Lap : Martin Truex Jr, #78 Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race : Hendrick Engines, #9
Moog Go the Extra Mile : Kevin Harvick, #4 0.390 seconds Sunoco Rookie of the Race : William Byron, #24
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series
Next Race: Apr. 29, 2018 - Talladega Superspeedway

Ron Fleshman

RIS NASCAR Editor.  Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.

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Volume 2018, Issue 4, Posted 12:01 AM, 04.22.2018