Under the lights at Richmond International Raceway Joey Logano won the 60th Annual Toyota Owners 400, when he came from the fourth position on the final restart with an aggressive move diving low, while the front runners were fighting for the top spot resulting in tempers flying.
This is Logano’s fifth victory in 192 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, five victories at five different tracks, and Logano joins Kevin Harvick as the only other driver with two victories this season. Barring Logano doesn’t fall out of the top 30 in driver points and miss any races this victory seals his spot in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.
“I’m more surprised than anyone else here, this is probably one of my worst race tracks, but I guess not today,” said Logano in victory lane. “This is the best car I’ve ever had and it doesn’t even feel like the old Richmond that I’m used to not being good at.”
“What a crazy finish, I had a really bad restart, and I was like man, I really screwed up here I’m not gonna win, and once they started battling ahead of me and the 20 was doing a good job of blocking the 2 on the top we were able to capitalize basically when they were blocking the top I was able to get some air on the bottom and make the pass.”
Jeff Gordon led 173 laps of the race on 6 different occasions, and shared the lead with Brad Keselowski who led 114 laps 4 times, as well with Logano who led 46 laps on 4 occasions and Harvick with 35 laps. Matt Kenseth broke into the top 10 with 120 laps remaining and came on strong, when he took the lead from Gordon with 38 laps remaining when the caution came out 7 laps later Kenseth held off Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Gordon off pit road.
With Kenseth, Keselowski and Gordon battling for the lead after the final restart with 10 laps to go, all three traded paint as they went three wide at times with 6 to go Logano was pulled into the mix making the pass as Penske teammate Keselowski wiggled on the track, without seeming to lose momentum, Logano gunned for the lead with 4 to go.
Gordon finishes second, with Kyle Busch, who had fresher tires, in third, Keselowski finished fourth with Kenseth in fifth. A.J. Allmendinger, Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, and Martin Truex Jr. finished 6th through 10th respectively.
Short tracks are known to result in short tempers and Richmond brought out the worst of some drivers with Marcos Ambrose and Casey Mears, Ambrose threw a punch that connected with Mears after Mears grabbed Ambrose by the arm and shoved Ambrose.
Keselowski wasn’t as drastic but looked calm in comparison with his display over the late race contact he and Kenseth had, but upon completion of the race Keselowski brake-checked Kenseth resulting in the #20 running into the back of the #2, followed by Keselowski walking down to the #20 on pit road and pointing a few times at Kenseth and walked back to his car throwing his gloves off.
Next weekend the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series goes to Talladega for the Aaron’s 499 with qualifying televised on Fox, Saturday, May 3rd at 1:00 p.m. eastern time with the race on Fox, Sunday, May 4th at 1:00 p.m. eastern standard time.