NASCAR: Toyota Owners 400

This week the Monster Energy Cup Series travels the short distance from Tennessee to Virginia for the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway.

Richmond_International_Raceway_from_stands(1)

This week there are only 38 cars set to race.

In qualifying on Friday afternoon one driver knew his starting spot even before the cars went out on the track. Last week Austin Dillon failed the laser inspection station a number of times; as a result, Dillon lost 30 minutes of practice time, lost his choice of pit selection, and will start the race from the back of the field not matter what he does in qualifying. Dillon took his car out early and ran a “slow” lap of only 82 miles per hour.

Matt Kenseth took his Circle K car to the top of the list to earn the pole position and will lead the field to green.

The starting lineup for the Toyota Owners 400:
Matt Kenseth
Ryan Blaney
Martin Truex Jr
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Joey Logano – moved to the back of the field for a transmission change
Kevin Harvick
Kyle Busch
Clint Bowyer
Kurt Busch
Jamie McMurray
Daniel Suarez
Dale Earnhardt Jr
Ryan Newman
Chase Elliott
Brad Keselowski
Denny Hamlin
Jimmie Johnson
Kyle Larson
Kasey Kahne
Erik Jones
Danica Patrick
AJ Allmendinger
Chris Buescher
Aric Almirola
Paul Menard
Michael McDowell
Landon Cassill
Trevor Bayne
David Ragan
Gray Gaulding
Matt DiBenedetto
Reed Sorenson
Corey LaJoie
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Cole Whitt
Timmy Hill
Austin Dillon – failed inspection five times at Bristol

Stages one and two of the race are 100 laps each with stage three lasting 200 laps.

Matt Kenseth brings the field down for the green flag and takes over the lead of the race.

On lap three Matt Kenseth has already pulled out to a lead of nearly a second on second place driver Ryan Blaney.

Eric Jones brings out the first caution flag of the race on lap six when he hits the wall after cutting a tire from contact with Kasey Kahne. Leader Matt Kenseth had a lead of over a second when the caution flag came out.

Even though they have only run six laps, some of the drivers are came down pit road for fresh tires. The drivers start the race on the same tires they used in qualifying.

The caution has been extended due to debris scattered about the track.

Matt Kenseth brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 13 with Kenseth pulling out in front. The drivers are getting three and four wide across the track.

Only three laps after the restart – lap 15 – Matt Kenseth has puled out to a lead of over a second.

Erik Jones is out of the race.

Lap 18 Kenseth’s lead is up to a second and a half.

Kurt Busch has had a number of electrical issues all weekend long and is continuing to report issues in the car and is unable to keep his car…and himself cool.

Lap 28 Matt Kenseth has a lead of voer a second and a half.

On lap 33 Matt Kenseth is maintaining a lead between a second and a half and two seconds over second place driver Martin Truex Jr. After restarting the race in 24th place, Dale Earnhardt Jr has moved up to 10th place.

Moving on up…after starting the race at the back of the field, on alp 45 Joey Logano has moved up to 18th and Austin Dillon has moved upto 24th.

Lap 48 Matt Kenseth is dominating the race and after leading every lap so far has a lead of nearly two seconds on second place driver Martin Truex Jr with 32 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 55 Matt Kenseth has a lead of nearly two seconds with 31 cars on the lead lap.

Lat 64 Matt Kenseth has a lead of over three second.

Lap 65 Ricky Stenhouse Jr brings out the second caution flag of the race when he gets loos and bumps the wall.

Matt Kenseth wins the race off of pit road. David Ragan is the “lucky dog”.

Dale Earnhardt Jr, Kyle Busch, and Chris Buescher were all cought speeding on pit road. The must restart the race at the end of the longest line.

Matt Kenseth brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 73 and pulls out in front of the field.

Within two laps, Kenseth has pulled out to a one second lead on second place driver Martin Truex Jr.

Kyle Larson is reporting some of his fans are not working and his feet are burning hot.

Lap 80 Kenseth’s lead is up to a second and a half.

Lap 88 Matt Kenseth continues to dominate stage one with a lead of over two seconds with 28 cars on the lead lap.

Seven laps remaining in the stage and Matt Kenseth has pulled out to a three second lead over Martin Truex Jr.

AT the end of stage one Matt Kenseth wins the stage.

Matt_Kenseth-RSR_Photo

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Matt Kenseth
Kyle Larson
Martin Truex Jr
Kevin Harvick
Denny Hamlin
Brad Keselowski
Ryan Newman
Jamie McMurray
Clint Bowyer
Joey Logano

Matt Kenseth leads the race off of pit road.

Matt Kenseth brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 111 and edges out Kyle Larson to take the lead of the race. The cars are getting three and four wide behind him.

Lap 114 Matt Kenseth has a half second lead on Kyle Larson.

Lap 120 Matt Kenseth continues to dominate with a lead of nearly a second on Kyle Larson.

On lap 124 Kenseth’s lead is over a second.

Lap 133 Matt Kenseth has increased his lead to over two seconds with 29 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 141 Matt Kenseth has a second and a half lead. FOX reporter Mike Joy reports that seven of the top 10 drivers have yet to win a race this season.

Halfway through stage two – lap 150 – and Matt Kenseth contiues to dominate the race as he leads his first laps of the season. Kenseth’s lead is less than a second over Brad Keselowski.

Lap 160 Kenseth’s lead is down to just half a second over Brad Keselowski.

As he encounters heavy traffic on lap 162, Brad Keselowski has caught leader Matt Kenseth.

On lap 165 Brad Keselwoski passes Matt Kenseth to lead the race; he is only the second leader of today’s race.

Lap 170 Brad Keselowski has a one second lead on Matt Kenseth.

Lap 175 Brad Keselowski has a near two second lead on Matt Kenseth, with 25 cars on the lead lap. AJ Allmendinger is in the garage with mechanical issues.

Lap 181 Brad Keselowski has a two second lead.

Lap 189 Brad Keselowski has a two second lead on Matt Kenseth with 24 cars on the lead lap.

With only five laps remaining in stage two Brad Keselowski has pulled out to a two and a half second lead on Matt Kenseth with 23 cars on the lead lap.

At the end of stage two Brad Keselowski wins the stage.

Brad_Keselowski_NAVY

080301-N-5487R-0010 LAS VEGAS, Nev. (March 1, 2008) – No. 88 Navy Accelerate Your Life Monte Carlo driver Brad Keselowski talks to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 1st Class Adam Coleman prior to the start of the Sam’s Club 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Coleman, one of the Navy’s Fleet Honorees selected for the race, recently returned from deployment in the Middle East where he was awarded the Purple Heart. U.S. Navy photo by Lt. j.g. Andrea Ross (released).

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Brad Keselowski
Mat Kenseth
Kevin Harvick
Denny Hamlin
Kyle Larson
Ryan Newman
Jamie McMurray
Clind Bowyer
Ty Dillon
Joey Logano

Denny Hamlin leads the race off of pit road.

Jimmie Johnson was penalized for having an uncontrolled tire on pit road and will have to start at the end of the longest line.

Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lpa 212 and takes over the lead of the race.

Lap 219 Denny Hamlin has a quarter second lead on second place driver Kevin Harvick.

Lap 228 Kevin Harvick passes Denny Hamlin to take over the lead of the race.

Lap 238 Brad Keselowski passes Kevin Harvick to retake the lead of the race.

Lap 246 Brad Keselowski has a lead just over half a second on second place driver Kevin Harvick.

The fifth caution flag comes out on lap 250 for debris on the track. Kurth Busch is the “lucky dog”. The TV cameras showed a towel and broadcaster Jeff Gordon said, “somebody threw in the towel.”

Denny Hmlin wins the race off of pit road.

Lap 256 Denny Hamlin brings the field down for the green flag restart and takes over the lead of the race.

Denny Hamlin’s pit stop was just 11.1 seconds in length with a four tire change.

Kasey Kahne was caught for speeding on pit road.

Lap 161 Denny Hamlin has a one second lead on Kevin Harvick.

Lap 268 Denny Hamlin’s lead is down to half a second over second place driver Kevin Harvick with 26 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 284 Denny Hamlin has less than a half second lead over Brad Keselowski.

Brad Keselowski catches and passes Denny Hamlin for the lead on lap 287.

Lap 291 Brad Keselowski has pulled out to a lead of over half a second on Kevin Harvick.

Lap 294 Keselowski has increased his lead to over a second. On Denny Hamlin.

Lap 303 Brad Keselowski has a second and a half lead on second place driver Kevin Harvick.

Lap 311 Brad Keselowski continues out front with a lead of over a second on Kevin Harvick.

Joey Logano begins the cycle of green flag pit stops on lap 315.

Aric Almirola, Clint Bowyer, and Danica Patrick were charged with commitment line violations. They must serve a pass through penalty.

Having not yet pitted Ryan Newman leads the race; followed by Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Once the pit stops have cycled through, On lap 343 Dale Earnhardt Jr brings out the sixth caution flag of the race when he makes contact with Jimmie Johnson and smacks the wall. Clint Bowyer is the “lucky dog”.

Brad Keselowski wins the race off of pit road.

With 51 laps remaining in the race, Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag restart and pulls out in front of the field.

Lap 353 Brad Keselowski has a lead of over a second and a half on Ryan Newman.

Dlae Jr brings out the caution flag on lap 356 when he cuts a tire and spins out. Jimmie Johnson is the “lucky dog”.

Brad Keselowski wins the race off of pit road.

Brad Keselowski brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 361 with Denny Hamlin edging out Keselowski. NASCAR is reviewing the start but Brad Keselowski takes the lead of the race.

Restart is good.

Matt Kenseth has a cut tire after making contact Chase Elliott with 35 laps remaining in the race. He is having trouble getting down to come on pit road.

The eighth caution flag comes out on lap 364 for debris on the track.

Kyle Busch wins the race off of pit road but Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano did not pit.

Martin Truex Jr is charged with a commitment road violation.

Matt Kenseth is charged with driving through too many pit boxes entering pit road.

Brad Keselowski andJoey Logano battle it out on the restart of the race with 29 laps remaining in the race. Joey Logano takes over the lead of the race.

With 24 laps to go the cars get four wide and Ryan Blaney cuts a tire bringing out the ninth caution flag of the race.

Joey Logano wins the race off of pit road but a number of drivers did not come down pit road.

Kyle Busch was charged with a commitment cone violation amd Chase Elliott was charged with an uncontrolled tire.

Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag restart and takes over the lead with 19 laps remaining in the race.

On lap 386 Joey Logano passes Kyle Larson to take over the lead of the race. Joey Logano had to start the race at the back of the field after making a transmission change. This is Logano’s 300th career start.

On lap 386 Joey Logano has a lead of over two seconds on Denny Hamlin.

Ten to go, Joey Logano has a lead of over two seconds on Brad Keselowski.

With just seven laps remaining in the race the drivers are getting four wide across the track.

Five to go and Joey Logano’s lead is down to a second and a half over Brad Keselowski.

Four to go and Brad Keselowski continues to real in Joey Logano who has a lead of only a second.

White flag and Joey Logano has a lead of less than a second on Brad Keselowski.

Joey Logano wins the Toyota Owners 400 for his 18th win. It was Logano’s 300th Cup start.

Joey_Logano_at_the_Daytona_500

The unofficial resutlst of the Toyota Owners 400:
Joey Logano
Brad Keselowski
Denny Hamlin
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Kevin Harvick
Jamie McMurray
Ryan Newman
Kurt Busch
Aric Almirola
Martin Truex Jr
Jimmie Johnson
Daniel Suarez
Trevor Bayne
Kyle Larson
Clint Bowyer
Kyle Busch
Chris Buescher
Danica Patrick
David Ragan
Austin Dillon
Landon Cassill
Kasey Kahne
Matt Kenseth
Chase Elliott
Paul Menard
Ty Dillon
Cole Whitt
Matt DiBenedetto
Michael McDowell
Dale Earnhardt Jr
Gray Gaulding
Corey LaJoie
Reed Sorenson
Timmy Hill
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Ryan Blaney
AJ Allmendinger
Erik Jones

photos courtesy of:
By Kev – Flickr: The Raceway, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15197301

By Rob Street – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46316474

By U.S. Navy photo by Lt. j.g. Andrea Ross (Released) – http://www.navy.mil/view_image.asp?id=55877, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3711442

By Nascarking – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38582240


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