Wild Overtime Finish for Monster Cup in Richmond

It’s the final race of the regular season for the Monster Energy Cup Series with the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway for some Saturday night racing.
1200px-2017_Virginia_529_College_Savings_250_from_frontstretchBy Dough4872 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62311778

Last week Martin Truex J clenched the regular season title with four wins and the 15 bonus points. And after winning at least one race during the season Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, Austin Dillon, and Kasey Kahne are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs; but who will fill the final three spots to fill out the 16 driver field?

After three rounds of qualifying Matt Kenseth sits on the pole and will lead the field to green.
MattKenseth&KevinHarvickBy Kim Phillips – Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2717892

The starting lineup for the Federated Auto Parts 400:
Matt Kenseth
Denny Hamlin
Kurt Busch
Kyle Larson
Martin Truex Jr
Kevin Harvick
Kyle Busch
Ricky Stenhouse r
Chase Elliott
Erik Jones
Jamie McMurray
Joey Logano
Clint Bowyer
Ryan Blaney
Brad Keselowski
Daniel Suarez
Kasey Kahne
Trevor Bayne
Danica Patrick
Jimmie Johnson
Dale Earnhardt JR
AJ Allmendinger
Aric Almirola
Chris Buescher
Matt DiBenedetto
Paul Menard
Ryan Newman
Michael McDowell
David Ragan
Landon Cassill
Austin Dillon
Ty Dillon
Corey LaJoie
Gray Gaulding
Cole Whitt
Reed Sorenson
Jefrey Earnhardt
Derrike Cope
BJ McLeod

Stages one and two of the race are 100 laps each with stage three lasting 200 laps for a total of 400 laps or 300 miles around the three quarter mile track.

Matt Kenseth brings the field down for the green flag start of the race and gets out in front of the field.

Lap seven Matt Kenseth is still out in front of the field with a half second lead over Denny Hamlin in second and Kyle Larson in third.

Lap 15 Matt Kenseth has a lead of just under half a second on Denny Hamlin. Kyle Larson is in third.

Lap 20 Matt Kenseth continues to lead the race as Denny Hamlin and Martin Treux Jr battle it out for seocnd.

Lap 28 Matt Kenseth leads the race followed by Martin Truex Jr, Denny Hamlin, and Kyle Larson. There are 37 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 34 Matt Kenseth has a lead of over a second on Martin Truex Jr with 34 cars on the lead lap.

The first caution flag of the race comes out on lap 35 when Landon Cassill hits the wall…right in front of leader Matt Kenseth.

Matt Kenseth wins the race off of pit road.

Matt Kenseth brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 41 and takes over the lead of the race as drivers get three wide behind him fighting for second.

Denny Hamlin is reporting some kind of issue with his car; saying that it feels like something is broken.

With a lead of over a second, Matt Kenseth has led every lap so far – 50 laps.

Lap 54 the top four are Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, and Kyle Larson.

Lap 63 Matt Kenseth continues to lead the race with a lead of over a second on Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 69 the top three are Matt Kenseth, Martin Truex Jr, and Kyle Busch.

Lap 75 Matt Kenseth continues to dominate the race with a lead of nearly a second on Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 85 Matt Kenseth’s lead over Martin Truex Jr is down to just half a second.

The second caution flag of the rce comes out after leader Matt Kenseth locks up the brakes and has smoke shooting out the rear end of his car on lap 88.

Drivers bring their cars down pit road for service.

Matt Kenseth wins the race off of pit road.

After staying out on the track Brad Keselowski and Ricky Stenhouse Jr are on the front row and will bring the field down for the green flag restart on lap 92 with Brad Keselowski getting out in front as drivers get four wide and Kyle Busch takes over the lead of the race.

Lap 95 Kyle Busch is in the lead with Kyle Larson right on his bumper for a little bumping and banging for the lead.

The top four are Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Clint Bowyer, and Matt Kenseth.

Kyle Busch wins stage one.
Kyle_Busch_April_19,_2010_(cropped)(1)By Raniel Diaz – http://www.flickr.com/photos/ranieldiaz/4537844171/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31752009

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Kyle Busch
Kyle Larson
Clint Bowyer
Matt Kenseth
Martin Turex Jr
Joey Logano
Erik Jones
Kevin Harvick
Chase Elliott
Kurt Busch

Kyle Busch wins the race off of pit road, followed by Kyle Larson and Matt Kenseth.

Clint Bowyer was charged with having a crew member come over the wall too soon. Bowyer came on pit road in third but restarts the raqce in 34th

After staying out on the track, Ryan Newman brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 110 but Kyle Busch gets out in front of the field for the lead of th race on fresh tires.

On lap 112 Kyle Larson flies past Kyle Busch to take over the lead of the race.

Lap 117 Kyle Larson has a lead of over half a second on Kyle Busch.

Lap 119 the top four are Kyle Larson, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, and Martin Truex Jr.

Lap 130 Kyle Busch passes Kyle Larson to take over the lead of the race.

Lap 134 Matt Kenseth pas passed Kyle Larson to take over second place. There are 33 cars on the lead lap with Landon Cassill the only driver out of the race.

Lap 142 Kyle Busch holds on to the lead of the race with Matt Kenseth in second.

Lap 145 Kyle Bushc has a half second lead on Matt Kenseth.

Lap 153 Martin Truex Jr passes Matt Kenseth for second with Kyle Busch holding on to the lead, but Truex is on his bumper.

Lap 154 Martin Truex Jr passes Kyle Busch to take the lead of the race.

Lap 158 the top four are Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, and Kyle Larson.

Lap 162 Martin Truex Jr has pulled out to a lead of nearly a second on Kyle Busch.

Lap 164 Martin Truex Jr ahs increased his lead to nearly a second and a half over Kyle Busch. There are 28 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 170 the top three are Martin Truex Jr, Matt Kenseth, and Kyle Busch.

Lap 180 Martin Truex jr has pulled out to a lead of nearly two seconds on Matt Kenseth. There are 26 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 189 the top three are Martin Truex Jr, Matt Kenseth, and Kyle Larson.

Lap 192 Martin Truex Jr is still in the lead with Matt Kenseth in second and Erik Jones in third.

Martin Truex Jr wins stage two. He now has 53 playoff points.
MartinTruexJrAugust2007By Royalbroil – cropped from Image:RobbyGordonMartinTruexJr.jpg, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2718056

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Martin Truex Jr
Matt Kenseth
Erik Jones
Joey Logano
Brad Keselowski
Kyle Larson
Dale Earnhardt Jr
Kurt Busch
Ryan Newman
Kyle Busch

The drivers bring their cars down pit road for service and adjutments.

Martin Truex Jr wins the race off of pit road.

Martin Truex Jr brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 210 with Truex getting out in front for the lead of the race with Kyle Larson in second.

The drivers cannot make it to the end of the race without another pit stop. So far the race has had two long green flag runs.

Lap 218 Martin Truex Jr has a lead of nearly a second on Kyle Larson.

Lap 224 Martin Truex Jr has a lead of nearly a second on Kyle Larson with 24 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 238 Martin Truex Jr has puled out to a one second lead on Kyle Larson with Erik Jones in third.

There are 60 laps remaining in the race and Landon Cassill is the only river out of the race after hitting the wall early in the race.

Lap 245 Martin Truex Jr’s lead is approaching a second and a half over Kyle Larson.

Lap 254 Martin Truex Jr’s lead is nearly two seconds on Kyle Larson.

Danica Patric brings out the caution flag on lap 256 when she spins out and barely avoids hitting the wall.

The drivers bring their cars down pit road for service. Pole sitter Matt Kenseth has a mechanical issue and some car damage. He has to take his car behind the wall. Clint Bowyer also has to make an additional trip down pit road for damage. There was an ambulance in the way as the drivers were coming down pit road. No one knew why it was there. Some drivers had to make commitment road violations due to the ambulance issue.

Kyle Larson wins the race off of pit road.

Due to an issue with communications, NASCAR did not issue any commitment road violations.

Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 262 and edges out for the lead with a battle between Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch for second.

NBC reports that the rescue squad did not pay attention to instructions from the tower and moved when they were not supposed to.

Matt Kenseth’s car has too much damage to repair in the five minute limit and he is out of the race.

Lap 271 Kyle Larson has a one second lead on Brad Keselowski.

Lap 281 Kyle Larson continues to lead the race, but Martin Truex Jr is now in second place after passing Brad Keselowski.

Lap 287 Martin Truex Jr passes Kyle Larson for the lead of the race.

Lap 293 Martin Truex Jr has pulled out to a lead of nearly a second on Kyle Larson.

Lap 298 Martin Truex Jr has increased his lead to a second and a half on Kyle Larson.

Lap 306 Martin Truex Jr continues to lead the race with a second and a half lead on Kyle Larson.

Lap 314 the top three are Martin Truex Jr, Kyle Larson, and Kurt Busch. Kevin Harvick brings his car down pit road for fresh tires.

Lap 321 Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski brings their cars down pit road for service as green flag pit stops begin.

Joey Logano also sustained damage to his car in the pit road incident with the ambulance.

Lap 326 Martin Truex jr continues to lead the race with Kyle Larson in second and Kurt Busch in third but on lap 328 Kurt Busch passes Kyle Larson to take over second place.

Martin Truex Jr continues to lead the race on lap 335 with Dale Earnhardt Jr in second.

On lap 336 Martin Truex Jr finally makes his way down pit road and gives the lead over to Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Lap 340 the top three are Dale Earnhardt J, Clint Bowyer, and Brad Keselowski.

Lap 345 Dale Earnhardt Jr continues to lead the race on old tires with Brad Keselowski in second. Junior has yet to make his pit stop.

Brad Keselowski passes Dale Earnhardt Jr on lap 348 to take over the lead of the race. Keselowski has fresher tires than Dale Jr.

Martin Truex Jr – who has made his pit stop – passes Junior to take over second place. Dale Jr is now in third.

Lap 354 Martin Truex Jr has caught up with Brad Keselowski and is challenging for the lead. On lap 355 Martin Truex Jr passes Brad Keselowski to retake the lead.

Lap 358 Dale Earnhardt Jr finally makes a trip down pit road for service. Kevin Harvick makes another trip down pit road.

Martin Truex Jr has a lead of over two and a half seconds on Kyle Larson. Dale Jr is now ins 22nd place one lap down.

Lap 366 Martin Truex Jr continues to lead. On his pit stop Clint Bowyer’s team was charged with an uncontrolled tire and will have to make a pass through penalty. Dale Earnhardt Jr has only moved up two spots after coming down pit road.

Lap 378 Martin Truex Jr has a lead of over two seconds on Kyle Larson with 13 cars on the lead lap.

With less than 20 laps remaining in the race, Martin Truex Jr has a lead of nearly three seconds on Kyle Larson.

Thirteen laps remaining in the race and Martin Truex Jr has increased his lead to over three seconds on Kyle Larson. Brad Keselowski is in third.

Eight to go and Martin Truex Jr continues to dominate the race.

Five to go and Martin Truex Jr’s lead is nearly four seconds on Kyle Larson.

The caution flag comes out with just three laps remaining in the race when Derrike Cope has an issue with his car after hitting the wall.

Kyle Larson wins the race off of pit road.

In an overtime finish, Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag restart and edges out Martin Truex Jr for the lead.

Kyle Larson takes the white flag. Martin Truex Jr hits the wall bringing out the caution flag.

Kyle Larson wins the race under the caution flag. This is Larson’s fourth win of the season and his first ever Richmond win.
Kyle_Larson_at_the_Daytona_500(1)By Nascarking – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38678934

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

The playoff picture has been set with 13 drivers who have won races and three drivers who made it in on points.

The 16 drivers competing in the playoffs:
Martin Truex Jr
Kyle Larson
Kyle Busch
Brad Keselowski
Jimmie Johnson
Kevin Harvick
Denny Hamlin
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Ryan Blaney
Chase Elliott
Ryan Newman
Kurt Busch
Kasey Kahne
Austin Dillon
Matt Kenseth
Jamie McMurray


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