Wild Thing Wins at Richmond

Via Getty Images

By Jason Schultz

Kyle Busch won the race in Richmond last night, but the race could have had multiple outcomes. Penalties hurt drivers like Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards who had very fast cars and a chance to win the race. Tony Stewart struggled incredibly on restarts which cost him the race. Kyle Busch beat Stewart off pit road under the final caution which was the race winning move for Busch.

Pole sitter Mark Martin led the first 30 laps before being passed by Carl Edwards. The competition caution came out on lap 51. The competition caution came out because the rain that hit the track earlier in the day. Then the race off pit road let Carl Edwards regain the lead followed by Hamlin and Harvick. Mark Martin slipped back to seventh.

On the ensuing restart Jeff Gordon got loose which slid him up the hill then Gordon made contact with Kurt Busch. Then in turn 3 Kurt Busch got up into Jeff Gordon again causing moderate damage to each car. The green flag would stay out, and Gordon would have to pit. The second caution came out on lap 117 when Kurt Busch spun on the backstretch.

After the pit stops Kevin Harvick would be the leader for the first time in the race. On the restart when three cars were battling for the lead Carl Edwards would become the leader.  The next caution flew around lap 230 for debris. Then with 114 laps to go Kyle Busch took the lead for the first time. Next came the most confusing part of the young Nascar season.

During green flag pit stops the caution came out for Jeff Burton hitting the wall, some drivers were just finishing up their pit stops and then a couple of drivers missed pit road before the caution came out were losing ground. This mess left only three cars on the lead lap. Many drivers would get the wave around and regain position on the lead lap.

Then during the pit stops one of Jimmie Johnson’s crew members rolled a tire in the pit box instead of carrying it back to the pit wall. So, Johnson was penalized and had to go to the rear of the field. Coming to the restart we had 14 cars on the lead lap, and no one was sure if the leader was Stewart or Edwards.

Then Carl Edwards on the restart went too soon and the apparent leader according to Nascar was Tony Stewart who spun his tires but Nascar only saw Edwards speed up and beat Stewart to the line, which is illegal. Nascar gave the black flag to Edwards forcing Edwards to serve a pass through penalty and give up his lead. This confusing mess gave Stewart the lead with 76 laps to go in the race.

The top five drivers were Stewart, KyBusch, Earnhardt Jr, Kahne and Allmendinger. Carl Edwards later commented on the radio regarding the black flag; “It’s not cool to get a race taken from you like that.” The final caution of the race came out on lap 386 with 14 laps to go for debris. This caution would bunch the field up for an exciting restart.

Then Kyle Busch beat Tony Stewart off pit road to gain the lead. Coming up on the restart, Tony Stewart would spin his tires for about the fourth time giving Kyle Busch a decent size lead and Dale Earnhardt Jr. was second. Earnhardt Jr. didn’t have enough for Kyle Busch and Busch went on to win his fourth straight spring race at Richmond. Kyle later commented in victory lane; “Last caution was saving grace for us.” Earnhardt Jr. wasn’t all displeased with finishing second, Earnhardt Jr. later commented; “Even with brakes working the 18 had a better car.”

Then Tony Stewart would comment; “We gave it away on pit road” which to anyone who watched the race a lie because Stewart had the worst restarts of his career during the race. Kyle Busch had two major season accomplishments in Richmond; his nationwide team with Kurt Busch driving won their first nationwide race as an organization and then Kyle wins his first race of the season in Sprint Cup. Next week Nascar heads off to one of the most anticipated races of the season, Talladega.

Via Getty Images

Results via Nascar.com










1 5 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M’s Ms. Brown 47/4 400 Running
2 10 88 Dale Earnhardt   Jr. Chevrolet National Guard / Diet Mountain Dew 42/0 400 Running
3 22 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Mobil 1 / Office Depot 42/1 400 Running
4 7 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Freight 40/0 400 Running
5 9 5 Kasey Kahne Chevrolet Farmers Insurance 39/0 400 Running
6 27 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe’s 39/1 400 Running
7 23 15 Clint Bowyer Toyota 5-hour Energy 37/0 400 Running
8 1 55 Mark Martin Toyota Aaron’s Dream Machine 37/1 400 Running
9 16 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite 35/0 400 Running
10 2 99 Carl Edwards Ford Ford EcoBoost 36/2 400 Running
11 24 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Ford EcoBoost 33/0 400 Running
12 20 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 32/0 400 Running
13 31 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet NIBCO / Menards 31/0 400 Running
14 37 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet McDonald’s 30/0 400 Running
15 12 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet U.S. Army Reserve 29/0 400 Running
16 4 22 AJ Allmendinger Dodge Shell / Pennzoil 28/0 400 Running
17 19 47 Bobby Labonte Toyota Bush’s Baked Beans 27/0 400 Running
18 28 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M “Give Kids A Smile” 26/0 400 Running
19 3 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches 26/1 400 Running
20 21 83 Landon Cassill Toyota Burger King / Dr Pepper 24/0 399 Running
21 26 13 Casey Mears Ford GEICO 23/0 399 Running
22 14 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford Stanley 22/0 399 Running
23 6 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet DuPont 21/0 399 Running
24 18 20 Joey Logano Toyota The Home Depot 20/0 399 Running
25 8 56 Martin Truex Jr.   Toyota NAPA Brakes 19/0 399 Running
26 11 43 Aric Almirola Ford Smithfield “Helping Hungry Homes” 18/0 398 Running
27 15 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet Furniture Row / Farm American 17/0 398 Running
28 13 51 Kurt Busch Chevrolet Phoenix Construction Services 16/0 397 Running
29 17 36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet SealWrap 15/0 397 Running
30 29 93 Travis Kvapil Toyota Burger King / Dr Pepper 15/1 397 Running
31 30 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet BB&T 13/0 396 Running
32 38 34 David Ragan Ford Front Row Motorsports 12/0 394 Running
33 33 10 David Reutimann Chevrolet Tommy Baldwin Racing 11/0 394 Running
34 42 32 Reed Sorenson Ford Virginia Faith & Freedom Coalition 0 392 Running
35 40 33 Stephen Leicht Chevrolet Little Joes A
utos.com / Link-Belt
9/0 391 Running
36 41 38 David Gilliland Ford Long John Silver’s 8/0 355 Running
37 34 30 David Stremme Toyota Inception Motorsports 7/0 139 Brakes
38 32 26 Josh Wise * Ford Morristown Driver’s Service 6/0 127 Accident
39 25 98 Michael McDowell   Ford Curb Records 5/0 67 Brakes
40 43 74 Cole Whitt Chevrolet Turn One Racing 0 29 Vibration
41 35 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota AMFMEnergy.com / Pellet & Wood Stoves 0 28 Brakes
42 39 119 Mike Bliss Toyota Humphrey Smith Racing 0 23 Rear Gear
43 36 195 Scott Speed Ford Tommy Williams Drywall 1/0 19 Electrical



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