The NASCAR Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway as it happened

RICHMOND, VA - APRIL 21: Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/5-hour ENERGY Toyota, takes the green flag to start the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway on April 21, 2018 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

Kyle Busch did it again.  Starting in the back of the field, Busch fought his way forward and ended the night in victory lane. Here’s how it all went down Saturday in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway:

From his first pole at Richmond and his third of the season, Martin Truex Jr. led the field to the green.  Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson round out the top five.

Truex was out to an easy lead by turn 1; Logano slid up the track in Turn 1 and Larson was able to get by for second; Elliott and Hamlin followed.

Kyle Busch who had started 32nd was up to 26th by lap 5.

The lead was 1.5 seconds by lap 7; Kyle Busch was up to 20th.

Logano took second on lap 12. Larson had fallen to fifth.

Jimmie Johnson in 17th reported he had tagged the wall coming off Turn 2 on lap 19.

Kyle Busch was 15th by lap 21.

Kurt Busch had been fighting his way forward from his 6th place start spot and was 4th by lap 27. Elliott was third.

Logano had cut the lead and it was under a second by lap 28. Kyle Busch was 12th.

Kyle Busch took 10th on lap 34.

Kurt Busch took third a lap later.

Logano had caught the race leader by lap 37; he took the lead on lap 39 on the outside entering Turn 1.

Kyle Busch took 9th on lap 41 as Logano started to lap the field.

Kevin Harvick, who started 10th took fifth on lap 44.

Aric Almirola who started 25th took 8th from Kyle Busch on lap 48. Larson had fallen to 10th.

The top five at lap 50: Logano, Truex, Kurt Busch, Elliott and Harvick.  The lead for Logano was 1.7 seconds.

Almirola was 6th by lap 60; Kurt Busch took second on the same lap.

Kyle Busch was 7th by lap 69. Lagano’s lead was 2.2 seconds.

Almirola took fourth by lap 73; Harvick had fallen to 8th.  William Byron had moved into fifth; Elliott had dropped to 9th.

With 13 to go in Stage 2 the lead was under a half a second as Logano fought through lapped traffic; he put Johnson in 20th a lap down on lap 88.

Rickey Stenhouse Jr. who had short pitted on lap 49; he went two laps down and made up both laps and was back on the lead lap by lap 93. Clint Bowyer, who started 16th, had made it up to fifth.

Almirola took second on lap 95.

Top 10 Stage 1:  Logano, Almirola, Kurt Busch, Byron, Bowyer, Kyle Busch, Elliott, Austin Dillon, Truex Harvick.  The first caution of the day came out to end the stage.  Stenhouse finished the stage 13th.

The leaders pitted.  Logano was out first followed by Kurt Busch, Byron, Kyle Busch and Bowyer. Almirola had a slow stop and came out 6th.

Harvick and Larson were penalized; Harvick for throwing equipment, Larson for an uncontrolled tire.

Green came out to start lap 112; Logano inched ahead by Kurt Busch got by on the outside and had the lead by the end of the lap.  Byron, Kyle Busch and Almirola followed.  Bowyer had fifth from Almirola by lap 120.

Kyle Busch took third on lap 130; Bowyer followed and took fourth putting Byron in fifth. Kyle Busch was looking for second by lap 134.

Almirola took fifth on lap 138; Kyle Busch took second ahead.

Bowyer took second on lap 151.

Some cars deeper in the field began to short pit on lap 158.

Bowyer was looking for the lead buy lap 168 and had the top spot a lap later.  Kyle Busch had fallen to fifth. Logano and Almirola were third and fourth.

Kurt Busch stayed close and was soon trying to get the lead back.  Logano joined them and took second on lap 180. There were 17 cars on the lead lap.

Bowyer began to stretch out his lead as Kurt Busch and Logano were dueling for second by lap 187.

With Alex Bowman a lap down car, as a pick, Kurt Busch briefly took second on lap 189; Logano took it back a lap later.  Bowyer’s lead was under a half a second.

Almirola took third on lap 198.

Logano took the lead on lap 193; seven to go in Stage 2.

Top 10 Stage 2:  Logano, Bowyer, Almirola, Kurt Busch, Byron, Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman, Brad Keselowski, Truex and Harvick.

The second caution of the race came out to end the stage.

The leaders pitted Logano was out first followed by Kurt Busch, Bowyer, Almirola and Byron.  Byron was penalized for speeding and sent to 19th.

Green came out to start lap 213; Kurt Busch on the inside shot to the lead.  Logano fell into second, Bowyer third.  Kyle Busch and Almirola were side by side for a lap until Kyle Busch took fourth, Almirola fifth.

Truex took fifth from Almirola on lap 218. Kurt Busch’s lead was 1.3 seconds. He took fourth from Kyle Busch on lap 227.

Bowyer took second on lap 234. Truex took third from Kyle Busch on lap 240; Busch took fourth from Logano a lap later.  Almirola was soon in 9th complaining that his car was “terrible”.

Harvick took fifth on lap 247.

Bowyer took the lead on lap 251.

Harvick took fourth on lap 257; the lead for Bowyer was 1.6 seconds.  Logano had fallen to seventh.

Truex took second on lap 260. Harvick took third on lap 264. The lead for Bowyer was nearing two seconds.

Some deeper in the field, pitted on lap 269; the window for stops was opening.

Truex pitted on lap 272; Harvick moved into second.

Bowyer, Harvick, Kurt Busch and the rest of the leaders pitted on lap 273.

Truex cycled back to the lead followed by Bowyer, Harvick and Kyle Busch; Kyle Larson was fifth.  During the stop for Kurt Busch, Daniel Suarez snagged the air hose of Busch as he went by slowing the stop; Kurt Busch came back out in 9th. There were 15 cars on the lead lap.

Truex put Ryan Blaney in 15th a lap down on lap 287.

Logano had worked his way back to fifth by lap 293.

Bowyer had been chipping away at the lead, and as Truex fought with Newman who was trying to stay on the lead lap, Bowyer was looking for the top spot by lap 299.

Harvick took second on lap 311. Keselowski took fifth on lap 314.

As Truex was fighting through lapped traffic, Harvick was looking for the lead by lap 318. Soon the top three were bumper to bumper.

Harvick took the lead on lap 323; Truex slipped and Bowyer followed into second.

Bowyer was looking for the lead by lap 325.

Kurt Busch pitted on lap 329; Almirola followed.  Logano, Newman and others followed.

Truex pitted on lap 332 as Bowyer grabbed the lead. Both pitted a lap later as did Kyle Busch.

After the stops cycled through Truex led, Bowyer, Harvick, Kyle Busch and Logano followed.

Keselowski had fifth by lap 347.

There were 11 cars on the lead lap with 50 to go.

The first non-stage caution of the night came out on lap 353 when Blaney, Stenhouse and Cole Whitt go together; Blaney spun exiting turn 4 clipping Stenhouse; all were able to continue with Blaney with the heaviest damage.

The leaders pitted.  Truex was out first followed by Harvick, Kyle Busch, Bowyer and Logano.

Green came out to start lap 361, 39 laps to go.

Truex jumped to the lead bringing the inside line with him; Kyle Busch took second, Harvick fell into third. Logano and Hamlin began to mix it up with Logan emerging with fourth, Hamlin fifth.  It was a three-wide battle for 7-10 between Byron, Elliott and Keselowski; when it was over Byron had 7th, followed by Keselowski and Elliott.

Newman hit the wall on lap 368 and the fourth caution came out. Newman was damaged when Jamie McMurray was squeezed into the wall by Kurt Busch; Newman got into the back of him.  Under caution McMurray bumped Larson; apparently the two had been fighting for the free pass.  Larson got the free pass, McMurray had to pit for a flat tire.

The leaders pitted. Kyle Busch was out first followed by Hamlin, Truex, Harvick and Keselowski.

Green came out to start lap 377, 22 laps to go.

Kyle Busch had the lead by Turn 1, Truex took second; Hamlin, Keselowski and Harvick followed.

Busch was soon checking out.

Truex was soon reeling Busch in.  the lead was a half a second with 18 to go.

Harvick took fourth on lap 383.

Elliott was looking for fifth by lap 385. Keselowski held him off and Bowyer was soon looking for 6th.

David Ragan lost a tire in 15th and spun on lap 390 exiting turn 4 and the caution came out.

The leaders pitted.  Kyle Busch was out first followed by Hamlin, Harvick, Logano and Keselowski.  Truex had an issue with the jack and came out 11th.

The restart came with 6 laps to go. Kyle Busch took the lead, but it was three wide with Hamlin, Harvick and Elliott behind. Hamlin came out with second, Elliott third, Harvick fourth Logano fifth.

Stenhouse entered turn 3 hit the wall; the caution came out again with 3 laps to go.

Truex in 8th pitted; the rest of the leaders stayed out.

The caution set up an overtime finish.

On the restart, Kyle Busch shot to the lead, Elliott took second, Hamlin third; Logano was fourth, Bowyer fifth.

There was no drama and Busch was able to sail to victory .511 over Elliott.  Hamlin was third, Logano fourth, and Harvick fifth.

Johnson recovered to take sixth, Larson seventh, Keselowski eighth, Bowyer ninth with Suarez 10th. Truex finished 14th.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Talladega Superspeedway for next Sunday’s Geico 500. Live coverage will be on Fox starting at 2:00 p.m. ET.

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.