Win #60 at Richmond in Cup Series

NASCAR Cup Series

The Cup Series will cap off a doubleheader weekend with the Federated Auto Parts 400 for some short track racing at Richmond Raceway.

But first on Saturday afternoon, the drivers will get in a little practice and make a qualifying run to set the field.

JJ Yeley is the first driver on the track to make a qualifying run and posts a time of 24.268 seconds around the ¾ mile track.

BJ McLeod will not make a qualifying run.

Denny Hamlin, Erik Jones, Ross Chastain, Martin Truex, Jr, and Ryan Blaney will all move on to round two of qualifying from Group A.

The Group Be drivers moving on to make a run for the pole are Alex Bowman, Kyle Larson, William Byron, Brad Keselowski, and Cole Custer.

With a time of 23.042 seconds, Kyle Larson puts his number five car on the pole with Ross Chastain alongside on the front row.  This is Larson’s 13th career pole.

The lineup for the Federated Auto Parts 400:
Kyle Larson
Ross Chastain
Denny Hamlin
William Byron
Alex Bowman
Martin Truex Jr
Cole Custer
Brad Keselowski
Erik Jones
Ryan Blaney
Bubba Wallace
Austin Dillon
Kevin Harvick
Ty Gibbs
Chase Briscoe
Todd Gilliland
Joey Logano
Chris Buescher
Noah Gragson
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Christopher Bell
Ty Dillon
Chase Elliott
Daniel Suarez
Landon Cassill
Tyler Reddick
Justin Haley
Cody Ware
Kyle Busch
Harrison Burton
Corey LaJoie
Aric Almirola
Austin Cindric
Michael McDowell
JJ Yeley
BJ McLeod

During the pre-qualifying inspection process five teams failed inspection two times; as a result they will lose one of the crew members for the race.  The teams also lost the opportunity to select their own pit stalls; however, all of the drivers will retain their original starting spots.  Brad Keselowski, Noah Gragson, Chris Buescher, Justin Haley, and Todd Gilliland were the cars that had inspection issues.

Harrison Burton will have to start the race from the back of the field after his crew made some unapproved adjustments to the car.  BJ McLeod’s crew was also charged with making unapproved adjustments but after not making a  qualifying run, he is already at the back of the field.

Washing Commanders player Chase Young is the honourary pace car driver for today’s race.

Stages one is 70 laps, stage two is 160 laps, and stage three is 170 laps for a total of 400 laps around the ¾ mile track.

Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the inside lane with Ross Chastain on the outside.  Ross Chastain takes the lead going into turn one.

Lap three Ross Chastain has a near half second lead on Kyle Larson.  Tyler Reddick spins out and brings out the first caution flag of the race.

The top five are Ross Chastain, Kyle Larson, William Byron, Denny Hamlin, and Martin Truex Jr.

The crews have a total of nine sets of tires for today’s race.  Richmond is an old slick and abrasive track that is rough on tires.

Ross Chastain brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane on lap eight and holds on to the lead with Kyle Larson in second; Denny Hamlin, William Byron, and Brad Keselwoski round out the top five.

Lap eleven, Ross Chastain has a near half second lead on Kyle Larson.

The top seven drivers in the playoffs list have secured their spots in the playoffs; however, Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr are currently in a battle for the final spot in the playoffs – the only spot open at the moment not to be held by a race winner.

Lap 15, Ross Chastain has a lead of over half a second on Kyle Larson; Denny Hamlin, William Byron, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Few of the drivers have made advancements on the track, but Christopher Bell is passing cars with little difficulty on the high line; he is currently in 13th place.

Lap 22, Ross Chastain has a near one second lead on Kyle Larson; Denny Hamlin, William Byron, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

After Christopher Bell’s success on the high line, several of the other drivers are following suit.  The fastest laps are being run by drivers running the high line.

Lap 27, Ross Chastain has pulled out to a second and a half lead on Kyle Larson.  All 36 cars that started the race are on the lead lap.

Lap 34, Ross Chastain has pulled out to a lead of over two and a half seconds on Denny Hamlin; Kyle Larson, William Byron, and Brad Keselowski round out the top five.

Lap 39, Ross Chastain has a lead of over two seconds on Denny Hamlin; Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski, and William Byron round out the top five.

Lap 43, leader Ross Chastain has begun lapping slower traffic.  Denny Hamlin has closed the ga on Chastain and the lead is down to two seconds.

Lap 50, Ross Chastain has led every lap so far; he has a two second lead on Denny Hamlin.

Kyle Busch brushed the wall but the track stayed green.  He is reporting no grip anywhere.

Lap 57, Ross Chastain holds a two second lead on Denny Hamlin; Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski, and William Byron round out the top five with 29 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 61, Ros Chastain’s lead is down to just over a second and a half on Denny Hamlin; Kyle Larson, Brad Keselowski, and William Byron round out the top five.

With six laps remaining in stage one, Ross Chastain’s lead is down to just one second on Denny Hamlin.

Lap 66, Ross Chastain’s lead is now juover half a second on Denny Hamlin.

Two laps remain in stage one, Denny Hamlin is less than half a second behind Ross Chastain.

Ross Chastain wins stage one for his fifth stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Ross Chastain
Denny Hamlin
Kyle Larson
Brad Keselowski
William Byron
Ryan Blaney
Joey Logano
Alex Bowman
Cole Custer
Martin Truex Jr

Drivers come down pit road for service.  More grip and tight conditions are the most popular complaint of the drivers.

Ross Chastain brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two from the inside lane on lap 79 with Kyle Larson on the outside.  Ross Chastain takes the lead after a  little contact between Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson.  Drivers are getting three wide across the track.

Joey Logano comes up on the outside lane to battle with Ross Chastain for the lead.  Joey Logano takes the lead on lap 82.  Ross Chastain, Kyle Larson Martin Truex Jr and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Team mates Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr battle for fourth with Hamlin taking the spot.

Kyle Larson passes Ross Chastain for second.

Lap 85, Joey Logano has a one second lead on Kyle Larson.

Cole Custer has some smoke coming out of the back of his car.  The track stays green.

Lap 88, Joey Logano has a one second lead on Kyle Larson; Denny Hamlin, Ross Chastain, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.  There are 28 cars on the lead lap.

Cole Custer reports that he has lost all power steering.

Ross Chastain reports a possible issue with the right rear.

Lap 92, Joey Logano holds a one second lead on Kyle Larson; Denny Hamlin, Ross Chastain, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

After leading the first 79 laps of the race, Ross Chastain has fallen back in the field and has dropped to fifth after being passed by Ryan Blaney.

Dale Earnhardt Jr reports that Ty Gibbs was on his Dale Jr Download last week and said that Kyle Busch gave the 19 year old Gibbs some tips including that it is bad manners to flip off a fellow driver.

Lap 104, Joey Logano’s lead has dropped below one second on Kyle Larson; Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, and Ross Chastain round out the top five.

Ty Gibbs and Kyle Busch continue a bumping and banging battle for position.  Kyle Busch is currently in 16th place.

The drivers cannot complete stages two and three on a single load of fuel and will have to make at least one pit stop.  With the abrasive tires, many teams are considering making two stops for fresher tires.

Ty Gibbs has passed Kyle Busch for 16th.

Lap 111, Joey Logano has a one second lead on Kyle Larson; Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, and Ross Chastain round out the top five.

Lap 114, round two of the Busch/Gibbs battle commences.  Busch wins round two.

Lap 124, Joey Logano has pulled out to a two second lead on Kyle Larson; Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, and Ross Chastain round out the top five.

Leader Joey Logano comes down pit road for servicean ad fives the lead over to Kyle Larson.

Kyle Larson makes his pit stop and gives the lead over to Ryan Blaney.

Ryan Blaney makes his pit stop;Cole Custer is the new leader.

Cole Custer makes his pit stop and gives the lead to Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Drivers and getting three wide in a battle for position.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Noah Gragson are the only drivers who have yet to make a pit stop.

Lap 133, Ricky Stenhouse Jr has a half second lead on Joey Logano; Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, and Noah Gragson round out the top five.

Joey Logano passes Ricky Stenhouse Jr for the lead on fresh tires.

Lap 142, Joey Logano has pulled out to a big lead with four seconds on Kyle Larson; Denny Hamlin, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Lap 146, Ryan Blaney passes Ricky Stenhouse Jr for fourth.

After starting in 30th place, Aric Almirola passes Ricky Stenhouse Jr for fifth place.

On old tires, Ricky Stenhouse Jr is falling through the field and is now in seventh after being passed by Kevin Harvick.

Lap 153, Chris Buescher passes Ricky Stenhouse Jr for 10th place as Stenhouse continues to fall through the field on old tires.

Lap 156, Kyle Larson has closed the gap on leader Joey Logano and the lead is now down to three and a half seconds.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr missed the entrance to pit road and made contact with Martin Truex Jr.  Stenhouse makes his pit stop on the next time around but Truex has some possible damage to his car.  Stenhouse was caught speeding on pit road and will have to serve a pass through penalty.

Lap 161, Kyle Larson has closed the gap on leader Joey Logano to three seconds; Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.  There are 20 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 171, Joey Logano has a three second lead on Kyle Larson as the next cycle of pit stops begin.

Lap 173, leader Joey Logano comes down pit road and gives the lead over to Ryan Blaney.

Ryan Blaney makes his pit stop.

Lap 174, Joey Logano retakes the lead with Kyle Larson in second two seconds back; Denny Hamlin Kevin Harvick, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

There is some concern in Ryan Blaney’s pits as to whether all of the lug nuts are tight.

Christopher Bell had to make a pass through penalty after a crew member came over the wall too soon.

Lap 183, Ty Gibbs is on pit road with the hood up.  A crew member reports seeing oil in the engine and the crew takes the car to the garage for repairs.

Lap 186, Joey Logano has a two and a half second lead on Kyle Larson; Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.  Martin Truex Jr is the first car one lap down in 14th place.

Lap 193, Joey Logano’s lead is down to under two seconds on Kyle Larson; Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

After starting back in the field, Kyle Busch is just outside the top 10 in eleventh.  Ross Chastain has fallen to 13th – the last car on the lead lap.

Lap 198, Kyle Larson continues to cut into Joey Logano’s lead which is down to just over one second.

The first car one lap down, Martin Truex Jr is behind the leader and trying to unlap himself.

Ty Gibbs is out of the race.

Lap 205, Joey Logano has a lead of just over a second on Kyle Larson; Kenny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Martin Truex Jr is reporting some severe brake shake in his car.

Lap 217, Joey Logano has a lead of a second and a half on Kyle Larson; Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, and Ryan Blaney round out the top five.

Ryan Blaney reports that he has zero drive off.

Lap 221, Martin Truex Jr finally gets around Joey Logano to get back on the lead lap.

Ryan Blaney and Aric Almirola battle for fifth.

Lap 223, Joey Logano’s lead on Kyle Larson is down to less than a second.

JJ Yeley gets into the wall but the track stays green.  Yeley is four laps down in 33rd place.

Two laps remain in stage two, Kyle Busch has entered the top 10.

Joey Logano wins stage two for his third stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Joey Logano
Kyle Larson
Denny Hamlin
Kevin Harvick
Ryan Blaney
Aric Almirola
Chris Buescher
Chase Elliott
Chase Briscoe
Kyle Busch

Drivers come down pit road for service with Kyle Larson winning the race off of pit road and Joey Logano coming out second.

Christopher Bell and Austin Dillon take the wave around.  Bell is now on the lead lap and Dillon is now just one lap down.

Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three from the inside lane on lap 240 with Joey Logano on the outside.  Kyle Larson takes the lead.  The caution flag comes out for a wreck involving Kyle Busch, Erik Jones and Ross Chastain.  Chastain made contact with Busch and sent Busch around.  Martin Truex Jr also got a piece of the crash.

William Byron is the “lucky dog” to make 17 cars on the lead lap.

Kyle Larson brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane but this time around it is Joey Logano on the outside lane that gets out in front for the lead on lap 246.

The top five are Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney, and Denny Hamlin.

Kyle Busch stays on the lead lap in 16th place.

Erik Jones is out of the race.

Ross Chastain reports that he was trying to give Ty Dillon some room.

Christopher Bell brings out the fifth caution flag of the race when he gets loose and spins out on lap 250.

Austin Cindric is the “lucky dog”.

Ryan Blaney and Denny Hamlin give up top five spots to make a pit stop.  Martin Truex Jr reports that his brake shake is so bad that it is yanking the steering wheel out of his hands. 

Joey Logano brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane with Kyle Larson on the outside on lap 257.  Joey Logano gets out in front as drivers get three wide in a battle for position.  Kyle Busch goes high and advances three spots.

Joey Logano leads the race with Chase Briscoe in second; Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

Kyle Larson ;asses Chase Briscoe to take second.

There are 18 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 261, Joey Logano has a one second lead on Kyle Larson; Chase Briscoe, Kevin Harvick, and Chris Buescher round out the top five.

Lap 265, Bubba Wallace has entered the top 10.

Lap 266, Joey Logano has a lead of nearly two seconds on Kyle Larson; Kevin Harvick, Chris Buescher, and Chase Briscoe round out the top five.

Lap 270, Joey Logano has a two second lead on Kyle Larson; Kevin Harvick, Chris  Buescher, and Chase Briscoe round out the top five.

Lap 278, Joey Logano holds a two second lead on Kevin Harvick; Chris Buescher, Chase Briscoe, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.  Denny Hamlin and Kyle Larson make some on track contact and while the track stayed green, both drivers lost positions.

Lap 282, Kevin Harvick has cut into leader Joey Logano’s lead and is now less than two seconds back.

Lap 284, Kevin Harvick is now just one second behind leader Joey Logano; Chris Buescher, Denny Hamlin, and Chase Briscoe round out the top five.

Lap 288, Kevin Harvick is just half a second on leader Joey Logano.

Lap 294, green flag pit stops begin with Ryan Blaney.

Joey Logano has a lead of over half a second on Kevin Harvick.

Lap 295, leader Joey Logano makes his green flag pit stop.  Denny Hamlin is the new leader.

Chase Briscoe has a fire under his car.

NBC Sports broadcasters report that the clouds have moved in, cooling things off.

Lap 303, there are only five cars on the lead lap.

Lap 304, leader Denny Hamlin makes his green flag pit stop.  Joey Logano retakes the lead.

Lap 306, Joey Logano leads the race with Kevin Harvick in second; Chris Buescher, Chase Elliott, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

Chase Briscoe is on pit road with a fire.  Crews get the fire out and he returns to the track.

Lap 314, Joey Logano has less than half a second lead on Kevin Harvick; Chris Buescher, Chase Elliott, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

With 82 laps to go, Kevin Harvick has closed the gap on leader Joey Logano to just two tenths of a second.

Seventy-five laps remain in the race; Joey Logano has just a tenth of a second lead on Kevin Harvick with Chris Buescher less than a second back; Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott round out the top five.

There are only 15 cars on the lead lap with Brad Keselowski the last car on the lead lap.

Lap 331, Kevin Harvick battles with Joey Logano for the lead.  Lap 335, Kevin Harvick passes Joey Logano for the lead.

Lap 337, team mates Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr battle for positon.

With 61 laps remaining in the race, Kevin Harvick has pulled out to a two second lead on Joey Logano; Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

Drivers begin making their final green flag pit stops.  It is the last set of sticker tires for many of the teams.

Denny Hamlin is the new leader with Christopher Bell in second.

Fifty to go!  Denny Hamline and Christopher Bell have yet to make a green flag pit stop.

Denny Hamlin and Christopher Bell make their pit stops and give to lead back to Kevin Harvick with Chris Buescher in second; Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.

Lap 361, Chris Buescher has caught up to leader Kevin Harvick.  Third place on the track, Kyle Larson is not on the lead lap.

With 36 laps to go, Kevin Harvick has a half second lead on Chris Buescher; Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, and Aric Almirola round out the top five.  Bubba Wallace is the last car on the lead lap in 13th.

Lap 372, Kevin Harvick has a half second lead on Chris Buescher; Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

There is a lot of traffic in front of front of leader Kevin Harvick.  With 25 laps to go, Harvick passes Bubba Wallace to put him one lap down.

Twenty to go, Kevin Harvick has pulled out to a lead of a second and a half on Chris Buescher; Chase Elliott, Christopher Bell, and Denny Hamlin round out the top five.

Fifteen to go, Kevin Harvick holds his second and a half lead on Chris Buescher.  Christopher Bell passes Chase Elliott for third.

Nine to go, Kevin Harvick has a second and a half lead on Chris Buescher but Christopher Bell is coming on strong and is just two seconds back in third.

Five to go, Christopher Bell passes Chris Buescher for second.

Two to go, in eleventh place, William Byron is the last car on the lead lap.

Kevin Harvick takes the white flag with Christopher Bell less than half a second behind.

After breaking a 65 race losing streak last week in Michigan, Kevin Harvick makes it two in a row.  With career win number 60, Harvick ties with Kyle Busch for ninth overall on the winner’s list.  This is Harvick’s fourth Richmond win.

For the first time in four weeks, Bubba Wallace finishes outside the top 10; but for the first time in many weeks, Kyle Busch finishes in the top 10.

The unofficial results of the Federated Auto Parts 400:
Kevin Harvick
Christopher Bell
Chris Buescher
Denny Hamlin
Chase Elliott
Joey Logano
Martin Truex Jr
Aric Almirola
Kyle Busch
Ryan Blaney
William Byron
Austin Cindric
Bubba Wallace
Kyle Larson
Brad Keselowski
Austin Dillon
Ty Dillon
Ross Chastain
Daniel Suarez
Alex Bowman
Justin Haley
Ricky Stenhouse Jr
Chase Briscoe
Noah Gragson
Harrison Burton
Cole Custer
Todd Gilliland
Corey LaJoie
Michael McDowell
Landon Cassill
Tyler Reddick
JJ Yeley
BJ McLeod
Cody Ware
Erik Jones
Ty Gibbs

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