Highlights of the Toyota Owners 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race Saturday night at Richmond Raceway:
WINNER: Kyle Busch, who started from the 32nd spot, worked his way to the front midway through the race and went on to win his third consecutive race, edging Chase Elliott in overtime, a two-lap shootout. The victory was Busch’s fifth at Richmond and 46th in the Cup Series, tied for 16th all time. Denny Hamlin, racing on his home track, finished third, followed by Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick. Busch led only 32 of the 402 laps at the three-quarter-mile track.
TOUGH BREAK: Jamie McMurray and Ryan Newman each had issues with 33 laps to go. Kurt Busch forced Jamie McMurray up the track and into the wall. Ryan Newman, racing directly behind the pair, could not slow down in time and slammed into McMurray. Newman’s engine blew up after the contact and he was forced to bring his car to the garage. McMurray was able to make repairs on pit road and remain in the race, one lap down.
FIRST CONTACT: The first caution for contact came with 47 laps remaining when Ricky Stenhouse Jr. made contact with Ryan Blaney and collected Cole Whitt in Turn 4. Brad Keselowski made a narrow escape, squeezing past and nearly grazing the inside wall that borders pit road.
NO YELLOWS: Other than cautions for the stage breaks, the yellow flagged remained out of sight through 350 of 400 laps.
STAGE 2: Joey Logano, who won this race one year ago before being hit with a major penalty that prevented him from using the victory to qualify for the 2017 playoffs, won the second stage after also taking the first. Both stages went caution free. Following Logano, were three Stewart-Haas Racing drivers: Clint Bowyer, Aric Almirola and Kurt Busch. William Byron was fifth, Kyle Busch sixth and Ryan Neman seventh. Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top 10.
STAGE 1: Logano won the opening stage after leading 62 of the first 100 laps. Almirola was second followed by Kurt Busch, Byron, Bowyer, Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Austin Dillon, Truex and Harvick.
FAST MOVER: Kyle Busch, who won the most recent two races at Texas and Bristol, misfired in qualifying and ended up with a starting spot of 32nd. It took the Joe Gibbs Racing driver just 35 laps to reach the top 10 in the opening stage.
FRONT ROW: Truex, the reigning series champion, and Elliott started on the front row. It was the third pole of the year for Truex and the best starting spot of the season for Elliott.