RICHMOND, Va.—Kyle Busch made it three in a row Saturday night, April 21, winning his third race in as many weeks at the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway
When Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s car slammed the wall with four laps to go, the race set up for an overtime finish—also knows a green-white-checkered.
That would mean as soon as the green flag flew again, there would be two laps left to the finish, with the penultimate lap getting a white flag waved and then the checkered flag for the finish. But if another caution flag flew before the white one, it would mean a second overtime.
Busch was obviously hoping he and his Toyota Camry wouldn't see another yellow flag, but he need not have worried.
Only a few laps earlier another caution had flown and all the leaders came in to pit. The race was still going to be won on the track, but the realistic chances to win would be decided on pit road.
When the race restarted with six laps to go, Busch had come out of the pits first. Teammate Denny Hamlin restarted second, with Kevin Harvick third, Joey Logano fourth and Chase Elliott fifth. The driver who had pulled into the pits in first, Martin Truex Jr., restarted ninth after a disastrous stop when a jack failed to lift his car.
When the final caution came out, the leaders all stayed on the track and the advantage Busch had gained on pit road on the final stop paid off.
"You guys won that one," he shouted over the radio to his crew as he crossed the finish line.
Asked after the race how he won after starting 32nd, Busch told the Fox television broadcast, "You've just got to work, man."
Elliott, Hamlin, Logano and Harvick finished second through fifth, respectively.
Logano won the first two stages of the race, the first in dominating fashion after passing leader and pole-winner Truex on Lap 39 of 100 in the stage. Truex ultimately finished the stage in ninth.
Logano's second stage win was more hotly contested as fellow Ford drivers—all of Stewart-Haas Racing—Clint Bowyer, Aric Almirola and Kurt Busch tried to chase him down before finishing second, third and fourth, respectively. Truex again finished in ninth.
The stage wins were Logano's first of the season, and he earned one playoff point with each.
But after 300 of the 400 scheduled laps, Truex was back out in the lead. But a battle trying to put Ryan Newman a lap down proved costly as his big advantage dwindled while he used up his tires trying to make the pass.
On lap 323, Truex was passed by both Harvick and his teammate Bowyer.
Bowyer passed Harvick eight laps later as nearly everyone came in for green-flag pit stops with between 72 and 65 laps to go. With 50 to go. It was Truex back out front with Bowyer and Harvick within a second of him.
The series heads to Talladega Superspeedway next Sunday for the Geico 500, 188 laps around the longest—and fastest—oval track in NASCAR at 2-2/3 miles long. Restrictor-plates and mastering the draft will be the play of the day for the first time since the season-opening Daytona 500.