Larson soars to fourth victory of the season; ties Truex for most victories
By Matt Courson
September 10, 2017
RICHMOND, Va.—Kyle Larson had the restart of his life to claim victory Saturday evening to win the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway.
A late yellow flag for Derrike Cope halted the action on lap 397 of the scheduled 400.
The leaders came to pit road for fresh tires, but it was Larson who came off pit road first.
Larson was able to keep everyone in his rear-view mirror and crossed the line to claim his fourth victory of the season.
Larson is now tied with Martin Truex Jr. for most victories in the season.
“I’ve got the greatest team out here and definitely the best pit crew,” Larson said. “That showed tonight. I can’t thank those guys enough. They were money all night long to gain spots. This win is a huge, congrats to them.”
Larson, a repeat winner this season, allowed Jamie McMurray, Chase Elliott, and Matt Kenseth to point their way into the playoffs.
However, the night wasn’t all that easy for Matt Kenseth.
A ambulance stopped at the middle of pit road entrance under caution, forcing drivers to take a different approach to pit road than what they are used to.
Several cars checked up the field, in which resulted in Matt Kenseth plowing into the back of Clint Bowyer.
Kenseth would go behind the wall on lap 257, and the team was unable to fix the No. 20 machine in the five minutes that NASCAR allows for repairs. He would ultimately finish 38th.
Joey Logano, who was in a must-win situation to make the playoffs, came up short with a second-place finish.
“Yeah, you said it, came up a little bit short overall,” Logano said.
“Yeah, it stings a little bit. Last time we were sitting here after a race, it was after a win, and this time it’s after a second, which overall if you look at our Richmond [record] for a season with the two races, you’d say that’s pretty good, a first and a second.
“But just overall, obviously it stings to come up one spot short and not able to get into the playoffs. It is what it is. It’s reality, and we will move on.”
Rounding out the top-five was Ryan Newman in third, followed by Kurt Busch and Denny Hamlin.
The first round of the playoffs begin next Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway, followed by events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Dover International Speedway in the following weeks. IMAGES Austin McFadden/The Racing Experts SOURCES Racing-Reference.info