Pit strategy gets Logano the checkered flag at Richmond


By Dominic Aragon
April 30, 2017

Fresh tires prevailed Sunday at Richmond International Raceway as Joey Logano ultimately came away victorious in the Toyota Owners 400.

Logano opted to pit under the final caution with about 20 laps to go, passed six drivers when the race resumed, including leader Kyle Larson on lap 383 of the 400 lap race to capture his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory of 2017.

“The boys had a great stop which gave us good track position to pass the cars that stayed out,” Logano said. “We were able to have a good start, work our way past those cars and tried to take off the best I could.

“I knew the 2 was so much faster than everybody and I had to get out there as quick and as far as I could.”

SEGMENT 1 (LAPS 1-100)
Polesitter Matt Kenseth elected to lead the field to the green flag on the inside line.

Leading every lap in the segment, Kenseth had over a three second lead at the conclusion of the stage.

Kyle Larson finished second in the stage followed by Martin Truex Jr. Kevin Harvick was fourth and Denny Hamlin was fifth.

SEGMENT 2 (LAPS 101-200)
31 drivers restarted on the lead lap to begin the stage, with Matt Kenseth and Kyle Larson leading the field back to the green flag.

Kenseth led the first 63 laps of the segment before surrendering the lead to Brad Keselowski. Kenseth led the first 163 laps of the race.

Keselowski won the stage, followed by Kenseth in second and Kevin Harvick in third.

SEGMENT 3 (LAPS 200-400)
24 drivers restarted on the lead lap with Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick leading the field to the green flag on lap 212.

The final stage of the race saw 15 lead changes among seven drivers.

The ninth and final caution of the race came on lap 378 due to an accident involving Kurt Busch and Ryan Blaney. That helped set up varying strategies when it came time for pit stops under caution.

Kyle Larson and five other drivers elected not to pit, leading the field to the green flag with 19 laps to go.

Joey Logano took the lead from Larson on lap 383, leading the final 17 laps en route to his 18th career victory in the series.

Teammate Brad Keselowski finished second and Denny Hamlin was third.

OVERALL
Logano’s win makes him the seventh driver to score a win in the series in 2017. He extends his streak of at least one victory per season to six consecutive years.

28 drivers finished on the lead lap; the most this season. The previous high was 27 drivers at Phoenix back in March.

36 drivers were running at the finish of the race.

Matt Kenseth, who led the most laps (164), finished 23rd.

SOURCES
Ford Performance
NASCAR Media Group

IMAGES
Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

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