Kyle Busch held off Kevin Harvick and won Saturday nights NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series (NMECS) Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway. Busch completed the “Richmond Sweep” to capture his seventh win of the 2018 season and the 50th of his career in 490 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series races.
“I knew Harvick was kind of closing in on us there at the end,” Busch said. “I ran really hard trying to pass Brad, racing with Brad, and being able to finally get by him, and you could see how hard we ran by how fast he dropped. Our car was really, really good, good in the long run.
“I think Harvick maybe — well, the run before we kind of drove away from everybody, so I just — I think it was a factor of me running real hard, pushing real hard that Harvick was able to close in on us at the end. My stuff was really, really used up. I lost a ton of grip the last 10 laps of the race, so I was just trying to hang on.”
Harvick finished second and makes his race a little easier at Charlotte.
“We were starting to track him (Kyle Busch) down there at the end. I needed about 25 more laps. I gotta thank everybody on our Jimmy John’s Ford.” Harvick said. “Our guys did a great job rebounding after last weekend and doing what we had to do this week to put ourselves in a good position for next week, so solid night.”
Martin Truex Jr. won both the first and second stages and finished third after a pit road mistake. Truex Jr. has a 16 point lead over Busch in the series standings heading into the Roval at Charlotte.
Busch, Brad Keselowski and Truex Jr. have locked in their playoff spots.
Chase Elliott had a great night and finished fourth.
“Yeah, just appreciate Alan (Gustafson, crew chief) making some good calls overnight. I feel like we changed about everything before qualifying yesterday,” Elliott said.
Aric Almirola rounded out the top five.
“Our Ford Fusion was fast. We had a good night. We executed and ran top-five all night. That is the exact night we were looking for to build a little bit of a point cushion going into the Roval next week where we are all unsure of what we will have. I am really proud of the night and we will see what happens next week,” Almirola said.
Unofficial series point standings heading into Charlotte:
1. Martin Truex Jr. (P), 2141, -0
2. Kyle Busch (P), 2125, -16
3. Kevin Harvick (P), 2113, -28
4. Brad Keselowski (P), 2111, -30
5. Joey Logano (P), 2081, -60
6. Aric Almirola (P), 2079, -62
7. Kyle Larson (P), 2073, -68
8. Kurt Busch (P), 2071, -70
9. Chase Elliott (P), 2066, -75
10. Austin Dillon (P), 2066, -75
11. Alex Bowman (P), 2061, -80
12. Ryan Blaney (P), 2060, -81
13. Clint Bowyer (P), 2056, -85
14. Jimmie Johnson (P), 2054, -87
15. Erik Jones (P), 2039, -102
16. Denny Hamlin (P), 2031, -110
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Race
Unofficial Race Results for the 61st Annual Federated Auto Parts 400
Saturday, September 22, 2018 – Richmond Raceway
|1||11||18||Kyle Busch (P)||M&M’s||Toyota|
|2||1||4||Kevin Harvick (P)||Jimmy John’s New 9-Grain Wheat Sub||Ford|
|3||3||78||Martin Truex Jr. (P)||Auto-Owners Insurance||Toyota|
|4||18||9||Chase Elliott (P)||Hooters||Chevrolet|
|5||6||10||Aric Almirola (P)||Get Grilling America Smithfield||Ford|
|6||26||3||Austin Dillon (P)||Dow VORASURF||Chevrolet|
|7||9||42||Kyle Larson (P)||DC Solar||Chevrolet|
|8||21||48||Jimmie Johnson (P)||Lowe’s for Pros||Chevrolet|
|9||7||2||Brad Keselowski (P)||Reese/DrawTite||Ford|
|10||24||14||Clint Bowyer (P)||ITsavvy||Ford|
|11||8||20||Erik Jones (P)||Craftsman||Toyota|
|12||13||88||Alex Bowman (P)||Nationwide||Chevrolet|
|13||15||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||Fastenal||Ford|
|14||12||22||Joey Logano (P)||Shell Pennzoil||Ford|
|15||16||31||Ryan Newman||Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s||Chevrolet|
|16||2||11||Denny Hamlin (P)||FedEx Office||Toyota|
|18||5||41||Kurt Busch (P)||State Water Heaters/Haas Automation||Ford|
|19||4||12||Ryan Blaney (P)||Menards/Richmond||Ford|
|20||19||24||William Byron #||Liberty University||Chevrolet|
|22||20||21||Paul Menard||Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center||Ford|
|23||40||38||David Ragan||The Pete Store||Ford|
|24||23||34||Michael McDowell||Dockside Logistics||Ford|
|25||17||6||Matt Kenseth||Performance Plus Motor Oil||Ford|
|26||10||51||Cole Custer(i)||Jacob Companies||Ford|
|27||25||43||Bubba Wallace #||World Wide Technology||Chevrolet|
|29||28||47||AJ Allmendinger||Kroger ClickList||Chevrolet|
|30||22||37||Chris Buescher||Cheerios Zero Hunger Zero Waste||Chevrolet|
|31||39||95||Regan Smith||FDNY Foundation||Chevrolet|
|32||31||72||Corey LaJoie||ARK.io Blockchain Solutions||Chevrolet|
|34||27||32||Matt DiBenedetto||Keen Parts/CorvetteParts.net||Ford|
|35||35||00||Joey Gase(i)||Eternal Fan||Chevrolet|
|36||36||99||* Landon Cassill(i)||StarCom Fiber||Chevrolet|
|37||32||96||* Jeffrey Earnhardt||Xtreme Concepts/iK9||Toyota|
|38||34||23||Alon Day||Best Bully Sticks||Toyota|
|39||37||66||* Timmy Hill(i)||Ternio||Toyota|
|40||33||52||* Gray Gaulding||LIVE! Casino & Hotel||Ford|