Wild Thing Wins at Richmond



Kyle Busch celebrates his 4th consecutive
Spring Richmond Win with the Checkered Flag
Photo – Getty Images

Kyle Busch won the race in Richmond Saturday night, but the race could have had multiple outcomes. 


Penalties hurt drivers like Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards who had very fast cars and a chance to win the race. And an untimely debris caution lost Stewart’s lead and his chance at winning.


Tony Stewart struggled incredibly on restarts which ultimately cost him the race. Kyle Busch beat Stewart off pit road under the final caution and was the race winning move for Busch. 


Pole-sitter, Mark Martin led the first 30 laps before being passed by Carl Edwards.


The competition caution came out on lap 51.  A competition caution was added because of rain that hit the track earlier in the day. 


Then the race off pit road let Carl Edwards regain the lead followed by Hamlin and Harvick. Mark Martin slipped back to seventh. 


On the ensuing restart Jeff Gordon got loose sliding him up the hill, making contact with Kurt Busch. Then in turn 3 Kurt Busch got up into Jeff Gordon again causing moderate damage to each car. The green flag would stay out, and Gordon would have to pit, resulting in his return to the track a couple laps down. 


The second caution came out on lap 117 with Kurt Busch spinning on the backstretch. 


After the pit stops, Kevin Harvick came off pit road as the leader for the first time in the race, but on the restart with three cars battling for the lead, it would be Carl Edwards emerging once again as the leader.  


The next caution flew around lap 230 for debris. 


Then with 114 laps to go Kyle Busch took the lead for the first time. 


Next came the most confusing part of the young NASCAR season. During green flag pit stops, the caution came out for Jeff Burton hitting the wall. Some drivers were just finishing up their pit stops with a couple drivers missing pit road just before the caution came out, causing them to lose precious track position. This mess left only three cars on the lead lap, however, many drivers would get the wave around, regaining position on the lead lap. 


Then during pit stops, one of Jimmie Johnson’s crew members rolled a tire in the pit box instead of carrying it back to the pit wall – leaving Johnson with a penalty and placing him at the rear of the field. 


Coming to the restart with 14 cars on the lead lap, no one was sure if the leader was Stewart or Edwards. According to NASCAR, Tony Stewart was the apparent leader, but Carl Edwards was told by his spotter that he was the leader. Edwards subsequently went too soon on his restart, while Tony Stewart spun his tires, making Edwards pre-mature restart more obvious. NASCAR saw Edwards speed up to beat Stewart to the line, which is illegal, resulting in a black flag for Edwards, forcing him to serve a pass through penalty and giving up his lead. 


Carl Edwards later commenting on his radio regarding the black flag said, “It’s not cool to get a race taken from you like that.” 


This confusing mess gave Stewart the lead at 76 laps to go with the remaining top-five drivers, Kyle Busch, Earnhardt Jr, Kahne and Allmendinger. 


The final caution of the race came out on lap 386 with 14 laps to go, for debris – a water bottle on the backstretch. This caution would bunch the field up for an exciting restart. The winning moment of the race is when Kyle Busch beat Tony Stewart off pit road to gain the lead. 


Coming up on the restart, Tony Stewart spun his tires – for about the fourth time – giving Kyle Busch a decent size lead and Dale Earnhardt Jr. a second place position. After some wild and confusing restarts, in the final laps Earnhardt Jr. didn’t have enough for Kyle Busch and “Wild Thing” went on to win his fourth straight spring race at Richmond. Kyle later commenting in victory lane said, “Last caution was saving grace for us.” 


Earnhardt Jr. was happy finishing second, later commenting, “Even with brakes working, the 18 had a better car.” 


In Tony Stewart’s post race comments, he said, “We gave it away on pit road,” which to some is questionable, as Stewart’s restarts throughout the race were the worst of his career. Spinning his tires on the final restart hurt Stewart’s chances at a potential third win of the season, giving him a third place instead. 


Kyle Busch was elated with two major season accomplishments in Richmond. On Friday night Kyle Busch Motorsport’s Nationwide team with his brother Kurt Busch driving, won their first Nationwide race as an organization. Then on Saturday night, Kyle wins his first Sprint Cup race of the season, becoming the only active driver with four consecutive spring Richmond wins.


Next week NASCAR heads off to one of the most anticipated races of the season at Talladega.


Results via Nascar.com


SPONSOR
STATUS
1
5
18
Toyota
M&M’s Ms. Brown
47/4
400
Running
2
10
88
Chevrolet
National Guard / Diet Mountain Dew
42/0
400
Running
3
22
14
Chevrolet
Mobil 1 / Office Depot
42/1
400
Running
4
7
11
Toyota
FedEx Freight
40/0
400
Running
5
9
5
Chevrolet
Farmers Insurance
39/0
400
Running
6
27
48
Chevrolet
Lowe’s
39/1
400
Running
7
23
15
Toyota
5-hour Energy
37/0
400
Running
8
1
55
Toyota
Aaron’s Dream Machine
37/1
400
Running
9
16
2
Dodge
Miller Lite
35/0
400
Running
10
2
99
Ford
Ford EcoBoost
36/2
400
Running
11
24
17
Ford
Ford EcoBoost
33/0
400
Running
12
20
42
Chevrolet
Target
32/0
400
Running
13
31
27
Chevrolet
NIBCO / Menards
31/0
400
Running
14
37
1
Chevrolet
McDonald’s
30/0
400
Running
15
12
39
Chevrolet
U.S. Army Reserve
29/0
400
Running
16
4
22
Dodge
Shell / Pennzoil
28/0
400
Running
17
19
47
Toyota
Bush’s Baked Beans
27/0
400
Running
18
28
16
Ford
3M “Give Kids A Smile”
26/0
400
Running
19
3
29
Chevrolet
Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches
26/1
400
Running
20
21
83
Toyota
Burger King / Dr Pepper
24/0
399
Running
21
26
13
Ford
GEICO
23/0
399
Running
22
14
9
Ford
Stanley
22/0
399
Running
23
6
24
Chevrolet
DuPont
21/0
399
Running
24
18
20
Toyota
The Home Depot
20/0
399
Running
25
8
56
Toyota
NAPA Brakes
19/0
399
Running
26
11
43
Ford
Smithfield “Helping Hungry Homes”
18/0
398
Running
27
15
78
Chevrolet
Furniture Row / Farm American
17/0
398
Running
28
13
51
Chevrolet
Phoenix Construction Services
16/0
397
Running
29
17
36
Chevrolet
SealWrap
15/0
397
Running
30
29
93
Toyota
Burger King / Dr Pepper
15/1
397
Running
31
30
31
Chevrolet
BB&T
13/0
396
Running
32
38
34
Ford
Front Row Motorsports
12/0
394
Running
33
33
10
Chevrolet
Tommy Baldwin Racing
11/0
394
Running
34
42
32
Ford
Virginia Faith & Freedom Coalition
0
392
Running
35
40
33
Chevrolet
Little Joes A
utos.com / Link-Belt
9/0
391
Running
36
41
38
Ford
Long John Silver’s
8/0
355
Running
37
34
30
Toyota
Inception Motorsports
7/0
139
Brakes
38
32
26
Ford
Morristown Driver’s Service
6/0
127
Accident
39
25
98
Ford
Curb Records
5/0
67
Brakes
40
43
74
Chevrolet
Turn One Racing
0
29
Vibration
41
35
87
Toyota
AMFMEnergy.com / Pellet & Wood Stoves
0
28
Brakes
42
39
119
Toyota
Humphrey Smith Racing
0
23
Rear Gear
43
36
195
Ford
Tommy Williams Drywall
1/0
19
Electrical



Point Standings

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One thought on “Wild Thing Wins at Richmond

  1. This weekend almost seemed like a breakthough redemption weekend for the Busch brothers, leaving the past behind and happily looking forward to the future…They'rrrre Baaaack!

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