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NASCAR Cup Series | Results and 3 takeaways from the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond

Kyle Busch outran Chase Elliott and teammate Denny Hamlin for his fifth career victory at April’s Cup series race Richmond Raceway, Above, Busch celebrates with a burnout. Alon Day, a driver from Tel Aviv, Israel, will add an international flare to Saturday’s Cup race at Richmond when he makes his 2018 Cup series debut.
Kyle Busch outran Chase Elliott and teammate Denny Hamlin for his fifth career victory at April’s Cup series race Richmond Raceway, Above, Busch celebrates with a burnout. Alon Day, a driver from Tel Aviv, Israel, will add an international flare to Saturday’s Cup race at Richmond when he makes his 2018 Cup series debut. AP

Kyle Busch won the Toyota Owners 500 on Saturday, his third consecutive Cup Series victory this season, but there are other implications from the race as well. Here are the three biggest takeaways from Saturday’s race at Richmond Raceway:

1. Kyle Busch is just on another level

Three wins in a row should confirm this one already, but think about the ways Busch earned each of these victories. First, a dominating run at Texas. Then, he outlasted the rain and Kyle Larson to narrowly win in the closing laps at Bristol. And now, to come from 32nd all the way up to the front and win in overtime at Richmond? Where some drivers are savvy at how not to lose a race, Busch just keeps figuring out ways to take the checkered. Busch has always been a tough driver, but he’s in some of the best form of his career now and doesn’t look to be slowing down.

2. A Hendrick comeback? It’s in the works

Jimmie Johnson said after Bristol that he and his Hendrick teammates were finally starting to figure things out. There were skeptics, naturally. But now? Johnson parlayed his third-place finish at Bristol into a sixth-place result at Richmond. Those are the sorts of runs he needs to pull out of his early-season hole and mount a playoff bid. And while that’s great for Johnson, it’s a sign of larger things underway at Hendrick. Chase Elliott finished second (again) at Richmond, and rookie William Byron was 12th. If the playoffs started today, Johnson, Byron and Alex Bowman would all be in. What were you saying about a slump?

3. Rough way for Martin Truex Jr. to go 0-for-75

Truex may have finally toppled one career hurdle in winning the Cup Series championship last season, but there’s still one mark he hasn’t cleared: winning at a short track. He was 0-for-74 on short tracks in his career coming into the weekend, and Richmond on Saturday night ended up as one of his best shots to do so. Truex started from the pole and was in contention for a large chunk of the day, even leading about 120 laps. But a few late cautions and mishaps during pit stops ended up costing Truex a legitimate shot at the win. He deserved better than his 14th-place finish would indicate, making it even tougher to swallow that he’s now 0-for-75 on short tracks.

Toyota Owners 400

The full race results, from the Associated Press:

Saturday

At Richmond Raceway

Richmond, Va.

Lap length: 0.75 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

1. (32) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 402 laps, 0 rating, 50 points.

2. (2) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 402, 0, 39.

3. (4) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 402, 0, 34.

KyleBusch4
Kyle Busch celebrates after winning Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series auto race in Richmond, Va. Busch pulled away on a restart in a two-lap overtime sprint to the finish for his third consecutive Cup win. Steve Helber AP

4. (3) Joey Logano, Ford, 402, 0, 53.

5. (10) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 402, 0, 34.

6. (17) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 402, 0, 31.

7. (5) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 402, 0, 30.

8. (28) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 402, 0, 32.

9. (16) Clint Bowyer, Ford, 402, 0, 43.

10. (26) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 402, 0, 27.

11. (6) Kurt Busch, Ford, 402, 0, 41.

12. (9) William Byron, Chevrolet, 402, 0, 38.

13. (7) Erik Jones, Toyota, 402, 0, 24.

14. (1) Martin Truex Jr, Toyota, 402, 0, 27.

15. (23) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 402, 0, 25.

16. (27) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 402, 0, 21.

17. (25) Aric Almirola, Ford, 402, 0, 37.

18. (11) Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 402, 0, 19.

19. (8) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 402, 0, 18.

20. (31) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 402, 0, 17.

21. (21) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 402, 0, 16.

22. (13) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 402, 0, 15.

23. (12) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Ford, 402, 0, 14.

24. (20) Paul Menard, Ford, 401, 0, 13.

25. (18) Darrell Wallace Jr, Chevrolet, 401, 0, 12.

26. (19) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 401, 0, 11.

27. (33) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 401, 0, 10.

28. (30) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 401, 0, 0.

29. (29) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 400, 0, 8.

30. (35) Cole Whitt, Chevrolet, 400, 0, 7.

31. (24) Michael McDowell, Ford, 400, 0, 6.

32. (22) Daniel Hemric, Chevrolet, 399, 0, 0.

33. (15) David Ragan, Ford, 399, 0, 4.

34. (36) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 397, 0, 3.

35. (34) Gray Gaulding, Toyota, 393, 0, 2.

36. (38) Harrison Rhodes, Chevrolet, 386, 0, 1.

37. (14) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, accident, 368, 0, 5.

38. (37) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, electrical, 188, 0, 1.

RichmondRace
Cars line up at the start of NASCAR Cup series race at Richmond Raceway in Richmond, Va., in April. On Saturday at the track, 26-year-old Israeli driver Alon Day will make his 2018 Cup series debut driving the BK Racing No. 23 Best Bully Sticks Toyota Camry in the Federated Auto Parts 400. Steve Helber AP

Race Statistics

Average Speed of Race Winner: 96.214 mph.

Time of Race: 3 hours, 8 minutes, 1 second.

Margin of Victory: 0.511 seconds.

Caution Flags: 6 for 46 laps.

Lead Changes: 16 among 7 drivers.

Lap Leaders: M.Truex 1-38; J.Logano 39-111; Ku.Busch 112-169; C.Bowyer 170-192; J.Logano 193-211; Ku.Busch 212-251; C.Bowyer 252-272; Ky.Busch 273; D.Hamlin 274-276; M.Truex 277-323; K.Harvick 324-331; C.Bowyer 332; D.Hamlin 333-335; M.Truex 336-370; Ky.Busch 371-390; M.Truex 391; Ky.Busch 392-402

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led): M.Truex, 4 times for 117 laps; Ku.Busch, 2 times for 96 laps; J.Logano, 2 times for 90 laps; C.Bowyer, 3 times for 42 laps; Ky.Busch, 3 times for 29 laps; K.Harvick, 1 time for 7 laps; D.Hamlin, 2 times for 4 laps.

Wins: Ky.Busch, 3; K.Harvick, 3; C.Bowyer, 1; A.Dillon, 1; M.Truex, 1.

Top 16 in Points: 1. Ky.Busch, 415; 2. J.Logano, 359; 3. C.Bowyer, 329; 4. K.Harvick, 324; 5. B.Keselowski, 303; 6. D.Hamlin, 286; 7. M.Truex, 284; 8. R.Blaney, 282; 9. Ku.Busch, 282; 10. K.Larson, 279; 11. A.Almirola, 248; 12. E.Jones, 233; 13. A.Bowman, 209; 14. A.Dillon, 208; 15. J.Johnson, 200; 16. W.Byron, 192.

NASCAR Driver Rating Formula

A maximum of 150 points can be attained in a race.

The formula combines the following categories: Wins, Finishes, Top-15 Finishes, Average Running Position While on Lead Lap, Average Speed Under Green, Fastest Lap, Led Most Laps, Lead-Lap Finish.

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