For the second week in a row NASCAR ran in Virginia. This week they went to Richmond Raceway for the Toyota Owners 400. The race was almost a polar opposite of last weekends race in Martinsville. There was a lot of green flag racing and some very exciting racing and strategy throughout the day. It goes to show that we don’t need cautions to create some very exciting racing.
Denny Hamlin Wins Stage 1
It was a fast paced stage as Denny Hamlin would win stage one. The battle for second heated up on the last lap but in the end Martin Truex Jr beat out Joey Logano for the second spot. Behind them was the 24 machine of William Byron. Ryan Blaney would earn a top 5 finish as he finished in the 5th place.
Hamlin Wins Stage 2
Trouble did strike in stage two as Austin Cindric made contact with Ryan Newman and Newman spun out in turn three. They all went three wide with Kyle Larson on the inside, Cindric in the middle and Newman on the outside and sadly for Newman he was the victim. This was the first caution of the day for an incident. Once this stage was all said and done Denny Hamlin would win stage number 2. This was his second stage win of the day. He would then be looking for the clean sweep in the final stage.
Bowman Finishes 1st
Big trouble struck in stage three as Kevin Harvick crashed. His right rear tire went down in the long green flag run and he crashed. He was able to keep it running afterwards as he finished 24th three laps down. When it was all said in done it was a battle to the finish as Alex Bowman scored his third career victory. It was his first ever win at Richmond and his first ever win in the 48 machine since taking over for Jimmie Johnson.
This was the first time the 48 has gone to victory lane since 2017 when Jimmie Johnson won at Dover. This was a much needed victory for Alex Bowman and it was a battle to the end.
This weekend at Richmond produced some great action. This race showed that long green flag strategies can produce great racing. This race involved fuel strategy and it created a very exciting race that came down to the wire in the final laps. As for next weekend, I think that next will be very different.
Next weekend the NASCAR Cup Series will be heading to Talladega Superspeedway. This will be a race where the big one looms at every corner at any moment. It will be a race where the big one isn’t a matter of if it’s a matter of when. It will surely be an exciting race and it could be a weekend to remember at Talladega.