January 26th, 2015
Joey Logano grabbed the lead with three laps to go and held on for his second win of the season by capturing the Toyota Owners 400 from the Richmond International Raceway. Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top-5 finishers.
“The 20 started blocking the top because the 2 car was so fast up top for the first 10 laps of a run and eventually I had enough room to turn up underneath him and get enough clean air on the car to take off. This isn’t a very good race track for me in the past but we had a really good Shell Pennzoil Ford today and we were able to put it in victory lane,” said Logano.
It was an epic battle between Kenseth, Keselowski, and Gordon on the final restart that set up the finish and allowed Logano the ability to get to the front. Kenseth led with Gordon right behind trying to go low under the Joe Gibbs Racing driver. While Gordon tried to position himself, Keselowski took the opportunity to go to the outside on Kenseth. The three cars battled door to door, with contact being made by all three. Logano positioned himself underneath the cars and drove away, while Keselowski and Kenseth made slight contact.
On the cool down lap Keselowski brake checked Kenseth, causing damage to both cars and damage to innocent bystander Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who could not slow down in time to avoid Kenseth’s car. After the cars parked on pit road, Keselowski came over to Kenseth’s car to show his displeasure by pointing at Kenseth with his helmet on. After a few points, he left to talk to the media.
“It was a wild finish. It just came down to really a four way battle between the 2, the 20, the 24 and 22 and we had a great car for the short runs and we got up there challenging for the lead. The 20 car ran me off the race track so I made sure to give him a bump and that was what Joey needed to win the race,” commented Keselowski.
“With me and Brad (Keselowski) specifically, I don’t know he was mad because I ran into him a little bit getting into (turn) three, but we’re going for the win. I ran him up to the third groove or so, but I’ve witnessed him racing that way a lot like I think he did to Jimmie (Johnson) at Texas a few years ago. I thought once we got to the straightaway I left him enough room unless I wasn’t clear, I need to re-watch it. I guess he’s upset about that and we were all going for the win, that’s what we’re supposed to be doing,” explained Kenseth.
Keselowski’s reaction was vastly different from that of Marcos Ambrose and Casey Mears after the race. The two were battling for 18th position on the track, but once they got to the garage area words were exchanged. Ambrose seemed unimpressed with what point Mears was making, and when he went to walk away, Mears grabbed him. Ambrose swung and landed a punch to the side of Mears’ head before crew members jumped in to separate the two drivers.
The big talk for majority of the race was right front tires blowing after about 55 laps. Clint Bowyer was the first victim, he was then followed by Cole Whitt, Reed Sorenson, and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Once the tire went, the cords inside the tires would ignite and all four drivers had fires breakout on their cars. Sorenson had the worst outbreak as he had to be pulled from his car on pit road.
The Sprint Cup Series travels to the Talladega Superspeedway next. Jeff Gordon maintains the lead in the driver standings by 5 over Matt Kenseth. Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. round out the top-5 in the standings.
|1||17||22||Joey Logano||Shell Pennzoil||Ford||400||$274,081||Running||46||47|
|2||25||24||Jeff Gordon||Drive to End Hunger||Chevrolet||400||$220,211||Running||173||44|
|4||2||2||Brad Keselowski||Detroit Genuine Parts||Ford||400||$162,258||Running||114||41|
|5||12||20||Matt Kenseth||Home Depot Husky||Toyota||400||$159,261||Running||35||40|
|6||14||47||AJ Allmendinger||Bush’s Grillin Beans||Chevrolet||400||$122,448||Running||0||38|
|7||13||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr||National Guard||Chevrolet||400||$104,065||Running||7||38|
|8||18||31||Ryan Newman||Quicken Loans||Chevrolet||400||$98,890||Running||0||36|
|9||16||99||Carl Edwards||Ford Always Racing.com||Ford||400||$104,165||Running||0||35|
|10||22||78||Martin Truex Jr||Furniture Row||Chevrolet||400||$116,173||Running||0||34|
|11||5||4||Kevin Harvick||Outback Steak House||Chevrolet||400||$126,548||Running||23||34|
|12||6||55||Brian Vickers||Aaron’s Dream Machine||Toyota||400||$118,740||Running||0||32|
|14||4||5||Kasey Kahne||Farmers Insurance||Chevrolet||400||$99,565||Running||0||30|
|16||1||42||Kyle Larson||AXE Peace||Chevrolet||400||$122,085||Running||0||28|
|17||15||43||Aric Almirola||Smithfield Foods||Ford||400||$119,201||Running||0||27|
|18||11||9||Marcos Ambrose||Stanley Tools||Ford||400||$108,335||Running||0||26|
|20||33||38||David Gilliland||Long John Silver’s||Ford||400||$104,798||Running||0||24|
|22||28||11||Denny Hamlin||FedEx Ground||Toyota||400||$88,890||Running||0||22|
|23||21||41||Kurt Busch||Haas Automation||Chevrolet||400||$77,190||Running||0||21|
|24||9||27||Paul Menard||Certain Teed / Menards||Chevrolet||400||$107,654||Running||0||20|
|25||20||14||Tony Stewart||Rush Truck Centers / Mobil 1||Chevrolet||399||$114,948||Running||0||19|
|26||43||40||Landon Cassill||Atlantic Plumbing & Utilities||Chevrolet||398||$76,765||Running||1||0|
|28||24||23||Alex Bowman||Dr. Pepper||Toyota||398||$89,237||Running||0||16|
|29||30||35||David Reutimann||MDS Transport||Ford||397||$79,465||Running||0||15|
|30||37||34||David Ragan||Taco Bell||Ford||396||$88,690||Running||0||14|
|31||8||83||Ryan Truex||VooDoo BBQ & Grill||Toyota||396||$79,065||Running||0||13|
|32||10||48||Jimmie Johnson||Kobalt Tools||Chevrolet||396||$129,851||Running||0||12|
|33||23||7||Michael Annett||Pilot / Flying||Chevrolet||396||$78,290||Running||0||11|
|35||38||33||David Stremme||Newtown Building Supplies||Chevrolet||395||$75,465||Running||0||9|
|36||32||32||Travis Kvapil||Keen Parts||Ford||394||$75,285||Running||1||9|
|37||41||66||Joe Nemechek||Virginia Farm Bureau||Toyota||391||$83,146||Running||0||0|
|38||29||17||Ricky Stenhouse Jr||Nationwide||Ford||390||$106,005||Running||0||6|
|39||39||98||Josh Wise||Phil Parsons Racing||Chevrolet||390||$66,180||Running||0||5|
|40||42||30||J.J. Yeley||Phoenix Warehouse||Chevrolet||380||$62,180||Engine||0||0|
|42||36||36||Reed Sorenson||Tommy Baldwin Racing||Chevrolet||225||$54,180||Electrical||0||2|
|43||3||15||Clint Bowyer||AAA Insurance||Toyota||159||$91,071||Suspension||0||1|