(WOMR file photo)
On a night marred by flaming cars, exploding tires, and overheated tempers, Joey Logano triumphed in a wild late-race battle to win Saturday night’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway.
Logano prevailed in an intense four-way shootout at the end to win over Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and Matt Kenseth.
The victory, Logano’s second of the season, fifth of his career, and first on a short track. The second victory has all but solidified Logano into the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Additionally, Gordon’s second-place finish allowed him to hold onto the series points lead.
“It feels great. I want to start winning some races in the Chase now,” Logano said. “These cars right now are so good and (Team) Penske is doing such a great job with these cars right now. I am just the lucky guy that gets to drive these things.”
Gordon, although unable to win, was pleased with his evening.
“I had a blast tonight,” said the four-time champion, who started 25th. “Great short-track racing here at Richmond. And to have a race car like that to drive from 25th up to the front was so much fun.”
It was a wild night from the drop of the green flag until the checkered flag flew at Richmond. Things got real ugly real early. The polesitter, Kyle Larson, found himself getting punted by last year’s Richmond villian, Clint Bowyer, just after the green flag waved. Bowyer ducked down to the apron, drove it deep into the turn while trying to pass a couple of cars going into turn #1 at the very start of the race. The ultimate results of the “bonzai” move was that Bowyer “dumped” Larson before the race had ran 800 feet!
As the race progressed, there were several right front tire failures that was also coupled with huge fires in the fender wells!
The 400 lap race really came down to a 9 lap shootout! Kenseth held the lead when the track went green with nine laps to go, but a four-way fight for the lead broke out among Kenseth, Gordon and the two Team Penske Fords of Keselowski and Logano. After a lot of furious slicing and dicing for the top spot, Logano passed Kenseth with four laps left to win. Gordon moving into second and Kyle Busch making a late-race charge to third place.
In that last mad dash for the checkered flag, there was a lot of aggressive driving, blocking, making your car extremely wide, all typical for a short track race. And also typical for a short track race there was crumpled sheet metal, bruised egos, flared and lost tempers, and a punch or two thrown after the race! You see Keselowski was mad at Kenseth for running “Bad Brad” up near the fence.
Additionally, Mears had a “chapped buttocks” at Ambrose, and chose to go address that with the Ausie. Somewhere in that discussion there appeared to be some mention about Amborose’s heritage, and that must have been when Ambrose chose to execute an overhand right cross to Mears’ left eye! Therein followed several crewmembers “swinging for the fences” at Ambrose! Very entertaining!
Great short track drama! In other words, great hard racing, NASCAR style! In this case “Saturday night was alright for fighting”!
Check out the unofficial results of the Toyota Owner’s 400.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!