From the green flag to the checkered flag, Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 team had the car to beat at Richmond International Raceway. The car was fast on the track and the pit crew members got Keselowski out of pit road first on every pit stop. To say it was a dominant performance by the Team Penske group may be an understatement.
Keselowski, who had the pole for the race, led 383 out of the available 400 laps in the race to win his fourth race this season. He is the first driver to win that many races this season and has gained the top seed entering NASCAR’s post season next week in Chicago. He captured the 400th win for owner Roger Penske.
The only other driver to lead laps in the race was Kevin Harvick. He led 17 circuits around the track.
It was win or be out of the championship hunt for Clint Bowyer and Kyle Larson.
While Bowyer had a third place finish, the scenarios of where other drivers needed to finish for Bowyer to get into the chase were mathematically impossible so he will be working to make improvements in the remainder of the season.
Larson has been impressive in his rookie season but wasn’t impressive enough Saturday night to get into the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Larson simply needed to win and couldn’t get it done. He ran in the top 10 for most of the evening but didn’t have what he needed to be a winning candidate for the Federated Auto Parts 400. He finished 11th.
Ryan Newman and Greg Biffle were able to make it into the Chase on points as did Matt Kenseth who secured his Chase bid last week. They will join Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Kasey Kahne, Aric Almirola, and AJ Allmendinger who all had wins this season.
Jimmie Johnson was helped to the infield care center after he exited his racecar at the end of the contest. According to ESPN, he suffered from dehydration.
There were no accident cautions in this race. The first caution was a competition caution and two others were called for debris. The final caution of the race was called a “security” caution as a spectator climbed the catch fence in turn four.
The top ten: Brad Keselowski, Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer, Jamie McMurray, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Aric Almirola.
The next race will be Sunday, Sept. 14 at 2 p.m. ET at Chicagoland Speedway for the MyAfibStory.com 400.