Hamlin wins at Richmond, McMurray gets final Chase spot

RICHMOND, Va. -- Here’s a look at the results from Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway:

IN THE CHASE:  There were no changes to the 16-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup field, which was set after Saturday night’s race. Chase Elliott, Austin Dillon and Jamie McMurray maintained their positions in the standings to qualify for the Chase on points. In addition, Chris Buescher remained in the top 30 to ensure his victory at Pocono Raceway counted for a Chase berth.

WINNER: Denny Hamlin survived an overtime restart after dominating at Richmond, his home track, to win from the pole and score his third victory of the season. Hamlin’s wins bookended NASCAR’s regular season, as he started the year winning the Daytona 500. It also was Hamlin’s third career victory at the track where he grew up sitting in the grandstands watching his favorite driver, Bill Elliott.

CAUTION FEST: There were 16 cautions during the race, which broke the track record. Many of the cautions were for incidents due to tight racing on a track with one preferred groove. The record-breaking caution came when Regan Smith spun and hit the wall with two laps to go.

THE BIG ONE: One of the cautions – the one that tied the track record – was a fiery multi-car wreck that caused a red flag. After contact between Tony Stewart and Ryan Newman other cars including David Ragan and Brian Scott also piled in. Dylan Lupton actually ended up partially on top of Newman’s car. Newman blamed Stewart for the contact. “The 14 (Stewart) cut across my nose into Turn 1,” Newman said on NBC Sports Network. “I guess he thought he was in a sprint car again and didn’t know how to control his anger.” The comment sounded like a reference to Stewart’s incident with Kevin Ward Jr., where his car struck and killed Ward at a sprint car race in 2014. “Should be retired, the way he drives,” said Newman, who was once fired by Stewart’s team. Newman turned to the camera and told fans Stewart was “bipolar” and had anger issues, recommending fans look them up on YouTube. The incident caused a 20-minute red flag with 37 laps to go.

CHASING CHASE: On lap 95, Elliott experienced a scary moment. Though he was the top driver in points heading into the race, he qualified 34th and then was put in the wall when Newman hit Elliott’s teammate Jeff Gordon. Elliott pitted to fix the damage, but fortunately for him it wasn’t bad enough to knock him off the lead lap.

THAT’S THE BRAKES: Buescher’s hopes were boosted dramatically when teammate Landon Cassill went to the garage with what he said were brake problems on lap 53. That meant Buescher just had to finish 10 spots ahead of Cassill, which put him into both the Chase and the owners’ Chase (a lesser-discussed but financially lucrative playoff based on owner points). Later, Buescher’s chief competition for 30th place coming into Richmond – Ragan – crashed hard with 37 laps to go.

FEUD REIGNITED? Matt Kenseth was unhappy with Brad Keselowski after a caution on lap 335. Kenseth got cleaned out – as he put it – when Keselowski seemed to bobble going into Turn 1. Kenseth then took to TV to say some not-so-nice things about a driver he has feuded with in the past – and just in time for the Chase to start.

EARLY ENDING: Ryan Blaney was one of the drivers who had to race his way into the Chase, but he cut a tire down on lap 11 and hit the wall. The damage forced him to go to the garage, ending his hopes of a playoff spot in his rookie season.

FAN APPRECIATION: It was fan appreciation weekend at Richmond, which included all sorts of giveaways and extra driver appearances. Before the race, the drivers went into a four-wide formation and pit crew membSATURDAY'S RESULTS

Lap length: .750 miles

(Start position in parentheses)

1. (1) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 407 laps, 0 rating, 44 points.

2. (2) Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 407, 0, 40.

3. (6) Martin Truex Jr, Toyota, 407, 0, 40.

4. (17) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 407, 0, 37.

5. (19) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 407, 0, 36.

6. (7) Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 407, 0, 35.

7. (4) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 407, 0, 34.

8. (5) Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 407, 0, 34.

9. (9) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 407, 0, 32.

10. (12) Joey Logano, Ford, 407, 0, 31.

11. (10) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 407, 0, 30.

12. (27) Michael McDowell, Chevrolet, 407, 0, 29.

13. (8) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 407, 0, 28.

14. (18) Trevor Bayne, Ford, 407, 0, 27.

15. (29) Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 407, 0, 26.

16. (11) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 407, 0, 25.

17. (23) Aric Almirola, Ford, 407, 0, 24.

18. (22) Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Ford, 407, 0, 23.

19. (34) Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 407, 0, 22.

20. (16) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 407, 0, 21.

21. (26) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 407, 0, 20.

22. (33) Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 407, 0, 19.

23. (28) Greg Biffle, Ford, 407, 0, 18.

24. (31) Chris Buescher, Ford, 407, 0, 17.

25. (39) Dylan Lupton, Toyota, 406, 0, 0.

26. (38) Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 404, 0, 15.

27. (40) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Ford, 403, 0, 15.

28. (15) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 402, 0, 13.

29. (24) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, accident, 397, 0, 13.

30. (36) Josh Wise, Chevrolet, 396, 0, 11.

31. (37) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 390, 0, 10.

32. (13) Carl Edwards, Toyota, suspension, 366, 0, 9.

33. (14) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, accident, 363, 0, 8.

34. (21) David Ragan, Toyota, accident, 362, 0, 7.

35. (35) Brian Scott, Ford, accident, 362, 0, 6.

36. (32) Landon Cassill, Ford, 358, 0, 5.

37. (25) Matt DiBenedetto, Toyota, accident, 352, 0, 4.

38. (3) Matt Kenseth, Toyota, accident, 335, 0, 4.

39. (20) Ryan Blaney, Ford, 279, 0, 2.

40. (30) Paul Menard, Chevrolet, accident, 264, 0, 1.

———

Race Statistics

Average Speed of Race Winner: 85.778 mph.

Time of Race: 3 hours, 33 minutes, 31 seconds.

Margin of Victory: seconds.

Caution Flags: 16 for 89 laps.

Lead Changes: 21 among 7 drivers.

Lap Leaders: D.Hamlin 1-12; J.Earnhardt 13-14; D.Hamlin 15-51; M.Truex 52-85; M.Kenseth 86; Ku.Busch 87; D.Hamlin 88-100; M.Truex 101-202; M.Kenseth 203; M.Truex 204-222; D.Hamlin 223; M.Truex 224-228; Ku.Busch 229-230; M.Truex 231-245; M.Kenseth 246; R.Smith 247-248; D.Hamlin 249-267; K.Larson 268-271; D.Hamlin 272-292; K.Larson 293-303; M.Truex 304-321; D.Hamlin 322-407

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Led, Laps Led): M.Truex, 6 times for 187 laps; D.Hamlin, 7 times for 182 laps; K.Larson, 2 times for 13 laps; Ku.Busch, 2 times for 1 lap; J.Earnhardt, 1 time for 1 lap; R.Smith, 1 time for 1 lap; M.Kenseth, 3 times for 0 laps.

Wins: Ky.Busch, 4; B.Keselowski, 4; C.Edwards, 2; D.Hamlin, 2; K.Harvick, 2; J.Johnson, 2; M.Kenseth, 2; M.Truex, 2; C.Buescher, 1; Ku.Busch, 1; K.Larson, 1; J.Logano, 1; T.Stewart, 1.

Top 16 in Points: 1. K.Harvick, 840; 2. B.Keselowski, 797; 3. J.Logano, 752; 4. C.Edwards, 746; 5. D.Hamlin, 729; 6. Ku.Busch, 728; 7. Ky.Busch, 727; 8. M.Truex, 696; 9. M.Kenseth, 669; 10. C.Elliott, 659; 11. J.Johnson, 656; 12. A.Dillon, 651; 13. J.McMurray, 642; 14. R.Newman, 620; 15. K.Larson, 606; 16. K.Kahne, 598.ers held up banners that said “THANK YOU FANS” on the pace laps.

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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