Post-Race Reactions: Fast Five 225
Kevin Harvick, Nelson Piquet Jr., Parker Kligerman and James Buescher comment on their solid runs at Chicagoland Speedway.
Stenhouse: Our long run speed got us a top five
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. reflects on his fourth-place finish at Richmond International Raceway.
Larson, Jones lead final practices at Richmond
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Richmond FINAL PRACTICE: Full results " Top 10-lap times A fast lap of 119.074 mph put Kyle Larson's No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet at the top of the leaderboard in Saturday's final practice at Richmond International Raceway. The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points leader turned 84 laps in the 50-minute session, more than any other driver in the field. Furniture Row Racing teammates Martin Truex Jr. (119.016 mph) and Erik Jones (118.702 mph) were second- and fourth-fastest, respectively. Both drivers have recorded top- five speeds in all three practices (Truex's No. 78 Toyota led the opening practice, while Jones' No. 77 Toyota topped the second session). Sandwiched between the Furniture Row wheelmen in third was Hendrick Motorsports' Jimmie Johnson, whose No. 48 Chevrolet clocked in at 118.801 mph. Johnson's teammate Chase Elliott rounded out the top five with a fast lap of 118.452 mph in his No. 24 Chevrolet. After battling a car issue in Saturday's opening session and coming up 31st on the leaderboard, Kurt Busch nabbed the sixth-fastest speed in the field in his No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford during final practice. The XFINITY Series is on track at Richmond next for the ToyotaCare 250 race (1 p.m. ET, FS1). PRACTICE 2: Full results " Top 10-lap times Earlier in the day, Erik Jones wheeled his No. 77 Furniture Row Racing Toyota at 120.714 mph, nabbing the top spot on the speed charts during Saturday morning's opening practice at Richmond International Raceway. The Monster Energy Series rookie, who topped the leaderboard early in the 55-minute session, was second-fastest in Friday's lone practice to his teammate Martin Truex Jr. Stewart-Haas Racing's Kevin Harvick was second on the leaderboard Saturday, his No. 4 Ford clocking a fast lap of 120.048 mph. Richard Childress Racing's Paul Menard was third-fastest (120.005 mph) in his No. 27 Chevrolet, while JTG Daugherty Racing's Chris Buescher ranked fourth in the field (119.973 mph from his No. 37 Chevrolet). Friday's practice leader Truex Jr. completed the top five with a 119.941-mph lap in his No. 78 Toyota. Pole-sitter Matt Kenseth was 11th-fastest in the field in his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Dale Earnhardt Jr., who announced his retirement from full-time racing after 2017 on Tuesday, was 10th on the leaderboard. In the middle of the 55-minute session, Kurt Busch radioed his team that he thought his No. 41 Ford was "on seven cylinders" and brought the car into the garage for examination. He returned to the track a little over 20 minutes later and told his team that he thought they "fixed it, whatever it was," ending the session 31st on the leaderboard. The following teams were held for the first 15 minutes of Saturday's opening session due to infractions: No. 1 of Jamie McMurray (failing LIS twice), No. 17 of Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (failing LIS second time through) and No. 21 of Ryan Blaney (failing template twice). &lt;/p&gt;
Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. get together late at Richmond
RELATED: Results " Stage results RICHMOND, Va. -- A little contact is customary in short-track racing. But the heavy contact that led to the derailment of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s first race since setting his retirement plans in motion came from an unexpected source -- a teammate. Neither Earnhardt nor Jimmie Johnson -- his Hendrick Motorsports stablemate -- saw each other before Johnson's No. 48 Chevrolet swept up the track to broadside Earnhardt's No. 88, compounding an already frustrating Sunday at Richmond International Raceway. Both continued on, with Johnson leading the four-car Hendrick charge in 11th place, but Earnhardt faded to a 30th-place finish in the Toyota Owners 400, two laps down. "I was running the top (groove) right against the fence and really wasn't watching the mirrors," Earnhardt said. "I didn't even know he was there or anybody was coming. T.J. (Majors, his spotter) was giving me pretty good warning about guys getting on my inside, but otherwise when you're running the top, you don't have to worry about it. Everybody kind of takes care of you, but Jimmie didn't know we were there. "It was an explosion, but the car held up pretty well. It knocked the sway bar arm off it, so we ran the last bit of the race without a sway bar hooked up, but wasn't a great day." Johnson, a winner in the previous two races, also remarked about the severity of the impact. After the checkered flag, Johnson sought out Earnhardt on pit road for a team debrief and to apologize for his part in the collision. "Trying to figure out if I didn't hear it being told to me or if it wasn't told to me," Johnson said. "Just feel terrible, obviously. Man, I'm surprised our cars even kept rolling after that because I just bodyslammed him in the wall, and I could've easily not heard the clear or something else happened, I don't know. But it's the last thing you want to have happen with a teammate." RELATED: Johnson takes on Twitter haters Earnhardt started 12th and dropped back in the order with an off-cycle stop for tires. He rallied, but a speeding penalty in the 67th of 400 laps knocked him to 27th when the field reorganized. Earnhardt was busted in Section 15, the next-to-last segment on the .75-mile track's pit road. "I was pretty conservative, but they said we sped," Earnhardt said, further explaining that the team adjusts its tachometer to allow for pit road's curvature near the exit. "We're real aggressive with our (tachometer) lights. We maybe need to be a little more conservative so that we can get through a couple of these races without issues like that. But all I can do is run the lights like the dash is programmed. I really don't have a speedometer in there to help you." With his car struggling to advance on set-up savvy alone, Earnhardt and crew chief Greg Ives opted to gamble with a late green-flag run. Ives kept his driver on the track as other front-runners came in for pit service under green; that strategy moved Earnhardt as high as second in the running order, but on old tires with his team keeping its fingers crossed for a timely caution period. That yellow flag flew, but for his incident with Johnson. "Just luck this year is just awful," said Earnhardt, who also spun out 13 laps later after his car developed a tire rub. "I don't know what else we need to do. I mean, we're out there just taking care of ourselves and running along, and something seems to always bite us." RELATED: Junior frustrated in Richmond Earnhardt remained stuck back in 24th place in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points, recording his fifth finish of 30th or worse in the nine events so far this year. With 27 races remaining in his final full season, Earnhardt said his goals for the immediate future might be more modest. "Greg (Ives) told me last week we weren't looking at (points) anymore, we were just going to try to win a race," Earnhardt said. We're so far back. If you're sitting 15th, 16th, 17th, you probably can't help but look at points then. We're sitting so far back, we've just got to get this thing to where we can finish. I'm just going to concentrate on trying to get about five or six races put together in a row -- top 15s -- and see what the points look like after that." The same could be said for Hendrick Motorsports, which rode the high of back-to-back victories for Johnson in the previous two races -- Texas and Bristol -- into Richmond. Sunday, none of the four Hendrick drivers finished among the top 10 -- Kasey Kahne took 22nd with Chase Elliott 24th -- nor did they collect any stage points for running in the top 10 at the two intermissions. "It's a competitive sport," Earnhardt said. "You get written off one week and then you're back in the conversation the next. None of our cars were really that fast , so we'll probably come back here with a different idea, a different direction on all our set-ups and see if we can't figure something out. We've got the equipment and the resources to run in the top five , but it's shocks and springs and set-ups that just didn't pay off today." </p>
Kenseth nabs first pole of season at Richmond
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Richmond RELATED: Full results RICHMOND, Va. – Matt Kenseth won't have to come from the middle of nowhere, as he did Monday at Bristol Motor Speedway, where he started 22nd, charged toward the front in the closing laps and finished fourth. Quite the contrary. In Sunday's Toyota Owners 400 (on FOX at 2 p.m. ET) at Richmond International Raceway, Kenseth will lead the field to the green flag in the ninth Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race of the season after winning the pole during Friday's knockout qualifying session. Kenseth posted a lap at 121.076 mph (22.300 seconds) to edge Ryan Blaney (120.854 mph) for the top starting spot by .041 seconds. The driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota claimed his first Coors Light Pole Award of the season, his second at Richmond and the 19th of his career. Kenseth was fast enough to make the cut for the first two rounds despite running a single lap in each, and the tire conservation paid off in the money round. "We had enough speed in our Circle K Toyota Camry that we only had to do one lap each of the first two rounds to get us into the third round, and we improved a little bit the second lap (in the final round). It was a good qualifying effort for us. Feels good to be on the pole. Kenseth is 20th in points after bottom- five finishes at Daytona, Phoenix and Fontana, and qualifying rainouts hurt him at Bristol and Martinsville, where he had to start mid-pack on owner points. "This year has not been a good year for us, obviously, so far," Kenseth said. "We finished strong at Bristol, but we didn't get to qualify because of the rain, and that put us in the middle of the pack – there and Martinsville. "We haven't been getting any stage points. We're buried in the points back there and we finally got a decent finish last week, so hopefully this week we can start up front, stay up front and hopefully collect some of the stage points. But most importantly we're in the mix for a win at the end of the day." Martin Truex Jr. (120.681 mph) will start third, followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (120.471 mph) and Joey Logano (120.380 mph). It was the third second-place qualifying effort of the season for Blaney, who also put the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford on the front row at Phoenix and Texas. "We weren't great the first round but kept getting steps better each round, which we've done a really good job of this year," Blaney said. "I thought that's where we struggled a lot last year. We didn't improve last year, we would go backwards. This year we're improving round-to-round. "It's just communication and knowing what we need to change in our car. That's something to be proud of. That's a lot of second starts now. I really want to race the Clash at Daytona (the season-opening exhibition race primarily for pole winners). That's my biggest thing right now. It's upsetting me that we can't get a pole. I think our Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Fusion is good—we'll find out in race trim." WATCH: Dillon makes ... interesting ... qualifying lap Both Kenseth and Blaney saved their fastest laps for the final round. The same couldn't be said of Logano, who ran the fastest lap of the afternoon (121.468 mph) in the second round but couldn't sustain his speed in the third. "We just lost a little bit there the last run," said Logano who tied Kevin Harvick for the fastest lap in the opening round at 120.870 mph. "We got loose into (Turns) 3 and 4, missed it the first lap and did the same exact thing the second lap. "It's so frustrating when you win the first two rounds and the one that pays the money, you're not there. That's always frustrating. I guess we have decent speed in our car… it is just frustrating. I don't know what else to say. It just sucks." &amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;gt;
Larson wins at Richmond; Allgaier takes Dash 4 Cash
RELATED: Results " Standings " Detailed breakdown " SHOP: Winner gear RICHMOND, Va. – Justin Allgaier had the best car in Saturday's ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Richmond International Raceway. Kyle Larson isn't very good at Richmond—and isn't bashful about saying so. Nevertheless, when two late restarts played out at the .75-mile short track, Larson was the race winner in overtime, and Allgaier was a disappointed second, consoled only by the $100,000 check he collected as the winner of the XFINITY Dash 4 Cash bonus as the highest finishing series regular. "It's a bittersweet day, I'll be honest with you," said Allgaier, who finished second to Larson despite leading a race-high 157 of the 254 laps. "I'm really dejected—I won't lie to you. That's going to hurt for a long time." What stung so badly for the driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet occurred in the final 15 laps of the race. Allgaier was leading, and teammate Elliott Sadler was closing fast on fresher tires, thanks to an aggressive pit call under caution on Lap 184. But NASCAR had to call a caution on Lap 239 of a scheduled 250 when the engine expired in BJ McLeod's Chevrolet. Allgaier hit pit road along with the other lead-lap cars, including Sadler, whose only option was a set of 17-lap scuffed tires. Ty Dillon took the lead out of the pits on a two-tire call, but Dillon jumped the restart on Lap 246, mashing the gas before he reached the restart zone. After a five -car wreck involving William Byron, Daniel Suarez, Brennan Poole, Harrison Rhodes and Kyle Benjamin slowed the field on the restart lap, and Dillon was sent to the rear of the field because of the restart infraction, Larson had the lead at Allgaier's expense and controlled the overtime restart on Lap 253. Restarting in the inside lane, Larson cleared Allgaier off Turn 2 and crossed the overtime line before a wreck on the backstretch caused the seventh and final caution and froze the field with Larson in the lead. "I'm not good at this place, so a win is pretty neat," said Larson, who will start 18th as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series points leader in Sunday's Toyota Owners 400 (on FOX at 2 p.m. ET) at Richmond International Raceway. "I still have to work on myself for long runs. I'm terrible on long runs. "I was OK today, but (on Sunday) the competition is a lot harder. The drivers are better. Just have to be patient. Struggled in Happy Hour (final practice), so we’ll see how we are (on Sunday)." Polesitter Daniel Hemric ran third, followed by Austin Dillon and Ryan Blaney. Sadler retained the series lead by 41 points over Allgaier, but the driver of the No. 1 Chevy was frustrated, too. Sadler had race leader Allgaier in his sights, having closed the gap from 3.5 seconds to a couple of car-lengths before McLeod’s engine blew. "I'm proud of the guys for taking the chance we did, and we definitely had the race won," said the Virginia native, who finished seventh on the set of scuffed tires. "It's heartbreaking. We really wanted to win here at our home track, in front of our home fans." Notes: Larson led 10 laps--the final 10... Allgaier won the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus for the second time this season, having also taken the prize at Phoenix, where he also won the race… In his XFINITY debut, Kyle Benjamin ran consistently in the top 10 until he had to return to pit road to tighten lug nuts after what should have been his final stop. Mired in traffic, he was a victim of the Lap 246 incident and retired from the race in 32nd-place, seven laps down… Astute pit strategy helped Dylan Lupton to a 12th-place, lead-lap finish in his first XFINITY start of the season… Darrell Wallace Jr. finished sixth for the sixth time in eight races this season. His other two finishes are a pair of 33rds. &amp;lt;/p&amp;gt;
2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Owner Standings
MORE: XFINITY owner standings " Camping World owner standings Pos. Owner Car # Points Ldr Nxt Race Wins Stage Wins Playoff Pts Attempts 1 Chip Ganassi Racing 42 398 0 0 1 2 7 9 2 Furniture Row Racing 78 358 -40 -40 1 5 10 9 3 Hendrick Motorsports 24 346 -52 -12 0 2 2 9 4 Team Penske 22 333 -65 -13 1 1 6 9 5 Team Penske 2 327 -71 -6 2 1 11 9 6 Stewart-Haas Racing 4 286 -112 -41 0 3 3 9 7 Chip Ganassi Racing 1 282 -116 -4 0 0 0 9 8 Hendrick Motorsports 48 270 -128 -12 2 0 10 9 9 Stewart-Haas Racing 14 266 -132 -4 0 0 0 9 10 Joe Gibbs Racing 18 235 -163 -31 0 1 1 9 11 Joe Gibbs Racing 11 231 -167 -4 0 0 0 9 12 Wood Brothers Racing 21 229 -169 -2 0 2 2 9 13 Richard Childress Racing 31 225 -173 -4 1 0 5 9 14 Roush Fenway Racing 6 216 -182 -9 0 0 0 9 15 Roush Fenway Racing 17 201 -197 -15 0 0 0 9 16 Furniture Row Racing 77 193 -205 -8 0 0 0 9 17 Stewart-Haas Racing 41 192 -206 -1 1 0 5 9 18 Joe Gibbs Racing 20 192 -206 0 0 1 1 9 19 Richard Petty Motorsports 43 189 -209 -3 0 0 0 9 20 Hendrick Motorsports 5 179 -219 -10 0 0 0 9 21 Richard Childress Racing 3 171 -227 -8 0 0 0 9 22 Joe Gibbs Racing 19 169 -229 -2 0 0 0 9 23 Germain Racing 13 157 -241 -12 0 0 0 9 24 Hendrick Motorsports 88 141 -257 -16 0 0 0 9 25 Richard Childress Racing 27 139 -259 -2 0 0 0 9 26 JTG Daugherty Racing 47 117 -281 -22 0 0 0 9 27 JTG Daugherty Racing 37 114 -284 -3 0 0 0 9 28 Leavine Family Racing 95 110 -288 -4 0 0 0 9 29 Stewart-Haas Racing 10 110 -288 0 0 0 0 9 30 Front Row Motorsports 34 104 -294 -6 0 0 0 9 31 TriStar Motorsports 72 104 -294 0 0 0 0 9 32 GO FAS Racing 32 99 -299 -5 0 0 0 9 33 Front Row Motorsports 38 97 -301 -2 0 0 0 9 34 Premium Motorsports 15 72 -326 -25 0 0 0 9 35 BK Racing 83 57 -341 -15 0 0 0 9 36 BK Racing 23 45 -353 -12 0 0 0 9 37 Circle Sport / TMG 33 36 -362 -9 0 0 0 9 38 Tommy Baldwin Racing 7 27 -371 -9 0 0 0 2 39 Beard Motorsports 175 26 -372 -1 0 0 0 1 40 Rick Ware Racing 51 18 -380 -8 0 0 0 9 41 Premium Motorsports 55 15 -383 -3 0 0 0 7 42 Gaunt Brothers Racing 96 1 -397 -14 0 0 0 1
Hamlin finishes third, but there's work to do
RELATED: Results " Standings " Detailed breakdown RICHMOND, Va. – A third-place finish at Richmond International Raceway was little consolation for Virginia native Denny Hamlin, who craves victory at his home track but knows his cars aren't yet fast enough to outrun the best in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. "Yeah, it was about as good as we had," Hamlin said. "You know, we just didn't have the speed that the other cars had. But we optimized our day. It's the best we could do. We finished right where we should have." Hamlin thought he and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch might have the opportunity to steal a win when Toyota Owners 400 race winner Joey Logano and runner-up Brad Keselowski stayed out on old tires under caution on Lap 368 of 400. A subsequent caution on Lap 377, however, gave Logano and Keselowski another chance to come to pit road and put the cars back on equal footing. "There was a moment where the two Penske cars stayed out, and we pitted, and that's where I thought, 'OK, this could be the chance that we have to steal it,'" Hamlin said. "But then we had another caution, and then they came in and pitted with us. We knew we had to do something different to beat those guys. We weren't going to be able to beat them straight up. We had to either beat them off pit road, or we had to be on a different tire strategy. "And the only way to be on a different tire strategy is we were going to have to hope they didn't pit, and they didn't, and my eyes got really big at that moment thinking, 'This could be our chance to level the playing field and race these guys.' But we had another caution, and it kind of screwed all that up." &amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;gt;
Kenseth, Keselowski win Stages 1, 2 at Richmond
RELATED: FAQ for race format " Updated stage points STAGE 2: Brad Keselowski nabbed his first stage win of the year on Sunday afternoon at Richmond International Raceway, winning Stage 2 of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series' Toyota Owners 400. The driver of the No. 2 Team Penske Ford led 37 laps in the caution-free stage. Pole-sitter and Stage 1 victor Matt Kenseth, who led all 100 laps of Stage 1, placed second in Stage 2 in his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, leading 63 laps. Stewart-Haas Racing's Kevin Harvick was third in his No. 4 Ford, while Denny Hamlin's No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was fourth. Kyle Larson and his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet completed Stage 2's top- five finishers. Both Keselowski and Kenseth received race points and the race winner will earn 40 points and five playoff points at the race's conclusion. STAGE 1: Pole-sitter Matt Kenseth led all 100 opening laps of Sunday's Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway, giving his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota the Stage 1 win. This marks Kenseth's first stage win of the season. Kyle Larson and Martin Truex Jr. drag-raced to the start-finish line for the runner-up spot in Stage 1, with Larson's No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet prevailing by .006 seconds. Truex Jr.'s No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Toyota ended up third. Stewart-Haas Racing's Kevin Harvick and Joe Gibbs Racing's Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five , respectively. The top 10 finishers in both Stage 1 and Stage 2 receive race points. The race winner will receive 40 points and five playoff points at the conclusion of the Final Stage.
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