Throwback Thursday: Richmond's return
Take a look back at Tim Richmond's triumphant return to NASCAR after his first absence from the sport.
No. 22 team penalized following Richmond win
NASCAR on Thursday issued an L1-level penalty to Team Penske's No. 22 team for a rear suspension violation discovered during teardown at the R&D Center in Concord, North Carolina. The penalty carries multiple consequences, which includes making Joey Logano's win at Richmond on Sunday encumbered. The encumbered win is the first for a victorious Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team since NASCAR adopted that policy in 2016. What that means is Logano cannot use the Richmond win as consideration for an automatic playoff spot. Should Logano still make the postseason, the five playoff points that come with a victory would not apply for Richmond . The official race record will still list Logano as the winner. Additional penalties are a $50,000 fine and two-race suspension for crew chief Todd Gordon, and the loss of 25 driver points and 25 owner points. The violation was under Section 20 of the NASCAR Rule Book. According to the penalty grid NASCAR issued, the No. 22 team did not adhere to the following: the Truck trailing arm spacer/pinion angle shim mating surfaces must be planar and must be in complete contact with corresponding mating surfaces at all points and at all times. In a statement, Team Penske announced it would not appeal the penalties. "We understand and accept the penalty that was communicated to us today by NASCAR following last weekend’s victory by the No. 22 car at Richmond ," the statement read. "We are disappointed by the notice, however, we do not plan to appeal the penalty. The No. 22 team remains focused on competing for wins as we work toward the NASCAR Playoffs and a Championship. Race Engineer Miles Stanley will serve as Joey Logano's crew chief this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, while Greg Erwin will help call race strategy on Sunday.” Other penalties issued Thursday include: • The Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series has an unsecured lug nut in a post-race check Sunday at Richmond International Raceway. Crew chief Mike Wheeler was handed a $10,000 fine after one lug nut was found to be improperly secured. The infraction was noted after driver Denny Hamlin recorded a season-best third-place finish in the Toyota Owners 400.
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>
Last-minute fantasy update: Three to watch at Richmond
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Richmond RELATED: Set your lineup " Top 10-lap times " Practice results With the Toyota Owners 400 just hours away (2 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), it's time to set your NASCAR Fantasy Live lineup. Here is some last-minute fantasy insight for the spring race at Richmond . Prices are market values in the NASCAR Fantasy Live game for this weekend. Austin Dillon ($20.50) is starting from the rear for failing pre-race inspection five times at Bristol Motor Speedway. Dillon will line up 38th (where he qualified after taking an interesting qualifying lap to conserve tires ), making him a potential place-differential bonanza for fantasy owners. Dillon was sixth and 24th in Saturday's two practices. In six starts at the 0.75-mile track, the Richard Childress Racing driver has an average finish of 22.3. If he were to finish in that range on Sunday, the place difference would easily make him a top-15 fantasy driver on the day. Erik Jones ($20.25) is starting the race 20th. The rookie was running strong for much of the Bristol race on Monday and has quietly put together a nice start to his first season. The driver of the No. 77 Toyota finished all three practices in the top five -- meaning the speed is there and he should be one that makes a move up in the field. That could earn owners place-differential points and possibly stage points, as well. Denny Hamlin ($25.00) is the most recent Richmond winner and has three career wins at the 0.75-mile track. The Virginia native is well known for his short-track prowess and has led 1,594 laps at Richmond in his career. He only qualified 16th, but was a top-seven car in all three practices. Add to that the fact that he placed top five in the best 10 consecutive laps category for the final two practices, and it's easy to make a case to roster him. RELATED: DraftKings Rankings for Daily Fantasy Players &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Joey Logano wins first race of season at wild Richmond
RELATED: Race results " Standings " Stage results " Detailed breakdown SHOP: Winner gear! RICHMOND , Va. -- It took Joey Logano all afternoon to drive from the back of the field to the front in Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Logano started from the rear after a post-qualifying transmission change, but when the checkered flag waved after Lap 400, the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford was at the head of the field, having held off a banzai charge from teammate Brad Keselowski during a 19-lap green-flag run. Logano took the lead for the first time on Lap 384, after restarting behind six cars that had stayed out on old tires under caution for Ryan Blaney’s contact with the Turn 3 wall on Lap 377. On fresh rubber, Logano made short work of the cars in front of him and passed series leader Kyle Larson for the top spot with 16 circuits left. Keselowski had a faster car, having led 110 laps, but he also had more difficulty getting through traffic after the final restart. By the time Logano took the checkered flag, Keselowski had narrowed his teammate's straightaway lead to roughly three car-lengths before running out of time. The 26-year-old from Connecticut won his 18th race in his 300th start in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. It was his first victory of the season and his second at Richmond . Logano and Keselowski had stayed out under the penultimate caution on Lap 367 and appeared vulnerable to the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas of Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch until NASCAR called the final yellow five laps after the restart on Lap 377. Of the cars that came to pit road on Lap 378, Logano was first off and lined up behind the six cars that stayed out -- those of Larson, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chris Buescher, Martin Truex Jr., David Ragan and Cole Whitt. Busch drew a penalty for a commitment line violation and went to the rear of the field, eliminating one of the contending cars. RELATED: Watch how Logano's pit road games got Kyle Busch "The caution came out," Logano said of the final yellow. "The boys had a great stop which gave us good track position to pass the cars that stayed out. We were able to have a good start, work our way past those cars and tried to take off the best I could. I knew the 2 (Keselowski) was so much faster than everybody, and I had to get out there as quick and as far as I could. "He was on his way to catch me. I think he was catching me a couple tenths a lap. That was all I had inside the car, and I burned them up early trying to go. I’m proud of the effort of the team. We executed under pressure today and brought a car home that was a fifth-to-10th-place car to Victory Lane." For his part, Keselowski was philosophical about the way the race unfolded. "I was just hoping for another restart or the race to get extended for another 10 laps," Keselowski said. "I think we had a ton of long-run speed today. That short run at the end ... half the field came, half the field didn’t. I just got stuck in a lane of cars that didn’t go. "By the time I did, he (Logano) had a whole straightaway on me. I got it down to a couple of car-lengths at the end. All and all, I’m happy for Team Penske with the 1-2 finish. We’ll take it and move on." RELATED: Drivers to win in his 300th start Virginia native Denny Hamlin ran third, but his No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota couldn’t match the speed of the Team Penske Fords. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. recovered from a brush with the Turn 3 wall to come home fourth on older tires, holding off fifth-place Kevin Harvick over the final green-flag run. The first major incident of the day happened late when Hendrick Motorsports teammates Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Jimmie Johnson got into each other, causing damage to Junior's No. 88. He finished 30th, while Johnson placed 11th. MORE: Johnson, Earnhardt Jr. come together at Richmond The Monster Energy Series hits the track again next weekend at NASCAR's biggest track for the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway (Sunday, 2 p.m. ET, FOX). Keselowski is the defending winner. &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
Joey Logano to start today's race at Richmond from the rear
RELATED: Sunday's full lineup Joey Logano will start today's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond from the rear of the field after his No. 22 Team Penske team changed the transmission in his Ford. Logano had qualified fifth for the Toyota Owners 400 (2 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), and the .75-mile Virginia track is one of his best. Logano has finished in the top five in four of his eight starts here as a member of Team Penske. Sunday also marks Logano's 300th career start in the Monster Energy Series. For Fantasy Live purposes, Logano still is officially credited with a fifth-place starting position. " Need to update your lineup? MORE: Logano's career highlights He joins Austin Dillon in the rear of the field. NASCAR officials announced Friday morning that the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet would start from the back after failing pre-race inspection at the Laser Inspection System station five times prior to Monday's race at Bristol. Knowing he was already sent to the rear, Dillon turned a slow qualifying lap Friday at Richmond -- perhaps to save his tires for Sunday's race -- and qualified 38th. &amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;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.
Byron, Suarez 'have talked' following Richmond wreck
BUY TICKETS: See the races at Talladega CONCORD, N.C. -- William Byron said it was contact from another vehicle that caused the JR Motorsports driver to run into Daniel Suarez near the finish of last Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Richmond International Raceway. Six cars were involved in the incident, which unfolded in the closing laps of the ToyotaCare 250. "We got hit from behind and that sent us up into him," Byron said Tuesday after wrapping up testing at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "Just not a good situation. You never want to be in a situation like that." MORE: See which drivers participated in Charlotte test Suarez, the 2016 series champion and now a full-time competitor in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for Joe Gibbs Racing, posted on Twitter the following day "Good job @WilliamByron for making a mess on yesterday’s race … today is a new day with a strong race car." The two drivers were running inside the top 10 when the accident occurred on the first lap of a restart. Suarez was able to continue and eventually finished 21st while Byron was unable to return and wound up 30th . Byron said he and Suarez "have talked" since the incident. "Really, we were just following each other into the corner double-file, everyone was jockeying for the restart; we got nudged and hit into him and that ruined our day, too," Byron said. "Not a good situation but hopefully we can rebound from that for Talladega. It’s going to be a totally different environment there and we’ll just see what happens." The series moves to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend for Saturday’s Sparks Energy 300 (1 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR). Byron won seven times last season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports. He is competing for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors this year in the XFINITY Series for JRM. The 30th -place finish has been the only blemish on an otherwise solid season thus far for the 19-year-old. Through eight races, he has posted five top-10 finishes and is third in points, trailing teammates Elliott Sadler and Justin Allgaier. "I think he’s done a great job," Allgaier said of Byron. "Coming in, he’s asked a lot of great questions and been very open to learning. "There have been a lot of weeks that he’s been kind of the flagship for our company. Especially the mile and a halves, he’s been lights out." &amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/p&amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;
The Starting Grid: Racing at Richmond International Raceway
NASCAR.com's Jonathan Merryman breaks down Richmond International Raceway for Sunday's Toyota Owners 400.
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