From the biggest superspeedway to the short track that thinks it’s a superspeedway, the NASCAR Sprint Cup series came to Richmond International Raceway.
The pole sitter was Kyle Busch dominated the first 200 laps of the race. At one point early on there were only nine cars on the lead lap after a long green flag run.
Busch led over 200 laps and locked up the bonus early in the race but like any night race there are comers and goers. Tonight there was one driver who stayed up front for most of the night, that driver was Jeff Gordon.
The game changer was the multiple cautions just after lap 100. With so many cars off the lead lap and with multiple quick cautions that put on one wave around 23 cars on lead lap.
The front runners of Busch, Gordon, Kevin Harvick and Jeff Burton were anchored in the top five for most of the race.
Jimmie Johnson who many picked to win this race was having what for them was an off night. He ran in the top 10 but the team never got their hands around the handling of the car.
If at any point you took a snap shot of the top five it was pretty consistent. One guy who many said to watch was Tony Stewart. He was nowhere near the top five, as he struggled with the handling of his car and was down a lap early.
This is not the first time this season we have seen Stewart struggle especially on the short tracks. He finished a disappointing 23rd.
Out of the final top 10 Marcos Ambrose had much needed a top 10 finish on Saturday night. This team has struggled early this season and needed to just finish a race.
The middle of the race and leading up to what would have been the final scheduled pit stop; Gordon paced the field holding a steady three second lead going into the stop.
After the final green flag stop caution came out for Elliott Sadler who spun. That forced the crew chiefs to make the decision to hit pit road even thought they had just pitted. From sixth on back drivers came in for tires.
Out of all the drivers to take four tires it was Busch who was able to take advantage of the tires. He restarted once in sixth and then on the final restart he was second.
Gordon got a good restart but it was Busch who prevailed with the win. Another second place finish for Gordon who led 144 laps.
The rest of the top 10 were Harvick, Burton, Carl Edwards, Juan Pablo Montoya, Martin Truex, Jr., Ryan Newman, Ambrose and Johnson.
Kevin Conway still leads the rookie standings.
Harvick took over the point lead with his third place finish. Johnson moved to second, the biggest gainer this week was Gordon who moved up four spots to sixth. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. fell out of the top 12 with his 32nd place finish.
The series heads to Darlington next Saturday night for another race under the lights at one of the most historic tracks in NASCAR.