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Rain postponed the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota 400 from its scheduled Saturday night start to a day race this afternoon at Richmond International Raceway.
The change from night to day and a track that was washed cleaned of all the tire rubber build up from previous racing the past couple of days, would result in major changes to how all the cars would handle on the ¾-mile track. When it was over Matt Kenseth would lead Joe Gibbs Racing’s efforts with a seventh-place finish, while Carl Edwards was 19th, Denny Hamlin 22nd and David Ragan took the checkered flag in 23rd.
Matt Kenseth started the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota from the eighth position and was able to gain a couple of spots during the opening green flag run prior to a competition caution on lap 50. He would hold the sixth position for the restart and drove his way into the top five by lap 70, before taking over fourth at lap 100 and third just a couple of laps later. Kenseth would continue to run third but would lose several spots on pit road when a right rear tire got stuck during the stop. The No. 20 Camry would have to restart back in 12th on lap 171. Kenseth would work his way back into the top ten over the course of the next green flag run. He would hold steady in the top ten for the remainder of the race and restarted eighth with 26 laps remaining. He would go on to pass the 24 car over the final laps to finish seventh.
Carl Edwards started the No. 19 ARRIS Toyota in the 18th position and like much of the field he would battle a tight handling race car over the opening green flag run. Edwards would drop back outside the top 25 prior to a competition caution on lap 50. He would continue to run 25th over the course of the next green flag run. The handling issues would continue to plague the 19 team much of the afternoon especially without track position and running back in traffic. He would fall a lap down to the leaders. Edwards would fight hard to get back on the lead lap and he would get that opportunity with a late caution. He would go on to drive the ARRIS Camry to a 19th-place finish.
Denny Hamlin started the No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota on the outside pole during Friday’s qualifying session, but found the handling on his race car had changed with all the rain washing the tire rubber off the race track. The Richmond area native who dominated the XFINITY Series race Friday night would enter the pits 14th following a competition caution on lap 50. He would restart 10th but began to drop over the course of the longer green flag run and was running 15th at lap 115. Hamlin would continue to fight the handling on his FedEx machine and eventually went a lap down to the leaders. He would run 25th on lap 300. Hamlin would go on to finish two laps off the pace in 22nd.
David Ragan qualified the No. 18 M&Ms Crispy Toyota in 10th but battled a tight handling race car over the opening green flag run and was 15th when a competition caution waved on lap 50. He would restart 12th but handling continued to be an issue and he would fall back outside the top 25 and ultimately a lap down by lap 110. The M&Ms Crispy Camry would continue to struggle with handling much of the afternoon and Ragan was two laps down in 28th on lap 300. The 18 team would fight to the finish and took the checkered flag in 23rd.
Kurt Busch captured the win, followed by Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Jamie McMurray, and Joey Logano rounded out the top five. There were eight cautions for a total of 53 laps and 12 lead changes among five different drivers.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will head to Talladega Superspeedway next Sunday on May 3. Fox will broadcast the race live with coverage starting at 12:30 PM (race begins at 1 PM ET).Facebook API came back with a faulty result. You may be accessing an album you do not have permissions to access.