Richmond, VA – Grant Sorrell – Sports View America
SVA is excited to bring you NASCAR coverage throughout the NASCAR circuit. We cover it, because we were there!
The entire weekend at Richmond, VA had the fear of rain but the Xfinity race and Monster race was a complete dry success. For the Xfinity race, drivers white knuckled the steering wheel tighter to try and steal the win from other competitors if the skies opened up and rain came down. After the second stage, rain could have shortened the night but the lights were on and the crowd was ready for some good racing. Cole Custer in the #00 Haas Ford won the Toyota Care 250, followed by fellow Ford driver Austin Cendric Penske #22 and taking home third was Justin Allgier #7 Chevrolet. Custer won the Dash for Cash where he picked up $100K as a winning prize.
The Monster short track racing, under the lights had teams scrabbling as pre-race penalties were handed out to different drivers like #20 Toyota Eric Jones and #9 Chevy Chase Elliott. For the fans, the military flyover and pre-race ceremonies were stand up moments that made anyone that was a true American have a chill up their backs.
Two questions circulated, was Kyle Busch going to win and if not, who would beat him? Not long after the green flag, Kyle Busch jumped to front and dominated, picking up a stage 1 win. This was another night for Kyle to gain another win but someone was going to beat him tonight… himself. Kyle would have won the race I have no doubt but was caught speeding on pit road and had to restart in the back in the field. He played catch-up the rest of the race and finished 8th for the night.
Other ones that danced for the top spot all night was Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer (all Fords), and Toyota drivers Martin Truex Jr and Denny Hamlin. No Chevrolet was a factor all night but Austin Dillon’s #3 had a solid finish at 6th place. Joey Logano won stage two of three, but if there was ever a second place car Joey Logano deserved it. Clint Bowyer made some good runs but he deserved a third place finish. Same goes for Kevin Harvick. All night the top four deserved the spots they earned based on their performance all night. It was Kyle Busch’s to lose and he did but Gibbs Toyota team-mate and former Monster Cup champion Martin Truex Jr took over where Kyle left off after the pit road speeding penalty and scored his first short track race ever.
After a short track race in Martinsville a few years ago, I had asked Martin Truex Jr what was one of the hardest parts of short track racing and he said when the heat of the car would burn a drivers foot/heal like an oven. Good thing their was a chill in the air and not many temps raised between drivers. The one mini feud to watch is teammates #22 Logano and #2 Brad Keselowski as they have been more aggressive and less brotherhood between the two Penske drivers this year.
Only two accident led cautions for the night was #42 Kyle Larson as he went into the wall in turns 1 into turn 2 taking his McDonald’s Chevrolet out of competition early and the other in almost the same spot was Michael McDowell’s #34 Ford smacked the wall as well.
Happy Easter race fans and be ready in two weeks to shake the short track vibes off as NASCAR heads to the Super Speedway of TALLADEGA!!