Inspection issues send 8 to the rear at Richmond

Aubrey Yates
April 16, 2019

"I was struggling the last 40 laps". "I had not front turn". "I was just really just managing the fall-off and just trying to be consistent with the laps, but stickers (new tires) were definitely faster in the first round than they were in the second and third round". "We've kept chipping away at it and hopefully we get better from here on out".

Truex regained the lead for the last time after green-flag pit stops that started with just more than 80 laps to go.

Erik Jones, Kurt Busch, Joey Logano and Kyle Busch rounded out the top five. With about 40 to go, Bowyer almost caught him, but Truex never let him pass. Bowyer relinquished the second spot to Logano, but Truex expertly navigated lapped traffic and took his 20th career victory, the 17th in the past four seasons.

The victory was No. 20 for Truex on his career and came in his 486th start in the series.

Teammate Martin Truex Jr. has been close to winning with second-place finishes at Atlanta and Phoenix, and said Busch is on the kind of role that makes him seem invincible. "I hope it was a helluva show".

Logano held on for second.

Pole victor Kevin Harvick ran fourth, followed by Denny Hamlin and Austin Dillon.

Officials have randomly selected the No. 11 JGR Toyota of Denny Hamlin back to the NASCAR Research and Development Center in Concord, North Carolina for routine evaluation. I was faster on a long run than him, but by the time you get to him, your stuff is pretty wore out. Fun race, just gosh. All three cars passed on their third attempt. He could very quickly get win no. 4 at Richmond. "I've always really enjoyed this track".

And the inspection heavily impacted the starting grid with eight of the 37 cars failing inspection at least once.

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Inspection issues continued for Elliott, Hamlin and Tifft, as their cars failed a second time through inspection.

Five other teams failed inspection and had their qualifying speeds and pit selections disallowed.

Busch, who had led 103 laps, worked his way back up to 15th place by the end of second stage.

With the series off next weekend for Easter, Larson is looking forward to the break. "We've had decent speed". Absolutely", he said. "You can go through the whole beginning stretch of the season - we've had a really good stretch to the beginning of this season and unfortunately we're coming up to one of my most favorite race tracks in the world, Talladega, in a couple weeks, that can certainly end that momentum at any particular moment and knock you down off your pedestal or whatever you want to call it.

Busch has been among the top ten in this season races.

However, he'll likely wonder what might have been, after coming up a few feet and a lap or two short of another Cup Series victory on Saturday under the Richmond floodlights.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 99.852 miles per hour.

Caution Flags: 5 for 41 laps.

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