MENCS Race Recaps

MENCS: Kyle Larson Win Federated Auto Parts 400

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Kyle Larson sprang to his fourth victory of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, bypassing Martin Truex Jr. in an overtime finish Saturday night at Richmond Raceway.

Larson led three times for 53 of the 404 laps, including the final five circuits around the .75-mile track. He took the lead for the final time after a blazing-fast final pit stop from his Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 Chevrolet crew put him in front for the overtime restart. Larson’s first win at Richmond was the fifth of his premier-series career.

Joey Logano, making a last-minute effort for a postseason berth, finished second in the Federated Auto Parts 400, his Team Penske No. 22 Ford just .951 seconds behind at the unfurling of the checkered flag. Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch and Daniel Suarez completed the top five.

Truex had a chance to cap his march to the regular-season crown with a convincing victory after leading 198 laps. But a late caution flag for Derrike Cope’s brush with the wall set the stage for a final restart in the regular-season finale. Truex crashed in the final lap after contact with Denny Hamlin, fading to a 20th-place finish.

The final three spots in the 16-driver postseason grid were filled without a last-ditch playoff clincher reaching Victory Lane. Matt Kenseth, Chase Elliott and Jamie McMurray claimed the last three spots up for grabs for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.

Kenseth, who won the Coors Light Pole in Friday qualifying, wound up being the last driver to seal a playoff berth after finishing 38th in the 39-car field. He crashed into the back of Clint Bowyer’s car during a logjam near an emergency service vehicle entering pit road, breaking the radiator on his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota and retiring early after 257 laps.

The playoff bubble burst for a handful of drivers in must-win situations. Chief among those were Logano, the rookie Jones (sixth after stumbling on the final restart) and veteran Clint Bowyer (24th after a pair of pit-road penalties) — all of whom will compete in the final 10-race stretch without championship eligibility.

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About Jacob Mullins

Jacob Mullins serves as the managing editor and senior NASCAR writer covering all three national touring series's. You can find him on on Twitter at @JMulls15. An intercollegiate athletic administrator by trade, Mullins can be found at the big tracks as well as the local short tracks in the Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania area. Mullins enjoys social media, photography and graphic design. A native of West Chester, Pennsylvania, Mullins follows all forms of racing, Major League Baseball (Baltimore Orioles) and college football (Virginia Tech Hokies).

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