Joey Logano took the checkered flag at the NASCAR Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway; Danica Patrick, who expressed concern that she might crash while running on the short,.75 mile track, managed to finish the race without crashing. Jeff Gordon finished second, Kyle Busch finished third and Brad Keselowski finished fourth.
Joey Logano had lead in the early stages of the race. He led a total of 46 laps. Danica Patrick never led and never threatened to get anywhere near the leaders, but she did not crash.
Jeff Gordon led for most of the race. By the time the seventh caution was called on lap 371, he had fallen back to third – likely an intentional strategic move to allow him to position himself on the inside track – he had led 173 laps. Gordon was behind Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – who was seeking to pass his famous father’s number of wins at the NASCAR Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Danica Patrick was way back, 5 laps behind in position 35, as the field got the green flag to restart with 25 laps to go, but she had managed not to crash.
Danica Patrick had a scary moment in the restart as Denny Hamlin turned sideways a few car lengths in front of her, but she managed to bring her godaddy.com number 10 car to a stop instead of suffering a crash and slamming into Hamlin. Hamlin recovered, Danica Patrick didn’t crash, but the race had to go to another restart with 18 laps to go for leaders Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano and Jeff Gordon.
Of course, by that time, Danica Patrick didn’t have a prayer of finishing in the top ten, much less winning the race, but at least she was able to finish the race without the crash she had feared. Danica didn’t even lose any position with the restart.
As can be expected on a short track, the NASCAR Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond featured plenty of restarts towards the end of the race, with a ninth restart coming with 10 laps to go. Kyle Busch, who has been one of the most successful drivers at Richmond in years past, went into the ninth caution in eighth place after rubbing the wall. Kenseth and Earnhardt Jr retained the front two positions going into the ninth restart, but Jeff Gordon had slipped into third. Danica Patrick – who still hadn’t had a crash – had slipped up a spot to 34th.
Gordon came out of the ninth caution strong, slipping ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr. into second place, but couldn’t immediately slip past Kenseth. Gordon and Keselowski battled for second until Logano took advantage of Keselowski briefly losing control and slipped past the leaders with four laps to go as Kenseth slipped back into fifth.
With two laps to go, Gordon and Kyle Busch trailed Joey Logano, who had opened up a significant lead. Logano took the checkered flag while Danica Patrick managed to finish without a crash in 34th.
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