Joey Logano claimed his second win of 2014 on Saturday night by winning the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. With the win, he joins Kevin Harvick as the only multi-race winners, nine races into the 36-race season.
“It feels great,” Logano said. “I want to start winning some races in the Chase, now. These cars right now are so good and Penske is doing such a great job with these cars right now. I am just the lucky guy that gets to drive these things.”
Matt Kenseth took the race lead from Jeff Gordon with 39 laps remaining in the 400-lap race and remained up front through three-late race restarts to attempt to hold off Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski who battled him for the lead after the final restart with nine laps to go. Logano got by them all, though, to take the win. Gordon finished second, Kyle Busch wound up third, Keselowski fourth and Kenseth dropped back to fifth by the end.
“Yeah, it was a wild finish,” Keselowski said. “It just came down to, really, a four-way battle between the 2 (Keselowski), the 20 (Kenseth), the 24 (Gordon) and the 22 (Logano), and we had a great car for the short runs and we got up there, challenging for the lead. The 20 car ran me off the race track, so I made sure to give him a bump and that was what Joey needed to win the race.”
Kyle Larson started the race from the pole, but got caught up in an incident with Clint Bowyer on the first turn of the first lap to bring out the first caution and restart last. Keselowski inherited the lead as a result of the incident, but lost that lead to Kevin Harvick on lap 32. Harvick continued to run up front until Keselowski retook the position on lap 56. Then, Keselowski was plaged by trouble on pit road. He lost five positions in the pits during a caution on lap 99, dropping back to sixth, while Gordon got off pit road first to assume the lead.
Keselowski led again for a few laps just before the halfway point of the race, but Gordon got back to the front just past halfway and was the lap leader over the course of the second half of the race. Logano led a few laps after getting by Gordon on lap 243, but fewer than 30 laps later, Gordon was back up front.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. took the lead by getting off pit road first during a caution on lap 296, but as soon as the race returned to green, he lost the top spot to Logano. With just over 60 laps remaining Gordon was back up front.
“Our car was really, really good the first 20 laps of a run,” Logano said. “The 2 car (of teammate Keselowski) was the same way. We were some short run cars and, eventually it would just go away. The front and the rear would go away and the Hendrick cars (of Gordon and Earnhardt) would start coming.”
A.J. Allmendinger finished sixth in his 200th-career Sprint Cup start, while Earnhardt fell outside the top-five in the final laps to finish seventh. Ryan Newman finished eighth, Carl Edwards ninth and Martin Truex Jr. was 10th.