Larson wins at Richmond to set NASCAR’s playoffs

Sunday 10th September, 2017 - 1:40pm

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Larson celebrates at Richmond

Kyle Larson has scored his fourth win of the season with victory at Richmond as NASCAR now heads into its version of the playoffs over the final 10 races of the season.

On a night where many of the sport’s big names needed to win to make it into the Playoffs, the race had plenty of ups and downs for many crews.

It came down to a green-white-chequered finish with Larson’s crew getting him off pit road first and he got the jump as the green flag fell.

He kept things clean, while others behind tried to push their way forward. Even on the last lap Denny Hamlin and points leader Martin Truex Jr. came together and found the fence.

“I have the greatest team out here and the best pit crew, they were money all night long,” said Larson.

“This win is a huge congrats to them.

“It came down to the last re-start there and after I cleared them into Turn 1 we really had what was needed to win.

“I am really pumped, I feel that going into the playoffs we have what it takes to really fight for this thing.”

Early on the race was dominated by Matt Kenneth, but his race hopes ended in strange circumstances.

In what can only be described as a comical scene, Kenseth’s race ended when under yellow the field came to pit road to find an ambulance on the entrance. All the leaders were bottled up and Kenseth slammed into the back of the car of Clint Bowyer in front of him and damaged the radiator.

All crews were left furious as the pit road was open, but the ambulance blocked the field, with many cars having to drive around the commitment cone.

NASCAR issued a statement saying that the ambulance did not follow direction from race control. All those cars that went outside the commitment line were not penalised, but that was little comfort for Kenseth; although he did qualify for the playoffs.

16 drivers have qualified for the Playoffs, with the first group of four drivers to drop-off after the first three rounds.

Of the leading drivers to miss the playoffs were Dale Earnhardt Jr, Bowyer and Joey Logano. Logano, who finished second in the race and did take a race win at Richmond earlier in the season. However, that earlier race win didn’t count towards the playoffs after his car failed technical inspection post event.

In the first season under this race format, Truex Jr. enters the playoffs as the top seed. He leads all drivers with four wins; worth five playoffs points apiece. He also won a series-best 18 stages (worth one playoff point each). Additionally, Truex is the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series 2017 Regular Season Champion. Winning the regular-season title adds an additional 15 playoff points.

VIDEO: Race recap

VIDEO: Incident with the ambulance

Qualified drivers for NASCAR’s Playoffs

Pos Driver Team Make Race wins Points after re-set
1 Martin Truex Jr. Furniture Row Racing Toyota 4 2,053
2 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 4 2,033
3 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 2 2,029
4 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 2 2,019
5 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 3 2,017
6 Kevin Harvick Stewart Haas Racing Ford 1 2,015
7 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 2 2,013
8 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 2 2,010
9 Ryan Blaney Wood Brothers Racing Ford 1 2,008
10 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 0 2,006
11 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 1 2,005
12 Kurt Busch Stewart Haas Racing Ford 1 2,005
13 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 1 2,005
14 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 1 2,005
15 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 0 2,005
16 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 0 2,003

RESULTS: Federated Auto Part 400 – Richmond Raceway

Pos # Driver Manufacturer Laps Laps Led
1 42  Kyle Larson Chevrolet 404 53
2 22  Joey Logano Ford 404
3 31  Ryan Newman Chevrolet 404 4
4 41  Kurt Busch Ford 404
5 11  Denny Hamlin Toyota 404
6 77  Erik Jones Toyota 404
7 19  Daniel Suarez Toyota 404
8 48  Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet 404
9 18  Kyle Busch Toyota 404 38
10 24  Chase Elliott Chevrolet 404
11 2  Brad Keselowski Ford 404 9
12 5  Kasey Kahne Chevrolet 404
13 88  Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet 404 13
14 1  Jamie McMurray Chevrolet 404
15 95  Michael McDowell Chevrolet 404
16 4  Kevin Harvick Ford 404
17 43  Aric Almirola Ford 404
18 21  Ryan Blaney Ford 404
19 17  Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Ford 404
20 78  Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 403 198
21 3  Austin Dillon Chevrolet 403
22 13  Ty Dillon Chevrolet 403
23 10  Danica Patrick Ford 403
24 14  Clint Bowyer Ford 403
25 6  Trevor Bayne Ford 402
26 47  A.J. Allmendinger Chevrolet 402
27 38  David Ragan Ford 402
28 27  Paul Menard Chevrolet 402
29 83  Corey Lajoie Toyota 400
30 55  Reed Sorenson Chevrolet 400
31 32  Matt DiBenedetto Ford 400
32 37  Chris Buescher Chevrolet 400
33 72  Cole Whitt Chevrolet 396
34 33  Jeffrey Earnhardt Chevrolet 395
35 23  Gray Gaulding Toyota 393
36 15  Derrike Cope Toyota 388
37 51  B.J. McLeod Chevrolet 318
38 20  Matt Kenseth Toyota 257 89
39 34  Landon Cassill Ford 33
STANDINGS – Regular season
Pos
Driver
Pts
Behind
Wins
Starts
Top 5’s
Top 10’s
Poles
1
Martin Truex Jr.
2,053
Leader
4
26
10
17
1
2
Kyle Larson
2,033
-20
4
26
11
15
3
3
Kyle Busch
2,029
-24
2
26
10
16
6
4
Brad Keselowski
2,019
-34
2
26
11
14
2
5
Jimmie Johnson
2,017
-36
3
26
3
8
0
6
Kevin Harvick
2,015
-38
1
26
8
16
4
7
Denny Hamlin
2,013
-40
2
26
11
15
0
8
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
2,010
-43
2
26
4
7
1
9
Ryan Blaney
2,008
-45
1
26
3
9
1
10
Chase Elliott
2,006
-47
0
26
6
14
1
11
Ryan Newman
2,005
-48
1
26
6
11
0
12
Kurt Busch
2,005
-48
1
26
5
13
0
13
Kasey Kahne
2,005
-48
1
26
3
4
0
14
Austin Dillon
2,005
-48
1
26
3
4
0
15
Matt Kenseth
2,005
-48
0
26
7
12
2
16
Jamie McMurray
2,003
-50
0
26
2
13
0
17
Clint Bowyer
664
-1,389
0
26
5
10
0
18
Erik Jones
654
-1,399
0
26
4
11
1
19
Joey Logano
652
-1,401
1
26
9
12
1
20
Daniel Suarez
568
-1,485
0
26
1
9
0
21
Trevor Bayne
484
-1,569
0
26
1
4
0
22
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
459
-1,594
0
26
1
4
1
23
Paul Menard
438
-1,615
0
26
2
3
0
24
Ty Dillon
434
-1,619
0
26
0
0
0
25
Michael McDowell
421
-1,632
0
26
1
1
0
26
Chris Buescher
412
-1,641
0
26
0
3
0
27
AJ Allmendinger
395
-1,658
0
26
1
5
0
28
Danica Patrick
377
-1,676
0
26
0
1
0
29
David Ragan
325
-1,728
0
26
0
2
0
30
Aric Almirola
305
-1,748
0
19
2
3
0
31
Matt DiBenedetto
280
-1,773
0
26
0
2
0
32
Cole Whitt
259
-1,794
0
26
0
0
0
33
Landon Cassill
258
-1,795
0
26
0
0
0
34
Corey LaJoie
179
-1,874
0
23
0
0
0
35
Gray Gaulding
114
-1,939
0
20
0
0
0
36
Reed Sorenson
104
-1,949
0
20
0
0
0
37
Jeffrey Earnhardt
103
-1,950
0
24
0
0
0
38
Derrike Cope
36
-2,017
0
13
0
0
0
39
Michael Waltrip
29
-2,024
0
1
0
1
0
40
Billy Johnson
15
-2,038
0
1
0
0
0
41
Boris Said
15
-2,038
0
2
0
0
0
42
Gary Klutt
6
-2,047
0
1
0
0
0
43
Alon Day
5
-2,048
0
1
0
0
0
44
Stephen Leicht
5
-2,048
0
1
0
0
0
45
Cody Ware
5
-2,048
0
4
0
0
0
46
Kevin O’Connell
4
-2,049
0
1
0
0
0
47
Tommy Regan
3
-2,050
0
1
0
0
0
48
D.J. Kennington
2
-2,051
0
2
0
0
0
49
Brendan Gaughan
0
-2,053
0
3
0
1
0
50
Darrell Wallace Jr.
0
-2,053
0
4
0
0
0
51
Timmy Hill
0
-2,053
0
12
0
0
0
52
Elliott Sadler
0
-2,053
0
3
0
0
0
53
Ross Chastain
0
-2,053
0
1
0
0
0
54
Joey Gase
0
-2,053
0
5
0
0
0
55
Regan Smith
0
-2,053
0
2
0
0
0
56
JJ Yeley
0
-2,053
0
4
0
0
0
57
Ryan Sieg
0
-2,053
0
5
0
0
0
58
Carl Long
0
-2,053
0
2
0
0
0
59
B.J. McLeod
0
-2,053
0
5
0
0
0
60
Brett Moffitt
0
-2,053
0
2
0
0
0
61
Josh Bilicki
0
-2,053
0
2
0
0
0