You wanted short track racing, well you got it! The NSCS race at Richmond International Raceway featured nonstop on the edge of your seat action with hard hits, hurt feelings and epic racing up front and throughout the pack! It looked like it was going to be a parade of Toyota’s when Matt Kenseth, Clint Bowyer and Kyle Busch dominating the first 300 laps of the race. Kurt Busch finally put a Chevy bow-tie out front and Chevrolet’s led the rest of the race shutting Toyota out of the top 5.
The two biggest incidents happened towards the end of the event which is no surprise when we go short track racing. Tony Stewart got sideways running underneath Jimmie Johnson sending the two champions spinning in turn 2. Brad Keselowski and Jeff Burton barely made it through the cloud of smoke but 4x Richmond winner Kyle Busch wasn’t so fortunate colliding with 5-time severely damaging the front end of his racecar. A few laps later, Kasey Kahne uncharacteristically lost his cool and got into it with veteran Mark Martin. The two went spinning down the backstretch and Mark hit the inside wall hard. Brian Vickers and Jimmie Johnson were also involved in the mess and if a hood laying across the windshield wasn’t enough for Martin, Kahne decided to door slam him on his way to the pits.
The end of the race came down to three of the most aggressive drivers in the sport and they were all very hungry for a win. Juan Pablo Montoya led Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch and it seemed that he would finally get that illusive oval track victory….that is until Brian Vickers pounded the wall ending his night and setting up a green-white-checker. Most of the field including the leaders pitted but a few very brave men chose to take their chances with old tires staying out. Jeff Burton led the field to the green flag in the 2 lap sprint with Jamie McMurray on his outside and the sponsor-less AJ Allmendinger 3rd.
The guys with tires tore through the pack and I’m fairly confident I saw people going 4 and 5 wide. It was insanity with cars bouncing off of each other all over the place and it’s a miracle that they didn’t wreck. As the field swallowed Jamie and AJ up, Burton pushed the pedal through the floor desperately trying to stay ahead of the pack. His teammate Kevin Harvick jumped to the outside taking the lead as the white flag flew. He would go on to win the race while Jeff slipped back to 5th. It is the 20th win of Kevin’s career and his second at RIR. Juan Pablo Montoya came home 4th and was surprisingly laid back in his post-race interview probably just relived he had a good day. Clint Bowyer finished 2nd and Joey Logano was 3rd.
Tempers flared following the race with Kurt Busch punting Matt Kenseth on the cool down lap. Suddenly, Tony Stewart door slammed the #78 and the two proceeded to try to run each other into the wall until they made it to pit road. Emotions spilled over into the garage area when the two engaged in a shouting match but it didn’t escalate any further with Stewart walking away. The fall off of tires and all the comers and goers throughout the night made it a very interesting race that kept you guessing the whole time who would finally come out on top when the checkered flag flew. NASCAR returns to the notorious Talladega Superspeedway this weekend with Jimmie Johnson continuing to lead the standings by a hefty margin.