Joey Logano was fourth with five laps to go at Richmond Saturday night. He was first at the checkered flag.
Logano had the inside line as the top four cars completed lap 396 of the 400-lap race and thanks to some contact that involved his teammate Brad Keselowski, he was in the lead by the time he was on the backstretch on lap 397.
Keselowski was trying his damndest to get around Matt Kenseth, who was leading the race. Jeff Gordon was in third and got into the back of Keselowski on the frontstretch with four laps to go. The contact knocked Keselowski sideways and forced him to get out of the gas, allowing Logano to get past both of them and near Kenseth for the lead.
But Keselowski gathered his car quickly as the field headed into turn one and he gave Kenseth a shot to the rear bumper as they got into the corner. Kenseth was then the one out of the gas and gathering his car while Logano stayed in the gas and pulled away from the three others for the win.
"I'm more surprised than anyone else here," Logano said. "This is probably one of my worst racetracks. I guess not today. I told crew chief Todd Gordon that this is the best car I've ever had here and it didn't feel like the old Richmond that I'm used to not being good at."
Logano isn't being hyperbolic either. The laps he led Saturday night at Richmond were the first laps he's ever led at the 0.75-mile track in the Sprint Cup Series. He'd only finished in the top 10 twice in 10 previous starts there.
Kenseth had held on to the lead after a restart with nine laps to go. Gordon was stalking him for first while Keselowski found speed on the outside lane of the track and quickly closed in on both drivers. As the three raced for the lead – until they were passed by Logano – Keselowski was unhappy with the way Kenseth defended his position.
"I had a shot at winning the race and I felt he ran me off the track," Keselowski said. "You race to win and he was definitely racing to win but you hope that when somebody races to win that they at least win the race if they wreck you or run you off the racetrack. It was just a mind-boggling move to me. But I made sure I got him back and made sure my teammate won the race."
After Logano had taken the lead, Keselowski gave Kenseth another shot to the back bumper in turns three and four, sending both drivers high up the track.
"I did move up the track down in (turn) three, but we were racing for a win and I thought the track was wide enough with how high people were running all the time," Kenseth said. "I did drive in there and try to give him the slide job, absolutely. I was trying to watch both lanes and I was trying to win the race. I think that's what all five of us were trying to do up there."
When the race was over, the two had some more contact on the cool down lap and Keselowski pointed his finger towards Kenseth after he exited his car.
However, their skirmish wasn't the most intense of the night. In the garage following the race, Marcos Ambrose landed a punch to the side of Casey Mears' head after the two had a disagreement over mid-race contact.
With the win, Logano becomes the second two-time winner in 2014, joining Kevin Harvick who notched his second win of the season two weeks ago at Darlington.
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- Sports & Recreation
- Motor Racing
- Joey Logano
- Matt Kenseth
- Brad Keselowski