NASCAR & Auto Racing

NASCAR: Kurt Busch wins Sunday’s rain-delayed Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond

Jamie McMurray and Kurt Busch race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 26, 2015 in Richmond, Va.
Jamie McMurray and Kurt Busch race during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on April 26, 2015 in Richmond, Va. Getty Images

The winless streak stood at 35 races.

But the trip back to Victory Lane for Kurt Busch was much, much, longer.

Busch dominated Sunday’s rain-delayed Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway nearly from start to finish and held off Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kevin Harvick to earn his first Sprint Cup Series win of the season.

Busch, who began the season under an indefinite suspension by NASCAR, has now raced and won his way into this season’s championship Chase.

Jimmie Johnson finished third, Jamie McMurray was fourth and Joey Logano was fifth.

Turning point

Busch’s biggest danger came on Lap 270 when Brett Moffitt’s spin brought out a caution in the middle of green-flag pit stops. That left three cars on the lead lap and Busch was one of them. He was able to restart the race on Lap 279 with many of his toughest competition mired back in the field.

Three who mattered

Kurt Busch: Winning cures everything, the saying goes. It certainly seems to have have done that for Busch.

Jamie McMurray: Every week, McMurray seems closer and closer to making the turn into Victory Lane. For much of the race, he was Busch’s top contender for the win.

Chase Elliott: Elliott’s second career Cup series start was filled with much less drama than his debut last month at Martinsville, Va. Elliott remained on the lead lap the entire race and finished 16th.

Observations

▪  Once again Hendrick Motorsports-powered cars filled the top-10 and wound up in Victory Lane. Right now, it seems if you dont’ have a Hendrick powerplant, you’re going to have a tougher road than most to get to the front.

▪  As of Sunday afternoon, one of three pit crew members injured in a pit road fire during Friday night’s Xfinity Series race at Richmond remained hospitalized. Anthony O’Brien, a crew member for Richard Childress Racing’s No. 62 team driven by Brendan Gaughan, remained hospitaled. RCR’s Josh Wittman and Clifford Turner from JGL Racing were both released Saturday.

N@SCAR

Three tweets from Sunday’s race:

Next race

GEICO 500

Where: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

When: 1 p.m. Sunday.

TV: Fox

Radio: Motor Racing Network

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