Event: Federated Auto Parts 400 (Round 28 of 36)
Series: Monster EnergyNASCAR Cup Series
Location: Richmond (Va.) Raceway (.75-mile oval)
Format: 400 laps, broken into three stages (100 laps/100 laps/200 laps)
Start/Finish: 1st/2nd (Running, completed 400 of 400 laps)
Point Standing: 3rd with 2,113 points, 57 points ahead of 13th
Race Winner: Kyle Busch of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner:Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-100):
- Kevin Harvick started first, finished second, scoring nine bonus points.
- The Jimmy John’s 9-Grain Wheat Sub driver led the first 40 laps of the event.
- The No. 4 Ford dropped back to second after a lengthy battle with the No. 78.
- Harvick reported a “loose in, tight center, loose off” handling condition throughout the caution-free stage.
- The No. 4 Ford came to pit road for four tires, fuel and wedge and air pressure adjustments at the conclusion of the stage.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 101-200):
- Startedsecond, finished second, scoring nine bonus points.
- Harvick continued to battle handling that was loose in and tight in the center throughout the stage.
- The Jimmy John’s Ford held steady in the second position throughout the caution-free stage.
- The No. 4 Ford came to pit road for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments at the conclusion of the stage.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 201-400):
- Started second and finished second.
- Harvick dropped back to the fourth position after restarting the last stage on the outside of the front row.
- The Jimmy John’s Ford completed the pass of teammate Aric Almirola for the third position on lap 225.
- Harvick came to pit road on lap 268 under green-flag conditions from the third position for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment.
- The No. 4 Ford completed the pass of the No. 2 for the second position on lap 319.
- Harvick came to pit road under caution on lap 328 for four tires, fuel, chassis and air pressure adjustments and held the second position.
- The Jimmy John’s Ford dropped back to third after restarting in the outside lane on lap 333.
- Harvick completed the pass of the No. 2 racecar for second on lap 370 but was unable to track down the leader in the closing laps.
Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing:
“We were starting to track him (Kyle Busch) down there at the end. I needed about 25 more laps. I gotta thank everybody on our Jimmy John’s Ford. They did a great job on a weekend when we needed to do a great job with all the unknowns going into next week. It will be a fun weekend, but it will be kind of trial and error as we go through the weekend. It was a good night for us here at Richmond, and we did a good job on pit road, just came up a little bit short.”
- This was Harvick’s 20thtop-five finish of 2018.
- Harvick earned his 14thtop-five in 36 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Richmond.
- Harvick finished second in Stage 1 to earn nine bonus points and second in Stage 2 to earn an additional nine bonus points.
- Harvick led once for 40 laps to increase his laps-led total at Richmond to 1,109.
- Kyle Busch won the Federated Auto Parts 400 to score his 50thcareer Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, his seventh of the season and his sixth at Richmond. His margin of victory over second-place Harvick was .777 of a second.
- There were three caution periods for a total of 23 laps.
- Only 13 of the 40 drivers in the Federated Auto Parts 400 finished on the lead lap.
Playoff Standing (with one race to go before the Round of 12):
- Martin Truex Jr. (2,141 points) +85 points
- Kyle Busch (2,125 points) 1 win
- Kevin Harvick (2,113 points) +57 points
- Brad Keselowski (2,111) 1 win
- Joey Logano (2,081 points) +25 points
- Aric Almirola (2,079 points) +23 points
- Kyle Larson (2,073 points) +17 points
- Kurt Busch (2,071points) +15 points
- Chase Elliott (2,066 points) +10 points
- Austin Dillon (2,066 points) +10 points
- Alex Bowman (2,061 points) +5 points
- Ryan Blaney (2,060 points) +4 points
- Clint Bowyer (2,056points) -4 points
- Jimmie Johnson (2,054 points) -6 points
- Erik Jones (2,039 points) -21 points
- Denny Hamlin (2,031 points) -29 points
The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Bank of America Roval 400 on Sunday, Sept. 30 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. It is the third race of the 10-race playoffs and the cutoff race for the Round of 12. It starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC beginning at 1 p.m.