Race Recap for the Toyota Owners 400
Date: April 30, 2017
Event: Toyota Owners 400 (Round 9 of 36)
Series: Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (.75-mile oval)
Format: 400 laps, broken into three stages (100 laps/100 laps/200 laps)
Start/Finish: 7th/16th (Running, completed 400 of 400 laps)
Point Standing: 10th (235 points, 163 out of first)
Race Winner: Joey Logano of Team Penske (Ford)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-100):
● Started 7th, finished 18th.
● Busch jumped from his seventh starting position to third by lap two.
● The M&M’S driver sat in fourth when the first caution of the race waved on lap 65.
● Busch pitted on lap 67, and the M&M’S team made a wedge adjustment in hopes of fixing a tight condition in the center of the corner.
● Busch was penalized for too fast on pit road and forced to restart at the rear of the field on lap 72.
● Busch restarted 25th after the penalty but worked his way up to 18th by the end of Stage 1.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 101-200):
● Started 16th, finished 14th.
● Quick work by the M&M’S over-the-wall team netted Busch two spots on pit road on lap 104.
● Busch worked his way up to 14th, with his progress slowing as he fought a tight-handling condition with no lateral grip.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 201-400):
● Started 12th, finished 16th.
● After finishing 14th in Stage 2, the M&M’S team executed a strong stop to help Busch restart 12th for the final 200 laps of the race.
● Busch started the final run fighting a car that was too loose on exit, but he still worked his way up to 11th by lap 229.
● Following a pit stop on lap 252, Busch picked off positions one by one and up to ninth by lap 287.
● Busch moved up to as high as sixth by lap 349, before a flurry of cautions bunched up the field and changed the complexion of the race.
● The Las Vegas native pitted on lap 358 and made his move to the front, performing two strong restarts within 10 laps of each other and vaulting himself to second place.
● The final caution of the race waved on lap 377, and the field came to pit road a final time for their last set of fresh tires.
● After a solid stop by the M&M’S team, NASCAR penalized Busch for a commitment line violation as he entered pit road. All four tires are required to be below the commitment line as cars entered pit road.
● Busch was forced to restart 28th with 20 laps to go. He was able to work his way back up to 16th by the end of the race, but it was a bitter pill to swallow after having a shot late in the race for a win.
Next Up: The next event on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Geico 500 on Sunday, May 7 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. The race starts at 2 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FOX.