NASCAR at Richmond: Race results, highlights from Kyle Busch's playoff win

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Kyle Busch’s No. 18 car at Watkins Glen International (Getty Images)

Kyle Busch surged ahead in the third stage to claim victory at the Federated Auto Parts 400 on Saturday at Richmond Raceway. 

With the win, Busch clinched a spot in the Round of 12 in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series playoffs alongside last week’s winner, Brad Keselowski, and points leader Martin Truex Jr.

Busch led 92 laps after starting the race in the rear of the field, edging out Kevin Harvick, who was ahead for the first 40 laps, and Truex, who won the first two stages and 163 laps total.

Busch’s team did extensive work on the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Camry to repair damage sustained during qualifying.

“The guys did a great job coming back from a dismal qualifying effort and preparing a really, really good race car for us tonight,” Busch said. “We started dead last, came up through the field and won this thing. . . . I put us a little bit behind [Friday] in qualifying, and the guys did a great job rallying to put it together.”

The win was Busch’s seventh of the season — tying him with Harvick for the series lead — and the 50th of his career, tying him with NASCAR Hall of Famers Junior Johnson and Ned Jarrett for 11th on the all-time list.

Keselowski, who had won the previous three races, was in the mix for most of the race before falling to a ninth-place finish.

Material from the NASCAR Wire Service was used in this report.

Updated playoff standings

Kyle Busch: 2,125 points (clinched next round)

Brad Keselowski: 2,111 (clinched next round)

Martin Truex Jr.: 2,141 (clinched next round)

Kevin Harvick: 2,113

Joey Logano: 2,081

Aric Almirola: 2,079

Kyle Larson: 2,073

Kurt Busch: 2,071

Chase Elliott: 2,066

Austin Dillon: 2,066

Alex Bowman: 2,061

Ryan Blaney: 2,060

Clint Bowyer: 2,056

Jimmie Johnson: 2,054

Erik Jones: 2,039

Denny Hamlin: 2,031

NASCAR at Richmond: Results, highlights from the Federated Auto Parts 400

Finishing position, (car number), driver, manufacturer, laps completed
1. (11) Kyle Busch (P), Toyota, 400.
2. (1) Kevin Harvick (P), Ford, 400.
3. (3) Martin Truex Jr. (P), Toyota, 400.
4. (18) Chase Elliott (P), Chevrolet, 400.
5. (6) Aric Almirola (P), Ford, 400.
6. (26) Austin Dillon (P), Chevrolet, 400.
7. (9) Kyle Larson (P), Chevrolet, 400.
8. (21) Jimmie Johnson (P), Chevrolet, 400.
9. (7) Brad Keselowski (P), Ford, 400.
10. (24) Clint Bowyer (P), Ford, 400.
11. (8) Erik Jones (P), Toyota, 400.
12. (13) Alex Bowman (P), Chevrolet, 400.
13. (15) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 400.
14. (12) Joey Logano (P), Ford, 399.
15. (16) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 399.
16. (2) Denny Hamlin (P), Toyota, 399.
17. (38) Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 399.
18. (5) Kurt Busch (P), Ford, 398.
19. (4) Ryan Blaney (P), Ford, 398.
20. (19) William Byron #, Chevrolet, 398.
21. (14) Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 398.
22. (20) Paul Menard, Ford, 397.
23. (40) David Ragan, Ford, 397.
24. (23) Michael McDowell, Ford, 397.
25. (17) Matt Kenseth, Ford, 396.
26. (10) Cole Custer(i), Ford, 396.
27. (25) Bubba Wallace #, Chevrolet, 395.
28. (29) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 395.
29. (28) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 394.
30. (22) Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 394.
31. (39) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 394.
32. (31) Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet, 393.
33. (30) Ross Chastain(i), Chevrolet, 392.
34. (27) Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 391.
35. (35) Joey Gase(i), Chevrolet, 388.
36. (36) * Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, 387.
37. (32) * Jeffrey Earnhardt, Toyota, 387.
38. (34) Alon Day, Toyota, 383.
39. (37) * Timmy Hill(i), Toyota, 382.
40. (33) * Gray Gaulding, Ford, Brakes, 289.
 
Average speed of race winner: 103.152 mph.

Time of race: 2 hours, 54 minutes, 30 seconds. Margin of victory: 0.777 sconds.

Caution flags: Three for 23 laps.

Lead changes: 16 among eight drivers.

Lap leaders: K. Harvick (P) 1-40; M. Truex Jr. (P) 41-103; B. Keselowski (P) 104; M. Truex Jr. (P) 105-203; A. Almirola (P) 204; C. Elliott (P) 205-213; B. Keselowski (P) 214-243; C. Elliott (P) 244-268; A. Bowman (P) 269; M. Truex Jr. (P) 270; R. Stenhouse Jr. 271-272; B. Keselowski (P) 273-286; Kyle Busch (P) 287-327; B. Keselowski (P) 328; Kyle Busch (P) 329-342; B. Keselowski (P) 343-363; Kyle Busch (P) 364-400.

Leaders summary (Driver, times led, laps Led):  M. Truex Jr. (P) 3 times for 163 laps; Kyle Busch (P) 3 times for 92 laps; B. Keselowski (P) 5 times for 67 laps; K. Harvick (P) 1 time for 40 laps; C. Elliott (P) 2 times for 34 laps; R. Stenhouse Jr. 1 time for 2 laps; A. Almirola (P) 1 time for 1 lap; A. Bowman (P) 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage 1 top 10: 78,4,2,9,41,10,20,88,11,22
Stage 2 top 10: 78,4,10,9,2,88,3,48,42,22

(P) Playoff driver.
# Rookie.
(i) Ineligible for series points.
* Non-charter team.

Sporting News tracked all of the action Saturday night in Richmond, Va. (all times Eastern). 

10:33 p.m.: Busch, Keselowski, and Truex are all locks for the Round of 12.

10:31 p.m.: Kyle Busch has won the race. Harvick and Truex round out the top three.

10:29 p.m.: With five laps to go, Busch and Harvick remain the top two. Harvick is just half a second behind.

10:27 p.m.: Keselowski is falling out of it with 10 laps remaining. Busch and Harvick are neck-and-neck for the lead.

10:23 p.m.: With 20 laps remaining, Busch leads Harvick by 1.5 seconds.

10:22 p.m.: Truex makes his way back into the top five.

10:19 p.m.: Harvick is breathing down Keselowski’s neck for second place. Busch leads by 1.4 seconds.

10:15 p.m.: With 40 laps remaining, Keselowski is ahead of Busch by 3.32 seconds.

10:09 p.m.: On Lap 341, Keselowski makes a huge move to pass Busch for first place. 

10:06 p.m.: The race for the lead is getting more interesting with 67 laps remaining. 

10:01 p.m.: Busch still has the lead off pit road. Harvick, Keselowski, Elliott and Almirola round out the top five.

9:58 p.m.: The caution flag has come out:

9:56 p.m.: Harvick races into second place past Keselowski. Busch leads by about five seconds. He has dominated the second half of the final stage.

9:53 p.m.: The top 14 drivers in the race right now are all playoff contenders.

9:50 p.m.: Busch has extended his lead to 2.6 seconds over Keselowski on Lap 308.

9:45 p.m.: Elliott, who not too long ago had command of the lead, has made his way back into the top four.

9:42 p.m.: At Lap 286, Busch has taken over the lead.

9:41 p.m.: Kyle Busch has surged into second place, 0.126 seconds behind Keselowski.

9:38 p.m.: The leaders with 126 laps remaining:

9:36 p.m.: Crucial penalty for Newman:

9:34 p.m.: Several drivers hit pit road, which allows Ryan Newman to make his way into second place. 

9:33 p.m.: Lap 266: Elliott maintains his lead and has now passed Keselowski for third-most laps led. 

9:30 p.m.: Truex is trying to get back into it, but the penalty has really hurt his standing.

9:27 p.m.: The leaders through 250 laps:

9:23 p.m.: Lap 244: Elliott passes Keselowski, who led by over two seconds two laps ago, for the lead.

9:22 p.m.: Other drivers who have won four straight races: 

9:19 p.m.: Keselowski is going for his fourth consecutive race win.

9:16 p.m.: Truex is trying to make his way back after the penalty. He sits in 17th place on Lap 227. Keselowski, Elliott and Harvick make up the top three. 

9:13 p.m.: Keselowski has taken the lead on Lap 213.

9:10 p.m.: Green flag is back out for Lap 209. Elliott has the lead.

9:07 p.m.:  Truex is assessed a penalty for an uncontrolled tire. He will have to restart at the back of the pack. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is in the lead.

9:03 p.m.:  Stage 2’s top 10:

9:02 p.m.: Truex wins his second consecutive stage. He has led for 159 of the 200 laps and has accumulated two playoff points during the race.

8:56 p.m.: With 15 laps to go in the second stage, the top five is: Truex, Harvick, Almirola, Elliott, Keselowski.

8:53 p.m.: A lot of drivers have fallen behind early in this race.

8:49 p.m.: Harvick has cut into Truex’s lead slightly. It has been a two-man race so far.

8:47 p.m.: A trio of drivers have arrived at pit road.

8:41 p.m.: Some familiar faces round out the top 10 in Stage 2. 

8:39 p.m.: Truex has extended his lead over Harvick; he’s sitting 1.667 seconds ahead as of Lap 143. 

8:33 p.m.: Hamlin has made up ground but has still had a tough go of it.

8:31 p.m.: Truex remains in the lead on Lap 124. Only three drivers have been in first tonight, with Harvick and Keselowski being the other two. 

8:26 p.m.: Lap 11 of Stage 2, Truex leads Harvick by 0.44 seconds. Aric Almirola has moved up to third place.

8:23 p.m.:  Costly penalty for Erik Jones that will set him back.

8:20 p.m.: Truex still leads as Stage 2 is underway. Harvick, Keselowski, Elliott, and Kurt Busch follow behind him.

8:19 p.m.: The full top 10 from Stage 1:

8:17 p.m.: Truex wins the first stage and gets one point to add to his playoff standings lead.

8:14 p.m.: Chase Elliott has entered into the top five as he sits five seconds behind Truex Jr.

8:09 p.m.: Truex Jr. has now led the last 41 laps, eclipsing Harvick’s total of 40.

8:06 p.m.: This race has been dominated by the top drivers.

8:03 p.m.: Truex, the playoff standings leader, has been in front for the last 27 laps. Harvick trails by less than half of a second.

7:59 p.m.: Denny Hamlin nearly wrecks, avoids it, but heads to the pit. He has dropped to 26th place.

7:57 p.m.: At the halfway point of the first stage, Truex has the lead. He has been in front for 10 of the 50 laps, while Harvick has led 40.

7:53 p.m.: After 41 laps, we have a new leader.

7:51 p.m.: Kyle Busch has made up some serious ground.

7:47 p.m.: Truex remains right behind Harvick with Kurt Busch still in third. Keselowski and Denny Hamlin round out the top five. 

7:44 p.m.: Harvick’s domination has led to him lapping his first driver.

7:43 p.m.: Not the best start for Kurt’s brother Kyle.

7:42 p.m.: Harvick has led all 13 laps, with Truex and Kurt Busch right behind him. 

7:38 p.m.: Harvick leads after the first lap. The first stage consists of the race’s initial 100 laps. 

7:36 p.m.: We’re off

7:21 p.m.: The prerace ceremonies are ramping up as the race approaches.