RICHMOND, Va. - The Blue Ovals did not go down without a fight in Richmond. Joey Logano finished 2nd, Clint Bowyer 3rd and Kevin Harcik 4th as the trio did all they could to chase down race winner Martin Truex Jr. over the final 50 laps Saturday night.
Logano finished a close second to Truex Jr., followed by Bowyer, Harvick and Denny Hamlin to complete the top-five finishers.
Logano also earned the Stage 2 victory for his fourth stage win of the year, while Kyle Busch took the green-white-checkered flag to win Stage 1. Busch recovered from a pit-road speeding penalty in Stage 2 to finish eighth.
Bowyer stalked Truex Jr. over the final 50 laps, saving his tires and using his long-run speed to eventually track down and catch Truex Jr.’s No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
Catching him was one thing. Passing him was a different matter.
Bowyer pulled his No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford right alongside Truex Jr. several times in the waning laps, but couldn’t quite make the race-winning pass in what was a thrilling conclusion to the Toyota Owners 400.
Bowyer used up his tires trying to get past the 19, eventually allowing Logano to pass him for second with just 4 laps remaining, which turned out to be just a couple laps too late.
In all, six Fords finished inside the top-10. Brad Keselowski - who led 31 laps - was seventh, Ryan Newman ninth and Paul Menard 10th.
The series takes next weekend off for the Easter holiday before returning Sunday, April 28th at Talladega.
MENCS RACE TOP-10 FINISHERS
1st -- Martin Truex Jr.
2nd -- Joey Logano
3rd -- Clint Bowyer
4th -- Kevin Harvick
5th -- Denny Hamlin
6th -- Austin Dillon
7th -- Brad Keselowski
8th -- Kyle Busch
9th -- Ryan Newman
10th -- Paul Menard
REMAINING FORD FINISHERS
16th - Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
18th - Daniel Suarez
23rd - Aric Almirola
25th - Ryan Blaney
28th - David Ragan
29th - Matt Tifft
31st - Jeb Burton
36th - Michael McDowell
POST RACE QUOTES
JOEY LOGANO, No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford Mustang (Finished 2nd)
“We had a car that was capable of winning for the third week straight and we didn’t win. That part is frustrating. We need to clean up some mistakes on our end. We lost the lead there on a pit stop. We gotta get faster there. That is when we lost control of the race at that point and fell back to third and had a decent green-flag cycle that got us up and then we reeled in the 19 and the 14 from pretty far back. I was watching them race and thought that if I was just patient and saved my tires, I saw them coming off the corner sideways every time. They were a little faster than me but I knew they were going to kill their stuff and they did. I got there, I was just a couple laps late getting there. I was able to get to the 19 but it just wasn’t enough. It is kind of a double edge sword. You go to the bottom and you can’t get the drive to clear ‘em and getting to the outside is pretty tough. Just couldn’t get there. Ran out of time. Needed a few more laps.”
CLINT BOWYER, No. 14 Haas Automation Ford Mustang (Finished 3rd)
“We still struggle. We struggle on Fridays. We don't unload good. We are definitely getting beat speed wise. Long run wise we slowly but surely run them down. It is frustrating. You get out there and I ran him down. I was faster on a long run than him but by the time you get to him your stuff is pretty wore out and with this aero package you are so aero dependant behind those cars that you get terrible tight. When I got behind him I knew that wasn’t the place to be so I changed that. I lost. It sucks. Then the 22 got to my outside. I knew better than to let him out there but I felt like when I was running high that I was probably losing ground to him. In hopes of still trying to win the race I needed to stay on the bottom and hope that he slipped up in traffic or something. Next thing you know I lost my nose down there and the 22 got to the outside. If I didn’t give up that spot the 4 was gonna get me too. You had to give up one to save one.”
KEVIN HARVICK, No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang (Finished 4th)
“I like nights like this when we can take a car that is a 7th to 9th place car and adjust on it and make it so it is capable of contending at the end. We ran those guys down but we just ran out of time. I am proud of everyone on our Mobil 1 Ford for hanging in there and fighting and we had another good night on pit road. It was a solid night.”
PAUL MENARD, No. 21 Menards/Maytag Ford Mustang (Finished 10th)
“It was kind of an uneventful night really, for Richmond. We started ninth and just kind of stayed in the back half of the top-10 all night long. The guys really stepped up their game on pit road and we gained some spots or we maintained and that is what you need when you start running up front. It was a really solid day for us.”
BRAD KESELOWSKI, No. 2 Alliance Truck Parts Ford Mustang (Finished 7th)
“We had a lot of short run speed and unfortunately it came down to long runs at the end. Overall, it wasn’t a bad day. It was good. We needed the race to come to us with short runs at the end and it didn’t. I like short tracks, I think they are a lot of fun. It is hard to pass, but that is racing, that is how it is going to be. I can’t see the whole picture, I am only in the car. I know we cycled back, but I couldn’t tell you why.”
RYAN NEWMAN, No. 6 Roush Performance Ford Mustang (Finished 9th)
“Our Roush Performance Ford Mustang was good. We needed some track position to start and I think we could have done something with it. We had good lap times at points but just battled track positioning. We got blocked in on the first pit stop and set us back even farther than when we started. I am proud of the guys. They did a good job in the pits and we had a good car.”