RICHMOND, VA. – Alex Bowman rose to prominence in a final restart, bypassing a dominant Denny Hamlin to cash in on his first NASCAR Cup Series victory of the season Sunday at Richmond Raceway.
Bowman led only the last 10 laps in the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet to win the Toyota Owners 400. His third Cup Series victory marked his first triumph at the .75-mile Virginia track.
Hamlin, the series’ points leader, held on for second place in the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. He led a race-high 207 of the 400 laps, but remained winless through nine races this season.
Joey Logano led 49 laps and held on for third in the Team Penske No. 22 Ford. Christopher Bell took fourth with Martin Truex Jr. recovering from a pit-road speeding penalty to complete the top five.
Kevin Harvick’s downed tire and crash with 20 laps left set up a late restart and a final dash to pit road. Hamlin’s crew put him out first with quick service, and the No. 11 beat Logano’s car by half a car length off pit road. But shortly after the green flag re-emerged, Bowman bolted to the front to become the eighth different winner in the series this season.
Hamlin swept both stages — his fourth and fifth stage wins of the season. His top early challenger was teammate Martin Truex Jr., who started from the pole position and led 107 laps. Truex stayed in the hunt for his third Richmond win until a pit-road penalty for speeding on a Lap 295 stop knocked him to 12th in the order.
The NASCAR Cup Series’ next race is the GEICO 500, scheduled next Sunday (2 p.m. ET, FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Talladega Superspeedway.
SHR Race Finish:
- Aric Almirola (Started 22nd, Finished 6th / Running, completed 400 of 400 laps)
- Chase Briscoe (Started 26th, Finished 22nd / Running, completed 398 of 400 laps)
- Cole Custer (Started 21st, Finished 23rd / Running, completed 398 of 400 laps)
- Kevin Harvick (Started 9th, Finished 24th / Running, completed 397 of 400 laps)
- Kevin Harvick (8th with 273 points, 161 out of first)
- Cole Custer (25th with 151 points, 283 out of first)
- Aric Almirola (27th with 137 points, 297 out of first)
- Chase Briscoe (28th with 129 points, 305 out of first)
- Almirola earned his first top-10 of the season and his seventh top-10 in 18 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Richmond.
- This was Almirola’s second straight top-10 at Richmond. He finished eighth in the series’ prior visit to the track last September.
- Almirola finished 10th in Stage 2 to earn one bonus point.
- Briscoe was the highest finishing NASCAR Cup Series rookie.
- Harvick finished 10th in Stage 1 to earn a single bonus point and fifth in Stage 2 to earn six more bonus points.
- Harvick was running eighth with less than 20 laps to go when a cut right-rear tire sent him into the turn one wall. Damage to the rear of his car was significant, but Harvick was still able to finish the race, albeit three laps down.
- Alex Bowman won the Richmond 400 to score his third career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Richmond. His margin over second-place Denny Hamlin was .381 of a second.
- There were five caution periods for a total of 39 laps.
- Only 14 of the 38 drivers in the Richmond 400 finished on the lead lap.
- Hamlin remains the championship leader after Richmond with an 81-point advantage over second-place Martin Truex Jr.