RICHMOND, Va. - Kyle Busch, who was forced to start 39th in the 40-car field after being penalized for unapproved alterations to his car prior to the race, came all the way back to win the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway on Saturday night, Sept. 22.
The victory at Richmond in the second event of the 10-race Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs gives Busch and his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota an automatic berth in the second round, which will begin after next weekend's event on the infield road course at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The win was Busch's sixth at the Richmond short track and gave him a season sweep at the Virginia track. It was also his seventh win of the season and the 50th of his Cup career.
Finishing second was Stewart-Haas Racing's Kevin Harvick, also a seven-time winner in 2018. That podium finish comes a week after he crashed out of the Playoffs-opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Third at RR was Martin Truex Jr. of Furniture Row Racing, the series' defending champion.
Rounding out the top five were Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports and Aric Almirola of Stewart-Haas.
Harvick started from the pole and held the lead until he was passed by Truex 41 laps into the race. Truex hung onto the lead and went on to win the first of the race's three stages. He then led all the laps in the second to win that stage.
A week ago in the Playoffs opener at Las Vegas, wrecks took a big toll on the field of contenders. At Richmond, none of the 16 contenders wrecked.
Among those in trouble after Saturday night's race were Clint Bowyer, seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones and Denny Hamlin. They will head to the Charlotte race-after which the Playoff Field will be trimmed to 12 drivers-below the cutline and likely needing a victory to advance.