On a night of important milestones, in a car hastily repaired after a brush with the wall during qualifying, Kyle Busch held off Kevin Harvick to win Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway to advance to the second round of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
After a pitched battle against “Blazingly Bad” Brad Keselowski that lasted 21 laps, Busch made the winning pass for the lead on Lap 364 of 400 at the .75-mile track. Busch’s first victory in a fall race at Richmond was his sixth at the track, most among active drivers, and it gave him a season sweep at the short track.
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.
Martin Truex Jr., who won the first and second stages and led a race-high 163 laps, recovered from a penalty for an uncontrolled tire to run third, marking the first time this season NASCAR’s so-called Big Three have finished 1-2-3 in a race.
Busch, who led 92 laps, had to fight for the win. Harvick passed Keselowski for second on Lap 372 and quickly gained ground on Busch, who had punished his equipment in the fight against Keselowski.
The Fraternal Order of The Go Fast
This week none of the players were foresightful enough to select “Rowdy” for the victory at Richmond, therefore this prestif\gious award returns to the shelf this week awaiting presentation next week at the “Charlotte Roval”.
The Movers and The Shakers
The highest scorer this week is a player that we haven’t heard too much about this year, Dan The Numbers Cruncher. The Numbers Dude has been flying below the radar and somewhat down in the weeds this season! Nevertheless,The Abacus Man quietly racked up 54 points this week via Martin Truex, Jr’s third-place finish at Richmond.
Not far behind Abacus Man on the scoring pylon this week is Doug The Gandy Candy Man. Ol Mongoose added a very much needed 53 points to his totals from Kevin Harvick’s hard-fought 2nd place finish.
Meanwhile, Bernie The Bay Area Bandit is making a run towards the top of the scoring pylon with her cool 47 points scored this week from William Clyde Elliott, Jr’s, better known as Chase, 4th place finish!
Both A&M Aggie Sue and Carole, aka Rudy, were betting the farm on Team Penske’s “Blazingly Bad” Brad Keselowski. Both ladies added 42 points to their 3rd segment score this week.
Rounding out the top five scorers of the week is a trio of players that were putting all their marbles into the marble sack of a driver who is getting married this week on Wednesday, “Young Money”, aka Kyle Larson! Edie The Las Vegas Super Star, Jim, aka Chiefy, and Linda B. The Cookie Mom all securely added 32 points to their weekly totals.
As is the case from time to time, the scoring pylon gets a good blending to shake things up. This week that happened with three-quarters of the players exchanging positions!
The single largest movers this week is Dan The Abacus Dude! The Numbers Cruncher rocketed up the scoring pylon eight (8) places to sit now in 4th place!
Also, have a very good week on the leaderboard is Bernie The Bay Area Bandit. The Bandit stole five (5) places climbing up to now sit in the 6th spot.
We have a foursome that moved four (4) spots this week. That foursome is made up of Snoopy Dawn, Jeremy The Coach, A&M Aggie Sue and Linda R. The Lemonade Lefty. Making a slow climb towards the top of the totem pole this week is A&M Aggie Sue. Aggie Sue stepped up four spots to now hang out in the 10th place. Conversely Snoopy, The Coach, and Lemonda Lefty all plummeted four positions to languish in 7th, 8th, and 19th positions, respectively.
Lastly, there are four players, David The Mudslinging Throttle Jockey, Jerry The Buschwacker, Amber The Extremely Lucky Cheddar Head, as well as Zee, aka Sissy, that just moved next door from their previous position this week. The Mudslinger has an upward vector and becomes our new leader, moving up one place. All the while The Buschwacker, The Cheddar Head, and Sissy all fell one position sitting in 2nd, 14th, and 20th places, respectively.
Straight From The Crapper
This week “The Craapiest Pick of The Week” falls into the hands of Linda R. The Lemonade Lefty. The Lemonade Lefty was only able to muster up a single digit to her Richmond tallies. We all know that if you can only add a single digit to your weekly score you will definitely be in the hunt for this award. Well, she was only able to add 8 microscopic points this week!
For the second week in a row Lonna The Quilt Angel resides, quite comfortably I may add, in “The Outhouse”! She has a 26 point lead on her nearest competitor, Edie The Las Vegas Super Star. So unless The Quilt Angel smokes everybody next week, she has a very good chance of having at least one more week in this zip code!
As the Playoffs march on towards crowning a champion at Homestead the going gets tougher, and as the late Tom Petty wrote:
Well, I won’t back down
No, I won’t back down
You can stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won’t back down!
Next week it is something brand new, the roval at Charlotte!
TIL NEXT TIME, PULL YOUR GLOVES UP, FLIP YOUR VISOR DOWN, AND LET’S GO RACIN’!