Eight cars fail inspection before Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway

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Kevin Harvick became the first repeat pole victor in 2019 when he captured the unofficial top spot for Saturday night's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway.

The two have history together; Logano moved Truex on the final lap at the Playoff race in Martinsville last fall, and the move helped Logano win his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship.

"I was struggling the last 40 laps", Truex admitted. With about 40 to go, Bowyer almost caught him, but Truex never let him pass. Bowyer relinquished the second spot to Logano, but Truex expertly navigated lapped traffic and took his 20th career victory, the 17th in the past four seasons.

"It means a lot to finally break through", Truex said in Victory Lane. "I hope it was a hell of a show. It sure was fun behind the wheel".

Erik Jones, Kurt Busch, Joey Logano and Kyle Busch rounded out the top five.

But while Labonte's streak of top 10 finishes to start a season stopped at eight races, Busch's has since advanced to nine, as he finished the season's ninth race, the Toyota Owners 400, in eighth place in his #18 Toyota. Local favorite Denny Hamlin was fifth.

Logano worked the bottom for much of the final stint, trying to get around Truex, but lamented that he likely needed one more tour of the D-shaped oval to get the job done. Asked over his team radio if he was OK, Larson said, "Yeah". "But I also know in pro sports it's very hard to stay up there". "I think that's the reason why you need to enjoy it in pro sports because you know, odds are, this ain't going to keep happening". They include the cars of local favorite Denny Hamlin, a three-time victor on the 0.75-mile oval, Chase Elliott and Matt Tifft.

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Four of the provisional top-10 qualifiers failed inspection - Jones, Chase Elliott, Daniel Suarez and Jimmie Johnson.

"Been a crappy start to the year", Larson said. Cup and Xfinity racers are back at it again in two weeks at Talladega Speedway. His average starting positions 12.7 but his average finish is 6.9.

Competition officials introduced the quicker post-race inspection timetable in an effort to make the results official on race day, aiming for a 90-minute target time frame to complete their scrutineering. Margin of Victory: 0.178 seconds.

Lead Changes: 8 among 5 drivers.

The 69-year-old John Force led the Funny Car field with a 3.888-second lap at 319.29 miles per hour on Friday in a Chevy Camaro SS.

Points-leader Kyle Busch appeared to be a strong contender to win his fourth race of the season and second straight as he took the lead from pole-sitter Harvick on Lap 32 and then dominated the early portion of the race as he won the first stage.

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