Joey Logano Wins Toyota Owners 400
As the ninth 2014 Sprint Cup Series race, the 400-lap Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway on the weekend was jam-packed with excitement, with the final laps seeing four drivers battling for first place right up to the finish line. Joey Logano took the checkered flag, with Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski following in second, third and fourth place respectively. Having started in 17th position, Logano led for 46 laps during the race, and was in the position to take advantage of a caution that bunched up the field by passing and moving into first place. In a post-race interview Logano made reference to the new Sprint Cup emphasis on winning, saying “The heck with it! If we crash, we crash! We’re going for wins!”
The Saturday night race started with a first-turn crash, where Clint Bowyer rear-ended Kyle Larson sending him into the wall, and included at least five cars experiencing flash fires thought to have been caused by the new Goodyear rubber compound. Fortunately, no one was hurt, but the safety of Goodyear’s new product is in question. As a NASCAR sponsor since 1954, Goodyear has been the sole tire supplier for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR Nationwide, and NASCAR Camping World Truck series since 1997. Acknowledging the problem, Goodyear Racing executive Stu Grant noted that the company would have to work on a solution.
After the race, four time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon was quoted as saying: “That was one of the wildest races with ten to go I’ve ever seen.” Gordon led 173 laps in the race and finished in second place. Kyle Bush moved from sixteenth place to third in the last eight laps of the race, after failing to lead any laps in the race. Brad Keselowski started in second place, led 114 laps and finished in fourth place.