Clint Bowyer and Joey Logano aren't exactly sure how they finished second and third in Saturday night's Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway. Both drivers pit for four tires prior to the final restart and lined up ninth and 11th before taking the green flag.
Fortunately for them, they both were on fresh tires and restarted on the inside. The leaders did not pit and just couldn't get going as quickly as those who had stopped. AJ Allmendinger restarted third, on the inside, but stalled allowing Kevin Harvick to take him and Carl Edwards three-wide en route to the eventual victory.
Bowyer and Logano followed Harvick and they eventually finished one-two-three. Logano was surprised at how many cars they had passed in just two laps but Bowyer was quick to point out that all the passing was done in turn one.
"It was just one corner," Bowyer said. "A lot happened down there in that corner. I went from ninth to second because they all washed up (the surface.) Tony (Stewart) got pissed -- they all crashed -- but saved it and we went to the front. That's exactly how we saw it."
Both Bowyer and Logano have been at the center of controversy in recent months after run-ins with Jeff Gordon and Denny Hamlin respectively. Both drivers were surprised that so much happened on that final restart and that it didn't involve them.
"I didn't piss anyone off tonight," Logano quipped. "Holy crap."
Bowyer agreed and called it some sort of "new record."
Despite the runner-up finish, Bowyer was actually disappointed that the final caution came out on lap 397. He was running fourth and content to finish there, knowing that a restart had the potential to set off a lot of tempers. Bowyer said he couldn't decide if he wanted to pit before that final restart and that crew chief Brian Pattie made it for him -- they were coming with the leaders.
"I'm glad that Pattie gets paid to have his mind made up," Bowyer said. "You're damned if you do, damned if you don't in that situation. If you stay out and you're in the top-five and 10 of them stay out behind you, you're fine. It's just a total crapshoot."
Bowyer was strong early in the race but had started to fade in the middle stages. Logano had been inconsistent from the drop of the green flag and both were more than happy to leave with a podium, especially given all the chaos that erupted in front of them on the final restart.