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NASCAR Richmond results 2017: Joey Logano wins Toyota Owners 400

Joey Logano takes first victory of the season, teammate Brad Keselowski finishes second.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Joey Logano passed leader Kyle Larson with 17 laps remaining, then never looked back to win the Toyota Owners 400 on Sunday at Richmond International Raceway.

Larson could do little to hold off Logano, who had just pitted for four new tires under the final caution on Lap 378 while Larson skipped pitting to grab additional spots on the track. Once he made the winning pass, Logano quickly distanced himself from the field to take his first victory of the season in his 300th Monster Energy Cup Series start.

Logano had qualified fifth, however, a pre-race transmission change meant he forfeited that position and started 37th in the 38-car field. To overcome the setback, crew chief Todd Gordon instructed the normally aggressive Logano to be patient as he worked toward the front.

“I am a balls-to-the-wall type of guy, hard as I can, all the time,” Logano said. “That's the way I'm wired. And that's what's proven to be successful at certain racetracks. Richmond is not one of them. Richmond is one you pay the penalty if you go too hard, and I was able to kind of find a nice line that was able to preserve my tires for the long runs.”

Brad Keselowski finished second to give Team Penske a sweep of the top two positions. That followed Penske IndyCar drivers Simon Pagenaud and Will Power finishing 1-2 in a race Saturday night at Phoenix International Raceway.

“Sounds like we're going to have a party,” Logano said. “That's pretty neat to have a couple one-two finishes over the weekend.”

Denny Hamlin finished third on Sunday, followed by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Kevin Harvick. Completing the top 10 were Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch, Aric Almirola, and Martin Truex Jr.

Polesitter Matt Kenseth dominated the early portion, leading the opening 163 laps and easily winning the first stage. Keselowski then assumed command, leading 110 total laps the rest of the way. He had the fastest car at the end, but couldn’t get through traffic quick enough to challenge Logano after the final round of pit stops jumbled the running order.

“I felt like if I had five or 10 more laps, I could have gotten to (Logano) and passed him, but there was only a handful of laps left, so that was the way it went,” Keselowski said. “That's part of how this racing deal works, and the fastest car doesn't always win.”

Kyle Busch was also well positioned to score the win, but as he pitted during the final round of pit stops, his right-side wheels clipped the commitment line, a penalty that required he fall to the back on the subsequent restart. He finished 16th and when asked by Fox Sports about the infraction, Busch’s only comment was: “Balls and strikes.”

Dale Earnhardt Jr., who earlier in the week announced he would retire from full-time racing at the end of the season, struggled for much of the afternoon and was involved in a pair of incidents. The first saw teammate Jimmie Johnson drift up the track and accidentally slam into Earnhardt’s car off Turn 2, pushing NASCAR’s most popular driver into the outside wall.

Earnhardt sustained considerable damage, which later led to him cutting a tire and spinning out. He finished 30th, the fifth time in nine races this season he’s finished 30th or worse.

“Just terrible luck,” Earnhardt said. “I don’t know what to do. But, we were probably going to finish anywhere around 10th to 15th today -- not all that awesome -- but we just had such terrible luck.”

Johnson finished 11th and apologized to Earnhardt on pit road post-race.

“I just have to try to figure out if I just didn’t hear it being told to me or if it wasn’t told to me,” Johnson said. “I just feel terrible, obviously. Man, I’m surprised our cars even kept rolling after that because I just body-slammed him into the wall and I could have easily not heard the clear or something else happened.”