NASCAR Richmond Review

Story posted April 5, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Ethan Ellis

The NASCAR Cup Series had an eventful weekend in Richmond that saw a race full of strategy and one of the most exciting finishes this year.

Here’s a quick rundown of all that went down in Richmond this past weekend.

Ryan Blaney started on pole in his Team Penske Mustang alongside William Byron. Blaney went on to dominate the early portion of the race, which saw a quick caution a few laps in for Kurt Busch who stalled on the backstretch.

Blaney’s dominance in the early portion of the race turned into him dominating the entire first stage to win the stage and the bonus points that go with it.

While there were no crashes in the first stage, there were plenty of drivers beating and banging for position, something not uncommon to this track.

Blaney won the race off of pit road after the stage to continue his dominance of the race but saw his main adversary in the race, Byron, lose a few spots due to a slow pit stop.

Another notable thing that happened during these pit stops was a new choreography tried out by the Joe Gibbs’ cars where the front and rear tire changers all came around the front of the car when changing sides. Traditionally, the rear tire changer would go around the rear of the car and the others would go in front.

Blaney’s dominance continued through Stage 2 until green flag pit stops jumbled up the order of the field.

This is where strategy first came into play, as most cars elected to pit for fresh tires while a few decided to stay out on old tires to try to only have to make one pit stop in the stage.

Martin Truex Jr. became the leader of the race when all those who were staying out finally had to pit, but since Truex and others had to pit a second time in the stage, Christopher Bell, the first car in the field using this strategy, took the lead a little while later.

Unfortunately for Bell, his old tires were no match for Truex’s new tires, which resulted in Truex passing him with about 18 laps to go and winning Stage 2.

Truex led the field back to green for the final stage, which was slowed soon after due to a crash involving Cody Ware, Erik Jones and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

The race restarted after this only to be slowed once again when Austin Cindric spun off of Turn 2 after trying to go three wide.

Under this caution, Byron didn’t pit and became the leader of the race and was able to hold the lead over Truex a while until he had to come to pit road.

Byron led the race for most of the final part, but in the end, Denny Hamlin, on fresher tires, was able to run the leaders down and win his 47th race, with Kevin Harvick coming in a close second.

Next week the NASCAR Cup Series travels to Martinsville Speedway for another short track battle, this one being under the lights.

Ethan Ellis is a first-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, at