Alex Bowman was the man on Sunday — for 12 laps.
Bowman took home the checkered flag in the 2021 Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond with a late charge, holding off Denny Hamlin after a restart with just a dozen laps to go.
Hamlin won the first two stages of Sunday’s race and was in control after a late caution, but Bowman stole the victory from him with great late pace. He opened up a half-second lead after the restart and took home his first win of the 2021 season — and the third win of his career.
Hamlin, meanwhile, secured his eighth top-five finish of the year, but he’s probably left wondering what he’s going to have to do to take home a checkered flag in 2021.
Sporting News tracked action, highlights and more from Sunday’s race at Richmond. Check it out below.
(All times Eastern)
NASCAR at Richmond results
|5.||Martin Truex Jr.|
|17.||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.|
NASCAR at Richmond live updates, highlights
6:25 p.m. FINISH: Bowman, with a late charge, takes home his first Cup Series victory of the season after overtaking Hamlin on the restart.
6:20 p.m.: On the restart, Alex Bowman takes the lead from Denny Hamlin and opens up a half second lead over him.
6:14 p.m.: Hamlin and Logano both pit under a yellow flag. Hamlin comes out on front from pit lane.
6:11 p.m.: Caution flag out as Kevin Harvick slams into the wall. He’s OK. Right rear tire popped.
6:08 p.m.: Fun battle between Hamlin and Logano. Hamlin right on Logano’s rear bumper. 24 laps to go.
6:02 p.m.: First-place battle between Logano and Hamlin heating up. Hamlin right on Logano’s rear. Trying to push.
5:56 p.m.: Truex pits from the lead, Hamlin sits two seconds behind Logano. Kyle Busch incurs a penalty for pit road.
5:44 p.m.: 81 laps to go, and Hamlin still in the lead.
5:36 p.m.: Martin Truex slapped with a penalty for speeding down pit road. His first penalty for speeding this year.
5:34 p.m.: Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick pitting in lap 293. Hamlin follows them.
5:19 p.m.: Joey Logano really pushing Denny Hamlin now. Truex in third, followed by Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Christopher Bell.
5:14 p.m.: No driver who’s swept the first two stages has ever won. Hamlin out front with 151 laps left in the race.
5:05 p.m. End Stage 2: Denny Hamlin takes Stage 2, by a second over Truex. Shaping up to be Hamlin’s day for a win — maybe.
4:54 p.m.: Denny Hamlin is in the lead with 25 laps left in Stage 2. Brad Keselowski charged into third place, behind Truex. Kevin Harvick also making a move, sitting in sixth.
4:43 p.m.: Pit stops coming from the leaders. 51 laps left in Stage 2.
4:32 p.m.: Restart away, and Truex and Hamlin are still locked in a battle for first. Truex says he’s having issues with his brakes. Uh oh.
4:23 p.m.: Caution flag is out in lap 143 as Ryan Newman spins out and into the wall. Not a lot of damage for Newman, and he drives off.
4:15 p.m.: Truex squeaks out in front of Hamlin, taking the lead entering lap 45.
4:03 p.m.: Stage 2 underway, 155 laps in this stage. Denny Hamlin clinging to the lead.
3:51 p.m. End Stage 1: Denny Hamlin takes home Stage 1, still in search of his first win of the 2021 season.
Hamlin wins opening stage … Hamlin Truex Logano Byron Blaney Bell Bowman Dillon Keselowski Harvick
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) April 18, 2021
3:40 p.m.: Under 30 laps to go in Stage 1 and it’s pretty tame so far. Chase Elliott down in eighth now, locked in a battle with Brad Keselowski. Elliott seems to be fighting his car right now.
3:31 p.m.: Competition caution out at Lap 33 and Denny Hamlin exits the pits with the lead.
3:26 p.m.: Already 25 laps through, and the top five remains the same. Austin Dillon sitting in 10th, fighting with William Byron for that spot.
3:17 p.m.: Denny Hamlin scuffles off the start, but recovers for third. Truex Jr., Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney round out the early one-through-five.
3:10 p.m. : All systems go with no pre-race drama today. Few minutes to green flag.
Engines fired here at Richmond. Stages 80-155-165 (400 laps, 300 miles). Competition caution Lap 30. Fuel run 110-120 laps. 9 sets tires. No drivers dropping to the rear. On FOX @NASCARONFOX
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) April 18, 2021
NASCAR start time today
The green flag for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond Raceway is scheduled to wave at 3:15 p.m. ET.
It’s unlikely that weather will delay the start. The National Weather Service’s midweek forecast for Richmond, Va., called for partly sunny skies and a high temperature near 70 degrees, the capper to a dry weekend.
NASCAR lineup at Richmond
Here is the complete starting lineup for the Toyota Owners 400 without qualifying:
|Martin Truex Jr.||19||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|Denny Hamlin||11||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|Chase Elliott||9||Hendrick Motorsports|
|William Byron||24||Hendrick Motorsports|
|Joey Logano||22||Team Penske|
|Kyle Larson||5||Hendrick Motorsports|
|Ryan Blaney||12||Team Penske|
|Christopher Bell||20||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|Kevin Harvick||4||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|Kyle Busch||18||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|Austin Dillon||3||Richard Childress Racing|
|Chris Buescher||17||Roush Fenway Racing|
|Tyler Reddick||8||Richard Childress Racing|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||47||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|Bubba Wallace||23||23XI Racing|
|Matt DiBenedetto||21||Wood Brothers Racing|
|Kurt Busch||1||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|Ross Chastain||42||Chip Ganassi Racing|
|Ryan Newman||6||Roush Fenway Racing|
|Brad Keselowski||2||Team Penske|
|Cole Custer||41||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|Aric Almirola||10||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|Michael McDowell||34||Front Row Motorsports|
|Alex Bowman||48||Hendrick Motorsports|
|Ryan Preece||37||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|Chase Briscoe||14||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|Daniel Suarez||99||TrackHouse Racing|
|James Davison||15||Rick Ware Racing|
|Anthony Alfredo||38||Front Row Motorsports|
|Erik Jones||43||Richard Petty Motorsports|
|Josh Bilicki||52||Rick Ware Racing|
|Quin Houff||00||StarCom Racing|
|Cody Ware||51||Petty Ware Racing|
|Justin Haley||77||Spire Motorsports|
|BJ McLeod||78||Live Fast Motorsports|
|Corey LaJoie||7||Spire Motorsports|
|Garrett Smithley||53||Rick Ware Racing|
|Austin Cindric||33||Team Penske|