RICHMOND, Va. — It wasnt over until it was over, and then it still wasnt really over.
Joey Logano went from fifth to first in the final nine laps to win Saturday nights Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway and earn his second Sprint Cup Series victory of the season and cementing his position as one of this seasons championship contenders.
Its not over until its over, Logano screamed over his radio as the race ended.
And it wasnt.
As Logano celebrated on the frontstretch, Brad Keselowski and Matt Kenseth who all battled for the lead along with Jeff Gordon in the final laps exchanged words on pit road.
Gordon ended up second, Kyle Busch third, Keselowski fourth and Kenseth fifth.
The race got off to a difficult start for Kyle Larson, who started on the pole when qualifying was washed out on Friday.
As Larson entered Turn 1, Keselowski closed in and Clint Bowyer dove to the bottom of the track. Bowyer and Larson made contact, sending Larson for a spin and bringing out a caution on the races first lap.
On the restart on Lap 8, Keselowski took over the lead.
NASCAR threw a competition caution on Lap 41 due to heavy rains the night before. After a round of pit stops, Kevin Harvick took the lead on the restart on Lap 47.
Keselowski retook the lead on Lap 56.
Debris on the frontstretch brought out a caution on Lap 100. After a round of pit stops, Gordon took the lead on the restart on Lap 107, followed by Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
The right-front tire area of Bowyers No. 15 Toyota erupted on fire which brought out a caution on Lap 162. The damage to Bowyers car was extensive, and he was forced to the garage. On the restart on lap 171, Gordon continued to lead the way.
In the garage, Bowyer was asked about the incident on the first lap with Larson.
I really hate that happened. I really like Kyle (Larson) and Im a big fan of his, he said. Him and (Keselowski) kind of spun the tires and I just got such a big run him when he moved up.
Then I was like, OK, I guess Im going to go to the bottom if youre going to give me the bottom. Then at the last minute he arced it in and I just wasnt ready for him. I tried to get on the brakes and just got into him. Im so glad he didnt hit the wall.
Keselowski passed Gordon on Lap 173 to retake the lead in the race.
After 200 of 400 laps, Keselowski led the way followed by Gordon and Logano.
Gordon retook the lead from Keselowski on Lap 210.
Fire from burning rubber enveloped Reed Sorensons car which brought out a caution on Lap 237. After a round of pit stops, Gordon took over the race lead on the restart on Lap 239 followed by Logano and Earnhardt.
Four laps later, Logano made his way around Gordon to take the lead. Gordon took the lead back on Lap 252.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. wore out is right-front tire, and the rubber burst into flame on Lap 297 to bring out the sixth caution of the race. After pit stops, Earnhardt took over the race lead on the restart on Lap 305 followed by Gordon and Logano.
Logano worked his way past Gordon and Earnhardt and back into the lead on Lap 306.
Gordon retook the lead on Lap 339.
On Lap 362, Matt Kenseth moved into the lead for the first time in the race.
Jimmie Johnson had a right-front tire issue and a caution for debris as displayed on Lap 368 the seventh caution of the race. All of the lead-lap cars pit for fuel and tires with Kenseth leading on the restart on Lap 377.
Before the completion of another lap, Kyle Busch got into Denny Hamlin and sent him for a spin, bringing out the eighth caution of the race. On the restart on Lap 383, Kenseth remained in the lead followed by Earnhardt and Logano.
The engine blew on J.J. Yeleys car on Lap 386 to bring out another caution. On the restart on Lap 392, Kenseth remained in the lead followed by Earnhardt and Gordon.
Utter: (704) 358-5113; Twitter: @jim_utter.