Kyle Busch wins Toyota Owners 400, his third consecutive Cup series victory

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RICHMOND, Va. - Martin Truex Jr. won the pole for the NASCAR Cup Series race Saturday at Richmond Raceway, edging Chase Elliott.

Busch said he thinks Harvick's team is a little bit better right now. He also led over half the laps in the 2016 September race, but finished in 3rd.

"We just lost the handle on the auto and fell back".

"The guys did a really good job with the race auto". I think one of the other keys to the night was just my guys - my pit crew. However, a mishap on pit road late and a auto issue ended his bid for his first career short-track win.

He ran into problems not on the racetrack but on pit road. 1-38; J. Logano 39-111; Kurt Busch 112-169; C. Bowyer 170-192; J. Logano 193-211; Kurt Busch 212-251; C. Bowyer 252-272; Kyle Busch 273; D. Hamlin 274-276; M. Truex Jr. That was the deepest in the field a victor had ever started at Richmond. David Ragan 16. Clint Bowyer 17. Besides his three wins, he has seven top-fives and eight top-10s in nine starts. That's a tall order, given the vagaries of restrictor-plate racing. Kurt Busch, Ford, 402, Led 98 12. "We did it a couple years ago, and now I don't know if you can shoot for four in a row".

"We'll see what we can do... I think it's easier to win the Power Ball than to win at Talladega".

Busch started in the 32nd spot, the lowest for a Cup race victor at Richmond since 2008, when Clint Bowyer came from 31st to victory thanks largely to Busch.

After yet another caution forced overtime, Busch restarted in the lead, followed by Denny Hamlin, Elliott, Kevin Harvick and Logano. "They got us off pit road first those last two times that came down for tires, and got us where we needed to be".

"Looking forward, we have to be realistic about how we ran tonight".

"I thought it was much improved from where we have been", the Hendrick Motorsports driver said.

Well, that's true, but not the way you might think because according to second-year Cup Series driver Erik Jones, "it feels slower in the race auto than it does when I'm giving rides in this thing, honestly".

Aric Almirola had a strong long-run auto in the first stage that brought him up to the second-place position. And with the long green flag runs, we were able to still stay on the lead lap and work our way up through the field.

Asked about which driver scares him the most in the championship picture right now - Harvick or Busch - Larson said that he thinks Harvick's vehicle is better, with Busch's second-best. Before that, he'd had five straight top-five finishes.

It marked the 75th time the defending NASCAR champion has raced on a short track in NASCAR's premier series, and it was perhaps the best chance he's had to come away with a victory.

This week Toyota Owners 400 will be the first night race of the season as they'll crank up their engines on Saturday night.

After a late round of pitstops during a caution, Busch emerged in the lead when the race restarted with 22 laps to go.

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