Dale Earnhardt Jr. dominated and survived a late race wreck to score the victory in the XFINITY race at Richmond.
The driver of the No. 88 JR Motorsports Chevrolet led 128 of the 149 laps on his way to winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond International Raceway.
“I didn’t even realize I hadn’t won before,” Earnhardt said of his first win with JRM. “It was a great run for us. Ty (Dillon) was pretty good at the end. He drove into (Turn) 3 pretty deep and I followed him in there.”
It’s his 24th series win, first since 2010, fourth at Richmond and first at the track since 2002.
Ty Dillon finished second in his No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet while Elliott Sadler rounded out the podium in his No. 1 JRM Chevrolet. Daniel Suárez finished fourth in his No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
“I think the day was decent,” Suárez said. “All of these guys work super hard. I felt like having just one practice, 55 minutes, it was the same for everyone but I just felt like it didn’t help us a lot. Our car was good but we needed to work a little bit more on the car to make it better. It was just a little bit difficult in the heat race. Man, it was maybe 35 laps more difficult today but all of the guys never give up on me and I never give up on them and we finished with a decent top-five.”
Austin Dillon rounded out the top-five in his No. 2 RCR Chevrolet.
Cole Custer finished sixth in his XFINITY Series debut in his No. 5 JRM Chevrolet as Brendan Gaughan finished seventh in his No. 62 RCR Chevrolet. Blake Koch finished eighth in his No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet followed by Brad Keselowski who finished ninth in his No. 22 Team Penske Ford.
“We just didn’t have the speed that we wanted,” Keselowski said. “We tried a little strategy play there at the end but then everybody wrecked and I lost the track position. I tried to get it back but just couldn’t do it.”
Brennan Poole led three laps on his way to rounding out the top-10 in his No. 48 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.
The race lasted one hour, 11 minutes and 37 seconds at an average speed of 93.623 mph. There were four lead changes among four different drivers and two cautions for 20 laps. The last of which involved a 10-car wreck in Turn 2.
Suárez leaves Richmond as the points leader with a nine-point lead over Sadler.