The first caution of the night came out for debris from an on-track accident. Ryan Newman and Juan Pablo Montoya got together, sending Montoya hard into the wall.
Newman, who was running eighth at the time, insists it was Montoya’s fault. “He crashed himself basically,” said Newman. “I don’t know if he didn’t know he wasn’t clear or what but he crashed himself off of Turn 2. I don’t know if he though it was me on purpose, but the message was delivered that it wasn’t intentional.”
Montoya obviously didn’t like that message. On lap 237, Montoya blatantly spun out Newman in Turn 3, causing damage to his rear bumper. Newman went from running in the top 10, to finishing 2 laps down in 20th spot. This caused him to drop one from seventh to eighth in points.
After the race Ryan Newman walked straight to the NASCAR hauler. “I got a few answers,” he said. “I’m not really sure the direction it’s going to go, but I’ve got a few answers .”
I’m very interested to see if NASCAR does anything about this. At the beginning of the season NASCAR insisted that they were going to let the drivers “have at it;” let it be more like the old-school days when rubbing was racing.
If they penalize Juan Pablo Montoya for this, will they penalize other drivers in the future for the same kind of racing? I guess we will find out soon enough.
On another note, I’m starting to feel like knee surgeries give off some sort of mystical racing power. Last April, Denny Hamlin had surgery for a torn ACL. Just 3 weeks later, he takes the win at Texas Motor Speedway. Last Monday, Kasey Kahne had surgery for a torn meniscus. At Richmond this weekend he finished 3rd and contended for the win. Probably just a coincidence, but still a fun fact.
My biggest focus from the Richmond race was Martin Truex Jr. Truex had a great run going and could have been a contender for the win, but had to pit with 18 laps to go for a tire vibration.
To make a bad night even worse, he was caught speeding on pit road and had to make a pass-through penalty. Truex has had endless streaks of bad luck.
I feel like Michael Waltrip Racing needs a change. Possibly a crew chief change? Maybe even a pit crew swap. Either way, it needs to happen. Both the No. 00 and the No. 56 teams have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Truex and Reutimann have both proven they deserve to be at this level. They deserve to have better finishes.
Kudos to Rowdy Busch for running a clean race and taking the win from teammate, Denny Hamlin. This win has moved Kyle from sixth to third place in points. What are your thoughts on Richmond? Let us know!