NASCAR faces a big short on Sunday.
Martin Truex Jr. became the first repeat winner in the 2021 NASCAR Cup series after taking home the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 in Martinsville last weekend. Truex now has the opportunity to win back-to-back races at the Toyota Owners 500 at Richmond Raceway on Sunday.
While the coronavirus pandemic triggered the event in 2020, Truex took the checkered flag home in 2019 and made him the defending race winner who started the race on the short circuit on Sunday. While Truex is in pole position, he faces tough competition at the top, and Denny Hamlin is still looking for his first win of the season in 2021 despite seven top 10 finishes.
Sporting News is following live updates and lap-by-lap highlights from the NASCAR race at Richmond Raceway on Sunday. For full results, follow the Toyota Owners 400.
MORE: Watch Today’s NASCAR Race Live with fuboTV (7 Day Free Trial)
(All times east)
NASCAR in Richmond Live Updates, Highlights
3:40 pm: Less than 30 laps left in Stage 1 and it’s pretty tame so far. Chase Elliott is now eighth and gets into a fight with Brad Keselowski. Elliott seems to be fighting his car right now.
3:31 pm: Caution is advised on lap 33, and Denny Hamlin leaves the pits with the lead.
3:26 pm: Already 25 laps and the top 5 remain the same. Austin Dillon sits in tenth place and fights for that place with William Byron.
3:17 pm: Denny Hamlin is up from the start, but is recovering for third place. Truex Jr., Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney round out the early one-on-five.
3:10 p.m.: All systems today have no pre-race drama. Only a few minutes to the green flag.
Engines were fired here in Richmond. Stages 80-155-165 (400 laps, 300 miles). Beware of round 30 competition. Fuel run 110-120 laps. 9 sets tires. No drivers fall backwards. 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 fly at 3:15 p.m. CET.
It is unlikely that the weather will delay the launch. The National Weather Service’s midweek forecast for Richmond, Virginia indicated partial sunny skies and high temperatures close to 70 degrees, which would mean a dry weekend.
NASCAR line-up in Richmond
Here is the complete starting grid for the Toyota Owners 400 without qualification:
|Martin Truex Jr.||19th||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|Denny Hamlin||11||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|Chase Elliott||9||Hendrick Motorsports|
|William Byron||24||Hendrick Motorsports|
|Joey Logano||22nd||Team Penske|
|Kyle Larson||5||Hendrick Motorsports|
|Ryan Blaney||12th||Team Penske|
|Christopher Bell||20th||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|Kevin Harvick||4th||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|Kyle Busch||18th||Joe Gibbs Racing|
|Austin Dillon||3||Richard Childress Racing|
|Chris Buescher||17th||Roush Fenway Racing|
|Tyler Reddick||8th||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||6th||Roush Fenway Racing|
|Brad Keselowski||2||Team Penske|
|Cole Custer||41||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|Aric Almirola||10||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|Michael McDowell||34||Motorsport in the front row|
|Alex Bowman||48||Hendrick Motorsports|
|Ryan Preece||37||JTG Daugherty Racing|
|Chase Briscoe||14th||Stewart-Haas Racing|
|Daniel Suarez placeholder image||99||TrackHouse Racing|
|James Davison||fifteen||Rick Ware Racing|
|Anthony Alfredo||38||Motorsport in the front row|
|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 motorsport fast|
|Corey LaJoie||7th||Spire Motorsports|
|Garrett Smithley||53||Rick Ware Racing|
|Austin Cindric||33||Team Penske|