Joey Logano goes from last to first for victory at Richmond

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RICHMOND, Va. — Joey Logano rallied from the rear Sunday at Richmond International Raceway, scoring his first victory of the season.

The Team Penske driver won the Toyota Owners 400 after starting last because of a transmission change in his No. 22 Ford.

The 18th victory of Logano’s career came in his 300th start and was his second at Richmond.

You know, it’s nice to break through and get our first points win of the year, that being on the 300th start,” he said. “For me personally, it was kind of a cool milestone to hit and drive into victory lane with that, too.”

A critical pit strategy call helped propel Logano to the victory as crew chief Todd Gordon elected to keep him on the track and gain several positions, gambling on another yellow that came soon afterward.

“I am proud of the effort of the team,” Logano said. “We executed under pressure today and brought a car home that was a 5th-10th place car home to victory lane.”

Teammate Brad Keselowski finished second, followed by Denny Hamlin, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Kevin Harvick.

Jamie McMurray, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch, Aric Almirola and Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top 10.

STAGE 1: Pole-sitter Matt Kenseth wins his first stage of the season

STAGE 2: Brad Keselowski breaks through for a stage victory

HOW LOGANO WON: He bumped Kyle Larson out of the lead with 17 laps remaining.

WHO ELSE HAD A GOOD DAY: Teammate Brad Keselowski led 110 laps. … Denny Hamlin rallied from an average starting position (16th) for third. … Ricky Stenhouse Jr. took fourth after causing a caution with a Turn 4 collision on Lap 66. … Daniel Suarez (12th) was the highest-finishing rookie.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Dale Earnhardt Jr. sped in the pits and collided with teammate Jimmie Johnson (who took the blame for the incident). Then he spun and hit the wall again because of another cut tire. … Erik Jones finished last after a a fourth-lap collision with the wall. … A mechanical problem doomed A.J. Allmendinger relegated him to 37th

NOTABLE: Kenseth and Keselowski scored their first stage wins of the season. …  After failing to lead in the first eight races, Kenseth started from the pole position and led 164 laps. … Logano is the fifth driver in series history to win his 300th start, joining Denny Hamlin (Talladega 2014), Kyle Busch (Texas 2013), Kasey Kahne (Charlotte 2012) and Rusty Wallace (Atlanta 1993).

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I got ran right into the wall on Lap 1. We’re three-wide on Lap 1 of a 400-lap race.” – Erik Jones after cutting a tire from a first-lap skirmish with Kasey Kahne.

WHAT’S NEXT: Geico 500, Sunday, May 7, Talladega Superspeedway.

NASCAR America: Bubba Wallace on qualifying: ‘It’s our job to cheat the system’

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Much of the talk in NASCAR this week has been around the controversial final round of Cup qualifying at Auto Club Speedway, which saw no drivers make a qualifying run after they left pit road too late to make a lap.

Bubba Wallace didn’t advance to the final round, but he’s been in a similar situation. In 2014 at Michigan, Wallace was in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at ACS’ sister track. Qualifying for that event ended with only one truck, driven by Ryan Blaney, reaching the start-finish line in time to make a lap.

“It’s our job to cheat the system,” Wallace said on NASCAR America presents Motormouths. “In today’s world, with the package and how it works out, if you’re the front car, you’re the tow. You’re the tow truck. You’re towing everybody else behind you. You’re at a disadvantage. No one wants to be at a disadvantage.

“So we’re going to cheat the system until they do something about it. Then we’re going to find a new way to cheat the new system.”

Watch the above video to see Wallace discuss more about how he fared during the West Coast Swing.

Updated entry lists for Cup, Truck at Martinsville

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Here are the entry lists for this weekend’s races.

Cup – STP 500 (2 p.m. ET Sunday on Fox Sports 1)

Thirty-six cars are entered for the sixth Cup race of the year. D.J. Kennington is listed in the No. 77 Spire Motorsports entry.

Jeb Burton is entered in Rick Ware Racing’s No. 52 Ford.

Click here for the entry list.

Gander Outdoors Truck – Martinsville 250 (2 p.m. ET Saturday on Fox Sports 1)

Thirty-nine trucks are entered. Those also entered in the Cup race are Kyle Busch, Austin Dillon and Ross Chastain. Bubba Wallace is entered in AM Racing’s No. 22 truck.

Click here for the entry list.

NASCAR America Motormouths at 5 p.m. ET with Bubba Wallace

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Today’s episode of NASCAR America presents Motormouths airs from 5-6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Rutledge Wood hosts with Kyle Petty and they’ll be joined by special guest Bubba Wallace.

Fans will have the chance to call into the show to ask questions.

If you can’t catch today’s show on TV, watch it online at http:/nascarstream.nbcsports.com. If you plan to stream the show on your laptop or portable device, be sure to have your username and password from your cable/satellite/telco provider handy so your subscription can be verified.

Once you enter that information, you’ll have access to the stream.

Click here at 5 p.m. ET to watch live via the stream.

Indy 500 analyst role part of looking forward for Danica Patrick

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It’s been 10 months since Danica Patrick last competed in an auto racing event and she is completely fine with that.

Patrick was last seen in a cockpit in last May’s Indianapolis 500, part of her mini-retirement tour from racing that also included a run in the Daytona 500.

Now she’ll be back at the track, serving as an analyst for NBC’s broadcast of the 103rd Indy 500 on May 26.

It will be an interlude to her post-racing career.

“I really don’t miss racing,” Patrick said during a teleconference Wednesday.  “I’m really happy. I selfishly set out (with) the intention I wanted to travel a lot. I’ve definitely done that. Also working on my other businesses.”

Without racing, Patrick is able to look over her “Warrior” clothing line and her Somnium wine. She’s also been a host of ESPN’s Espy Awards show.

“I’m not a look-back kind of person, I’m a look-forward (person),” Patrick said. “This is something that’s part of looking forward. This is something totally new and different for me. It’s coming at a place where I have a lot of history, but it hasn’t been my job, which is why I’m going to work really hard to make sure I’m ready, like anything else I do that’s different.

Since retiring, Patrick said she watches racing “when I can.”

“I’m not going to lie, I’m happy doing what I’m doing,” Patrick said. “It’s allowed me new opportunities like this.”

This won’t be the first time Patrick has served in an analyst role for a race. She did the same for some Xfinity Series race broadcasts in the last few years of her NASCAR career.

“It’s very good to have had that experience,” Patrick said. “Obviously I was giving my driving experience sort of perspective and that insight, which is something I’m going to be doing again. But it was a guest spot.

“This is firm and established, part of a small team of two with Mike (Tirico) and I. I think there’s going to be a lot more preparation involved, I’m going to need to know a lot more information.”

Patrick said there will be one difference in her Indy 500 experience this year compared to the eight times she competed in the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

“I didn’t purposely look at the buildup of the day,” Patrick said. “I didn’t want to see the fans rolling in, all the pomp and circumstance. I really liked to keep it quiet. I wanted to just walk out there and have it be the event, not let myself get built up too much in my head with nerves, just the platform, the iconic event that it was, the millions of people. I just wanted to stay focused and go do it.

“This time, I’m sure I will see the buildup. I’m sure I’ll see the place fill in and turn from a quiet, peaceful, magical place, (and) at the shot of a cannon it’s going to start unraveling. That will be a cool perspective for me that I purposely haven’t really watched closely.”

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