Harvick wins pole at Richmond Raceway | AP sports

Friday's auto racing roundup: Harvick wins pole at Richmond

Martin Truex Jr. Wins Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond

And on Friday afternoon at Richmond Raceway, Harvick got through the corners better than everyone else in winning the pole position for Saturday's Toyota Owners 400 at the 0.75-mile track (7:30 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). He had to hold off the charges of first Bowyer and then Logano in the closing laps.

In a race to see who could preserve their vehicle best, Truex outlasted Bowyer and then held off a four-lap charge by Joey Logano to win the NASCAR Cup Series race at Richmond Raceway on Saturday night. "I've always loved coming here (Richmond)", Truex said. "I had not front turn. It's just the way it goes sometimes and you just have to work through it all and keep pushing to try to find more speed all the time".

"I was able to get to the 19, but it just wasn't enough", he noted. "It was real important to be out front tonight, but thanks to the pit crew they kept us out there". "We need to clean up some mistakes on our end".

With rain threatening, Cindric grabbed the lead on a restart with 25 laps to go, but Custer quickly regained the lead five laps later and pulled away. It was also his first win driving for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Truex said he was excited to finally win with his new team. "It sure was fun behind the wheel".

Logano held on for second. "We would have liked to have tuned it during happy hour, we just didn't have enough time". "Ran out of time there". A trip to victory lane on Saturday would be his 3rd straight after sweeping the 2018 Richmond races, and it would bump him up to tie for the second-most win with Bobby Allison. "A decent green-flag cycle got us up". He leaves Richmond with his fifth top-five finish in nine races this season and sits second in regular-season points, just 20 behind leader Kyle Busch.

Joe Gibbs said he can't explain his team's dominant start to the season, but he's going to enjoy it while it lasts. "You go to the bottom and you can't get the drive to clear them and getting to the outside is pretty tough", he said. "I could just roll out, and here it doesn't benefit you to wait so you just roll out and get your lap in".

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All three cars passed on their third attempt. They include local favorite Denny Hamlin, a three-time victor on the 0.75-mile oval, Chase Elliott and Matt Tifft.

As a result, NASCAR disqualified their qualifying speeds, sending them to the rear of the field, disallowed their pit stall selection and ejected one engineer from each team for the race.

Failing once were the cars of Erik Jones (who qualified second, photo above), Daniel Suarez (ninth), Jimmie Johnson (10th), and Joey Gase (3th).

Kyle Larson's slow start to the season continued, giving him an early night.

No racing next week for the Easter break. "Tonight we didn't have the best auto, but we've lost some here with the best vehicle".

Kyle Busch has grabbed the lead from Kevin Harvick during the the NASCAR Cup race at Richmond. Cup and Xfinity racers are back at it again in two weeks at Talladega Speedway.

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