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Richmond Checkered Flags, Black Flags

A weekend of racing at Richmond Raceway produced a number of stories on both ends of the spectrum.

CHECKERED FLAGS

Alex Bowman

Didn’t see that one coming. Bowman led only 10 laps all afternoon but made them count as he scored his first win of the season and third career NASCAR Cup Series victory. In doing so, Bowman brought the storied No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports ride back to Victory Lane for the first time since 2017.

Denny Hamlin

Still winless but doing about everything else possible in the first nine races of the year. Hamlin led a race-high 207 laps and finished second behind Bowman for his eighth top-five performance in the opening stretch of the campaign.

Christopher Bell

The first-year driver at Joe Gibbs Racing knocked down his fifth top-10 finish of 2021. Bell also scored his first career Richmond top 10 in the process and continues to be a fixture near the front of the field.

Matt DiBenedetto

A very well-received performance for DiBenedetto and the home stage Wood Brothers team from Stuart, Virginia. DiBenedetto piloted the iconic No. 21 Ford home to his first top-10 finish of the year on Sunday.

John Hunter Nemechek

His second Camping World Truck Series win of the year came again while holding off team owner Kyle Busch to the checkered flag. Nemechek has already established himself as a very serious championship contender in the early portion of the season.

BLACK FLAGS

Ryan Newman

The struggles for the Roush Fenway Racing team continued for Newman and Co. at Richmond. He got involved in an early race accident and ended up with a 30th-place finish Sunday afternoon.

Kevin Harvick

There were signs of what might have been a much better run for Harvick until he had a tire issue late in the race and made hard contact with the wall, bringing out the last caution of the day. Harvick’s Richmond finish was a disappointing 24th.

Brad Keselowski

A pit strategy gone wrong took Keselowski from contention and ultimately handed him a 14th-place finish. Crew chief Jeremy Bullins gambled on trying to make it through the second stage without pitting, and that idea ultimately came up short.

Tyler Reddick

Came into Richmond with high hopes but could not find his way to the front consistently and ended up with a 20th-place finish. At least Richard Childress Racing teammate Austin Dillon had a better day for the organization with a top-10 run.

Jennifer Jo Cobb

Got into a tangle with Norm Benning and retaliated with a purposeful move against her combatant. It earned Cobb and crew a post-race trip to the NASCAR hauler.