“NASCAR Just Ruined It”: Fans Take Sides as Richmond Thriller Draws Massive Backlash

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NASCAR, Motorsport, USA Toyota Owners 400 Apr 2, 2023 Richmond, Virginia, USA NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson 5 leads the pack to a restart during the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway. Richmond Richmond Raceway Virginia USA, EDITORIAL USE ONLY PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: xJohnxDavidxMercerx 20230402_jdm_sx1_008 Image Credits – Imago
Kyle Larson came to NASCAR’s Richmond race track as the guy to beat, and at the start, he sure looked like he had it in the bag. It took him a bit to get the hang of Goodyear’s new wet weather tires, but once he did, he was flying—until Martin Truex Jr sneaked past him when Larson ducked into the pits.
Then, as the race shifted back to regular, dry tires, things kind of flatlined. Despite expectations of tire drama making for an edge-of-your-seat race like we saw at Bristol, Richmond didn’t deliver the excitement. The race plodded along without much in the way of lead changes, crashes, or eye-opening strategy plays. Richmond’s known for eating up tires, leading many to hope for a spectacle, but in the end, not too many folks found this race a barn burner.
Denny Hamlin took the spotlight, but the race didn’t really light up the crowd
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The last visit to Richmond saw Chris Buescher nabbing his third win of the year in a stunner, leading almost to the end. This round, though, it was the JGR king Denny Hamlin shining through beside his pit crew that was the real MVP, catapulting him back onto the track in the nick of time.
Hamlin chalked up his 53rd career win in the NASCAR Cup Series, marking his second victory this season and his fifth triumph at Richmond by a hair’s breadth—just 0.269 seconds ahead of Joey Logano from Team Penske. But the win didn’t come without controversy, snatching the spotlight from JGR teammate Martin Truex Jr, who had been cruising at the front for 228 out of 407 laps but ended up fourth.
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The end was a bummer for Truex, who was ruling the roost till a late caution mixed things up. Despite a pit-stop scramble, Hamlin sprinted out ahead, and Truex couldn’t claw his way back in the final sprint, even falling behind Logano and polesitter Kyle Larson to finish off the podium.
The only thing holding up Martin Truex Jr as of now might be the fact that he is still hanging onto the championship lead, up by 14 points over Larson, who had a wild finish to the race. A tangle between Larson from Hendrick Motorsports and Bubba Wallace of 23XI Racing threw the race into its first overtime period of the season.
But even with drivers scrambling to adjust to the wet weather tires, the Kyle Busch incident that triggered a caution when his car merely grazed the wall (which oddly worked out in his favor), and the twists and turns of the final laps, fans weren’t exactly thrilled.
The NASCAR crowd was pretty bummed about how the Richmond race turned out
Jeff Gluck threw a question on X asking folks if they enjoyed the Richmond race. While a handful stood up for it, calling it top-notch, loads of fans just trashed it, saying NASCAR’s game plan completely botched it.
One fan was like, “It was actually a great race. NASCAR just ruined it with politics and terrible decision making,” and another wrote, “Didn’t really see the diverse race strategy we’re used to seeing…”
Someone appreciated the wet start but wasn’t a fan of the rest: “I like the damp start and applaud nascar there… but everything after that, even a late caution couldn’t move it over the 50% mark for me.”
Then there were those who weren’t fans of the new short track package from NASCAR, saying things like, “The new package nascar introduced failed to fix any of the problems that the short tracks have and it showed last night” and “Short track package still looking like a massive fail. Give the cars more horsepower already.”
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A fan expressed disappointment, “This was my first NO vote in a while. Started off decent but quickly feel apart]” Another added, “What’s the point of running all 400 laps when only the last 20 will be good? For that I said No. You don’t pass a test with a 5%.”
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But it wasn’t all complaints. Some long-time Richmond watchers thought it was “Probably the best actual racing at Richmond we’ve had in a while, wrecked by crappy race control,” while another fan opined, “How can anyone vote no that was the best Richmond race since the 550 package”. “I voted yes. I enjoyed the varying strategies in stage 2 and 3,” read another tweet.
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And one guy based his whole judgment on the endgame, “This was tough but I voted “Yes” because of the end.”
Let us know your thoughts about the Richmond race in the comments below.

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