Martin Truex Jr. Wins at Richmond

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Richmond Raceway, Richmond, VA — April 13, 2019

Kevin Harvick(4) won the pole for the first night race of the season at Richmond Raceway. After qualifying Friday the cars were impounded and inspected this morning. The starting grid will be modified significantly when the green flag falls. A total of eight cars failed inspection and will be relegated to the rear of the field. Chase Elliott(9), Aric Almirola(10), Denny Hamlin(11), Erik Jones(20), Matt Tifft(36), Daniel Suarez(41), Jimmie Johnson(48), and Joey Gase(66) all were penalized.

Kevin Harvick Puts his Mustang on the Pole at Richmond, Photo Credit: Donald Page / Getty Images

The Start

Harvick drove off into the lead as racing from mid-pack on back fanned out two and three wide. Kyle Busch(18) and Kurt Busch(1), the top two cars from last week at Bristol, drove to the front and began eating into Harvick’s lead.

NASCAR scheduled a competition caution for Lap 40 due to rains overnight and into the morning. Almost everyone pitted for new tires and fuel. On the restart, Kyle Busch held the lead with Harvick 2nd. Joey Logano(22), Martin Truex Jr.(19), Chris Buescher(37) all moved past Harvick as the race settled into the 100 laps of Stage 1.

Kyle Busch held on for the Stage win, easily outrunning Logano in 2nd.

Kyle Busch Wins Stage 1 at Richmond, Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan / Getty Images

Stage 1 Results

Car Driver Stage Points
18 Kyle Busch 10
22 Joey Logano* 9
19 Martin Truex Jr. 8
4 Kevin Harvick* 7
14 Clint Bowyer* 6
2 Brad Keselowski* 5
1 Kurt Busch 4
37 Chris Buescher 3
21 Paul Menard 2
41 Daniel Suarez 1

* Ford Mustang Drivers

Stage 2

The 2nd Stage started almost the way Stage 1 ended with Kyle Busch in the lead and Logano in 2nd. Truex, Harvick, and Bowyer followed to the green flag restart. Kyle Larson(42) cut down a tire 30 laps into the Stage and wrecked out of the race when he hit the wall. With tire wear such an issue at Richmond, all the leaders pitted.

The top five remained the same. But, Kyle Busch was clocked too fast on pit road and sent to the rear of the lead lap, restarting in 24th place. Truex quickly passed Logano and took his turn at the front of the field.

Late in the Stage, Logano moved back into the lead passing Truex to take the Stage win. Kyle Busch worked his way up to 15th.

Stage 2 Results

Car Driver Stage Points
22 Joey Logano* 10
19 Martin Truex Jr. 9
4 Kevin Harvick* 8
2 Brad Keselowski* 7
14 Clint Bowyer* 6
41 Daniel Suarez* 5
1 Kurt Busch 4
20 Erik Jones 3
37 Chris Buescher 2
21 Paul Menard* 1

* Ford Mustang Drivers

The Final Stage

Logano and Truex lead the field back to green for the 200 laps of the Final Stage. As the cars settled in after the restart, Brad Keselowski(2), Harvick, and Bowyer filled out the top 5. Kyle Busch managed to work his way back into 10th.

On Lap 242, Michael McDowell had a right rear tire give out and he spun crashing into the turn 1 wall. Again all the leaders pitted for tires. Truex took the lead away from Logano exiting the pits first. The remainder of the top 5 stayed the same. Kyle Busch restarted in 7th.

Keselowski passed his teammate Logano on the restart and a few laps later passed Truex for the lead. The #2 car stayed out front for 28 laps, then Treux passed to take back the lead.

Final Pit Stops

Green flag pit stops began with 80 laps to go. Barring another caution, it should be the final stop of the evening. When the field cycled through their stops, it was Truex back out front increasing his lead to two seconds. Bowyer moved into 2nd, followed by Logano, Harvick, and Hamlin. Kyle Busch, with an uncharacteristic slow stop, dropped back to 10th.

Photo Credit: Donald Page / Getty Images

Truex has led over 1,300 laps on short tracks but has never posted a win on a track less than a mile in length during his Cup career. With 50 laps to go Bowyer closed the gap behind Truex to less than a second, trying to make the winless streak continue.

The Finish

With 25 laps to go Bowyer had made it to Truex’s bumper. With 22 to go, they were side-by-side but Truex maintained the lead. As the front two battled lap after lap it allowed Logano to close up and join the fight for the lead.

With 10 laps to go, Truex had stretched the lead. Bowyer may have used up his tires trying to get by earlier. At 4 to go, Logano passed Bowyer for 2nd. With the white flag in the air, Logano was at Truex’s bumper. Would another bump and run between the two play out the way it did at Martinsville last fall?

Truex held on to the win, finally breaking the short-track drought. His first win of 2019 and his first win for Joe Gibbs Racing.

Next

The Easter break leaves the Cup cars at home next weekend. Then its Talladega on Sunday the 28th as the series moves from the bullrings to the superspeedway.

 

 

Results of the Richmond Raceway Spring 400

Position Car Driver Behind Laps
1 19 Martin Truex Jr 400
2 22 Joey Logano 0.178 400
3 14 Clint Bowyer 0.521 400
4 4 Kevin Harvick 0.932 400
5 11 Denny Hamlin 3.826 400
6 3 Austin Dillon 8.144 400
7 2 Brad Keselowski 10.985 400
8 18 Kyle Busch 11.392 400
9 6 Ryan Newman 11.499 400
10 21 Paul Menard 17.062 400
11 1 Kurt Busch 21.373 400
12 48 Jimmie Johnson 21.783 400
13 24 William Byron 22.312 400
14 20 Erik Jones 22.648 400
15 9 Chase Elliott 23.231 400
16 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 24.001 400
17 88 Alex Bowman -1 399
18 41 Daniel Suarez -1 399
19 8 Daniel Hemric -1 399
20 47 Ryan Preece -1 399
21 13 Ty Dillon -2 398
22 37 Chris Buescher -2 398
23 10 Aric Almirola -2 398
24 95 Matt DiBenedetto -2 398
25 12 Ryan Blaney -2 398
26 32 Corey LaJoie -4 396
27 43 Bubba Wallace -4 396
28 38 David Ragan -4 396
29 36 Matt Tifft -5 395
30 15 Ross Chastain -6 394
31 51 Jeb Burton -8 392
32 52 Bayley Currey -8 392
33 66 Joey Gase -13 387
34 77 Quin Houff -14 386
35 0 Landon Cassill -78 322
36 34 Michael McDowell -159 240
37 42 Kyle Larson -274 125

Points/Playoff Standings

Rank Driver Points Wins
1 Kyle Busch 361 3
2 Denny Hamlin 334 2
3 Brad Keselowski* 271 2
4 Joey Logano* 326 1
5 Martin Truex Jr. 254 1
6 Kevin Harvick* 301 0
7 Ryan Blaney* 265 0
8 Kurt Busch 253 0
9 Aric Almirola* 246 0
10 Chase Elliott 245 0
11 Clint Bowyer* 234 0
12 Daniel Suarez* 210 0
13 Jimmie Johnson 209 0
14 Kyle Larson 203 0
15 Ryan Newman* 188 0
16 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.* 187 0
Playoff Cut Line
17 Erik Jones 186 0
18 Austin Dillon 185 0
19 Paul Menard 183 0
20 William Byron 174 0

*Ford Mustang Drivers

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Steve Sweitzer
Steve is the Sports Editor for the Lasco Press and highlights our coverage of NASCAR and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Steve is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association and a nationally published author of automotive related articles for industry trade magazines. He is also a freelance technical writer and accomplished photographer. A 25-year resident of Southeast Michigan, Steve’s passion for reporting on our community, it’s residents, and our automotive connections allow us to use his skills to cover a number of events. Steve’s ability to seek out the unique behind the scenes accounts that tell the often-overlooked aspect of a story makes for entertaining reading. Follow Steve at thelascopress.com with weekly NASCAR updates and featured articles.