Truex Outduels Logano and Bowyer for Richmond Win

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RICHMOND, VA – RIS – Martin Truex, Jr. dueled a host of drivers to win the Toyota Owners 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup at Richmond Raceway on Saturday night.  It was his first victory on a track smaller than one mile, known as a short track, in his career. The win was another for Joe Gibbs Racing this season.

Truex came into the night having combined to lead 675 laps at Richmond with no victory to show for it. Tonight, he led 186 laps and held off charges by Joey Logano and Clint Bowyer to score his first win at the 0.75-mile track and the 20th of his career.

“Really excited to win here at Richmond,” Truex Jr. said. “I’ve always loved coming here and a short track win, everybody kept asking when it was going to happen. Tonight, we didn’t have the best car, but we’ve lost a lot with the best one.

“We’re just really excited. Everybody at JGR is doing a great job, just a blessing to drive these cars and have a great team.”

Logano put on a furious charge in the final two laps to get around Logano but could not and ended up second.

“Just not close enough, ran out of time there,” Logano said. “I figured something out with about 10 laps to go to make up some speed and got a decent run off  Turn Two on the last lap and thought I could maybe get to the outside.

“When you’re frustrated with second, that’s a good sign of where your team is.”

Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five.

Austin Dillon, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman and Paul Menard completed the first 10 finishers.

While the record shows Truex Jr. led 186 laps, it was not an easy trip to Victory Lane. He had to hold off the charges of first Bowyer and then Logano in the closing laps. Logano pulled to Truex Jr.’s rear bumper on the final circuit and tried his best to find a way around but could not get by the JGR driver who prevailed for the victory. Logano has finished top 10 in 11 of the last 12 races at Richmond…Bowyer had his fourth straight top-10 finish…Hamlin has finished in the top 10 in seven straight races.

Kyle Busch led early and signaled he would make the race a real snoozer, but a speeding penalty on pit road during the second stage doomed his fate.  Never being able to recover, he finished in 8th place, 11.392 seconds behind the leader.

Kyle Larson continued his streak of bad luck which has been miserable for him.  He backed his Chevrolet into the wall early on and the damage was too severe to finish the race.  He finished 37th.

 “Just a lot of bad luck. It’s not been fun,” Larson said.

The Monster Energy Cup drivers will take next weekend off in celebration of Easter.  They will next race at Talladega Super Speedway on Sunday, April 28th.

Richmond Raceway - Richmond, VA - 0.75 - Mile Paved
Total Race Length - 400 Laps - 300. Miles

Stage 2 Pos
Fin Str Car Driver Team Laps Stage 1 Pos Pts Status Tms Laps Playoff Pts
1 5 19 Martin Truex Jr Auto Owners Insurance Toyota 400 3 2 57 Running 4 186 5
2 3 22 Joey Logano Shell Pennzoil Ford 400 2 1 54 Running 1 52 1
3 14 14 Clint Bowyer Haas Automation Ford 400 5 5 46 Running
4 1 4 Kevin Harvick Mobil 1 Ford 400 4 3 48 Running 1 30
5 30 11 Denny Hamlin FedEx Ground Toyota 400 32 Running
6 6 3 Austin Dillon AAA Chevrolet 400 31 Running
7 8 2 Brad Keselowski Alliance Truck Parts Ford 400 6 4 42 Running 2 31
8 4 18 Kyle Busch M&M's Toyota 400 1 39 Running 1 101 1
9 24 6 Ryan Newman Roush Performance Ford 400 28 Running
10 9 21 Paul Menard Menards/Maytag Ford 400 9 10 30 Running
11 2 1 Kurt Busch Global Poker Chevrolet 400 7 7 34 Running
12 34 48 Jimmie Johnson Ally Chevrolet 400 25 Running
13 13 24 William Byron Liberty University Chevrolet 400 24 Running
14 35 20 Erik Jones DeWalt Toyota 400 8 26 Running
15 32 9 Chase Elliott NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet 400 22 Running
16 11 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Fifth Third Bank Ford 400 21 Running
17 12 88 Alex Bowman Nationwide Chevrolet 399 20 Running
18 33 41 Daniel Suarez Haas Automation Ford 399 10 6 25 Running
19 17 8 Daniel Hemric # Bass Pro Shops/Tracker Boats Chevrolet 399 18 Running
20 16 47 Ryan Preece # Kroger Chevrolet 399 17 Running
21 23 13 Ty Dillon GEICO Chevrolet 398 16 Running
22 7 37 Chris Buescher Scott Comfort Plus Chevrolet 398 8 9 20 Running
23 31 10 Aric Almirola Smithfield Get Grilling Ford 398 14 Running
24 20 95 Matt DiBenedetto ToyotaCrtfdUsedVhcls/ToyotaOwnrs Toyota 398 13 Running
25 22 12 Ryan Blaney MoneyLion Ford 398 12 Running
26 21 32 Corey LaJoie CorvetteParts.net Ford 396 11 Running
27 19 43 Bubba Wallace World Wide Technology Chevrolet 396 10 Running
28 15 38 David Ragan MDS Transport Ford 396 9 Running
29 36 36 Matt Tifft # The Pete Store Ford 395 8 Running
30 29 15 Ross Chastain(i) Rim Ryderz Chevrolet 394 0 Running
31 27 51 Jeb Burton(i) JACOB Companies Ford 392 0 Running
32 26 52 Bayley Currey(i) Steakhouse Elite Chevrolet 392 0 Running
33 37 66 * Joey Gase(i) Eternal Fan/Sam Bass Tribute Toyota 387 0 Running
34 28 77 Quin Houff FALCI Adaptive Motorsports Chevrolet 386 3 Running
35 25 00 Landon Cassill Superior Essex Chevrolet 322 2 Running
36 18 34 Michael McDowell Dockside Logistics Ford 240 1 Accident
37 10 42 Kyle Larson McDonald's Chevrolet 125 1 Accident
Time of Race: 3 Hrs, 0 Mins, 16 Secs. Average Speed: 99.852 MPH Margin of Victory: 0.178 Seconds

Ron Fleshman

RIS NASCAR Editor.  Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.

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Volume 2019, Issue 4, Posted 12:43 AM, 04.14.2019