Martin Truex Jr. first spins, then wins Richmond Cup race

Make that two-for-two for Martin Truex Jr. in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.

Martin Truex Jr. first spins, then wins Richmond Cup race
Race Winner  Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry
 Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Bass Pro Shops
Race Winner  Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry
Race Winner  Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry

Truex passed Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch with 25 of 400 laps remaining in Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway and held on for his second consecutive NASCAR Cup Series playoff victory.

The win did not come easy as Truex overcame getting spun out while leading the race on Lap 315.

It’s his sixth victory of the season and 20th of his career and the first time in his career he’s won back-to-back races. Truex also won last weekend’s playoff opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

"I don't even know what to say, I really don't," Truex said after the race. "I'm speechless. We did an unbelievable job, just all my guys. Everybody back at the shop - you guys are just building unbelievable race cars right now.

"I had a heck of a race with Kyle and Denny all night long really. I don't know, we kept plugging away at it, kept plugging away at it. That's what we always do - keep digging and never quit. The next thing you know we're catching (Busch) and I was like, 'Awe, cool, here we go.'

"To sweep both Richmond races is pretty awesome with as much as we led here coming into this year. Just thanks to everybody - it's pretty amazing."

Asked how he overcame the spin out to still win, Truex said: "Luckily I didn't hit anything.  I just tried to keep it off the fence, tried to get spun around and get going, and we ended up ‑‑ because we were pretty far up front, we got going in a pretty good spot and left pit road in a good position.

"Then good adjustments at the end again by (crew chief) Cole (Pearn). This is just freaking unbelievable, so we came here to get bonus points and damn sure we did that."

Denny Hamlin finished third and Erik Jones was fourth as JGR swept the top four finishing positions for the first time in the organization’s history.

UPDATE: Erik Jones disqualified after failing post-race inspection

Brad Keselowski ended up fifth, Ryan Newman sixth, Kyle Larson seventh, Kevin Harvick eighth, Clint Bowyer ninth and Daniel Suarez completed the top-10.

Stage 3

Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, all of the lead-lap cars elected to pit with Kyle Busch once again the first off pit road.

Both Kurt Busch and William Byron were penalized for speeding on pit road during their stops and had to restart from the rear of the field.

On the restart on Lap 210, Kyle Busch was followed by Truex, Hamlin, Keselowski and Jones.

Reed Sorenson got in the Turn 2 wall on Lap 243 to bring out a caution. All of the lead-lap cars elected to pit with Keselowski the first off pit road. 

Jimmie Johnson missed his pit stall the first time around and had to pit again. Aric Almirola was penalized for speeding on pit road and had to restart from the rear of the field.

On the restart on Lap 251, Keselowski was followed by Kyle Busch, Truex, Hamlin and Newman.

On Lap 253, Newman had powered his way into the third position and began challenging Truex for the second spot.

 

On Lap 267, Kyle Busch retook the third position from Newman as Keselowski continued to hold a small but steady lead over Truex.

With 125 laps to go, Truex continued to remain behind Keselowski waiting for a chance to make a pass for the lead with Kyle Busch running third.

Truex cleared Keselowski off Turn 4 on Lap 282 to reclaim the lead in the race.

 

After 300 laps, Truex had built a more than 2-second lead over Kyle Busch. Keselowski ran third, Hamlin fourth and Jones fifth.

On Lap 312, several lead-lap cars began a round of green-flag pit stops to get new tires and enough fuel to make it to the finish of the race.

Truex spun off Turn 4 on Lap 315 after contact with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to bring out a caution. Stenhouse had just pit and had four fresh tires. Kyle Busch inherited the lead at the line.

 

All of the lead-lap cars hit pit road for their final stops with Kyle Busch the first off pit road. On the restart on Lap 322, Busch was followed by Hamlin, Truex, Keselowski and Larson.

With 50 laps to go, Kyle Busch maintained about a 1.4-second lead over Hamlin as Truex continued to run in third. Keselowski was fourth and Newman fifth.

On Lap 356, Truex got around Hamlin to move into the second spot, 1.2-seconds behind leader Kyle Busch.

With 30 to go, Truex had cut Kyle Busch’s lead to about half-a-second. Hamlin ran third, Keselowski fourth and Jones moved back into fifth.

Truex finally got around Busch with 25 laps remaining to reclaim the lead.

With 10 laps remaining, Truex had moved out to almost a 2-second lead over Kyle Busch with Hamlin in third and Jones in fourth.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Laps Led
1 19 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 400   109
2 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 400 2.630 202
3 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 400 5.801  
4 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 400 8.960  
5 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 400 11.676 90
6 6 United States Ryan Newman  Ford 400 12.513  
7 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 400 14.625  
8 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 400 16.477  
9 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 400 17.786  
10 41 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Ford 400 18.361  
11 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 400 18.789  
12 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 400 23.391  
13 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 400 24.846  
14 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 399 1 lap  
15 95 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Toyota 399 1 lap  
16 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 399 1 lap  
17 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 399 1 lap  
18 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 399 1 lap  
19 1 United States Kurt Busch  Chevrolet 398 2 laps  
20 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 398 2 laps  
21 36 United States Matt Tifft  Ford 397 3 laps  
22 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 397 3 laps  
23 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 396 4 laps  
24 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 396 4 laps  
25 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 396 4 laps  
26 8 United States Daniel Hemric  Chevrolet 396 4 laps  
27 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 396 4 laps  
28 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 395 5 laps  
29 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 395 5 laps  
30 32 United States Corey Lajoie  Ford 395 5 laps  
31 47 United States Ryan Preece  Chevrolet 394 6 laps  
32 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 393 7 laps  
33 51 United States Austin Theriault  Chevrolet 392 8 laps  
34 52 United States J.J. Yeley  Ford 391 9 laps  
35 53 United States Spencer Boyd  Chevrolet 388 12 laps  
36 27 United States Quin Houff  Chevrolet 384 16 laps  
37 15 United States Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 265 135 laps  
38 77 United States Reed Sorenson  Chevrolet 233 167 laps  

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