Martin Truex Jr. Wins At Richmond Raceway; Captures First Cup Short Track Victoryby Camille Jones April 14, 2019 0 comments
RICHMOND, Va. – Martin Truex Jr. earned the first short track victory of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career in Saturday night’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway.
The driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 19 Auto Owners Insurance Toyota cruised to Victory Lane after holding off a hard-charging Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick through a heated battle in the closing laps of the race. Truex, a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Champion, has 20 wins in his career, but none came on a short track until Saturday night’s event. The No. 19 car led the field for 186 of the 400 laps raced.
“I’m really excited to win here at Richmond,” said Truex. “I’ve always really enjoyed this track. I’ve always loved coming here. The short track win – everybody kept asking me when it was going to happen. Tonight we didn’t have the best car, but we’ve lost here with the best car a bunch of times.”
In the final laps, Joey Logano was able to use lapped traffic to make a pass on Bowyer for second, before crawling up to the back of Truex’s car. He was on the bumper of Truex after taking the white flag, but he was unable to make the pass for the win. Logano was forced to settle for a runner-up finish in the race.
“We had a car that was capable of winning for the third week straight and we didn’t win,” Logano said. “That part is frustrating. We need to clean up some mistakes on our end. We lost the lead there on a pit stop. We gotta get faster there. That is when we lost control of the race at that point and fell back to third and had a decent green-flag cycle that got us up and then we reeled in the 19 and the 14 from pretty far back. I was watching them race and thought that if I was just patient and saved my tires, I saw them coming off the corner sideways every time. They were a little faster than me but I knew they were going to kill their stuff and they did. I got there, I was just a couple laps late getting there.”
Bowyer slipped to third, but he was able to hold off Kevin Harvick as the battle intensified with just several laps remaining. Denny Hamlin finished in fifth, followed by Austin Dillon, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman and Paul Menard.
Kyle Busch won Stage 1 in the race, and Joey Logano was the winner of Stage 2.
Sixteen cars finished on the lead lap in the event, which saw eight lead changes between five different leaders.
There were five cautions for a total of 41 laps under yellow-flag conditions.
Kyle Busch currently leads the point standings by 20 points over Logano.
Following a weekend off, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competitors will return to action on Sunday, April 28 at Talladega Superspeedway. The GEICO 500 will broadcast live on FOX and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 2 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Image