UPDATE: Erik Jones’ No. 20 car failed post-race inspection and as a result he has been disqualified. He will be credited with a last-place finish.
The rest of the field should take notice, Martin Truex Jr. is on a mission.
Track position is key at Richmond Raceway, but being spun from the lead by Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in the Final Stage of Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 wasn’t enough to keep Truex out of victory lane as the New Jersey native worked back around Kyle Busch, his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, with 25 laps to go.
This impressive win marks Truex’s sixth triumph of 2019, and it’s the first time in his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career that he has won back-to-back races.
Truex also scored the Stage 1 win, which means — just like a week ago — he pocketed another six Playoff Points.
The 2019 Playoffs are now two races old, and the only driver who has won a race since they began is Truex. He is definitely asserting himself as the driver to beat for the title.
Busch held on to finish second, Denny Hamlin came home third and Erik Jones finished fourth to make it an all Joe Gibbs Racing top-four on the night.
Pole sitter Brad Keselowski finished fifth.
Ryan Newman continued to bolster his hopes of advancing to the next Playoff round with a sixth-place effort.
Playoff contenders Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer finished seventh through ninth, while Daniel Suarez rounded out the top-10 finishers in the race.
Joey Logano (11th), Chase Elliott (14th), Aric Almirola (17th), Ryan Blaney (18th), Kurt Busch (19th), Alex Bowman (24th) and William Byron (25th) were the Playoff contenders who finished outside the top-10.
Byron and Bowman had the roughest nights as they both finished four laps off the pace. Bowman went for a spin at the hands of Austin Dillon in Stage 2, and Byron picked up a tire rub in the race as well.
Post-Race Stat Pack:
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.