Martin Truex Jr. ends short-track drought with Richmond win

Martin Truex Jr. finally has a short track victory in his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career.

Martin Truex Jr. ends short-track drought with Richmond win
Race Winner Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Auto Owners Insurance
Race Winner Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Auto Owners Insurance
Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Auto Owners Insurance
Joey Logano, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Shell Pennzoil
Joey Logano, Team Penske, Ford Mustang Shell Pennzoil
Race Winner Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Auto Owners Insurance
Clint Bowyer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Haas Automation
Race Winner Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry Auto Owners Insurance

Truex held off a furious charge from Joey Logano over the final three of 400 laps to win Saturday night’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway.

The win is Truex’s first series victory in 81 starts on short tracks (less than 1-mile in length).

It’s also Truex’s first win of the 2019 season and he is now the third driver at Joe Gibbs Racing to win in the season’s first nine races (joining Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin).

"I'm just really excited to win here at Richmond. I've always really enjoyed this track," Truex said. "I've always loved coming here. You know the short track win, everyone 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. We just fought and battled. Being out front was just the key. We're just really excited. Everybody at JGR has done a great job. 

"We're just chipping away at it and hopefully we'll get better at it from here on out."

Asked about the battle with Bowyer and then Logano, Truex said, "I was struggling the last 40 laps. I had no front tire and got real tight that last run. I just had to hold them off. Thanks to the pit crew - they had a great night.

"I'm just really happy to get our first win with Gibbs. First short track win is pretty awesome, too."

Clint Bowyer was third, Kevin Harvick fourth and Hamlin completed the top-five.

Rounding out the top 10 were Austin Dillon, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman and Paul Menard.

Stage 3

Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, Logano was the first off pit road followed by Truex, Harvick, Keselowski and Bowyer. The race returned to green on Lap 212.

Truex, Harvick and Keselowski briefly raced three-wide for second before Truex finally came away with the position.

On Lap 217, Kyle Busch had made his way back into the top-10 after his Stage 2 pit road speeding penalty.

On Lap 243, Michael McDowell had a tire go down and hit the wall to bring out a caution. All of the lead-lap cars elected to pit with Truex the first off pit road, followed by Logano, Keselowski and Harvick. The race returned to green on Lap 253.

 

Keselowski got around Logano to take the second position shortly after the restart. One lap later, Kyle Busch moved back into the top-five.

On Lap 266, Keselowski went to the outside off Truex in Turn 3 to claim the lead for the first time in the race.

With 120 laps to go in the race, Keselowski held a nearly 1-second lead over Truex. Logano was third, Bowyer fourth and Kyle Busch was in fifth.

On Lap 294, Truex went to the outside and was able to get around Keselowski in Turn 2 and reclaim the lead.

With 100 laps remaining, Truex had already moved out to a more than 1-second lead over Keselowski as Logano ran in third.

On Lap 312, Bowyer got around Keselowski and moved into the runner-up position as Keselowski dropped to third.

On Lap 315, several drivers began hitting pit road under green to make their final stop for fuel and tires. Both Aric Almirola and Daniel Suarez were penalized for speeding on pit road during their respective stops and had to serve pass-thru penalties.

Once the cycle of stops were completed on Lap 323, Truex moved back into the lead followed by Bowyer, Logano and Harvick.

With 50 laps remaining, Truex’s lead over Bowyer was under a second with Logano running in third.

With 20 laps to go, Bowyer had moved up to the rear bumper of Truex but was having difficulty trying to complete the pass for the lead.

Bowyer tagged the wall with 13 laps to go, which slowed his momentum a bit and allowed Logano to gain ground in the battle for the second position.

Logano moved into the second position with four laps remaining.

Read Also:

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Laps Led
1 19 United States Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 400   186
2 22 United States Joey Logano  Ford 400 0.178 52
3 14 United States Clint Bowyer  Ford 400 0.521  
4 4 United States Kevin Harvick  Ford 400 0.932 31
5 11 United States Denny Hamlin  Toyota 400 3.826  
6 3 United States Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 400 8.144  
7 2 United States Brad Keselowski  Ford 400 10.985 31
8 18 United States Kyle Busch  Toyota 400 11.392 101
9 6 United States Ryan Newman  Ford 400 11.499  
10 21 United States Paul Menard  Ford 400 17.062  
11 1 United States Kurt Busch  Chevrolet 400 21.373  
12 48 United States Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 400 21.783  
13 24 United States William Byron  Chevrolet 400 22.312  
14 20 United States Erik Jones  Toyota 400 22.648  
15 9 United States Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 400 23.231  
16 17 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 400 24.001  
17 88 United States Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 399 1 lap  
18 41 Mexico Daniel Suarez  Ford 399 1 lap  
19 8 United States Daniel Hemric  Chevrolet 399 1 lap  
20 47 United States Ryan Preece  Chevrolet 399 1 lap  
21 13 United States Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 398 2 laps  
22 37 United States Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 398 2 laps  
23 10 United States Aric Almirola  Ford 398 2 laps  
24 95 United States Matt DiBenedetto  Toyota 398 2 laps  
25 12 United States Ryan Blaney  Ford 398 2 laps  
26 32 United States Corey Lajoie  Ford 396 4 laps  
27 43 United States Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 396 4 laps  
28 38 United States David Ragan  Ford 396 4 laps  
29 36 United States Matt Tifft  Ford 395 5 laps  
30 15 United States Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 394 6 laps  
31 51 United States Jeb Burton  Chevrolet 392 8 laps  
32 52 Bayley Currey  Ford 392 8 laps  
33 66 United States Joey Gase  Toyota 387 13 laps  
34 77 United States Quin Houff  Chevrolet 386 14 laps  
35 00 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 322 78 laps  
36 34 United States Michael McDowell  Ford 240 159 laps  
37 42 United States Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 125 274 laps  

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