Richmond NASCAR: Martin Truex Jr takes first win with Joe Gibbs

Martin Truex Jr prevailed in a late-race shootout with Joey Logano and Clint Bowyer to finally take his first short track win in the NASCAR Cup Series at Richmond.

The result was also a first win for 2017 champion Truex since he joined Joe Gibbs Racing at the end of last season following the closure of the Furniture Row squad with which he had won the title.

Truex hadn’t won a short track Cup race in 80 previous attempts, but had led more laps at short tracks than any other driver without a win at one.

Truex had to resist Bowyer for the deciding 70 laps and although Bowyer’s Ford performed much better in traffic, Truex was able to remain out in front as Bowyer faded in the final laps of the race.

Stage two winner Logano mounted a late challenge on Bowyer for second, and was able to get by with three laps left as the Stewart-Haas driver overworked his tyres and brushed a wall in the final 15 laps.

Polesitter Kevin Harvick was fourth, ahead of Denny Hamlin – who was the highest finisher of those that started at the rear of the field after failing pre-race technical inspection. Austin Dillon took his best finish of the season in sixth.

Brad Keselowski finished seventh, despite leading 31 out of 400 laps. With his brakes running hot he was unable to keep pace with the race leaders in the final stage.

Keselowski was still able to hold off Kyle Busch. The points leader won the first stage and led 101 laps but was hit with a pitlane speeding penalty during a caution period in the second stage.

It took Busch just 80 laps to return to the top 10 but, despite having a fast car, he wasn’t able to make his way through traffic to regain the lead.

Ryan Newman finished ninth, with Paul Menard 10th. The Wood Brothers Racing driver had a strong race, running in the top 10 for much of the night.

Jimmie Johnson, who will be running the Boston Marathon on Monday, was 12th, beating Hendrick team-mate William Byron and Erik Jones – who lost a front-row starting spot due to his own pre-race inspection failure.

Daniel Suarez, another victim of pre-race discrepancies, had a strong race, climbing from 33rd to 10th in just 90 laps. He ran in the top 10 for much of the night but a pitlane speeding penalty during the stage three green flag pitstop cycle ended his hopes of a strong finish.

Other than the stage ending cautions and a lap 40 competition caution attributed to overnight rain, there were two yellows.

The first was caused by Kyle Larson hitting the Turn 1 wall on lap 128 after his left rear tyre went down.

The second came when Michael McDowell had a similar hit in the same place, albeit caused by his right rear tyre deflating.

Race result

Pos Driver Team Car Laps Gap
1 Martin Truex Jr. Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 400 3h00m16.s
2 Joey Logano Team Penske Ford 400 0.178s
3 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 400 0.521s
4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 400 0.932s
5 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 400 3.826s
6 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 400 8.144s
7 Brad Keselowski Team Penske Ford 400 10.985s
8 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 400 11.392s
9 Ryan Newman Roush Fenway Racing Ford 400 11.499s
10 Paul Menard Wood Brothers Racing Ford 400 17.062s
11 Kurt Busch Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 400 21.373s
12 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 400 21.783s
13 William Byron Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 400 22.312s
14 Erik Jones Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 400 22.648s
15 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 400 23.231s
16 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Roush Fenway Racing Ford 400 24.001s
17 Alex Bowman Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet 399 1 Lap
18 Daniel Suarez Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 399 1 Lap
19 Daniel Hemric Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 399 1 Lap
20 Ryan Preece JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 399 1 Lap
21 Ty Dillon Germain Racing Chevrolet 398 2 Laps
22 Chris Buescher JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet 398 2 Laps
23 Aric Almirola Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 398 2 Laps
24 Matt DiBenedetto Leavine Family Racing Toyota 398 2 Laps
25 Ryan Blaney Team Penske Ford 398 2 Laps
26 Corey LaJoie Go FAS Racing Ford 396 4 Laps
27 Darrell Wallace Jr. Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet 396 4 Laps
28 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Ford 396 4 Laps
29 Matt Tifft Front Row Motorsports Ford 395 5 Laps
30 Ross Chastain Premium Motorsports Chevrolet 394 6 Laps
31 Jeb Burton Petty Ware Racing Chevrolet 392 8 Laps
32 Bayley Currey Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet 392 8 Laps
33 Joey Gase MBM Motorsports Toyota 387 13 Laps
34 Quin Houff Spire Motorsports Chevrolet 386 14 Laps
35 Landon Cassill StarCom Racing Chevrolet 322 78 Laps
36 Michael McDowell Front Row Motorsports Ford 240 Accident
37 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet 125 Accident

Drivers’ standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Kyle Busch 400
2 Joey Logano 380
3 Denny Hamlin 366
4 Kevin Harvick 349
5 Brad Keselowski 313
6 Martin Truex Jr. 311
7 Kurt Busch 287
8 Clint Bowyer 280
9 Ryan Blaney 277
10 Chase Elliott 267
11 Aric Almirola 260
12 Daniel Suarez 235
13 Jimmie Johnson 234
14 Austin Dillon 216
15 Ryan Newman 216
16 Paul Menard 213
17 Erik Jones 212
18 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 208
19 Kyle Larson 204
20 William Byron 198
21 Alex Bowman 186
22 Ty Dillon 172
23 Chris Buescher 167
24 Matt DiBenedetto 142
25 Ryan Preece 126
26 Darrell Wallace Jr. 110
27 David Ragan 109
28 Daniel Hemric 97
29 Michael McDowell 94
30 Corey LaJoie 81
31 Matt Tifft 80
32 Landon Cassill 62
33 Jamie McMurray 19
34 Cody Ware 18
35 Quin Houff 15
36 Reed Sorenson 7
37 Casey Mears 1
38 Ross Chastain 0
39 Parker Kligerman 0
40 B.J. McLeod 0
41 Brendan Gaughan 0
42 Tyler Reddick 0
43 Bayley Currey 0
44 Jeb Burton 0
45 Garrett Smithley 0
46 D.J. Kennington 0
47 Joey Gase 0
48 Timmy Hill 0
49 Gray Gaulding 0
50 Ryan Truex 0

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