Martin Truex Jr. wins at Richmond Raceway

Tanya Simon
April 15, 2019

Martin Truex Jr. held off Clint Bowyer in a long duel and then Joey Logano for four laps to win the NASCAR Cup Series Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond (Va.) Raceway on Saturday night. The front-row of Saturday's starting grid has changed, though, as the provisional second-place starter, the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Erik Jones, failed its first time through inspection.

The defending Cup Series champion was on a rail in the final laps of the Toyota Owners 400, powering around the top side of the three-quarter-mile oval and passing Clint Bowyer for second with four laps left as he looked to collect his second win of the season.

Joey Logano came in a close second.

"It was really just more congestion", Harvick said. "It's really cool. As a driver, you wish it could widen out and give you more options of being able to run around in different grooves, but it hasn't shown us that the last couple of years".

But Truex expertly navigated lapped traffic and never let him pass to win for the first time in 81 starts in the Cup series on a short track.

"At the end of the day, we drove up to him and you get bad tight behind people", Bowyer said.

Cindric had grabbed the lead on a restart with 25 laps to go, but Custer regained the lead five laps later and pulled away for his second victory of the season.

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When they all had new tires and enough fuel to finish, Truex was back in front, followed by Bowyer, Logano, Harvick and Hamlin.

"Sometimes in pro sports, you know, you get on a roll, things go well", Gibbs said. "I think you actually kind of lose a little bit of the drama of a auto going back out and can that vehicle knock the vehicle that is on the bubble out".

Failing inspection twice were the cars of Chase Elliott (who qualified seventh), Denny Hamlin (18th), and Matt Tifft (20th).

Five other teams failed inspection and had their qualifying speeds and pit selections disallowed. They include local favorite Denny Hamlin, a three-time victor on the 0.75-mile oval, Chase Elliott and Matt Tifft. It was a calculated risk for Allgaier, who won the first stage and was hoping that rain in the forecast and on the radar might arrive in time to shorten the race with him in the lead.

Who Had a Bad Day: The miserable season for Kyle Larson continued Saturday night. "We've had decent speed". "Tonight we didn't have the best auto, but we've lost some here with the best vehicle".

Larson has just two top-10 finishes in nine starts.

Kyle Busch led 101 laps and finished eighth for his ninth straight Top 10 finish to start the season. The top four finishers in this race will be eligible for the bonus when the series races next at Talladega Superspeedway in two weeks.

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