NASCAR fans, and especially Martin Truex Jr fans, had to be wondering what had happened to the driver who had four wins early in the season but then disappeared.
But as Truex took the checkered flag for his fifth win of the season, he also reminded the entire industry to not count out the No. 19 as he locked in his spot in the second round of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. He finished over four seconds ahead of second place Kevin Harvick.
“Hell of a way to make a championship run,” said Truex, who had qualified 24th for the race. “Get some bonus points, move on to the next round, see what we can do there.”
Harvick admitted after the race that he didn’t have much for Truex, despite leading 47 laps.
“I knew the Gibbs cars would be tough,” said Harvick. “Martin was just so much better on the second half run. He made up ground there, was able to stay close enough to us.”
Behind Truex and Harvick, Brad Keselowski finished third, followed by Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney.
With Truex wrapping up a spot in the second round of the playoffs, the remaining order of drivers for the playoffs are Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Keselowski, Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, William Byron, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Aric Almirola, Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch, Clint Bowyer and Erik Jones.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series returns to action on Saturday night at Richmond, and brings the playoff action to Kansas Speedway on October 20 for the Hollywood Casino 400! Catch the full weekend schedule and snag your tickets here.
As the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Richmond this weekend, here’s your playoff standings -
1. Martin Truex Jr.
2. Kevin Harvick
3. Joey Logano
4. Kyle Busch
5. Brad Keselowski
6. Chase Elliott
7. Denny Hamlin
8. Kyle Larson
9. William Byron
10. Ryan Blaney
11. Alex Bowman
12. Aric Almirola
13. Ryan Newman
14. Kurt Busch
15. Clint Bowyer
16. Erik Jones