Martin Truex Jr. removed the short track “monkey” off of his back Saturday night, claiming his first ever short track NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series victory at Richmond Raceway.
Driving a Toyota, Truex crossed the finish line ahead of Joey Logano and Clint Bowyer to capture the Toyota Owners 400 victory. It took Truex 81 starts on short tracks to claims his first win. The win is also three in a row for Joe Gibbs Racing, with Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch winning the two previous races held.
“It means a lot to break through, especially here at Richmond. I’ve always really enjoyed this track. I’ve always loved coming here. The short track win, everybody kept asking me when it was going to happen,” said Truex after his victory. “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.”
Logano was able to pass Bowyer with only a handful of laps remaining, and by the final lap was on the bumper of Truex, but could not get around him for the win and settled for second position. Bowyer would finish in third, followed by his teammate Kevin Harvick in fourth. Denny Hamlin would finish in fifth position rounding out the top five.
After winning last weekend, Kyle Busch again led 101 laps during the event only second to winner Martin Truex’s 186 laps led. However, a late race speeding penalty on pit road sent Busch back to 26th place. He was not able to get back the front and finished in eighth.
The series has next weekend off due to the Easter holiday, but will be back in action at for the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday, April 28th. Green flag is scheduled for 2:00pm EST and can be watched live on Fox.
Featured Image Credit: Richmond Raceway
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