Richmond NASCAR: Truex overcomes start penalty to take victory

Martin Truex Jr started Saturday night’s NASCAR Cup race at Richmond with a penalty but ended it as the winner.

Richmond NASCAR: Truex overcomes start penalty to take victory

Truex, who was penalised by NASCAR for jumping the start of the race and ended up last in the running order, grabbed control of the race in the final stage and never looked back.

Truex emerged as the leader following a round of green flag pitstops on Lap 350 of 400 at Richmond Raceway and held off his Joe Gibbs Racing team-mate Denny Hamlin by 1.417 seconds to earn his fourth win of the 2021 season.

The win, the 31st of his career, sends Truex into the Round of 12 of the playoff regardless of his performance in next weekend’s race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

“It’s a big day. It’s an important day in our history,” Truex said of his victory coming on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States. “I think all of us here – yeah, we’re proud to win, and this car is amazing and there’s so many people to thank.

“But what a day to win on. It reminds you of the honour and the privilege it is to get to come out here and do this. All these great fans that come out here, we couldn’t do any of these kind of things without the men and women that take care of us and all the first responders, police officers, firefighters, the military, you name it.”

Race winner  Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry

Race winner Martin Truex Jr., Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry

Photo by: Matthew T. Thacker / NKP / Motorsport Images

Asked about the effect his penalty to start the race, Truex said, “That was frustrating; I’m not going to lie. But I knew we’d have a good enough car to overcome it. It felt pretty good the first couple laps.

“Just one of those things; you’ve got to put it out of your mind and you’ve got to go race, and we knew there was a lot on the line tonight. Very happy to get to do this and go to Bristol without any worries next week is always fun.”

Christopher Bell finished third to complete a 1-2-3 sweep by JGR, with Chase Elliott fourth for Hendrick Motorsport as Joey Logano rounded out the top five for Team Penske.

Championship points leader Kyle Larson claimed sixth ahead of Ross Chastain and Kevin Harvick, with Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney completing the top 10.

Race results - 400 laps

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap
1 19 United States Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 400 3:03'06.698  
2 11 United States Denny Hamlin Toyota 400 3:03'08.115 1.417
3 20 United States Christopher Bell Toyota 400 3:03'19.614 12.916
4 9 United States Chase Elliott Chevrolet 400 3:03'23.323 16.625
5 22 United States Joey Logano Ford 400 3:03'25.589 18.891
6 5 United States Kyle Larson Chevrolet 400 3:03'28.651 21.953
7 42 United States Ross Chastain Chevrolet 400 3:03'29.626 22.928
8 4 United States Kevin Harvick Ford 400 3:03'29.920 23.222
9 18 United States Kyle Busch Toyota 400 3:03'30.548 23.850
10 12 United States Ryan Blaney Ford 399 3:03'16.231 1 Lap
11 3 United States Austin Dillon Chevrolet 399 3:03'16.635 1 Lap
12 48 United States Alex Bowman Chevrolet 399 3:03'18.141 1 Lap
13 2 United States Brad Keselowski Ford 399 3:03'21.574 1 Lap
14 10 United States Aric Almirola Ford 399 3:03'31.461 1 Lap
15 8 United States Tyler Reddick Chevrolet 398 3:03'12.576 2 Laps
16 14 United States Chase Briscoe Ford 398 3:03'14.590 2 Laps
17 99 Mexico Daniel Suarez Chevrolet 398 3:03'18.516 2 Laps
18 21 United States Matt DiBenedetto Ford 398 3:03'18.597 2 Laps
19 24 United States William Byron Chevrolet 398 3:03'23.752 2 Laps
20 6 United States Ryan Newman Ford 398 3:03'26.970 2 Laps
21 43 United States Erik Jones Chevrolet 398 3:03'27.598 2 Laps
22 41 United States Cole Custer Ford 397 3:03'09.230 3 Laps
23 47 United States Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Chevrolet 397 3:03'11.976 3 Laps
24 17 United States Chris Buescher Ford 396 3:03'12.283 4 Laps
25 37 United States Ryan Preece Chevrolet 396 3:03'17.392 4 Laps
26 38 Anthony Alfredo Ford 396 3:03'21.122 4 Laps
27 77 United States Justin Haley Chevrolet 396 3:03'26.519 4 Laps
28 34 United States Michael McDowell Ford 395 3:03'22.082 5 Laps
29 7 United States Corey Lajoie Chevrolet 395 3:03'25.969 5 Laps
30 78 United States B.J. McLeod Ford 393 3:03'13.884 7 Laps
31 51 United States Garrett Smithley Chevrolet 389 3:03'26.373 11 Laps
32 23 United States Bubba Wallace Toyota 388 3:03'15.605 12 Laps
33 15 United States Joey Gase Chevrolet 387 3:03'16.491 13 Laps
34 53 United States J.J. Yeley Chevrolet 386 3:03'07.037 14 Laps
35 00 United States Quin Houff Chevrolet 386 3:03'14.777 14 Laps
36 52 United States Josh Bilicki Ford 385 3:03'24.480 15 Laps
37 1 United States Kurt Busch Chevrolet 40 18'51.171 360 Laps
 

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