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Martin Truex Jr. sweeps first two stages in Richmond

Staff Report
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Martin Truex Jr. sweeps first two stages in Richmond

Martin Truex Jr. led all 100 laps of Stage 2 at Richmond Raceway to sweep the first two stages and capture his 10thstage win of the Monster Energy Series season Saturday. In all, Truex Jr. led 159 of the first 200 laps of the Federated Auto Parts 400. Kevin Harvick finished second in the stage, …

Martin Truex Jr. led all 100 laps of Stage 2 at Richmond Raceway to sweep the first two stages and capture his 10th stage win of the Monster Energy Series season Saturday.

In all, Truex Jr. led 159 of the first 200 laps of the Federated Auto Parts 400.

Kevin Harvick finished second in the stage, and in doing so, overtook Kyle Busch as the season leader in stage points, with 289 points.

RELATED: Stage 2 results

Aric Almirola, Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top five in the stage.

Erik Jones encountered trouble on pit road following Stage 1 and had to make three stops for a penalty and adjustments to his car. He fell to 24th early in Stage 2, but worked his way up to 17th by Lap 200.

Austin Dillon made a Stage 2 surge to crack the top 10 in seventh, while Clint Bowyer was the lowest-finishing NASCAR Playoffs driver in the stage at 19th. He was the last car on the lead lap, an accomplishment after pitting midway through the stage to set up an off-cycle strategy.

The Federated Auto Parts 400 is scheduled to end on Lap 400.

Finish Driver Team Race Points
1  Martin Truex Jr.  Furniture Row Racing 10
2  Kevin Harvick  Stewart-Haas Racing 9
3  Aric Almirola  Stewart-Haas Racing 8
4  Chase Elliott  Hendrick Motorsports 7
5  Brad Keselowski  Team Penske 6
6  Alex Bowman  Hendrick Motorsports 5
7  Austin Dillon  Richard Childress Racing 4
8  Jimmie Johnson  Hendrick Motorsports 3
9  Kyle Larson  Chip Ganassi Racing 2
10  Joey Logano  Team Penske 1

 

Stage 1

Martin Truex Jr. took the lead from polesitter Kevin Harvick on Lap 41 of the Federated Auto Parts 400 and held on for 60 laps to win Stage 1 on Saturday at Richmond Raceway.

RELATED: Stage 1 results

It was Truex Jr.’s ninth stage win of the season.

Harvick finished Stage 1 in second, while Brad Keselowski — winner of the last three races — was third. Chase Elliott and Kurt Busch rounded out the top five.

A near-miss moment came on Lap 52 when Denny Hamlin spun in traffic after Ricky Stenhouse Jr. made contact with the rear bumper of the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Hamlin skidded down the track, his front tires locking, but managed to avoid wrecking or drawing out a caution.

Hamlin did need to pit shortly after, however, for flat-spotted tires. He finished the stage in ninth.

Kyle Busch, who started at the rear for unapproved adjustments after repairs were made to his car that scraped the wall during Busch Pole Qualifying, worked his way up to 13th by the time Stage 1 ended.

Among the 16 playoff drivers, Ryan Blaney was the lowest-running in the stage at 23rd.

 

Finish Driver Team Race Points
1  Martin Truex Jr.  Furniture Row Racing 10
2  Kevin Harvick  Stewart-Haas Racing 9
3  Brad Keselowski  Team Penske 8
4  Chase Elliott  Hendrick Motorsports 7
5  Kurt Busch  Stewart-Haas Racing 6
6  Aric Almirola  Stewart-Haas Racing 5
7  Erik Jones  Joe Gibbs Racing 4
8  Alex Bowman  Hendrick Motorsports 3
9  Denny Hamlin  Joe Gibbs Racing 2
10  Joey Logano  Team Penske 1