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Truex wins NASCAR playoff opener in Las Vegas

Martin Truex Jr. advanced to the round of 12 after finishing ahead of Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski.

Martin Truex Jr. kicked off the 2019 NASCAR playoffs in style as he won the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Truex took the lead with 20 laps remaining on Sunday and finished ahead of Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski in Las Vegas on Sunday.

The 39-year-old led for 32 laps as he claimed his fifth win of the season and 24th of his career.

Truex punched his ticket to the next round of the playoffs – an automatic berth to the round of 12.

"We took a gamble, qualified 24th," said Truex, “For a while, it wasn’t looking too smart with the 4 (Harvick) out front. Got the right adjustments in the end. Had a great car all day long.

"Hell of a way to make a championship run. Get some good bonus points, move on to the next round, see what we can do there."

Kurt Busch did not finish the race because of a crash and placed last.

The next playoff race will be at the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway on September 21.