- Josh Scott
Truex Jr seizes Richmond win, advances in Playoffs
Martin Truex Jr beat teammate Denny Hamlin by 1.4 seconds to win the Federated Auto Parts 400, the second of 10 races in NASCAR's Playoffs, at Richmond Raceway on Saturday. The victory is Truex Jr's fourth win of the 2021 season as well as his 31st career win. Truex also captures his sixth win on a short track after going winless in his first 12 tries.
"We're proud to win (today)..what a day to win on," Truex Jr said, referring to the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. "We knew there was a lot on the line tonight." By winning Saturday's race, Truex joins Hamlin as the second driver to secure a spot in the next round of the Playoffs.
Christopher Bell finished third, putting three of four Joe Gibbs Racing drivers in the top five, followed by Chase Elliott, and Joey Logano. Kyle Larson, Ross Chastain, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, and Ryan Blaney finished out the top 10.
Unlike the previous race, not many playoff drivers crashed out during the 400-mile event. Kurt Busch was the only driver to DNF after a right rear tire went flat causing him to slam into the turn four wall.
The Playoff standings after the Federated Auto Parts 400 are as follows:
Along with Truex Jr and Hamlin, thanks to finishing sixth, Kyle Larson advances to the next round by point total.
The Cup Series travels to Bristol Motor Speedway next week for the third and final race of the Round of 16, where four drivers' dreams of winning a championship will end. The much-anticipated Bass Pro Shops Night Race starts next Saturday at 7:30 pm on NBCSN.