Martin Truex Jr. finally has a win at a short track. And a team not named Joe Gibbs Racing or Team Penske still hasn’t won a race in 2019.
Truex pulled off the win with a car that he said wasn’t performing too well over the final tenth of the race. It was his first short track win in over 80 starts.
“I was struggling the last 40 laps,” Truex said. “I had no front turn, I was just real, real tight in that last run.”
Had Logano passed Truex, the streak would have continued anyway. Team Penske has won the other three races in 2019 and a Logano victory would have been its fourth. No Cup Series season has gone on this long with just two teams gobbling up all the race wins.
Bowyer finished third, while Kevin Harvick was fourth and Denny Hamlin was fifth. Busch had the dominant car in the early stages of the race but got a pit road speeding penalty. He finished eighth.
Eight of the race’s 37 starters and four of the top 10 starters failed pre-race inspection Saturday afternoon. All the cars that had failed inspection had to start at the back.
The race also didn’t feature any multi-car crashes and continued a 2019 trend of tame racing. The only two incidents came because of flat tires. Kyle Larson crashed into the wall because of a flat and so did Michael McDowell.
Kyle Larson’s miserable start continues
Kyle Larson’s having a bad 2019 season. Contact caused a tire rub on Larson’s left rear tire early in the race and he came to pit road so the team could pull the fender and prevent a flat tire from happening.
Well ... the fender pulling wasn’t good enough. Larson returned to the race and soon found himself in the wall because of a flat tire. He drove the car straight to the garage and ended up in last place.
Larson is now 19th in the points standings and 204 points back of the points lead.
The top 20 is closer in 2019 than it was in 2018
As JGR and Penske have hogged all the spots in victory lane in 2019 the rest of the top 20 is actually closer to the lead than it was a year ago.
The two teams have combined to win the first nine races of the season; no two teams have ever won the first nine races of a Cup season before. But crazily enough, drivers throughout the top 20 are actually closer to the points lead than they were a year ago.
After winning Saturday night at Richmond, Martin Truex Jr. is in sixth in the points standings and 89 points behind teammate Kyle Busch for the points lead. A year ago, fourth-place Kevin Harvick was 91 points behind Busch, who was leading the points.
The trend continues as you go down the standings. Erik Jones was 12th in the standings a year ago and 182 points behind Busch. This year Jones is 17th, but just 188 points behind Busch.
The driver in 12th this year, Daniel Suarez, is 165 points behind Busch. Ryan Newman, the driver in 17th at this time a year ago, was 229 points off the points lead. William Byron is currently in 20th in the standings and he’s 38 points closer to the lead than the 20th-place driver was a year ago.
What classic is NASCAR talking about?
NASCAR fired off a tweet calling Saturday’s race a “classic” after Truex’s win.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) April 14, 2019
Sorry, Truex’s win wasn’t a classic. Yeah, it was nice that he got his first short track win and his first win with Joe Gibbs Racing. And while the race produced a close finish, there’s nothing extremely memorable about it unless you’re a Truex fan. A classic is a race that you remember for a long, long time. Non-Truex fans may forget who won this race in a couple months.
Calling Saturday night’s race a “classic” continues NASCAR’s desperate trend of overselling anything and everything. That’s dangerous. When you oversell everything you soon realize you have a hard time selling anything.
1. Martin Truex Jr.
2. Joey Logano
3. Clint Bowyer
4. Kevin Harvick
5. Denny Hamlin
6. Austin Dillon
7. Brad Keselowski
8. Kyle Busch
9. Ryan Newman
10. Paul Menard
11. Kurt Busch
12. Jimmie Johnson
13. William Byron
14. Erik Jones
15. Chase Elliott
16. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
17. Alex Bowman
18. Daniel Suarez
19. Daniel Hemric
20. Ryan Preece
21. Ty Dillon
22. Chris Buescher
23. Aric Almirola
24. Matt DiBenedetto
25. Ryan Blaney
26. Corey LaJoie
27. Bubba Wallace
28. David Ragan
29. Matt Tifft
30. Ross Chastain
31. Jeb Burton
32. Bayley Currey
33. Joey Gase
34. Quin Houff
35. Landon Cassill
36. Michael McDowell
37. Kyle Larson
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports
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