Martin Truex Jr. wins playoff opener at Las Vegas

Jim Utter

Truex passed Kevin Harvick with 20 of 267 laps remaining and went on to cruise to victory in Sunday night’s South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, taking the first win in the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.

in the last three races.

of his career and the victory locks Truex into the second round of the playoffs regardless of how he finishes in the next two races.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

"The magic was back today, that's for sure," Truex said after the race. "We took a gamble this weekend; thanks to everybody back at the shop. We took a gamble and qualified 24th and for a while there we weren't looking too smart.

"We got the right adjustments at the end and had a great car all night long. I want to thank everyone who makes this happen for us. We're on our way to making a championship run. We'll get a lot of points and go to the next round.

"That run before when (Harvick) was just running away from us we got too loose and I had to baby it for too long. I told (crew chief Cole Pearn) that he needed to tighten me up some more so I could hustle.

"We hustled all the way to the checkers and got the job done there."

Brad Keselowski finished third, Chase Elliott was fourth and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top-five.

Completing the top-10 finishers were Alex Bowman, William Byron, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano and Ryan Newman.

Read Also:

Kyle Busch: "Pathetic" lapped traffic "don't know where to go"

Stage 3

Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, all of the lead-lap card elected to pit with Truex the first off pit road.

During the pit stops, Larson was penalized on his pit stop for a safety violation and had to restart from the rear of the field.

On the restart on Lap 168, Truex was followed by Logano, Elliott, Harvick and Bowman.

Elliott went three-wide on Lap 169 and came away with second place. Less than a lap later, Elliott went to the inside of Truex and came away with the lead for the first time in the race.

On Lap 180, shortly after reporting a tire rub, Byron spun off Turn 4 to bring out a caution. All of the lead-lap cars elected to pit and Hamlin – thanks to a two-tire pit stop – was first off pit road.

Austin Dillon was penalized for an uncontrolled tire penalty during his stop and had to restart from the rear of the field.

On the restart on Lap 186, Hamlin led the way followed by Blaney, Newman and Daniel Suarez (all on two tires) and Harvick was fifth, the first on four new tires.

Blaney quickly made his way around Hamlin and into the lead on the restart only to see Harvick power past both of them and into the lead himself.

On Lap 188, Kurt Busch had a tire go down and hit the Turn 3 wall hard to bring out a caution. 

Several lead-lap cars elected to pit but Harvick remained on the track and led on the restart on Lap 196. He was followed by Blaney, Newman, Truex and Denny Hamlin.

With 60 laps to go in the race, Harvick had moved out to a 2.3-second lead over Truex as Blaney ran in third. Keselowski moved up to fourth and Bowman ran fifth.

Keselowski – who wasn’t in contention for the win most of the race – moved up to third with 50 laps to go. Harvick remained out front with a comfortable 4-second lead.

Several cars began a final round of green-flag pit stops on Lap 229. Once the cycle of stops was complete on Lap 246, Harvick remained in the lead but with only slight advantage over Truex.

On Lap 247, Truex was able to get around Harvick on the outside and claim the lead for himself.

With 10 laps remaining, Truex had pulled out to a 2.2-second lead over Harvick as Keselowski ran in third.

Read Also:

Truex snatches Stage 2 win at Las Vegas from LoganoLogano tops Harvick for Stage 1 win at Las Vegas

1

19

United States
United States

 Martin Truex Jr

Toyota

267

 

32

2

4

United States
United States

 Kevin Harvick 

Ford

267

4.173

47

3

2

United States
United States

 Brad Keselowski 

Ford

267

6.344

 

4

9

United States
United States

 Chase Elliott 

Chevrolet

267

6.60

12

5

12

United States
United States

 Ryan Blaney 

Ford

267

9.086

1

6

88

United States
United States

 Alex Bowman 

Chevrolet

267

15.381

 

7

24

United States
United States

 William Byron 

Chevrolet

267

19.865

6

8

42

United States
United States

 Kyle Larson 

Chevrolet

267

24.531

2

9

22

United States
United States

 Joey Logano 

Ford

267

24.839

105

10

6

United States
United States

 Ryan Newman 

Ford

267

25.261

 

11

48

United States
United States

 Jimmie Johnson 

Chevrolet

267

25.273

 

12

3

United States
United States

 Austin Dillon 

Chevrolet

267

25.633

 

13

10

United States
United States

 Aric Almirola 

Ford

267

29.577

3

14

21

United States
United States

 Paul Menard 

Ford

267

29.888

 

15

11

United States
United States

 Denny Hamlin 

Toyota

267

30.256

3

16

13

United States
United States

 Ty Dillon 

Chevrolet

267

31.763

 

17

8

United States
United States

 Daniel Hemric 

Chevrolet

267

31.772

 

18

37

United States
United States

 Chris Buescher 

Chevrolet

266

1 lap

1

19

18

United States
United States

 Kyle Busch 

Toyota

266

1 lap

 

20

41

Mexico
Mexico

 Daniel Suarez 

Ford

266

1 lap

29

21

95

United States
United States

 Matt DiBenedetto 

Toyota

266

1 lap

9

22

38

United States
United States

 David Ragan 

Ford

266

1 lap

 

23

43

United States
United States

 Darrell Wallace Jr. 

Chevrolet

266

1 lap

 

24

34

United States
United States

 Michael McDowell 

Ford

266

1 lap

16

25

14

United States
United States

 Clint Bowyer 

Ford

266

1 lap

2

26

17

United States
United States

 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 

Ford

265

2 laps

 

27

47

United States
United States

 Ryan Preece 

Chevrolet

265

2 laps

 

28

32

United States
United States

 Corey Lajoie 

Ford

265

2 laps

 

29

00

United States
United States

 Landon Cassill 

Chevrolet

265

2 laps

 

30

36

United States
United States

 Matt Tifft 

Ford

264

3 laps

 

31

15

United States
United States

 Ross Chastain 

Chevrolet

262

5 laps

 

32

53

United States
United States

 J.J. Yeley 

Chevrolet

260

7 laps

 

33

51

United States
United States

 B.J. McLeod 

Chevrolet

259

8 laps

 

34

27

United States
United States

 Joe Nemechek 

Chevrolet

257

10 laps

 

35

52

United States
United States

 Garrett Smithley 

Chevrolet

255

12 laps

 

36

20

United States
United States

 Erik Jones 

Toyota

254

13 laps

 

37

77

United States
United States

 Reed Sorenson 

Chevrolet

250

17 laps

 

38

66

United States
United States

 Joey Gase 

Toyota

249

18 laps

 

39

1

United States
United States

 Kurt Busch 

Chevrolet

187

80 laps

 

What to Read Next