NASCAR: Federated Auto Parts 400

Sep 21, 2019; Richmond, VA, USA; Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Martin Truex Jr. (19) celebrates in victory lane after winning the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

Martin Truex Jr. started the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season with an 0-for-81 career record on the series' short tracks. Thanks to the venerable old .75-mile Richmond Raceway, Truex has now won twice.

Victory No. 2 came Saturday night as he won the Federated Auto Parts 400, giving him a season sweep at Richmond.

"I'm speechless," Truex said.

The win was the Joe Gibbs Racing driver's second in a row as he won the playoffs-opening race a week ago at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The Richmond 400-lapper gave Truex his series-best sixth of the season and the 25th of the 2017 Cup champion's career.

"When things are rolling, they just are," he said.

The race was another beauty for JGR. Kyle Busch, a six-time winner for Gibbs at Richmond, finished second -- 1.6 seconds back after leading a race-best 202 laps.

Third was teammate Denny Hamlin while the fourth teammate, Erik Jones, finished fourth. That marked the first time a Gibbs lineup has gone 1-2-3-4.

"Awesome job by everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing," Busch, who finished an aggravating 19th at his hometown of Las Vegas last week, said. "Martin, the car, the combination there of, us, the combination there of, just lacked a little bit."

Gibbs drivers have won 15 of the 28 races in 2019. They have won 15 times at Richmond.

Team Penske's Brad Keselowski, who started from the pole, finished fifth. Fellow playoff driver Ryan Newman of Roush Fenway Racing was sixth.

To get the victory, Truex had to overcome a Lap 316 incident in which he was hit and spun by Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Truex kept his car clean on the spin and began to track down leader Busch.

With 26 laps to go, Truex caught Busch and a lap later, he took the lead.

"To spin and win is pretty incredible," Truex said. "I've never done anything like that in my life.

"Luckily I didn't hit anything. I tried to keep it off the fence, tried to just get it spun around and keep going."

Next up in the Round of 16 is the Roval 400, a race that incorporates the infield road course and part of the oval at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.

The Round of 12 will begin in two weeks at the Dover Monster Mile.

Playoffs drivers Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer finished seventh through ninth, respectively.

--Field Level Media

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