(MRN) Martin Truex Jr. won the opening race of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs on Sunday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The 2017 champion passed Kevin Harvick on Lap 248 to score his fifth win of the season and in the process will advance to the next round of the playoffs.
“It was a lot of fun tonight,” Truex Jr. said. “Any time you get a car like that it’s a lot of fun. It wasn’t easy, we had our challenges.
“These next two weeks are all about bonus points. This is big today to get six. Those are really important to get to Homestead.”
Truex Jr. has won the opening race of the playoffs three of the last four seasons.
“We hit it right when we needed to at the end and beat the 4 car,” he said. “Really, that whole second to last run I was just babying it to save the right rear, then we started being faster than him and Cole got the car perfect that last run.”
Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney rounded out the top five.
Alex Bowman, William Byron, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano and Ryan Newman completed the first 10 finishers. Logano led a race-high 105 laps but had contact with Daniel Suarez on Lap 189.
“If we didn’t have a wrecked car we would have had a shot at winning,” Logano said. “We were really good at the beginning of the race. We drove all the way to the lead and led a bunch of laps. We can be proud of that. We won’t let our heads get down on this. It is still a strong day.”
Logano and Truex Jr. won the first two stages of the race.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series now moves to Richmond Raceway next Saturday night.
For more, visit www.mrn.com.
|1||24||19||Martin Truex Jr. (P)||Toyota||267||53||Running||32|
|2||3||4||Kevin Harvick (P)||Ford||267||51||Running||47|
|3||18||2||Brad Keselowski (P)||Ford||267||34||Running||0|
|4||8||9||Chase Elliott (P)||Chevrolet||267||39||Running||12|
|5||23||12||Ryan Blaney (P)||Ford||267||35||Running||1|
|6||19||88||Alex Bowman (P)||Chevrolet||267||32||Running||0|
|7||14||24||William Byron (P)||Chevrolet||267||39||Running||6|
|8||15||42||Kyle Larson (P)||Chevrolet||267||39||Running||2|
|9||22||22||Joey Logano (P)||Ford||267||47||Running||105|
|10||17||6||Ryan Newman (P)||Ford||267||27||Running||0|
2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Standings
After Race 27: Las Vegas
|Rank||Driver||Wins||Top 5s||Top 10s||Poles||Points||-Leader||-Next||Stage Wins||Playoff Points|
|1||Martin Truex Jr. (P)||5||11||16||0||2082||0||0||4||35|
|2||Kevin Harvick (P)||3||10||18||5||2079||-3||3||5||28|
|3||Joey Logano (P)||2||10||16||2||2075||-7||4||9||29|
|4||Kyle Busch (P)||4||13||21||0||2063||-19||12||10||45|
|5||Brad Keselowski (P)||3||10||15||2||2058||-24||5||4||24|
|6||Chase Elliott (P)||2||9||12||3||2057||-25||1||4||18|
|7||Denny Hamlin (P)||4||13||17||1||2056||-26||1||3||30|
|8||Kyle Larson (P)||0||6||13||1||2044||-38||12||4||5|
|9||William Byron (P)||0||3||10||4||2040||-42||4||1||1|
|10||Ryan Blaney (P)||0||8||13||1||2039||-43||1||2||4|
|11||Alex Bowman (P)||1||4||8||0||2037||-45||2||0||5|
|12||Aric Almirola (P)||0||1||10||1||2033||-49||4||1||1|
|13||Ryan Newman (P)||0||1||10||0||2027||-55||6||0||0|
|14||Kurt Busch (P)||1||5||14||0||2019||-63||8||3||11|
|15||Clint Bowyer (P)||0||6||12||1||2012||-70||7||0||0|
|16||Erik Jones (P)||1||9||13||0||2007||-75||5||0||5|