Martin Truex Jr. rebounded from a spin with 85 laps to go to win Saturday’s Cup Series playoff race at Richmond Raceway, completing a sweep of the season’s two races on the short track and giving him wins in the first two playoff races.
Truex now has six wins this year and 22 in the last four seasons.
“I feel like Danny Sullivan or something right now,” Truex told NBCSN, referencing to the driver who spun and then won the 1985 Indianapolis 500. “I’m speechless. Unbelievable job, all my guys. … Had a heck of a race with Kyle and Denny (Hamlin) all night long, really. We just kept plugging away at it, plugging away at it. That’s what we always do, just keep digging and we never quit.
“Next thing you know I’m catching (Busch) for the lead. I’m like, ‘Cool, here we go.'”
WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Ryan Newman earned his second top five of the year, his third straight top 10 … Denny Hamlin has finished in the top three in six of the last nine races … Bubba Wallace finished 12th for his third top-15 finish in the last five races … Jimmie Johnson earned his first top 10 with crew chief Cliff Daniels.
WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Reed Sorenson finished 37th after he got in the wall on Lap 243 and brought out the caution … Kurt Busch and Aric Almirola each received speeding penalties during the race and finished 18th and 16th … Chris Buescher‘s streak of top-18 finishes ended at 16 races after he placed 31st, seven laps down … Alex Bowman and William Byron placed four laps down in 23rd and 24th.
NOTABLE: This was the eighth time in their careers that Truex and Kyle Busch have finished 1-2 (or Busch was 1-2 with Truex) and the third time this year. … Truex is the fourth driver to win the first two playoff races, following Matt Kenseth (2013), Tony Stewart (2011) and Greg Biffle (2008).
WHAT’S NEXT: Bank of America Roval 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway at 2:30 p.m. ET Sept. 29 on NBC
First off, sorry to @MartinTruex_Jr and his fans. Didn’t anticipate locking the RF up and getting into him. Glad he was able to come back & still win. It killed our great run we had going inside the top 10. The team brought a great @FastenalRacing mustang. Hate i messed it up pic.twitter.com/lTxovsNp0T
After all the waiting it’s almost time for the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway (6 p.m. Sunday on NBCSN).
The fifth year of NASCAR’s official Throwback Weekend celebrates the 1990-94 era of the sport but there are paint schemes from various eras that we’ll be seen competing on the track “Too Tough to Tame.”
Here’s your guide to the retro paint schemes that have been announced so far for this weekend, including schemes for Saturday’s Xfinity Series race.
Landon Cassill, No. 00 Chevrolet – The StarCom Racing car will honor Sterling Marlin with his early 2000s “Silver Bullet” scheme.
Kurt Busch, No. 1 Chevrolet – The Chip Ganassi Racing driver’s car will be made to look like his personal 1969 Chevy Camaro.
Brad Keselowski, No. 2 Ford – The Team Penske driver will race Rusty Wallace’s 1996 Cup Series scheme.
Austin Dillon, No. 3 Chevrolet – Dillon will boast a paint scheme that was driven by his grandfather and team owner Richard Childress in the late 1970s.
Ryan Newman, No. 6 Ford – With Oscar Mayer taking the place of Valvoline, Newman’s car will take its cue from the scheme Mark Martin raced in 1993, when he earned Roush Fenway Racing’s first Southern 500 victory.
Daniel Hemric, No. 8 Chevrolet – Hemric will drive a car inspired by the design of CAT equipment and the logo used on them from its launch in 1925 until 1931.
Chase Elliott, No. 9 Chevrolet – Elliott will boast the scheme his father, Bill Elliott, claimed his first Cup pole with in 1981 at Darlington.
Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Toyota – Hamlin’s car will evoke Darrell Waltrip’s Western Auto paint scheme from the 1990s.
Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Ford – The Team Penske driver will have a scheme inspired by Michael Waltrip’s Pennzoil car from 1991-95.
Kyle Busch, No. 18 Toyota – Busch will pilot a Snickers-sponsored car based on Bobby Hillin Jr.s 1990 No. 8 Snickers scheme.
Martin Truex Jr., No. 19 Toyota – The Joe Gibbs Racing driver will throwback to himself with the Bass Pro Shops paint scheme he drove during his 2004 Xfinity Series championship campaign. That year he drove for Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s Chance 2 Motorsports.
Erik Jones, No. 20 Toyota – To mark his 100th Cup Series start, Jones will boast a scheme based on his rookie late model car.
Paul Menard, No. 21 Ford – Wood Brothers Racing will pay tribute to late team founder Glen Wood with the paint scheme Wood drove himself in 1957, including in his only appearance as a driver at Darlington.
Joey Logano, No. 22 Ford – The Team Penske driver will have the Pennzoil paint scheme Kevin Harvick used to win the 2007 Daytona 500.
William Byron, No. 24 Chevrolet – Byron will drive one of Cole Trickle’s paint schemes from the 1990 Tom Cruise movie “Days of Thunder.”
Corey LaJoie, No. 32 Ford – GoFas Racing’s car will be based on Dale Jarrett’s 1990-91 Nestle Crunch sponsored Xfinity car.
Michael McDowell, No. 34 Ford – The Front Row Motorsports driver will have a paint scheme that pays homage to the career of long-time owner and driver Jimmy Means, who was once partnered with FRM owner Bob Jenkins.
Matt Tifft, No. 36 Ford – The rookie driver will pay tribute to his father. The car is based on a Dirt Late Model car his father owned, which was driven by David Hilliker.
David Ragan, No. 38 Ford – The Front Row Motorsports driver will drive a scheme inspired by David Pearson’s 1969 championship car.
We got the @shrinershosp Ford Mustang colors dialed in perfect for this weekends @TooToughToTame race. Car will look great when it hits the track on Friday!!
Kyle Larson, No. 42 Chevrolet – Larson’s car will resemble Ricky Craven’s Kodiak scheme from his Cup Series Rookie of the Year season in 1995.
Bubba Wallace, No. 43 Chevrolet – Wallace’s car will be a tribute to the late Adam Petty and his 1998 ARCA win at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Ryan Preece, No. 47 Chevrolet – Preece will have a tribute to modified racing legend Ron Bouchard. The scheme is based on the No. 47 Majik Market/Hawaiian Punch car Bouchard drove at Daytona International Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway in 1984.
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Chevrolet – Johnson will throwback to his off-road racing days with a scheme from 1995.
BJ McLeod, No. 51 Chevrolet – The car is inspired by one that Burt Reynolds’ character raced in the movie “Stroker Ace.”
In 1953 Bill Blair won at Daytona when they raced on the beach and HWY A1A. This design is to honor Bill Blair, and all the early racing pioneers, who helped shape what is now known as NASCAR, and also to the role High Point, NC played in the early years of stock car racing. pic.twitter.com/YDd7YAPEyN
Garrett Smithley, No. 54 Chevrolet – The Rick Ware Racing car will pay tribute to Lennie Pond’s 1976 ride.
Reed Sorenson, No. 77 Chevrolet – The Spire Motorsports car will pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of the Motor Racing Network and the 11 radio affiliates that have broadcast NASCAR races since its inception in 1970.
Alex Bowman, No. 88 Chevrolet – Bowman’s Axalta-sponsored car is inspired by Tim Richmond‘s Folger’s Coffee scheme from 1986-87.
Matt DiBenedetto, No. 95 Toyota – The Leavine Family Racing car will be a tribute to the GTO Celicas that won the IMSA GTU title in 1987.
Stewart-Haas Racing – In celebration of co-owner Tony Stewart’s election to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, three SHR drivers will have paint schemes based on the cars Stewart raced to his three Cup Series titles. Aric Almirola‘s No. 10 Ford will be based on Stewart’s 2002 car, Daniel Suarez‘s No. 41 Ford will be based on the 2005 season and Clint Bowyer‘s No. 14 Ford will look like the car Stewart drove to his 2011 title.
Cole Custer, No. 00 Ford – The Stewart-Haas Racing driver will have a throwback to Buckshot Jones’ 1997 Xfinity Series car.
Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 8 Chevrolet – Earnhardt will pilot the scheme his father, Dale Earnhardt Sr., drove in his first Cup start in the 1975 World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Justin Haley, No. 11 Chevrolet – Kaulig Racing will boast Jeff Burton’s 1994 rookie Cup paint scheme with matching sponsorship from brake parts company Raybestos. It also serves as a tribute to team owner Matt Kaulig’s father and team chief financial officer, Bob Kaulig, who served as a vice president of Raybestos from 1985-2008.
Ryan Blaney, No. 12 Ford
Stephen Leicht, No. 15 Chevrolet – The JD Motorsports driver’s scheme is based on Ken Scrader’s mid-1990s Budweiser car.
Denny Hamlin, No. 18 Toyota – Hamlin will have a scheme based on Bill Elliott’s No. 11 Budweiser car.
Brandon Jones, No. 19 Toyota – The Joe Gibbs Racing driver will have Bubby Baker’s “Gray Ghost” paint scheme.
Austin Cindric, No. 22 Ford – The Team Penske driver will race the paint scheme Roger Penske had for his one and only NASCAR win as a driver.
START: The command to start engines will be given at 6:07 p.m. by 2020 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees Joe Gibbs, Bobby Labonte, Tony Stewart and Waddell Wilson along with Jose Armario, Bojangles’ CEO. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 6:15 p.m.
PRERACE: Garage opens at 1 p.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 4 p.m. Driver introductions are at 5:20 p.m. The invocation will be given at 6 p.m. by Dr. Bill Curtis, pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Darlington, South Carolina. Edwin McCain will perform the National Anthem at 6:01 p.m.
DISTANCE: The race is 367 laps (501.3 miles) around the 1.366-mile short track.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 100. Stage 2 ends on Lap 200.
TV/RADIO: NBCSN will televise the race. Coverage begins at 5 p.m. with NASCAR America. Countdown to Green begins at 5:30 p.m. Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 5 p.m and also can be heard on mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry MRN’s broadcast.
FORECAST: Wunderground.com forecasts a high of 81 degrees with a 41% chance of scattered thunderstorms at the start of the race.
Spire Motorsports will recognize the 50th anniversary of the Motor Racing Network with its paint scheme for this weekend’s Southern 500 (6 p.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN).
The team’s No. 77 Chevrolet, which will be driven by Reed Sorenson, will be covered in the radio network’s trademark blue and logos commemorating MRN’s founding in 1970.
Also, the front quarterpanels of the car will list the original 11 affiliates who have broadcast NASCAR races since MRN’s inception.
“Our radio partners are the original ambassadors of Motor Racing Network and this sport,” said Cheryl Knight, MRN’s Director of Radio Partnerships in a press release. “Every one of our 600 stations has played a significant role in MRN’s growth and success. Having 11 stations air our broadcasts consistently since 1970 is remarkable and we are proud to honor them this weekend by placing their call letters on the No. 77 Spire Motorsports Chevrolet.”
Here is where the 11 affiliates are located:
WBKR-FM 92.5 – Owensboro, Kentucky
WBTR-FM 92.1 – Carrollton, Georgia
WDEV-AM 550 and FM 96.1 – Waterbury, Vermont
WESC-FM 92.5 – Greenville, South Carolina
WJCW-AM 910 – Gray, Tennessee
WMMY-FM 106.1 – Boone, North Carolina
WMTN-FX 93.3 and AM 1300 – Morristown, Tennessee
WNDB-FX 93.5 and AM 1150 – Daytona Beach, Florida
WSLM-FM 97.9 and AM 1220 – Salem, Indiana
WUSQ-FM – 102.5 – Winchester, Virginia
WWGP-FX 95.1 and AM 1050 – Sanford, North Carolina