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MENCS: Martin Truex Jr. Crashes at Richmond; Wins Regular Season Point Title

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RICHMOND, Va. – Saturday night at Richmond Raceway Martin Truex Jr. was once again the class of the field. Leading 198 laps of the 403 in the Federated Auto Parts 400, Truex had to settle for a 20th place finish.

Looking to add to his already dominate playoff points lead, Truex was denied another win following a caution for Derrike Cope scrapping the wall. Truex lost the lead coming off pit road.

Restarting on the outside of the eventual race winner Kyle Larson, Truex and the field made a complete circuit at the .75-mile track, but as the field went off into turn 1, contact between Truex and Denny Hamlin sent the No. 78 into the outside wall ending the race.

Martin Truex Jr. talks to the media following the MENCS Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond Raceway on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017. ©Jacob Mullins/2017

“Cars have been lightning fast and team’s been doing a great job,” exclaimed Truex. “We’re one of the strongest teams and need perform to the level we are capable to win it this year.”

Truex ended Stage 1 in fifth after starting the race in the same position. He went on to add yet another bonus playoff point by winning Stage 2, but was leveled to a disappointing 20th place finish.

“Two weeks in a row to be leading right at the end and lose it. It sucks,” Truex noted. “It’s tough to lose ‘em like that.”

The caution that made True so upset was the one for Cope, who was running in 15 lap down.

“I don’t agree with the caution. I think it’s ridiculous that, again, there a guy out there that shouldn’t be, just riding around. As slow as he is, he can’t even hold his damn line. He scraps the wall; they throw a caution with one to go. That’s not what racing should be.”

Truex, by winning the regular season points title adding to all his race wins and stage wins, will have 53 playoff points.

“I should have had five more tonight,” noted Truex as his media availability ended.

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About Jacob Mullins

Jacob Mullins serves as the managing editor and senior NASCAR writer covering all three national touring series's. You can find him on on Twitter at @JMulls15. An intercollegiate athletic administrator by trade, Mullins can be found at the big tracks as well as the local short tracks in the Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania area. Mullins enjoys social media, photography and graphic design. A native of West Chester, Pennsylvania, Mullins follows all forms of racing, Major League Baseball (Baltimore Orioles) and college football (Virginia Tech Hokies).

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