Truex Jr. leads competitors in stage points after Auto Club
By Dominic Aragon
March 18, 2018
FONTANA, Calif.—Maximum stage points in the Auto Club 400 Sunday propelled Martin Truex Jr. atop the standings for total stage points earned this year in Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series competition.
Truex Jr. won the first two stages—and the race—at Auto Club Speedway (ACS).
“Stage points are your friend,” Truex said. “We love them. I mean, the more you can get, the happier you are before the Playoffs start.
“For us, we’ve been consistent, been right there all year long. Each and every racetrack we've had good runs, been able to get some of those stage points.”
Brad Keselowski has earned the second-most stage points at 57 and Kyle Busch the third most at 55.
Kevin Harvick, who led the competition entering ACS in stage points, now has the fourth most at 53 points.
Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson (ten) and William Byron (one) earned their first stage points of 2018 in the race.
In total, 25 competitors have earned stage points this season.
With the exception of the Coca-Cola 600 in May, every points-paying race in 2018 is broken up into three stages.
Each of the first two stages pays out points to the top-10 finishing drivers. A first-place finish gets 10 points, second-place gets nine points, and so forth.
Harvick has won three stages, the most among the competition.
Kurt Busch and Martin Truex Jr. have each won two stages.
Ryan Blaney, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski have each won a stage this season.
STAGE POINTS AFTER FIVE RACES
Joshua A. Hill/TRE