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Martin Truex Jr. comes up short of Richmond win, still leads all drivers in stage points

Photo by Dominic Aragon/TRE


RICHMOND, VA. – Martin Truex Jr. came up short of a win in Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 but still led all NASCAR Cup Series drivers in stage points Sunday at Richmond Raceway.

Truex Jr. earned 17 stage points Sunday – 10 for winning stage two and seven for a fourth-place finish in stage one. He ran second with a few laps to go before he was passed by eventual winner Denny Hamlin and second-place finisher Kevin Harvick.

Truex Jr. finished fourth overall and led four times for 80 laps after starting sixth.

COTA winner Ross Chastain and pole-sitter Ryan Blaney each earned the second-most stage points – 16 – at Richmond. Chastain bumped Blaney in stage two and Blaney paid him back at the start of stage three.

Chastain finished third in each stage while Blaney won stage one and finished fifth in stage two, earning ten and six points respectively.

Blaney finished seventh in the overall race, while Chastain finished 19th, one lap down, ending a streak of four consecutive top-three finishes.

Blaney took the lead in stage points following Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond.

Other stage points earners during Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond:

Christopher Bell (13), Joey Logano and Chase Elliott (10), William Byron and Kyle Busch (9), Kevin Harvick (5), Brad Keselowski (3), Kyle Larson (2).

Overall, 28 of the 39 points-earning drivers have earned at least one stage point in each of the first seven races.

STAGE POINTS THROUGH RICHMOND
Ryan Blaney – 66
William Byron – 64
Joey Logano – 59
Chase Elliott – 56
Kyle Larson – 49
Martin Truex Jr. – 46
Ross Chastain – 42
Tyler Reddick – 35
Chase Briscoe – 33
Alex Bowman – 33
Denny Hamlin – 29
Erik Jones – 27
Kyle Busch – 26
Brad Keselowski – 25
Daniel Suarez – 23
Kevin Harvick – 22
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – 21
Christopher Bell – 20
Aric Almirola – 16
Austin Cindric – 14
Bubba Wallace – 13
Austin Dillon – 13
Kurt Busch – 9
Todd Gilliland – 9
Harrison Burton – 6
Cole Custer – 5
Justin Haley – 5
Chris Buescher – 4

The stage point totals in this report do not include points earned during the Daytona qualifying races.

STAGE WINS
Eight total drivers have won a stage in 2022.

Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. lead the field with three stage wins apiece, followed by William Byron and Tyler Reddick with two stage wins apiece – and Alex Bowman, Daniel Suarez, Denny Hamlin and Ross Chastain who have won one stage each.

PLAYOFF POINTS

Nine drivers have picked up at least one playoff point this season.

William Byron leads the way with 7 points, followed by Alex Bowman, Denny Hamlin and Ross Chastain each with 6 points.

Kyle Larson, Austin Cindric and Chase Briscoe each have 5 points; Ryan Blaney and Martin Truex Jr. each have 3 points; Tyler Reddick has two points; Daniel Suarez has one point.

STAGE POINTS EXPLAINED

NASCAR awards the Top-10 finishers of Stages 1 and 2 in points-awarding races, with the exception of the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in May (three stages award points there). 

A stage winner earns 10 points, which is added to the points they earn for their finishing position. Second place in a stage earns nine points, third place earns eight and so forth.

OUTLOOK
The next race for the NASCAR Cup Series is scheduled for Saturday, April 9, at Martinsville Speedway.

Martin Truex Jr. is the defending winner. He earned 16 stage points last April. Ryan Blaney swept both stages but finished 11th overall to Truex Jr.

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