While Martin Truex Jr. didn’t get the finish he wanted at Talladega Superspeedway, he maintained the points cushion he wanted.
At the end of the race, Truex was 19th but was +17 points to the cutline. He only lost two points in the ultimate wildcard race of the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.
Truex didn’t lead any laps or earn any stage points. At times, however, he ran up front and challenged for the lead.
Toward the end, Truex had poor track position and only ran as high as 13th in the closing laps before finishing 19th.
Truex hasn’t finished better than 17th since finishing sixth at Watkins Glen, six races ago. This is also the first time since 2011 that Truex has had six straight finishes outside of the top-15.
To add, Truex has the second-most stage wins of any NASCAR Cup Series driver this season. However, stage one at Bristol is the only time he has earned stage points (he earned two) halfway through the playoffs.
Yet, Truex will still go to the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval at +17 points to the cutline.
Still, in three of the last six years, a driver was eliminated after entering the final race of the Round of 12 at +17 points or more to the cutline:
- 2022 – Kyle Larson entered the Roval at +18; Finished 35th after incident and mechanical issue in final stage
- 2019 – Brad Keselowski entered the cutoff race at Kansas at +20; Finished 19th
- 2017 – Larson entered cutoff race at Kansas at +29; Finished 39th after blowing an engine on lap 73
While Martin Truex Jr. finished 17th and 29th in the last two years at the Roval, he has been one of the best road course racers this season.
Truex earned a win at Sonoma, then finished sixth and seventh in Indianapolis and at Watkins Glen. This season, he has also earned the ninth-most points of any driver on road courses.
The Bank of America Roval 400 goes green at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval, just after 2 p.m. ET on NBC, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Ch. 90.